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Common library questions and answers

We receive a lot of feedback on similar topics or questions.

Below are the top ten current library questions and responses.

Q: More copies of insert book title/subject should be available.

A: The Partnership & Liaison team are working with lecturers to ensure essential reading material is bought by Library Services. We cannot provide a copy for every student but we try to ensure we have enough copies available. There may be ebook versions for some textbooks (found via Library Search) if you are still having problems you can send us your book/ebook requests using the ‘Suggest a resource’ online form. You can also talk to your student library rep who attends the Staff Student Liaison Committee for your department so they can make the academic and library liaison staff aware.

Q: Can the libraries be open 24/7 all year round or open earlier/later?

A:  We receive a lot of feedback about our opening hours and always consider what you tell us about when you like to use our libraries, to ensure that we have the most effective hours possible. However we must also be mindful of the fact that opening our buildings, heating them, providing security and so on, has a huge financial and environmental impact. We know that you would like the option of being able to visit the library whenever you like, day or night, but our statistics show that relatively few students use our services late at night and in the early hours of the morning, especially during August and early September. Our decisions on the best opening times are therefore based on actual demand and available resources.

Please remember that our opening hours are always under review and we will continue to work with you in order to provide the best range of hours we possibly can.

There are 24 hour Computing Rooms available at the Weston Education Centre and St Thomas’ House Library, and the Wills Library (Guy’s Campus) is open 24 hours.  You can find information about other Computing Rooms that are open 24 hours here

Q: Can we have more space in general/ more tables/more silent space/more study pods?

A: We are limited with the space we have in the libraries and try to accommodate your learning needs with the resources we have. Over the past few years we have refurbished parts of all our  libraries to accommodate your changing needs. 

We regularly consult with you over your space needs and requirements and plan the refurbishments accordingly.  For example in 2018 we repurposed some of the study space and zones at the NHH library based on your feedback.  As we review the library spaces we will continue to consult with you to ensure you have the learning environment to meet your needs.

Q: Can we have a microwave at the Maughan Library?

A: King's Food have installed a microwave for you in the Rolls Cafe, in the vending area for access during all the times the cafe is open. Due to the health & safety advice from the university fire officer microwave provision at the Maughan Library will be unavailable outside of the cafe opening hours.

Q: More ebooks should be available.

A: We currently have over 390,000 ebooks available; unfortunately not all books are available as ebooks. We always ensure we purchase an ebook for the essential reading material as specified in your lecturers MyReadingLists if one is available under the right terms and conditions and at a reasonable cost. For the library to purchase an ebook it needs to be sold under a licence that allows us to make it available to many students at once. Many books are sold as an ebook for individual customers to purchase (e.g. on a Kindle or their own personal device) but this does not always mean that the ebook is available for purchase on an institutional basis.  The type of licensing required to provide ebook access to many students is different and not all publishers are prepared to sell their content in this way. You can send us your ebook requests using the ‘Suggest a resource’ online form.

Q: Books can be registered as on shelf on the catalogue and not be there when I get to the shelf?

A: We have improved our shelving processes and aim to have books reshelved within four hours of them being returned. Once a book is returned it will show as available on the catalogue. If you can’t find a book that is showing as available on the catalogue, you can come and ask us at the enquiry desk to see if it is has just been returned. We also have an ongoing issue of books being hidden in parts of the library, this is something we will try to address with a refreshed ‘Study with Respect’ campaign.

Q: Can we have more computers?

A: IT have recently upgraded 1,400 PCs in the student computing rooms and libraries. There is also a newly refurbished student computing room opening at 'G1E Hodgkin building’, at the Guys Campus on the 9 March with a further 33 new touchscreen PCs being made available to students. An additional student computer room refurbishment with new PCs is being planned for Henriette Raphael (room HR 3.12) at the Guy’s campus. IT have developed a ‘PC free’ system that will help you find available PCs and aid IT in understanding where the pressure points are informing IT on if and where more PCs are required.

Q: Improved Wi-Fi?

A: Wi-Fi problems are a big concern and King's began investing over £5M in 2013 to upgrade the university's entire data network.  This is a long term project as there are limitations in most locations to work within certain timeframes to avoid disruption to university services. Information on the progress made to date can be found here. If you have any problems with Wi-Fi in a particular area please contact the IT Service Desk on   or telephone 0207 848 8888.

Q: Can we have more quiet/silent areas and better policing of the areas?

A: Most of the libraries are quiet zones, this is now clearer on the new floor plans  and we will be continuing to add signage to the various zones (silent, quiet, discuss) to make it noticeable what zone you are in and rules of the zone. We don’t want to start policing the libraries and rely on you to respect your library and your fellow students. If you are in a quiet or silent zone and you are being disturbed by noise you can text the noise line and a member of staff will attend and discreetly resolve the situation.

Q: Too hot or cold?

A: Estates & Facilities endeavour to maintain the temperature across the library at 21 degrees Celsius. When a room gets significantly hotter than that, an air circulation system which uses hardly any energy kicks in, sucking in air from the outside (rather than generating cold air artificially). I hope this helps to explain why you might at times feel like the room is being cooled. This circulation system is not equally effective in all parts of the library, which is why some areas, e.g. corridors, are warmer than others. In most of our rooms there is a now thermometer installed where you can check the temperature at any time, and if it has fallen significantly below 21 degrees Celsius, we’d be very grateful if you could tell either us, or directly via the Estates & Facilities online help request form

Q. I have seen mice in the library.

A: We can assure you that we are aware of the situation and that pest control are doing what they can in response to this. I'm sure you will appreciate the only real solution is to remove the attraction the mice have for coming into the library spaces in the first place, which is the crumbs and debris that is left by those consuming food here. We are doing what we can in terms of increased cleaning schedules and currently looking into how we can increase awareness amongst library users to dispose of their rubbish more carefully. If you do see a mouse, please report any sightings via the dedicated online form so that these can be passed on to pest control experts without delay.

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