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Covid-19 (Coronavirus) notice of service availability

The Open University is currently limiting access to campus for safety reasons. The welfare and safety of our students, staff and visitors is our top priority.

Update Monday 15 November: From 15 November 2021, OU students and staff are able to apply to visit other university libraries via the SCONUL Access scheme. It may take up to 21 working days to process your application.

We will continue to update this page with the latest information as both government and university guidelines change.

The Library Helpdesk remains available 24/7 through our chat to a librarian service or via email and by phone between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday.

The OU Help Center has updated information and advice on the differences you can expect to the usual services and support.

Access to Library resources

SCONUL Access - other university libraries

From 15 November 2021, OU students and staff are able to apply to visit other university libraries via the SCONUL Access scheme. It may take up to 21 working days to process your application.

Not all libraries previously in the scheme are participating, so please check the SCONUL Access website in advance and do not visit an institution until participation has been confirmed and your application has been processed.

University campuses have strict social distancing measures in place, greatly reducing access to library buildings and collections. To avoid disappointment, contact your chosen library ahead of your visit to confirm their availability and requirements.

Returning items out on loan

If you have books or other items out on loan, you can return them when you are ready, but there is no rush.

  • If you live in or near Milton Keynes, please place returned items in the book return box found at the entrance of the Library building. 
  • Otherwise, post them back at your own expense, using recorded post, to
    Library Services, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

OU Library building open to OU staff and Postgraduate researchers only from Monday 6 September

Library Services is pleased to announce the reopening of the library building for Open University staff and Postgraduate Research students from Monday 6 September 2021, for access to study spaces and print materials. Access to the building will be by swipe card only. For more details visit the Library building reopening news story on the Library intranet site.

The Library building will remain closed to visitors until both we and the University's Estates department are confident we can reopen whilst ensuring the safety and welfare of everyone in the building.

This means 

  • OU staff and PGRs can access to study space and meeting rooms in accordance with university safety guidelines
  • OU staff and PGRs can access the print collection
  • no in-person access to the University Archives

Library Helpdesk

Chat to a Librarian - Available 24/7

Other ways to contact the Library Helpdesk