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Service improvements in Senate House Library


Over the last two years, since the last SHL User Survey in 2020, our staff have been busy making changes behind the scenes to respond to your feedback. We are delighted to share the latest news and updates here at Senate House Library to develop services and spaces for the future. 

Discontinuing fines 

From March 2022, Senate House Library officially stopped charging fines on overdue items. All historical fines have also been cancelled. In the future, we will only charge fines on items that have been requested by another reader and laptops. For further information, please visit the Using the Library webpage. 

Group study space  

In November, we introduced group study spaces for library members. The rooms are available to book in advance for up to three hours. The rooms have been so popular, in February we introduced an additional group study room bringing the total to three. Two rooms have capacity for up to four people and a larger room for up to eight people. The rooms are available for group study but also to support online learning and a place to meet others online. In February, 181 members made use of the group space, with a total of 442 bookings and 1140 hours of group study time.    

Food and drink  

A place to eat and drink in the library has been mentioned frequently in the 2020 user survey and we recognise the need for a space where people can take a break without having to leave the library. In February, we introduced a designated area for cold food and drinks on the 4th floor, next to the Goldsmiths Library Room. We continue to allow only bottled water in the main reading rooms and study spaces.   

Library opening hours 

We are keen to respond to user requests to extend our opening hours and are working on plans for gradual improvements in this area.