Students chatting together in the library

If you are staying in halls of residence or shared accommodation, it can sometimes be difficult to focus on your studies. The Library is a great place to go if you need to avoid distractions, and focus on your assignments. The Abdus Salam Library is open 24 hours a day for most of the academic year.

When your course starts you’ll have the opportunity to attend a library induction and meet your subject librarian; it’s a great chance to find out how we can help you.

First year students often say that their best piece of advice to a new students starting is to “Go to all the library talks!”.

Things that you might not know about the Library:

It's big

At Imperial, we have seven libraries, with over 500,000 books, maps and other material. We subscribe to over 84,000 electronic journals, databases and e-books, so a huge amount of our collection is available to you online wherever you are. The Central Library covers 5 floors and also has bookable study rooms, areas for group work, as well as over 250 student PCs and a Library Café.

You don’t have to be in the Library to use the resources

You can navigate and access the library collections via the Library website. You can search for books and journals as well as reserve and renew items. And many of the resources are available as e-publications.

PCs, printers and copiers are available

These are available at each library, and some PCs have specialist software installed. There are also spaces and power sockets for you to use your own laptop if you prefer. Find out how to access the Wireless in the Library.

It's not just a quiet zone

We understand that not all learning takes place in silence and students need a place to meet with peers for group study and discussion. Most of our libraries have different zones for group study, quiet study and silent study. Please respect other people's needs and use the floor or area that is right for the work you are doing.

You can book a room for study

You can book study rooms via the library's room bookings page.

You can borrow up to 40 items at once

Your books will be issued for one week then automatically renewed until you return them. If a book you have is reserved by another student we’ll email you and ask you to return it sooner. Some libraries have a 24 hour loan collection where you can find extra copies of the most popular textbooks.

If the library doesn't hold the publication you need, we will try and find it for you

If the library doesn't hold the publication you are looking for, the Document Delivery may be able to obtain it for you - the publication must be needed for research or coursework.

We deliver training and workshops

Our Subject Librarians are here to help you get the most out of our collections as well as advise on any aspect of your information needs. There are regular bookable lunchtime workshops available that cover everything from specific databases to general reference management skills. We also have regular drop-in sessions throughout the year and can offer one-to-one sessions too. It’s simple – just get in touch.