Welcome to your Library at Essex. We are here to support you in your studies by providing the resources you need, study environments to suit you, and expert help and support.
If you’re new to using the Library and want an introduction to our services, this page will be your guide! Check out the video below for a brief introduction to some of our services and support.
You can find an extended Introduction to the Library video here.
For an interactive introduction to the library, why not have a go at our tutorial introducing the online library services? If you're on campus, here are our self-guided inductions to the Albert Sloman Library in Colchester and The Forum in Southend.
The easiest way to access the resources you will need is through your reading list. You can find your reading lists for all modules through the Moodle page for your module, or by visiting the Reading Lists homepage.
All of your essential reading material should be available for you to access online.
If you can't find your reading list here or you are struggling to access your reading materials, please talk to your lecturer and contact us.
You can also find help with your reading lists on our reading list guide.
To get started with navigating a reading list, why not check out our Getting Started Reading List at the bottom of this page?
Once you’ve found your reading list, you can use the Library search on the Library's homepage to find other online resources to support your studies. There are four tabs on the Library search, as shown in the image below.
You can search for articles, journals, and databases using the Library search.
This searches the catalogue of books at our Southend campus library, The Forum. Use this tab if you're based at Southend and are looking for a book on the shelves.
This is used to search for specific journal articles using their DOI - or digital object identifier. This is a unique identifier assigned to all journal articles, and if you know it then this can help you locate exactly what you're looking for!
This allows you to search for online journals. To find out what a journal is, take a look at our search skills guide.
Check out your Subject Guide: a subject-specific bank of resources and guidance put together by our team of Academic Liaison Librarians, including our Southend Campus Librarian!
Your Academic Liaison Librarian provides subject-specific support and guidance in a range of areas, from recommending and evaluating resources, to search skills and referencing. The below image shows an example of one of our subject guides. Why not have a look at yours now?
Health and Safety
The consequences of a fire could potentially be very serious. For this reason we have high standards of fire protection in our buildings. For them to be effective, we all need to be vigilant and follow our fire safety procedures and know what to do in the event of a fire.
If you discover a fire
1. Sound the alarm from the manual call point nearest to you (or on your way to the exit).
2. Do not attempt to tackle a fire.
3. Leave the area immediately.
4. If safe to do so close fire doors behind you.
5. Evacuate the area/building immediately and you should not remain on the landings.
Rules & etiquette
Food and drink
The library allows hot and cold drinks throughout the building, and cold food in some areas. Hot or strong smelling food is not allowed. You may be asked to leave and consume your food elsewhere. Alcohol is prohibited.
Hot and cold drinks and food are permitted in the Learning Hub.
The library allows hot and cold drinks in bottles or lidded cups. No food is allowed.
Asking for help from home
You can get help online in a number of ways:
You can chat to us via our library homepage. The chat option is in the bottom right of your screen and is available Mon-Fri 10am-5pm.
You can look at our Help page and search by keyword and subject.
You can also email us at email@example.com
Or you can call us - 01206 873192. If we’re not available to answer the call, leave a message and we will get back to you within 1 working day.
Asking for help in the library
You can ask any member of staff within the library for assistance - if we are unable to provide what you need, we will be able to find someone who can.
The helpdesk will always have someone there to help you during opening hours with your questions.
Loughton - the helpdesk is generally staffed during opening hours Monday to Saturday. Please note that staffed hours may vary during holiday times and/or when staff is in training. For updated information please check our opening hours.
Southend - University of Essex library staff are based at TF.2.03, The Info Point on the 2nd Floor of The Forum.
Finding information on your subject
You can use the website to read through your subject guide, a one stop tour of help and resources for your studies.
You can also book a one-to-one session with a member of our Academic & Research Services team for personalised help with your studies using the Book A Librarian page.
You can also look at the databases page to see all of the subject specific resources we subscribe to.
Search skills tips and advice
For help and interactive tutorials on searching for resources, referencing, evaluating resources, and more, take a look at our skills guides.
For information on our upcoming workshops and events, head to our events page.
Support for disabled students
Your library is dedicated to helping you in your studies and want to support your needs. If you need specific help, please let us know and we will look into what we can do to help.
You can read about the support we currently give on our Accessibility page.
There are computers available throughout each library. You can log into them with your university email (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and password.
You can log into the 'eduroam' network using your email address (e.g. email@example.com) and password from anywhere in the library.
Each campus has a collection of laptops for loan.
To borrow a laptop, you need your student card. You can borrow a laptop for either 6 or 3 hours at a time.
For full details, see our Laptop Loans page.
All computers/laptops in the library have storage options.
Each device has USB drives which you can use to connect a memory stick.
You have up to 1GB of storage on your M: drive which you can access from any university PC.
The university also has a subscription to Box and OneDrive, which are forms of cloud storage that allow access from anywhere you have an internet connection.
MFDs (Printing and Photocopying)
The library has MFDs (Multi-Functional Devices) which allow you to print, scan and photocopy.
You can use these devices to:
Please ask a member of staff if you want any help with printing or using the MFDs.
As a student at the university, you will have your own email and password.
You can use these login details to access your library account and e-resources.
You can reset your password online, and get further help via the IT Helpdesk.
Logging into e-mail
You can use Microsoft Outlook to access your e-mails on any university device, or access webmail via email.essex.ac.uk
To access your e-mails, you will need your e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your password.
Forwarding e-mail to another account
The Student Email Forwarding page has instructions on how to forward your student email to a personal account.
Accessing e-mail from a smart phone or tablet
You can download Microsoft Outlook on your device to access your e-mails, or you can access webmail via email.essex.ac.uk
Printing in the Library
All of our libraries have printers.
Loughton – printing and photocopying is available in the library or by using the mobile printing service. An alternative printer is located in reception.
If a printer is out of paper or has an issue, please get in touch with the Library Helpdesk, and we will sort the issue.
Printing on Campus
There is no cost for printing on campus, it is free. However, there is a cap to the number of pages that can be printed out. For more information check the IT Services' Printing page.
Please do consider what you are printing to be paper conscious and help our planet.
Library Fines and Charges
Colchester and Loughton
At Colchester and Loughton, we charge fines for overdue items where they have been requested by another user, known as recall. Fines are charged at £2.50 per day per item. This is capped at £25 per item.
Normal and Short Loan Collection - there's a 20p per day fine on each book that is overdue.
Colchester and Southend
You can borrow a laptop for 3 hours. Late returns will be charged a fine of £1 an hour or part thereof.
You can borrow a laptop for any length of time during the day. Laptops must be returned by library closing time on the day they are borrowed and they cannot be loaned overnight. Late returns will be charged a fine of £1 an hour or part thereof.
If you lose a library item or damage it, please get in touch with your Library Helpdesk.
We will look at replacing and/or fixing the item, and you will be charged if a replacement item is needed. The cost of the replacement will be based on the item that was lost and/or damaged.
Renewal fees apply to interlibrary loan requests fulfilled by other libraries. At present, the cost of a renewal is £4.65 for each instance. If you require a renewal for an interlibrary loan, please contact email@example.com, specifying that you would like a renewal for your loan and supplying the request number.
Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library and therefore not always possible.
Please note that more substantial fines may apply to damaged or lost books that were obtained through the interlibrary loans service. As these are not our books, we may have to charge for the cost of a replacement copy, as well as any administrative charges we incur as a result of this. If you have damaged or are not able to return a book you received through interlibrary loans, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible to let us know.
Interlibrary loan books that are returned late may also be subject to more substantial fines, where our library has had to pay for a replacement copy.
Printing in the library is free, and managed by IT Services. All students receive £10 of virtual credit at the start of each academic year. This is not real money, just a virtual balance. Visit the IT Services page to find out how printing balances work.
Ways to Pay
Students and staff can pay using a debit or credit card online
You can also pay by debit or credit card either by phoning us on 01206 873192 or by visiting our Colchester Library Helpdesk in person.
If you are a Southend student or staff member, non-laptop loan payments need to be made to The Forum
Graduating students with unpaid debts will not be able to attend the graduation ceremony if still in debt on the day of graduation. See here for more information.
If you have any queries or concerns about any library fines or charges, please contact our library staff who will be able to advise.