Each campus has a library for students and staff to use and you are automatically enrolled in the library when you join. 

Your student ID card acts as your library card, so you will need it to borrow items.

Our libraries provide a place for independent study and learning. Each library has been designed to support you with your studies

Finding items in the Library

We have libraries at all our sites: Banbury, Bicester, Blackbird Leys, Oxford and Reading. 
The materials we have at each site reflect the subjects and courses studied there.

There are a number of ways to find out what we have. Everything we hold in all our libraries can be found through the Library catalogue.

Our section on using the catalogue (below) tells you how to search the catalogue and see what items you have on loan.

Once you have found items on the catalogue you need to find the items in the Library.

The list of results will show you which Library an item is located in. If the item is located on a different site ask the learning resources staff and they will be able to arrange for the item to be transferred.


Books are shelved using the Dewey Decimal system. You will find the shelf mark on the catalogue and on the spine of the books. Shelf marks are alphanumeric for example 510 MAC. Notices on the end of every book bay will tell you which subject and what shelf marks are located on that set of shelves.
In addition to searching and finding books on the catalogue you can browse the shelves. All books on the same subject will be shelved together making it easy to find related items.


E-Books are accessible both on and offsite. Once you have identified an e-book on the library catalogue use the link contained in the record display to access the book.

Magazines and Journals

Magazines and journals are easy to find by browsing the shelves. They are shelved separately from the books. A list of journals held at each site is available here.

Electronic Resources

You can find a listing of electronic resources on our electronic resources pages. You can access the resources from computers located in the libraries. In some case you can also access the resources from your own devices offsite. For resources that can be accessed offsite you will need to know you college username and password.

Using the catalogue

The library catalogue provides information on the items we have in the three college libraries.
It contains information on books (including eBooks), journals, dvds and electronic resources covering the range of subjects taught at the colleges.

Search features
You can use the catalogue from inside or outside of college. All you need is a device that is connected to the internet.

There are two ways to search the catalogue: Search and Guided Search.

The simple
Search feature allows you  to enter single or multiple words in to a search box. This will search across everything in the catalogue and bring back a list of results that contained that word or words anywhere in the catalogue.
  • If you get too many results you will need to narrow down your search to find the most relevant items. There are a number of advanced search features that can help you with narrowing down your search results: Search in: using the drop down menu under search in you can pick which fields contain your word - for example using the drop down menu will limit your search to author, title, etc.
  • Media type: using the drop down menu under media type enable you to limit your search to a specific type of item - for example if you want to find Ebooks, select Ebooks from the drop down list.
The Guided Search will provide a speedy way of finding the results when you have details of the item you want, by filling out the boxes with title and author information.
Once you have found the item you require, write down its Shelfmark. This displays the location of the books on the library shelves. Alternatively you can scan the QR code in the right-hand column to display the search on your mobile device.

Additional features

If you login in to the catalogue using your college id number you will see additional features:
  • Check how many items you have on loan, see when they are due back and renew items you want to keep for longer. If no one else wants the item you can renew up to two times.
  • Reserve an item that is out on loan, view any reservations you already have and cancel those you no longer need.
We provide access to:
  • Computers
  • Books
  • Journals and magazines
  • Newspapers
  • DVDs
  • eResources

How many items can I borrow, and for how long?

  • Students on FE courses may borrow up to eight items.
  • Students on HE courses may borrow up to ten items
  • Most items are available for an initial three week period. Some items are short loan for one week and some are reference only. These are clearly marked.
  • You may renew an item twice unless someone else has reserved it. Renew loans in person at the library, by telephone, email or via the catalogue.