Frequently asked questions
All our libraries are temporarily closed and we are operating remote online services. For queries please see the FAQ below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My library account
How do I return my books?
All our libraries are closed and we encourage you to keep any items you have borrowed until further notice.
If you are unable to keep the items, the book returns box at the Central Library is open but you should follow the Prime Minister's guidance on travelling, see Imperial's Coronavirus updates for information.
If you live in halls of residence pleasespeak to your hall warden.
Do I need to return my books?
No. All items on loan that were due on Friday 26 June have been automatically extended until Wednesday 30 September.
No late-return fees or penalties will be applied to items on loan during this period.
My book has been recalled, do I need to return it?
No, you do not need to return your recalled item at the current time.
How do I return an iPad or laptop?
We encourage you to keep any overdue iPads or laptops until further notice.
If this is not possible please email email@example.com
Can I place a request for a book that is out on loan?
The request service on Library Search is currently unavailable however if you need a specific book please contact your librarian who may be able to find an electronic version or a suitable alternative.
Why are my returned books still showing on my account?
Due to the high volume of books returned prior to the library closure we were unable to return books from some accounts.
All books will be returned from accounts when our libraries reopen.
Visiting our libraries
When will the libraries reopen?
The UK Government’s announcement that libraries can reopen on Saturday 4 July does not apply to university libraries.
Imperial is re-opening our research labs where possible and we look forward to welcoming our students back to campus in the Autumn.
Library Services anticipate that we will be able to offer some limited access to our collections from the beginning of August and will open our study spaces when our buildings have been prepared.
Further details will be available soon. Please follow us on Twitter or revisit these web pages for the latest updates.
Can I access library PCs?
Yes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has opened up 2000 PCs (in spaces such as the library and computer labs) for remote access via the Remote Desktop Gateway for students.
Find out how to access our PCs at Remote desktop access for students.
Due to licensing restrictions we are unable to offer remote access to the PCs in the Business and Finance Software Zone.
Can I register for membership of the Library?
Unfortunately, we are not able to process general applications for membership at the present time, however if you are a member of NHS staff please email your librarian who will be able to create an acount for you.
Finding and accessing books and online resources
Can you help me with remote access to e-books and e-journals?
Yes, see Accessing online resources from outside an Imperial campus for help and support or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get a book that is on my reading list?
We are unable to supply print books but may be able to find and electronic version for you. Please contact your librarian for help.
How do I get the textbook I need for my exams?
If you do not have the textbook you need for your exams, we may be able to find an electronic version for you, please contact your librarian for help.
Can I still order books and other items from the Document Delivery Service?
We are unable to supply print books, conference proceedings and journal volumes from other libraries, however we will continue to process requests and will aim to provide items electronically wherever possible.
How do I use journal articles and e-book chapters safely in my online teaching
It is important to adhere to UK copyright legislation when using materials in your online teaching. To assist you we have created COVID-19: copyright and licensing tips for online teaching.
Can NHS staff join the Library?
Yes, if you are a member of NHS staff please email your librarian who will be able to create a library and ICT acount for you.
What critical care resources are available?
We know that many NHS staff are being asked to work in critical care for the first time and need resources to support this. The Oxford Medicine Online Collection contains a number of high quality e-books on critical care.
Can I request an evidence based search?
We also recommend signing up to KnowledgeShare to receive tailored updates from high quality evidence sources on COVID-19 and any other clinical or professional area of interest.
How do I access e-books, e-journals and databases?
NHS and many College subscribed resources are available through Open Athens.
We are also offering a special service to send NHS staff articles and e-book chapters that would normally only be available by using an Imperial College London PC in one of our libraries, see Support for NHS staff for further details.