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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 Friday 27 August: The library building will be open to OU staff and Postgraduate Research students only from Monday 6 September, 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays.

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

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. Before coming to campus please contact the Estates Liaison Line Team on Ext 51000 or e-mail Estates-Liaison to book a site visit. Site visits are restricted to 30 minutes and is for essential purposes only.
  • 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

SCONUL Access - other university libraries

The SCONUL Access scheme, has been suspended until further notice.

University campuses have strict social distancing measures in place, greatly reducing access to library buildings and collections. University libraries are prioritising access to their spaces and collections for their own students.

We are not currently able to process applications for Library cards and SCONUL Access accounts.


Library Helpdesk

Chat to a Librarian - Available 24/7

Other ways to contact the Library Helpdesk