For some of us, the library is a lifesaver from noisy housemates, rubbish WiFi and, above all, a house full of distractions. Last year, as a first-year, I spent countless hours in the library trying to meet deadlines, because I just knew if I stayed in my flat, I would inevitably have ended up distracted.

Unfortunately this year, that luxury has been lost. Whether you’re at home or you’ve come back to Liverpool to study, a day out to the library just isn’t what it once was. It’s so hard to keep up with what’s going on library-wise, so we’ve found out for you exactly what the rules and restrictions of our beloved libraries are right now.

University of Liverpool Library
Source: University of Liverpool

At the University of Liverpool, there are two libraries: Sydney Jones and Harold Cohen. The literature of all the university’s courses is divided amongst these, with Sydney Jones housing humanities subjects and social sciences such as Psychology, English and Politics. Harold Cohen, on the other hand, is home to the Science and Maths courses. They are both on practically opposite sides of the campus, with Sydney Jones being located right next to Abercromby Square, and Harold Cohen almost opposite the Red Brick Victoria Gallery and Museum.

Usually (pre-pandemic), the libraries are open 24 hours a week, meaning you can camp out in them night and day during exam season. However, at the moment the Sydney Jones library is only open for “click and collect” and Harold Cohen is open from 08:00-23:00 for “essential study only”. Students can use the library website to book a study space as well as to reserve books from click and collect. Students are only allowed to book up to 24 hours per week of study time in the library, and these spaces can be booked from 48 hours in advance.

Usually, people use the Sydney Jones library to print off my lecture notes, so many were alarmed when we learnt it was closed for lockdown. However, students can still print in the Harold Cohen, and in the School of Law and Social Justice Building (located diagonally from the Sydney Jones entrance).

Amongst the new limitations on study time and locations, there are some other more obvious rules in place at the University of Liverpool’s libraries. Students must wear a mask at all times (unless you’re exempt); social distance from other people in the library, and sanitise your hands regularly during your visit. Eating is also currently banned in the library, meaning that your Tesco meal deal will have to wait till you get home after a long day of studying. I get it, the meal deal just doesn’t taste the same when you’re not hunched over your laptop in a drafty library, but it’s just one of the sacrifices we’ll have to make until this mess is over.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up what exactly is going on with the university libraries, so you can now confidently plan your studying around these restrictions, and survive the assessment period without having a meltdown at your noisy housemates.

For more University of Liverpool library updates, follow them on Instagram and Twitter: @LivUniLibrary