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You said, we listened: service improvements to Senate House Library


Since last year’s SHL User Survey, we have introduced a number of new services, some directly in response to your feedback.

Senate House Library

Extended opening hours

In September 2022, we extended our opening hours by 40%. During term-time, we now close at 23.00 hours (instead of 20.45) and at weekends, we open on both Saturdays and Sundays until 21.00. The new opening hours have been extremely popular and resulted in a considerable increase in visits overall. The hours will remain in place for the 2023-24 academic year.


Library members now have access to the café and study spaces on the lower ground floor. The study areas provide a more relaxed setting for individual or group study to complement the historic reading rooms and their quieter atmosphere on the upper floors.

Cardless access

We launched a new digital card available on your mobile phone to make access to the Library and Bloom@SenateHouse easier. It means that that you can join, visit and access many of our e-resources without having to first come to the Membership Desk to register and pick up a card. 

Hot and cold drinks

We now allow hot and cold drinks to be brought into any area of the Library apart from the Special Collections Reading Room.


We can now quickly supply electronic copies of journal articles or book chapters (not held in SHL) through our new RapidILL service. The service is free to Library members.

Room for Quiet Contemplation

In response to feedback, we’ve opened a room on within the Library for individual reflection or prayer . It can be found at the top of the main Library staircase on the 6th floor, South. The room has a window overlooking Russell Square and two chairs.