Skip to main content

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Library Services: FAQ

Is the Library at Queen's still open?

McClay, Biomedical and Medical Libraries

  • Although the library buildings are closed until further notice, the Library at Queen’s is open online for business. We will keep you updated here regarding potential reopening dates for our buildings.

Book Loans

  • Your loans have been renewed until 15 June in the first instance
  • No fines will apply during the closure period
  • A Book Return Bin has been set up at Receptions in Queen's Elms BT1 and BT9 for you to return books while the Library is closed

Subject Librarians

  • Throughout this period, your Subject Librarian is available to provide online support..

The FAQs page on the University website is intended to answer the concerns of both staff and students and is being constantly updated to reflect the latest guidance so please use this as your primary source of information.

I would like to visit the Library to consult your Special Collections. Can I still do that?

Special Collections & Archives is closed, staff are working remotely, please email your enquiries to specialcollections@qub.ac.uk Information about our collections and online resources are available at www.qub.ac.uk/specialcollections.

As staff are working remotely they will not have physical access to the collections but will endeavour to address your enquiry under these extraordinary circumstances.

I have been told to self-isolate. Can I still access library material and support from outside the University?

Yes - you can use the library website to access electronic resources from outside the University. Subject guides are also available. Contact your Subject Librarian or email library@qub.ac.uk for help and advice.

How will I return my library books if the Library is closed?

A Book Return Bin has been set up at Receptions in Queen's Elms BT1 and BT9 for you to return books while the Library is closed. If, for any reason, you are unable to use this facility, we recommend that you hold on to your Library books until the libraries reopen (all loan dates have been extended until Monday 15 June and no fines will accrue during the closure period). If you will not be returning to campus, please consider asking a friend to return the books on your behalf.

I am worried about being fined for overdue books if I can’t make it to the Library to return them. What should I do?

Please don’t worry, all loans have been renewed until 15 June 2020 in the first instance.  No fines will apply during the closure period.

I have a Short Loan Book and am worried about fines, what can I do?

All Short Loan Books have been renewed until 15 June 2020 in the first instance. No fines will apply during the closure period.

I've got an Inter Library Loan Book and it's due back, what do I do if the Library is closed?

Don't worry, we have renewed all Inter Library Loans and no fines will be charged while the Library is closed.

I would like to request a book on Inter Library Loan, is this possible when the Library is closed?

Unfortunately this service will not be possible while the Library is closed.  This service will resume as soon as possible when we reopen.

I would like to request an article via Inter Library Loan, is this possible when the Library is closed?

Yes, it is still possible to request articles via Inter Library Loan. There may, however, be a delay in receiving the article depending on where we can source if from. We will do our best to get it to you as soon as possible.

How do I find information about my subject if the Library is closed?

The Library's Subject Guides bring together key Library resources by faculty and subject. They also help you contact your dedicated Subject Librarian.

Can I still access books if the Library is closed?

As the Library is closed you will not be able to access print copies of books. However, some titles are available as electronic books and may offer a suitable alternative. Some publishers have also made a lot of their content available during the crisis. You can see more information about this here.

Can I read an e-book from home (off campus)?

Yes, current QUB students and staff can access e-books remotely from anywhere in the world.

To access an e-book, search for the title on Library Catalogue and click on the link Queen's Online Resources (Queen's Staff and Students Only) in the item record. E-books appear as ‘E-Book' under format on the catalogue, so you can easily identify what titles are available electronically.

Are there any requirements for reading e-books from home (off campus)?

Yes, while each e-book platform is slightly different in its set-up, if you have JavaScript and cookies enabled and Adobe Reader installed you should be able to read all e-books.  

For specific advice on the requirements of particular e-book platforms, please go to the E-Book Guide.

Can I access library e-resources from home (off campus)?

Yes, current staff and students of Queen's University Belfast can access most e-resources (e-journals, databases, full text articles) from home (off campus). You will need to use your University login, this is the same username and password you use to access your QUB email account and Queen's Online.

For more information, please see E-resources off campus

For further information about access or should you encounter difficulties please see eresources guide

What should I do if have a problem accessing QUB library e-books or e-resources?

If you are current QUB student or staff and are experiencing a problem accessing e-books or e-resources, please provide details in call to Request IT Support.

I would like help carrying out a literature search. How can I do this if I am self-isolating and / or the Library is closed?

You can contact your Subject Librarian, who will be happy to help with your literature search. It may be that your Subject Librarian will suggest keywords or subject headings to use in your search as well as relevant databases. Depending on your subject, some Subject Librarians will be happy to carry out the literature search on your behalf and forward the results to you. 

I am having trouble with my references and / or using EndNote Reference Management package. I have been told to self-isolate. What can I do?

If you are having trouble with your references and using the EndNote Reference Management package, please refer to the EndNote guide on the library website in the first instance. If you are still experiencing problems, then please contact your Subject Librarian who may be able to help further. 

I am due to attend 1-to-1 training or a training course with my subject librarian on the use of the databases or how to conduct a literature review. I am self-isolating and / or the Library is closed. What should I do?

You should contact your Subject Librarian who may be able to suggest keywords or subject headings to use in your search as well as relevant databases.

It may also be possible to carry out a phone or video consultation with your Subject Librarian through the use of Microsoft Teams, part of the Office 365 suite. Alternatively, your subject librarian might direct you to short videos of how to locate information, carry out a search and access electronic articles.  

I would like to book a group study room. Is this still possible?

All QUB Libraries are currently closed so it is not possible to book a Group Study Room. 

I am an Associate Member, what will happen to my membership?

The Associate Membership Scheme has been temporarily suspended until further notice.  Current Associate Members are advised that their membership renewal date will be extended accordingly in response to the suspension, with the duration of time we are closed being added to your membership end date.  The Associate Membership Office will continue to operate remotely and will respond to any queries you may have via email during this time.  Should you have any questions regarding Associate Membership, please contact librarymembership@qub.ac.uk.

I am an Associate Member, can I access e-books and e-resources from home during the closure?

No, unfortunately it is not possible for Associate Members to have access to our e-book and e-resources off-campus. Due to licence restrictions imposed by publishers, only current students and staff at Queen's University Belfast, as well as Honorary members of staff, can access QUB e-books for academic purposes only.

I would like to visit the Library to consult your physical collections. Are there any restrictions on members of the public visiting the Library?

As the Library is closed there will be no access to physical collections.  Please see Library Opening Hours.

I am not a member of the Library. Can I still access e-books and e-resources?

No, unfortunately it is not possible for external users to have access to our e-books and e-resources off-campus. Due to licence restrictions imposed by publishers, only current students and staff at Queen's University Belfast, as well as Honorary members of staff, can access QUB e-books for academic purposes only.

I would like to request an article via Inter Library Loan, is this possible when the Library is closed?

Yes, access to article requesting via Inter-Library Loan has been temporarily extended to Undergraduate and Postgraduate taught students while the Library is closed. You can place a request by selecting the Inter-Library Loan option under the Catalogue Search box on the Library homepage. There may, however, be a delay in receiving the article depending on where we can source if from. We will do our best to get it to you as soon as possible.