Book a Study Desk: Find out how it works

55 “socially distanced” study desks available on the 3rd and 4th library floors

IALS Library members can book one of 55 individual “socially-distanced” library study desks on the 3rd and 4th floors of IALS Library using an online booking system at home. Once a booking is confirmed, members can visit 17 Russell Square to use the booked study desk and to browse and consult our national law collections on the 3rd floor and 4th floor

Daily slots from 9.00am to 8.00pm, Monday-Thursday; 9.00am to 5.00pm on Friday; and 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday are available.

How to book online and details of the Libcal system

You must always bring your email booking confirmation and your current IALS Library barcode number or the card with you to gain entrance to the IALS building as security staff will check your booking confirmation on the ground floor and at the 2nd floor library entrance. Only library members with a booking confirmation for that specific day will gain access to IALS Library.

You must only sit at the desk you have booked for the day. Do not sit at any other desk even though it may appear to be free. This will help us prevent cross-contamination.

In line with government regulations and to ensure the continuing safety of staff and students, you must wear a face covering within the IALS building and library.

Do not come to IALS if you or anyone in your household are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a change to your sense of smell or taste) or if you have been contacted by the Government’s Test and Trace scheme. In these circumstances, you should self-isolate at home.

For health and safety reasons, the building’s ventilation system has been set to “full fresh air” so it will feel cooler than usual. Please bring extra layers if you feel the cold.

At present no PCs will be available for library members to use in the library reading rooms. You should therefore bring your own laptop with you. In order to be able to access electronic resources and print to our devices you will need to be on the ‘IALS Lib’ wifi network. Details on how to log on can be found here - 

On arrival at the IALS building at 17 Russell Square, please show the security staff your email confirmation of your study desk booking. 

At the 2nd floor Library entrance, please show the security staff your email confirmation of your study desk booking.

Staff on the 2nd floor Enquiry Desk will validate your study desk booking and you will be directed to your booked desk on the 3rd or 4th floor.

For safety reasons a one-way system has been created around the reading room floors. Please follow the signs and remain at a 2 metre social distance from other readers and staff at all times.

On the way out of the library, two self-service photocopiers / scanners have been made available for readers on the 2nd floor. Wipes are available for readers to clean the keys and lid before use.

Browsing the bookshelves on the 3rd and 4th floor

You are very welcome to browse the library bookshelves on the 3rd and 4th floors and take books to your desk to consult. You must though follow the health and safety rules below to help ensure that the COVID-19 virus is not present on the books you are touching:

  • You must use the sanitiser gel provided to sanitise your hands before touching the books on the shelves. You should wait for the gel to dry to help protect the books.
  • Once you have touched any book you must place it on a re-shelving trolley/shelf for re-shelving by library staff. Do not place the book back on the bookshelves.

Book fetching service from L2 and L3 floors

The reading rooms on floor L2 and floor L3 are closed for health and safety reasons. However, library staff can fetch books for you to consult at your booked desk from these floors.

If you wish to consult a book located on floor L2 or L3, please complete a form at the 2nd floor Enquiry Desk and staff will fetch it for you.

You will need to register for library membership before you come onsite.

The Library Admissions Desk and the Library Chat Service and Library Reference Desk continue to be available to library members virtually. These services are not available onsite. 

Page last updated: 27th May 2021