Bodleian Libraries have removed Covid restrictions

Image description: The Bodleian library quad

The Bodleian Libraries have removed covid measures which have been in place since the start of Michaelmas 2020. These measures included the compulsory wearing of face masks unless exempt, and the booking of timed slots which aimed to restrict and monitor numbers.

Libraries are now open to all readers. A timed slot is no longer necessary and face masks are no longer compulsory, though still recommended as per the government guidance on crowded or indoor spaces.

The Bodleian is also removing designated seating which maintained the 1m+ rule so that almost all seats will be  available for use by the start of term, restoring library capacity to pre-pandemic levels.

This comes as part of the University’s aim to return to in person teaching, stating: “In line with the latest UK Government guidance, we are planning to provide most teaching in-person in the new academic year, as normal. This will be enhanced by high-quality online resources and, in some instances, online teaching.”

The Bodleian stated that it “looks forward to welcoming all new and returning students in Michaelmas Term.”

And reminded readers of what to expect and how to use the libraries:

“Here’s five pointers to help you make the most of our collections, services and spaces, and what to expect in our reading rooms:

1. Check out our Getting Started webpage, watch the short introductory video, book on a 20 minute Welcome Webinar, and join a library tour. Remember, this is your library service and no matter how imposing the threshold, come on in!

2. The reading rooms are operating as normal and there is no need to pre-book a space. We do ask for responsible and considerate behaviour, including the wearing of face coverings unless exempt and being respectful of people’s space. Our pandemic services of SpaceFinder and Click & Collect are no longer operating, but will be reintroduced should the situation change. If you have a disability or a long-term health condition, additional support is available.

3. SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online) is your starting point to find resources, whether online or print, and many reading lists linked to library resources are provided through ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online).

4. The popular free scanning services, introduced during the pandemic, will remain in place for Michaelmas Term, and books can be borrowed (and returned!) as normal.

5. Still have questions? Ask our friendly librarians on Live Chat, contact the Main Enquiry Desk, talk to staff in the reading rooms, and book on our free training sessions to flex your library research skills muscles.

We are a large, and at times complex, network of 28 libraries so please visit the Bodleian Libraries website for the latest information and any local variations,



Image credit: Chen Chen