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Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 51 weeks of the year the Library is a favourite spot for students to read, think, work and relax.


Lucy students should book a place via the booking system (below). The Library is only open to students of this College.

From 9am on the 20 March the Library will be open 24/7.

  • Book your study seat at; you can book 9am-1pm, 1pm-5pm or 5pm till late and arrive at any time during your booked slot

  • Wear a face covering unless exempt

  • Follow the one way system around the building

  • Maintain social distancing; do not move chairs or use desks or spaces that have been designated out of use

  • Sanitise your hands regularly; there are dispensers at the entrance lobby and adjacent to the lift on each floor

  • Wipe down equipment such as the printers and PCs before and after use; anti-viral wipes are available in each reading room, the Barbara Dyer room in the basement and also in the foyer

  • Leave the “Clean Me” sign prominently on your desk as you leave; if you wish to wipe down your desk when you arrive as an extra precaution, please feel free to do so

  • Place any used books or other materials on the designated trolley/space in each reading room or place them in the book returns box in the foyer

The College’s visitors and gatherings policy applies, so no visitors are allowed in the Library and gatherings are strictly forbidden.

If you have any questions about the Library then please don’t hesitate to contact the Library team.

There are individual and group study areas with views over the peaceful gardens, and a foyer with sofas, a hot drinks machine, jigsaws, magazines, games and displays; it’s a social space as much as a work space. We also provide free ‘elevenses’ – hot drinks, biscuits and chat - throughout the year (Thursdays, 11:00) and ‘threeses’ (Tuesdays, 15:00), encouraging you to take a break from your work and meet other students in the College community.

Please note, some services may not be available at this time.

Library in a nutshell tour 2020

Our friendly librarians can help you find what you need – or order it in if necessary. The Library is consistently praised by our students, with more than 70% giving it the highest possible rating in our annual student satisfaction survey.


Library collections and catalogue

Our Library collections are designed to support undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses; we also hold several special collections. We have over 30,000 books, print journals, DVDs and anatomical models. You can make a head-start on your preliminary reading list, too, because we let you borrow books from the moment your offer of a place at College is confirmed.

How to find and borrow a book from Lucy Cavendish Library

Searching iDiscover for items on your reading list

Search Lucy Cavendish College’s collections on iDiscover

Library access

The Library is open to all current Lucy Cavendish College students and other Members of College. Members of other University of Cambridge colleges and external researchers may make an appointment with the Librarian to consult material here. For further details please read our Access Policy.

Students also have access to faculty/departmental libraries and the University Library. Details of other University of Cambridge libraries can be found in the Cambridge Libraries Directory.

Opening hours

The Library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except for approximately one week at Christmas.

During term, Library staff are usually available from 09:00 – 17:00, Monday to Friday, to deal with enquiries either in person, by email or by phone: 01223 332183 or 766984.

The email address to use is


Disabled access and facilities

There is wheelchair access to the ground floor of the College Library and a lift to the basement, first and second floors.  Accessible toilets are also available on the ground and second floors. We are happy to assist with searching for and retrieving books but please contact us ahead of your visit to discuss any special requirements for accessing and using the Library that you may have.

Book donations

Due to limitations of space and staff time, offers of books will only be accepted if they meet the primary purpose of the College Library – which is to support undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses. Anyone wishing to donate books to the College library should contact the Librarian in the first instance.

Please see the final page of our Collection Development Policy for more information.

IT facilities

Wi-Fi is available throughout the Library along with printing, scanning and photocopying facilities. Networked PCs and Apple computers offering a range of software, teaching materials, and networked storage space are also available in the Library foyer, ground floor reading room and basement.

Study Support

We take your academic development seriously