News and updates

News or updates on Library services and resources

You will find information about updates on the Library, our services and planned downtime for resources that we subscribe to.



Update on the Fetching Service. Posted - 14 January 2019.

  • You may now request books from the Russell Square store and theses from the Malet Street store by using the online store request form. Items are fetched from the stores once a day, Monday to Friday.

Spring Saturday workshops on 2 and 16 February. Posted - 12 December 2018.

  • Saturday 2 February 2019
    • 10.00am-11.30am – Finding information for your essays and assignments. Learn basic search strategy and effective use of the Library Catalogue and Discover (alternative to Google Scholar). Includes hands-on practice.
    • 12.00pm-1.30pm – Getting the best from Literature Online (LION) and the MLA International Bibliography. Get hands on practice with two of the most useful databases for the study of literature, poetry, drama, language and linguistics; LION and MLA International Bibliography.
    • 2pm-3.30pm – Managing your references using Zotero. A practical session looking at setting up a Zotero account and then searching and saving references found on Google Chrome with Zotero's one-click button.
  • Book via the Study skills workshop calendar
  • Saturday 16 February 2019
    • 10.00am-11.30am - Finding information for your essays and assignments. Learn basic search strategy and effective use of the Library Catalogue and Discover (alternative to Google Scholar). Includes hands-on practice.
    • 12.00pm-1.30pm – Reasons to use LexisLibrary. A session for Law students who use Westlaw UK, but have rarely, if ever, looked at LexisLibrary.
    • 2pm-3.30pm – Managing your references using Mendeley. Learn the basics of Mendeley such as saving references, creating bibliographies in Word & sharing resources. Good for Scopus and ScienceDirect users.
  • Book via the Study skills workshop calendar. 

Critical reading workshop Sunday 10 February. Posted - 12 December 2018.

  • 11am-12.30pm - Critical Reading workshop. Critical reading is vital to academic success, no matter your area of study. This workshop helps you become a critical reader of academic literature.
  • Book via the Study skills workshop calendar

Library refurbishment project 2019. Posted - 6 December 2018.

  • A message from Robert Atkinson, Director of Library Services.
  • In summer 2019 the Library will begin a refurbishment project, focussing on the first floor and entrance. For many years students have expressed through Library surveys their desire for more study places in the Library and we need to meet this need. Some of the new features will include:
    • An increase in the number of study places by about 14% to over 500. It will also create more varied and attractive spaces for different types of study both collaborative and individual.
    • A new desk which will combine our help and advice services to students. Part of this will be the addition of IT help and support as the IT Help Desk function will be included in this arrangement.
    • A new teaching room to complement our current teaching room. This will provide the opportunity for more information literacy training for students, but will also allow other student facing services to hold teaching sessions in the Library. Services such as the Study Skills workshops can be brought into the Library so that all this help and advice will be available to students in one place.
    • A second study support room providing improved facilities for students with disabilities.
    • A new and attractive silent study area.
  • In order to provide the space for these new developments we will be moving c70k little-used books to our local store in Russell Square. These books have not been borrowed for at least 7 – 8 years and can be retrieved easily using a frequent fetching service (e.g. every hour) should they be requested. The material currently in our local stores is requested very infrequently and this will be moved to a remote store with a 24-hour retrieval service.
  • The Library will need to close for an as yet undetermined time so that the work can be carried out. Obviously, we will try to ensure that this time is as short as possible and we will also ensure that we do everything we can to meet student and staff needs when the Library is closed. We will put in place a fetching service to retrieve books from the collections, an enquiry service and we will provide study spaces in the College, which will be set aside for Library use. As soon as we know the length of the project and when the Library will close we will inform you. When the work is finished the Library will have an enhanced role as a centre for student advice and support as well as a place for study, both collaborative and individual. It will be a step forward in our aim to improve the student experience at Birkbeck.
  • I would also like to draw your attention to the Library’s Annual Review for 2017-18, this highlights some of our activities and developments in the last year.
  • For further updates on this project consult Birkbeck Projects.

Fetching Service suspended for remote store items. Posted - 4 December 2018.

  • The Fetching Service is suspended until the beginning of February 2019 whilst we move stock from our local store to remote storage and finalise procedures.
  • Birkbeck students should use the SCONUL Access scheme if the item you want is held in other libraries nearby or you can use our Interlibrary loan service to request items that used to be in our local store. 
  • We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


Proquest eBook Central maintenance 20 January 2019. Posted - 10 December 2018.

  • ProQuest will be performing maintenance on Ebook Central on 20 January 2019 from 3am to 11am.
  • Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Exam Papers and key digitised readings not accessible. Posted - 8 January 2019.

  • You may have found today 8 January that the links to key readings provided in your MOODLE modules and our Exam Papers on the Library website are not working and cannot be accessed. This is due to an issue affecting the server that host these resources.
  • This is being investigated by IT Services as a matter of urgency and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Proquest eBook Central maintenance 5 January 2019. Posted - 10 December 2018.

  • ProQuest will be performing maintenance on Ebook Central on 5 January 2019 from 5pm to 7pm.
  • Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Christmas and New Year at Birkbeck Library. Posted - 5 December 2018.

  • Over the festive period, the Library will be open every day except Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26 December and Tuesday 1 January when we will be closed. Our service desks will be fully staffed throughout our opening hours.
  • Your loans
    • No borrowed items will be due back between 24 December and 2 January. This means that three-weeks items borrowed on or after 1 December, and one-week items borrowed on or after 14 December will not need to be returned until at least 2 January.
  • Your requests
    • Requested items awaiting collection during this time will be kept until at least the end of 2 January.
    • Interlibrary loans can be collected from the Issue Desk as normal during opening hours but the return date is set by the library lending that item.
    • Please note that no new interlibrary loan requests will be processed between 22 December and 1 January, so please make your requests in good time!
  • Making an appointment with your Subject Librarian
    • You are welcome to meet with your Subject Librarian for help with finding information using the Library Catalogue, databases and ejournals, and for help with referencing and using reference management software.
    • Your academic subject guide and the Library and Information Skills Moodle Module are good places to start. Contact your Subject Librarian to check their availability and make an appointment.
    • Please be aware that Subject Librarians will not be available between 22 December and 1 January.
  • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students
    • Last date for postal loan requests is 20 December.
    • Last date for one-to-one support is 21 December.
    • No requests for reading material will be processed between 22 December and 1 January.
    • Sensus Access will be available to convert reading material into accessible formats.
    • Guides for assistive software at Birkbeck are available on our web page.
    • Accessible study spaces will be available during Library opening hours.
  • Using other libraries
    • Most Birkbeck students are eligible to access other academic libraries across London and the UK.
    • If you are thinking of using libraries other than Birkbeck during the holidays, we strongly recommend that you find out as soon as possible when you should join, your eligibility and what you will need to take with you before you make your visit.
    • We also suggest that you should join the SCONUL Access scheme, which you will need to do in order to use many libraries.
  • There is lots of information and help available online via our Birkbeck Library home page, including:
  • Most people who use the Library during the festive period have made a special effort to come in, so please treat everyone with respect and consideration.
  • We would like to send best wishes to all our Library users, hoping that you enjoy a very peaceful and productive time during the festive period and throughout 2019.

Taylor & Francis maintenance on 4 December. Posted - 30 November 2018.

  • Taylor & Francis Online will be unavailable between 5am and 9pm on Tuesday 4 December 2018.
  • You will still be able to search, browse and read articles on Taylor & Francis Online, but you will not be able to register, edit account information, purchase content, or activate tokens/e-prints during this period.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


  • BoB is undergoing essential system maintenance between 7am and 10am on Friday 30 November. Please consider the service at risk during these times.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) Maintenance on 22 November. Posted - 20 November 2018.

  • BoB will be undergoing essential system maintenance between 10am and 1pm on Thursday 22 November. Please consider the service at risk during these times. This maintenance is part of a wider upgrade to the Learning on Screen domain, but will also include some adjustments to BoB.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Text us: new Birkbeck Library text service starts 1 November 2018.  Posted - 31 October 2018.

  • If you are being disturbed by other library users eating or chatting when you are trying to study, you can now text Library staff on +44 (0)20 0333 1207. You will need to tell us where you are sitting, and what the problem is so that we can investigate.
  • This is a pilot that the Library will be running for the rest of the autumn term. We shall aim to respond to your texts throughout our opening hours. Texts are anonymous – Library staff will go to the relevant area to check that the Library’s regulations are being respected.

Normal Library opening 27 - 28 October. Posted - 26 October 2018.

  • The Library will be open as normal this weekend, despite some disruption in the Torrington Square area.

Dawson platform scheduled maintenance  27 -  28 October. Posted - 24 October 2018.

  • In order to complete routine maintenance, Dawson ebooks will be unavailable from 10 pm Saturday 27 October to 2 am Sunday 28 October. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

ProQuest platform scheduled maintenance 27 November for 90 minutes. Posted - 23 October 2018

  • To maintain the currency and security of ProQuest ebook platforms, Ebook Central, PubCentral, and LibCentral will be unavailable for approximately 90 minutes on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 5 pm to 6.30pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Library Services Annual Review 2017-2018. Posted - 9 October 2018.

  • We’re very pleased to announce the publication of our Annual Review for 2017-2018 which highlights some of the things we’ve achieved in the past 12 months and reveals our plans for the coming year.

International Open Access Week: 22 - 28 October 2018. Posted - 27 September 2018.

  • International Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research. Birkbeck Library has organised a programme of events which you’re welcome to participate in.
  • The week starts with the launch of the Birkbeck's Research Office on Monday 22 October. Tuesday 23 October sees three events, beginning with an introduction to using open access resources as part of your literature search, followed by an open access game that introduces you to the key concepts and how it works here at Birkbeck. This leads to the main event; ‘Open knowledge: process, ethics, possibilities’ a panel event held in the Keynes Library, featuring Professor Martin Eve (Birkbeck), Simon Bowie (SOAS) and Lucy Lambe (LSE) chaired by Dr Sarah Lee (Birkbeck) which will investigate the practicalities and ethics of opening up access to knowledge, and the potential to widen engagement with research.
  • If you’re keen to understand the different routes (green and gold) of open access publishing then come along to the session on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday you can learn about how to get a DOI for your research data or to create an ORCID.
  • Throughout the week, we’re asking the question “What would the world look like if access to knowledge was free?” You can tweet us your answer @BirkbeckLibrary #OAWeek or come to the library and write your answer on a postcard.
  • To participate please book on to the sessions of interest - see below: 

Get to know your library: tours, guides, workshops. Posted - 21 September 2018.

  • To help you get to know Birkbeck Library and how it can support your studies, there are daily tours, online guides to resources for your subject area, a special library skills Moodle module, and Saturday workshops. We also provide specialist assistance to disabled and dyslexic students.
  • Library Tours
    • We will be providing Library tours at 5.30pm every weekday night between 1–20 October as well as on Saturdays at 1.15pm. Tours last c. 20 minutes.
    • On Sundays 21 & 28 October and 4 November, 12–1 pm, we will be running quiet tours which give you a chance to explore and get to know the Library at a quieter and calmer time.
    • No need to book – you can just turn up and join one of the tours. Meet by the Library entrance on the ground floor of the main Birkbeck building on Torrington Square.
  • Academic subject guides
    • Compiled by your Subject Librarian, our academic subject guides incorporate all of the relevant resources for your area of study.
  • Library and information skills Moodle module
    • Take this online tutorial to develop your library skills and optimise your study time.
  • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students
  • Saturday workshops
    • On Saturdays 20 October and 10 November, we will be delivering workshops on a variety of topics to help you get a head start in building your library and study skills. The workshops will be held in the Library Seminar Room on level one of the Library. All staff and enrolled students are welcome but you do need to book (there is a maximum of 30 places on each workshop).
      • 10.00am - 11.00am - Getting ready to study
      • 11.30am - 12.30 - Getting to grips with your reading list
      • 1.30pm - 3.00pm - Finding information for essays and assignments
      • 3.30pm - 5.00pm - Google Scholar vs Birkbeck Discover
      • For more information on each session and to book your place for 20 October or 10 November sessions.
  • Further help in using the Library
    • We are staffed throughout our opening hours and are happy to answer your queries whenever you are in the Library – you can recognise library staff by their green lanyard or badge. You can also contact us by live chat, email and phone.