Using the Library

Opening hours

The library is open 24/7 during Term (Monday 0th week – Saturday 9th week)

24-hour opening rules

During Vacation the library is open 8am-10pm

Library etiquette

The Library is a silent study space

  • Please keep conversations to a minimum. There are other spaces in College and elsewhere for group and collaborative study.
  • Voices in the library lobby can be heard throughout the reading room so please be quiet when entering and leaving and take all phone conversations outside the main entrance.

Food & drink allowed within reason

  • Please do not bring hot or odorous food into the Library or eat in a way that is distracting to others, such as the clatter of cutlery or the loud crunching of crisps.
  • Consumption of alcohol is not permitted in the Library.

A tidy library is a happy library

  • Make use of the bins provided and clear your food and drink waste after you.
  • Washing up facilities are available in the kitchen downstairs.

The Library is a shared space


  • Readers may leave their library loans and personal books and papers neatly in the Library.
  • Please clear belongings from desks to the provided trolleys and windowsills so others may use the desk in your absence.
  • Please take care of the books and do not deface any library book or surface with writing or highlighting.

Guests in the Library

  • College members may be allowed to bring a guest into the library between the hours of 8am and 11pm to study at the discretion of library staff.
  • Guests should not be left unattended and during busy periods it may not be possible to allow this privilege.
  • College members are always welcome to show family and friends around the library on short visits.


  • Photography without the use of flash is allowed within the library under certain conditions.
  • Please be considerate of readers’ privacy and ask permission if your shot is going to capture a person’s face.

  • We would kindly ask to be acknowledged as “Harris Manchester College Library, Oxford” if the photo is used in a published work or released online.


College members may borrow books for the duration of term or the duration of vacation. Books may be renewed 5 times before the need for staff intervention. There is a system block in place if you have more than 100 books on loan, which can be overridden by staff if necessary. We will always try to make sure that there are enough copies available of important texts, so there is no need to hoard books when you are not using them.

Using the Self-Issue Machine

The Self-Issue machine can be found as you enter the library.


Use the touch-screen interface to get started.


You will need your University Card to issue books to yourself.


When prompted, place your book on the black pad in front of the screen.


A successful loan will be highlighted in green.


The Self-issue machine can read multiple books at a time.


You may receive red error messages on the Self-Issue Machine for one or more of the following issues:

    • You have overdue books on your account or have reached the limit of 5 self-renewals
      Ask library staff to renew or reset the limit
    • The item is already issued to you
      There is no need to check it out again
    • You already have another copy of the same book on your account
      Readers may only borrow one copy of a text at a time
      Exception: the computer does not recognise different parts of a multivolume set as different. You are allowed to borrow distinct volumes of a set etc.
    • The book is confined to the Library
      Some books are for reference only and may not be removed from the Library
    • Other mysterious issues
      There is not enough library magic to issue the book and your librarians will need to perform more to make it work. If you are unable to successfully borrow a book, for whatever reason, please leave details in the Sign-Out sheet beside the Self-Issue Machine or Contact Us


Readers can renew their books in three ways:

  1. Self-renewal via MyAccount on SOLO (logging on with Single Sign-On)
  2. Self-renewal via the Self-Issue Machine
  3. Ask staff to renew


Please return your books to the box outside the Library door, Penelope the Returns Trolley (who lives beside the Self-Issue Machine), or to staff at the Issue Desk.



Requesting books

We usually purchase recommended books on demand from our local bookshops or online suppliers and can have your requests accessioned and ready to use within 24 hours.

Please Contact Us if you would like us with any requests with as much information as possible eg. Title, Author, Edition, ISBN (if known)

We also administer the Personal Book Fund which allows students to buy books, e-books and related equipment through the College.