Frequently asked questions

While the Library building is currently closed, you do not need to return your books. They will be renewed automatically. Staff and students will not incur renewal charges or fines during this period of disruption. For advice regarding access to suitable resources, such as eBooks, please contact the Library on


All printing is now sent to the Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs) installed on all floors of the Library.  Please use the printer called UoS_Secure_Print.

The only way to add credit to your print account is by going through Sussex Direct and into the IT Page.  You can top-up your print account by using your debit or credit card with a minimum of £1.00


Library Building

Toilets can be found on your right as you enter the library just before the entry/exit barriers, down the stairs in the basement (please remember your ID card for re-entry) and further, all-gender toilets can be found on the Second floor of the library on your right as you come up the main staircase. 

There are also three accessible toilets located on the Ground, First and Second floors, next to the central stairwell.

There are three water fountains, two located by the PC clusters on the Ground and First floors close to the central stairwell, and a third on the Second floor on the right of the staircase next to the toilets. Please remember that only bottled water and hot drinks contained in cups with a secure screw-top lid are permitted in the library, and no food can be consumed. Staff can direct you to the library café and vending area, just outside the entry gates.

Lost property is given to the Library Support Assistants at the Reception Desk, please enquire during staffed hours.

Library cards that are handed in are kept at the Information Hub. If you require a replacement card, you can get one - for a fee - from the University's Print Unit.


Library general

Requests awaiting collection are held on the shelf on the rear wall of the group study area behind the information hub. Items are shelved in shelfmark order, so please check your email notification for the details before arrival.

The library aims to have returned books back on the shelf within 24 hours. If an item is listed as available on Library Search but isn’t on the shelf, it is worth checking the trolleys of recently returned books waiting to be shelved. These are kept close to the book sorter room (where you return books), on the Ground floor. Items will be arranged by the general shelfmark letter on each trolley.

If you still can't find the item that you're looking for, ask staff at the Information Hub who can check on the item’s loan history and assist you in your search.

If you need to return an item when the Library is closed you can use the overnight book-drop, at the north end of the building next to the wheelchair-accessible door. Books will be renewed for you by our library system. You only need to return your book if it is requested by another borrower.

Library fines can be paid in cash at the self-service kiosks on the Ground floor. A change machine is located on the wall near the Information Hub, should you require it.

Alternatively, you can pay in cash at the Information Hub. Please note, we are currently only able to accept cash or cheque for fines payment.

Two multi-function devices (MFDs) are situated on the ground floor by the main staircase, and two can be found in the ground floor computer cluster at the back of the library. These machines are linked to your IT account and, in addition to printing and photocopying, you can use them to scan and send documents for free to your university email address. To use these machines you will need to log in using your IT services username and password. Photocopying and printing done on these machines will be charged to your IT printing account.

More free to use scanners are located in the G70 cluster room and the PC cluster at the back of the building, both on the Ground floor. A guide to scanning is available on the ITS webpages.

The library sells plastic spiral combs and covers to bind your work, purchase these at the Information Hub for £1. Binding machines are located next to the MFDs, on the Ground Floor underneath the central stairwell. The machines are self-service, with instruction sheets on how to use them. If you need assistance, please ask at the Information Hub. The machines are in high demand during assessment periods, particularly around submission deadlines, so please allocate enough time when planning to bind your work.

Group study rooms are available to book online. You can pre-book a study room online for a specific time and date. If a room is empty and has not been pre-booked, you can immediately book in at the door using your Library card.

When you create an advance booking you will be given a PIN number for the door. You can give this to other members of your group and they will be able to enter the room using their own card. It is only possible to book five sessions per week (the booking calendar runs from Monday to Sunday). To ensure you get a room for a study session, it is advisable to book at least a few days in advance during busy times.

The library holds a store collection of past Masters & DPhil theses in physical format. Change the search criteria at the end of the Library Search bar to 'Sussex Theses' to search just within this collection. These items can be accessed by clicking the 'request' button next to the item on the library catalogue and you will receive an email when your item is ready for collection. Store Collections are at 11am and 3pm, weekdays only. All Sussex theses are for reference use only and cannot be borrowed.

Any Sussex DPhil theses published after 2009 is kept on Sussex Research Online, a repository containing details of research outputs from staff at the University of Sussex, and full copies of each output where permitted by the publisher. It includes over 32,000 journal articles, published conference papers, books and book chapters and any other form of research output.

The library also provides access to EThOS, a service from the British Library that provides online access to the full text of UK doctoral theses. Many of these have already been digitised and are available for immediate download.

For more information on accessing theses, have a look at the Subject Guide.

Books will be renewed for you. You only need to return your book if it is requested by another borrower, which you will be alerted to via your Sussex email. Reference-only items cannot be borrowed, and are for library use only.