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by Fabio Lahr last modified Nov 29, 2018 12:19 PM


The SPS Library has a range of facilities to help with your studies:


Study areas

Power Sockets

We have a couple of large study areas on the first floor of the library with sockets available for charging laptops. There is also a small study room for quiet study on the first floor above the issue desk.

On the ground floor there are two work desks under the bay window, and comfy chairs and bean bags in between the stacks.

There are notice boards around the main study area and one next to the issue desk where students and staff are welcome to put up posters to advertise events. If you need some pins, please ask at the desk!

Forgotten a pen or paper? Don't worry we normally have spare at the issue desk for you to use, just ask us!  Have a look at our blogpost to see what else we can offer you.

 Self-Issue Machine

Self-Issue Machine - narrow image

The library has one self-issue machine where books can be issued and returned using your university card. We encourage students to become familiar with the self-issue machine, as it is easy and quick (especially if the issue desk is busy).

Don't be intimidated by it... watch Jenni's quick video guide on how to use it!

Books that have been returned can be placed on the trolley next to the machine. If there's a fine on your account or you have reached your maximum number of books on loan (5), the machine will not allow you to issue the books and you will need to come to the issue desk.

 MCS and e-legal machines

MSC machines

The library has seven Managed Cluster System (MCS) machines: six on the first floor and one on the ground floor. MCS machines offer access to a range of software provided by UIS. It's also possible to print from these machines to the library photocopier using your DS-Print account.

MCS machines are password protected - for information on obtaining a desktop service password please visit the UIS site

There is also an e-legal UL terminal situated on the first floor of the library. This is used for viewing and printing e-legal material available via the library catalogue. It is accessible using your Raven password. 

 Catalogue PCs

We have three PCs available on the ground floor for searching the library catalogue. The machines are often well used so we'd request that if you need to use a machine for non-catalogue searching, please log onto an MCS machine to allow others to search the catalogue.


The MFD (Multi Function Device) is an all-in-one printer, photocopier and scanner. 

Have a look at our Guide to using the MFD for full instructions on photocopying, printing or scanning.

If the machine's still not playing ball (it can be a bit temperamental!) just ask at the issue desk, we're always happy to help!


To print, copy or scan in the SPS Library, you will need money on your common balance account. This is a University wide account and the balance can be used on several other library or faculty machines.

Job TypeCost per side

Black & White: A4 single side: 6p, A3 single side: 12p

Colour: A4 single side: 25p, A3 single side: 50p


Black & White: A4 single side: 6p, A3 single side: 12p

Colour: A4 single side: 25p, A3 single side: 50p

Scanning Any size: 1p per page scanned

Top up your common balance account 

Please note that the 'free quota' for printing (given annually by the Sociology, POLIS & Psychology Departments to its graduate students) cannot be used on the SPS Library printer. It can instead be used in the Cathie Marsh room or the Graduate Attic.


       Printing from a Laptop:

Instructions on how to print from your own laptops (Windows or Mac) can be found here.


Copyright Note

We know it's not exciting, but we have to make sure you're aware! The Library is licensed with the Copyright Licence Agency (CLA). Therefore, works that are covered by the CLA Agreement can be copied so long as they adhere to the following:

  • Maximum 5% of the total work, OR
  • No more than one chapter per book or one article per journal issue (Whichever is greater)

Please note, the CLA licence does not cover all published works. A list of Excluded Categories and Excluded Works is available from CLA, as well as a List of Participating Publishers (USA).


Parking and Access

The SPS Library is situated in the New Museums Site, in the Old Cavendish Laboratory building that faces out onto Free School Lane. The nearest entrance to the Library is the pedestrian entrance via the Free School Lane gate. The surface here is cobbled however, which may be unsuitable for wheelchair access. The main vehicular entrance to the New Museums Site is through an archway at the conjunction point of Pembroke Street and Downing Street. Due to building work on site, there are currently limited accessible parking spaces available in the New Museums site.  To check in advance that a disabled parking space will be free, contact (01223) (3)36691 and explain that you require disabled parking access to the New Museums Site.

The SPS Library is located up a small ramp, opposite the Mond Building - a curved building with a distinctive crocodile carved on the outside wall. 

Click here for a  map showing the New Museums Site in detail. The SPS Library is located in the building labelled 'Old Cavendish Laboratory' opposite the Mond Building.

Access to the SPS Library itself is through two sets of wide double doors that open outwards.

Using the Library

Although the SPS Library has two floors, all the books are located on the ground floor and the bays have good access and reasonable spacing. There are three terminals set up for searching iDiscover, one MCS login terminal and two desks under the bay window that are designated for plug-in laptop use. There are two toilets on the ground floor - both equipped to meet the requirements of readers with physical disabilities. The issue and enquiry desk has two low-level access points.

Readers with any specific queries or requirements relating to disabled access should contact the Library Manager, Ivana Chilvers  or any other member of SPS Library staff (  You can also telephone the Library main desk in advance on (01223) (3)34522. All members of staff are more than happy to assist in any way and we also welcome nominated representatives to carry out book retrieval, borrowing, returning and renewal etc.

To access the University's Disability Resource Centre click here