Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico



Coronavirus update from Libraries & Collections 

Updated: 10.30, Wednesday 25 November 2020

Access to the Libraries, Archives and Special Collections 

The campus libraries have now re-opened, the health of our users and staff remains the priority.  For this reason, we have worked over the summer to improve our online services, and it is expected you will be able to meet many of your needs working remotely, through our webpages, e-resources and  LibAnswers services. King’s have provided significant additional funding to ensure we can provide the core texts on your reading lists in ebook format where it is possible to do so.

In line with King’s  Staying safe on Campus  guidance,  all library visits are by bookable slots only.

  • Our libraries will be closed to the general public during the semester one, access will be prioritised for current King’s staff, students and NHS staff from our Partner Trusts.
  • From early November the Archives Reading Room and  the Foyle Special Collections Library will be open by prior arrangement to King’s staff and students, to support priority teaching, study and research needs. Please see the Archives and Special Collections web pages for further details.

We initially planned our on-campus services in the summer for semester one and after review we are able to implement changes in November as follows:

  1. The Reserve and Collect service will be available at all sites with bookable collection slots available throughout the day (from 16 November).
  2. Three hour study space slots are now available in the mornings at all sites.
  3. Evening study slots are now available at St Thomas’ House and Wills libraries.
  4. Additional study spaces at the Maughan and Franklin-Wilkins libraries (from 9 November).
  5. You are able to book two study slots on one day (from 2 November).*
  6. You are able to book three study slots per week (from 9 November)

*Please note as our risk assessment stipulates no eating and drinking in the libraries, you must leave the library and take your belongings with you between the morning and afternoon slots.

Our policy to provide bookable study space is based in the King’s approach to keeping people safe on campus. This has resulted in a significant drop in our space capacity through the requirements of social distancing, to avoid hot desking and to support track and trace.

For equitability, study space bookings are currently limited to three x three hour sessions a week. We are keeping the number of sessions bookable per week under review.

  • King's has produced four Inclusive Campus Badges to help make it easier to get around our campuses, and let others know of an exemption from measures or if you require adjustments. Find out more on the Campus A-Z page.

Further information about library opening times

Returning books

Books should be returned to our return box located outside libraries.  If at all possible, we ask you to return your books to the library you borrowed them from.

Further information about how to return books

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

If you are a student looking for your reading list materials head to MyReadingLists where searching your module codes will lead you to the reading required for your upcoming classes.

For staff members building and developing your reading lists please see our updated support materials  and troubleshoot via Libanswers FAQs. If you are unable to find the information you need please contact

We are working through a high volume of lists ahead of the start of Semester One teaching, therefore we are unable to give updates on the status of individual reading lists which have been sent for review. Please be assured we are processing lists by order of receipt and you will be notified once your list has been reviewed.

Student Laptop Loan Service 

Library laptop loan periods have been extended, 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.

A limited number of laptops are available for loan and we cannot guarantee availability.

To borrow a laptop, you will need to book a borrowing slot at your chosen library to collect it and another slot to bring it back. Please refer to LibCal for more information

We are working in collaboration with our Student Success and Mobility colleagues to enable the continuation of the Laptop Loan Service for those who cannot physically access a library.  If you wish to borrow a laptop during this period of remote study, please see: 

Further information about how to request a laptop

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.

For NHS staff new to our services wishing to borrow or book a study space we have created an online joining process.


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.


REF2021 and Pure:

PhD Theses:

Research Data:




Access to the Archives

Please see details regarding our reopening in November on our Archives webpages.

Our remote Enquiry Service has now reopened.  Please send your research enquiries and requests for the copying, reuse or reproduction of material to  

If you would like to deposit material with us, you can contact us via and please include as much descriptive detail as possible.

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

  1. The Serving Soldier
  2. Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics
  3. King's College Calendars (1831-1986)
  4. Victorian Lives

Special Collections

Please see details regarding our reopening in November on our Special Collections webpages.

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  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  and  digital scholarship hub.

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:

If you have an enquiry please try our LibAnswers FAQs.

Forums have been launched for students and staff in Arts & Sciences, Law, and Health fields; head to the Help and Support in Finding Academic Material in KLaSS, on KEATs. You can get support from the King's community on literature searching, your search strategies, and navigating your information ecosystems in general.

Library staff will also be replying to emails Monday to Friday between 09:30-17:30 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.