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Updates from the Library relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The latest news on how Library Services are adapting in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) .

Overview of services

The Albert Sloman Library is now open offering a limited service.

Loughton Library & IT Centre is now open offering a limited service.

The Forum in Southend is open for browsing between 8.30am-5pm. The Learning Hub is open for study. You need to book a study space in advance. 

Access to print collections in Colchester & Loughton is currently available via the book request service. Please note that we are experiencing very high levels of demand for print books and that there may therefore be a delay in receiving confirmation that books are ready to collect.

Essential readings are available online via your reading lists.

We are offering remote support through live chat, phone, email, and librarian appointments (via Zoom) Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.


The Albert Sloman Library:

At the current time, the Library is operating a limited service, as follows:

  • Study spaces are available in the Library Reading Room and Postgraduate Study Room on a pre booking system
  • Access to items in the Library's print collections is available on request through the Library website for collection on the ground floor. We are experiencing very high levels of demand for this service. Please wait for your email confirmation that your items are ready to collect.
  • The majority of items required for module reading will be available online through our reading list system/Moodle. Access to print collections is primarily for further reading, and to meet the needs of academic staff and research students.
  • We are also operating our Scan and Deliver service for those staff or students who are unable to get to campus.
  • Library staff are available at the Helpdesk to assist with queries and to monitor study spaces.
  • All book loan due dates have been extended to 12 October (this includes 7 day loans from the Student Collection); books can now be renewed for a further period of 12 weeks.
  • Currently checked out books cannot be recalled or requested by other users. If you need a book that is currently checked out, you can use our Request a Resource service.
  • No fines will be charged for the period that the Library has been closed.
  • Books can be returned through the external book drop or returned by post.
  • We may not be able to fulfil intercampus requests. Where we are able to fulfil these, it may take longer for books to be delivered.
  • The Library Special Collections Reading Room will be open for University of Essex students and staff to use Special Collections materials for research. A limited number of study slots will be available to book by email. Contact to book. More information is available on our website. Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome researchers from outside the University at this time.
  • Floors 1-5 will remain closed at the start of term.
  • We plan to open further areas of the Library on a phased basis as it becomes safe and practical to do so.
  • Online library services, including access to resources, as well as specialist support and expertise continue to be available through our website.


Loughton Library:

Current Service (As of Monday 5th October 2020)

We’ve been working to make the service as safe and accessible as possible and, though Covid-19 restrictions mean that we are having to make changes to our service, we want to make sure that we can provide you with access to the things you need. 

From Monday 5 October you will be able to request books for collection using our new request and borrow service. You will also be able to book a printing slot. This will be available during opening hours only

We hope to offer an additional 'book a study space' service and laptop loans from Monday 12 October as we know that space to work is often limited. Updates will be posted on the Loughton News page.  

Please note:

  • All book loan due dates have been extended to 12 October, from that date loans will be for 2 weeks and you can renew your loan online. 
  • All returns should be placed in the external drop box. Staff will empty the dropbox regularly but there may be a delay in items coming off your account. 
  • The helpdesk remains closed for now but we are available to answer your queries on livechat and email, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • We would encourage you to hold on to your loan until the library has re-opened. The normal fee associated with interlibrary loan item renewals is being waived, so we would advise that you contact us at to request renewal of your item. Do not worry about the item becoming overdue.
  • Intercampus requests are possible, but may take up to 2 weeks to be processed. 
  • All users of the library should wear a face covering, follow social distancing measures, and have their registration card. 


The Forum Library:

The Forum has reopened for browsing. The Learning Hub on the second floor will reopen for study from Monday 5th October 2020. 

  • Opening hours for browsing are 8.30-17.00 Monday-Saturday.
  • Students and staff are encouraged to keep visiting times to 20 minutes maximum to avoid overcrowding and numbers will be limited to 25 at any one time.
  • Face coverings are required when using this service
  • The click and collect service will continue to be available alongside browsing 

click and collect service is available with members able to request books online or by phone and collect between 10-4 Monday to Saturday. Details of how to access this service are available here.

  • All book loan due dates from the University of Essex Collection have been extended until 12 October 2020. Books from the Public Library collection have been extended until 30th September 2020. 
  • Laptop loans are not currently available, but we hope to be able to offer this service again soon. 
  • Intercampus requests will be available from Monday 5th October. These may take longer than usual due to the need to restrict movement between campuses.
  • You can still access online library services and contact us via chat or by email. 
  • The majority of items required for module reading will be available online through our reading list system/Moodle so we would continue to advise you to use online resources wherever possible.

The Learning Hub

  • The Learning Hub will reopen on Monday 5th October
  • Library staff will be staffing the Info Point for reduced hours Monday-Friday and will be answering quick enquiries only. Staffed hours will be posted at the Info Point on a weekly basis. Outside of staffed hours, you will be able to contact us via chat between 9am-6pm Monday to Friday or you can email us at If you need longer for help with research and referencing skills, you can make an appointment with a Librarian through the ‘Book a Librarian’ form on our website. Due to social distancing rules, staff will only be conducting these appointments via Zoom. 
  • Access to the Learning Hub will be available 24/7 (Access outside of Library opening hours is via the Out of Hours Access door. Instructions For using this door are available here.
  • Face Coverings must be worn at all times while using the Learning Hub and social distancing guidelines should be observed. We ask that students only use PCs marked with a green dot.

The University is monitoring and following all advice from Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the World Health Organisation and will review all guidance daily. Please see the information below for the latest updates: