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Help and Support FAQs

What are the opening hours of the Library?

The University of Manchester Library consists of the Main Library, Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, and several site libraries. The opening hours of each library are shown on our locations and opening hours page.

Which site library is for my subject area?

See the individual site library pages for more information on the services and facilities offered at different locations via our locations and opening hours page. Remember that you are entitled to use any site library for study, regardless of the subject you're studying.

I’m an undergraduate - what resources and support are available?

The University of Manchester Library provides a range of support to its undergraduates including My Learning Essentials, a comprehensive programme of workshops, on-line resources, and drop-ins designed to support your personal and professional development.

To see more of what the Library has to offer, visit our Get Started page.

I’m a distance learner - what resources and support are available?

Distance learners have access to both physical and electronic resources for the duration of their studies via The University of Manchester Library.

You can find a full overview of the range of services on offer for distance learning students by visiting our distance learning page.

I’m a researcher – what resources and support are available?

The University of Manchester Library supports your research needs by providing access to specific, tailored services and helpful guidance.

For full details see our research pages.

How do I use Library Search?

See our Using Library Search web page for help on using our search tool.

Where can I find support and content for my subject area?

Subject guides contain useful information and details of recommended resources to support your studies and can be found on our subject guides pages.

How do I borrow books?

Self-service machines are located on Blue Ground Floor and within the High Demand collection (HD) at the Main Library. 

There are also machines at Joule, Precinct and Stopford site libraries or you can ask a member of staff to help. If you have an android device, you can also issue books using our new CheckOut app.

For more information visit our borrowing pages.

What is the High Demand collection and how do I use it?

The High Demand collection (HD) holds books and other items recommended as essential texts on course reading lists by University teaching staff.

The collection is located in the Blue Area, Ground Floor of the Main Library and is a self-service area, offering facilities for self-issue and self-return of material at all times when the Library is open.

For further details visit our High Demand Collection page.

What IT support is available?

From requesting ebooks to using the photocopiers, find out more about IT support through our Library IT services web pages.

Where can I find a PC?

You can view availability for all the University's PC Clusters online on IT Services' cluster availability page.

During exams, the Library provides 'PC availability' real-time displays in the Main Library, on Blue Ground near the bottom of the escalator, and in the main entrance of the AGLC. We'll also have staff and Library Ambassadors on hand to help direct you to a nearby PC cluster if you can't find somewhere in the Main Library or AGLC.

What study facilities are available and can I book them?

The Library has a number of different study spaces across our sites to suit your needs, some of which can be booked for group or individual study. See our Study spaces section for more details.

How do I retrieve an item which is in storage?

Some of our less-well-used items are not held on the open shelves, but are in on- and off-site storage.

The Library Store team can provide items held in a number of restricted access stores on- and off-site. These stores hold the less-frequently consulted material.

If you have ordered a Store item, a confirmation email will inform you where to go in the Main Library to collect your item.

For more information visit our store retrieval page.

Does the Library hold theses?

Yes, the main collection of over 60,000 theses is held at the Joule Library in the Sackville Street Building. All theses are reference only and can only be used within the Library.

For further details see our theses retrieval and reference page.

Does the Library offer a binding service?

The Library no longer provides binding services. These services are provided by Hollingworth & Moss Ltd, for whom we are agents.

How do I obtain resources that the Library doesn't currently have?

The Document Supply and Inter-Library Loans service is for current staff and students of The University of Manchester.

We will try to provide access to books and journal articles which are held at other libraries in the UK and overseas.

For more information visit our Document Supply and Inter-Library Loans page or contact the team at

Where can I get help with referencing and writing my essays?

The Library’s My Learning Essentials programme offers an interactive guide to essay writing.

Our referencing guide page provides a general referencing outline.

For more information visit our Training and skills support section.

As a University of Manchester student can I use other libraries?

If you are a student or member of academic staff, you are entitled to use other libraries within the United Kingdom.

Access can vary with each university. Please ensure that you check with the individual university library before making your visit.

For more details see our using other libraries page.

Who can I ask for help?

Service desks are in all of the libraries.

IT support desks can be found in the Main Library, Joule Library, and the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons.

Alternatively, watch out for Staff Rovers who will be able to answer most of your questions, or help you find what you need.

Library Chat is the Library’s online chat help service and is now available 24/7. Use this tool to ask for help on any Library related matter from inside or outside the Library. You can also email your enquiries to us.

Textme is available in the Learning Commons and can be used for help with basic IT and printer enquiries.

Can we help?