Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico



Coronavirus update from Libraries & Collections 

Updated: 17.00, Tuesday 4 August 2020

Access to the Libraries, Archives and Special Collections 

All Libraries & Collections sites are currently closed. We are making plans for future access and will welcome our users back with a staged reopening of our spaces in September, ready for the new academic year. The health of students and staff remains our priority, and our plans will be subject to Government and King’s College London guidance.

Libraries & Collections spaces will open as follows:

Re-opening Libraries, week commencing 31 August:
  • Franklin-Wilkins Library - Tuesday 1 September
  • Archives Reading Room (Strand Building) - Tuesday 1 September
  • New Hunt's House & The Wills Library space (Hodgkin Building) - Thursday 3 September
Re-opening Libraries, week commencing 7 September:
  • Weston Education Centre Library - Tuesday 8 September
  • IOPPN LIbrary - Thursday 10 September
Re-opening Libraries, week commencing 14 September
  • Maughan Library - Tuesday 15 September
  • Foyle Special Collections Library Reading Room - Tuesday 15 September
  • St Thomas' House Library - Thursday 17 September

Access will be restricted during Semester one to current King’s staff and students and NHS staff from KCH & GSTT.

 Access to our physical collections

We are piloting a ‘Reserve and Collect’ service, initially for PhD and Postgraduate (Taught) students from Monday 6 July. If you are interested in using this service, and for more details, please see our Information for Borrowing page here. If successful, we will be aiming to expand this service throughout the summer.

Libraries & Collections continues to provide a wide range of online resources and remote support.



Returning books

Right now, we have very limited options for returning books and most students will need to keep hold of any items until we either return to campus and re-open the libraries or are able to offer an alternative. We currently cannot accept postal returns. For further information about who can return books please check our Coronavirus LibAnswers FAQs.

Everyone who has books on loan will continue to receive automated renewal notices, you do not need to take any action as any fines accrued will be waived.


Access to our online collections

You will continue to have access to our wide range of online databases, journals, ebooks and other online material - including digital content held by Archives and Special Collections during this period. Due to licensing restrictions some resources are not available off campus – these will be clearly marked. We are making good progress working with publishers to make these resources available off campus wherever possible.

We have a variety of online support and learning to help you access and make the most of our resources.

Additional e-resources now available during Covid-19 to support online teaching and research

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many publishers and library suppliers have provided temporary access to some of their e-resources to further facilitate online teaching and research. This Libraries & Collections COVID-19 libguide lists all additional resources currently enabled and will be updated as more become available.

Reading list service

We are continuing to deliver our Reading List Service. We have had to adapt the service to accommodate a lack of access to our physical libraries. Some reading list material is currently not available electronically. If you are a staff member and have essential material on your list that isn't held electronically, please contact the reading list team ( If you are a student and find something that isn't available electronically, please notify your tutor.  

Student Laptop Loan Service 

Library laptop loan periods have been extended and will continue to be until the campuses are open again. If you already have a laptop on loan this will be extended automatically, you will receive an automated email which will confirm when you need to return it.

We are working in collaboration with our Student Success and Mobility colleagues to enable the continuation of the Laptop Loan Service.  If you wish to borrow a laptop during this period of remote study, further information about how to request a laptop can be found here.


NHS support

We are tailoring resources to support your evidence needs. Please see our NHS Covid-19 page for links to clinical summaries, guidance and other tailored resources. 

We are here to help with any issues around your NHS OpenAthens login which opens the door to our extensive e-resources for our NHS members.  Staff at King’s College Hospital are encouraged to sign up for KnowledgeShare for tailored updates and to request literature search support.

NHS staff are now able to request journal articles where you would normally need a King's College London PC in one of our libraries.


Research support

We will continue to provide online and remote support for researchers and PhD students via our support pages and the following email addresses will continue to be monitored and responded to. Please drop us an email if you would like to arrange a Skype or Teams call to discuss something you need assistance with.


Access to the Archives

We are currently working remotely with no access to our physical collections and are consequenty not able to respond to research enquiries nor requests for copying, re-use or reproduction of material.

If you would like to deposit material with us, you can still contact us directly via 

Please include as much detail as possible and note that any review or collection of material will not be possible until our campuses are reopened.

You can find out more about the Archives and explore our collections via our website:

Access to Special Collections

You can still contact us directly via for an overview of our collections, for help with searching our catalogue or with any relevant enquiries which do not involve accessing physical collections. We can also advise on research relating to the history of the book or historical bibliography or which draws on the resources of the wider rare books sector and holdings. 

We have compiled a list of helpful online resources (scroll down to the Online Resources tab) including a link to content submitted to the UK Medical Heritage Library from our historical medical collections. You might also like to explore our online exhibitions.  

We can provide copies of existing digital images of items in our collections for private study or commercial use, but we cannot currently undertake any new digitisation.  

If you wish to discuss giving material to us, please include as much detail as possible and note that any review or collection of material will not be possible until our campuses are reopened. Please email  for advice and information.

Online help and support

Our staff are available to help and support you:

Monday - Friday between 09:30-17:30 staff will be responding to emails via

Alternatively, you can use our 24/7 Live chat service 

If you need more in-depth help you can book a Microsoft Teams 1:1 with a librarian, available Monday to Friday. These sessions include help with accessing online resources, on how to use databases, or how to plan and create strategies for literature searching.

If you need particular help around finding and evaluating information for health topics you can also use this forum on Keats.

A forum has been launched for students and staff in Arts & Sciences and Law fields; head to the Finding and Evaluating Information pathway in KLaSS, on KEATs. You can get support from library staff on literature searching, search strategies, evaluating information and navigating databases in general.