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COVID-19: Information on changes to Library Services

Lockdown arrangements from 5 January 2021

Lockdown arrangements - Library and Learning Services 

Following further information from the UK Government we can confirm that Staffordshire University’s library services will be accessible to the following students during the national lockdown:

  • Students whose courses have resumed on-campus, face-to-face delivery
  • On an exceptional basis, students* whose courses have not resumed on-campus, face-to-face delivery, but who require the use of University facilities to access online learning (for example, because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation)

*When referring to students, the new government guidance is clear that access applies to individuals who have returned to University-managed and private rented accommodation, as well as commuter students.

Online and click-and-collect library services remain available to all Staffordshire University students.

When visiting please remember that we need to continue to provide a COVID secure environment so that those who have to be on campus can study in confidence. To do this we need to continue to work together to keep everybody safe.

If you are permitted to use the Library, we require you to follow these guidelines:

  • Unfortunately, we are closed to visitors including accompanying children
  • Obtain a clear COVID test before visiting the library
  • Individual study only 
  • Face coverings should be worn at all times including whilst studying and using the click and collect service.


You should arrange a COVID-19 test at a local testing centre within your locality, and await your result, before returning to our campuses or beginning to use the Libraries. 

Testing represents a major component of the UK Government’s strategy to help keep the virus under control and to reduce the risk of further outbreaks and widespread self-isolation. By getting tested, you will be playing a role in ensuring the safety of yourself, your fellow students, University staff and our local communities. Ensuring our campuses remain COVID-secure will also contribute to an improved student experience during the spring term. 

More information about testing can be found on the Returning to campus in 2021 page

During January lateral flow testing is available on some dates at our LRV Swabbing Centre.  To check availability and book a test please visit the following website:

Please note that not all of the January 2021 dates for LRV have been uploaded to the booking portal yet. This is done on a week-by-week basis by Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and may therefore be subject to change. Appointments will be released by the councils 48 hours ahead of each date.  There will be weekly updates on the MyStaffsUni app to let you know when bookings for the next session are live.

Staffordshire University Library building arrangements

Opening hours

The Thompson and Blackheath Lane Library opening hours have changed:

  • Thompson Library: 9am-midnight every day
  • Blackheath Lane:  9am-midnight every day

The Health Library at Shrewsbury is open 24/7, all of the resources and study areas are available.

Note that opening hours are subject to change and will reflect any closure due to COVID-19 that are instigated by the University and national or local guidelines.

Services and Library access

Click and Collect for print books

We have a ‘click and collect’ online reservation service for print stock, book returns via the self-service machines and access to study spaces is open. 

Click and collect is available at Thompson Library and the Student Hub at the Stoke Campus and Blackheath Lane Library at Stafford. You can also return books at each of these sites.

There is more  information on our Borrowing webpages.

If you receive a Library recall notice for reserved or overdue books please contact us and we can make a note on your Library record. We don’t expect you to make unnecessary journeys during the national lockdown and you won’t accrue fines.

Postal Loans

During the national lockdown if you require books that are not available as an ebook we will post them to your home address.

You should reserve the resources you require via the Library catalogue and in the notes field add "please post to home address".

You can keep the items until the campus re-opens, if you want to return the items before then you can return them by  post, but you need to pay the postage and use a postal option that ensures you have proof of postage.

Access to the Library

Library services will remain open and staffed to support teaching and learning for students undertaking face-to-face delivery or living in University-managed accommodation. If you are permitted to use the Library you will continue to  find that the layout and spacing of PC and study spaces is going to feel different to make sure social distancing can be applied, but the Library team will be there to assist you and answer any questions.

You are required to scan your card to get access to the buildings and Library. Therefore, it’s going to be really important to have your student card with you at all times.   As everyone visiting the library needs to scan in separately, please don’t hold the door open for anyone behind you, or go straight in if someone in front holds the door open for you.

Face coverings

We require you to wear a face covering when you enter the Library and move through the study spaces and corridors. You will also need to keep it on while you are sitting studying or using any facilities in the Library.  We do understand that not everyone can wear a face covering and support the Sunflower Scheme.

Available Support

Skills appointments

Appointments with all the Academic Skills Team are available online.

Changes to other Library Services

  • Inter Library Loans Books and articles that we do not stock should normally be available for free from the British Library On Demand service.  However some aspects of this service are currently not available. The British Library can supply some online articles but is unable at the moment to supply books. Until the full service at the British Library is available we will look into purchasing any books required that are not currently in our collection, either electronically, or in print and we will get the book sent out to you. You can then return the book when you are next on campus or return it via post (we are unable to reimburse postage). Request should be sent to Vicki McGarvey, Resources and Library Systems Manager, giving the title of the book, the author and the ISBN.
  • Alumni applications are not being processed until further notice
  • Bursary book requests - please contact
  • Topping up print accounts – online only. Use the MyStaffs mobile app and tap the Print Credit tile.
  • All fines will be waived during the current pandemic – if you receive an invoice please contact


The SCONUL Access Scheme is currently suspended as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. New applications or renewed applications cannot be processed and participating libraries are not accepting visitors from other libraries under the scheme. This is because capacity within member libraries is severely restricted due to the need for social distancing and this means that it is not possible for libraries to facilitate external visitors in most cases. 

SCONUL are fully committed to opening up the scheme again as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.  Currently it looks unlikely that the scheme will return to full functioning during the 2020-21 academic year. They will be consulting member institutions on routes to reopening the scheme later this academic year.

Welcome to our libraries 2020/21 - Sway presentation

An overview of the 'Welcome to our Libraries guide'  is available as a Microsoft Sway.

Sway is a web-based tool for creating media-rich presentations, which can be created and viewed from a variety of devices. Sway content has numerous ways to customise viewing and navigation even if you didn’t create the Sway yourself. 

If you are not familiar with using Sway the instructions below will help you use this effectively and change options to suit your needs.

NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app

To support national efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, and in line with our commitment to maintaining a COVID-secure environment for our students, staff and local communities, several of our on-campus venues are participating in the NHS COVID-19 App initiative.

The use of the NHS COVID-19 App in the Library will only apply to individuals who remain in and use our library facilities, rather than those who are simply walking through.

If you wish to study in our Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford or Shrewsbury campus libraries, please download the app ahead of your visit and use it on arrival to scan the QR codes on display. If you are unable to download the app, you must fill out a paper form (copies available at reception) before using our facilities.

Any person who fails to comply with the UK Government’s contact tracing requirements will be asked to leave the premises.

There are a number of other venues across Staffordshire University Stoke and Stafford campuses that are also using the app, including the Students' Union.  Further information on these can be found in the University COVID-19 Guide

About the NHS COVID-19 app

You can download the app from the app store for your device or via the NHS COVID-19 webpage.

Once you have downloaded the app make sure you enable your device’s notifications and Bluetooth functionality so the app can function as intended. Press the blue NHS COVID-19 icon and follow the step-by-step guide to complete setup. You can then proceed to use your phone as normal, but please remember to keep the app running in the background and leave your notifications and Bluetooth switched on.

The app will not track you or your location.  It used the first part of your postcode (the postcode district) to help the NHS work out where the virus is spreading. You will be asked to enter your postcode district when you first download the app.

The app should have minimal impact on the battery life of your phone – especially if you usually have Bluetooth switched on.

There is more information on the COVID-19 app on the NHS website

Using the COVID-19 app

  1. Download the NHS COVID-19 app from the App Store or Google Play Store and configure this for your device.
  2. When you come into the Library look out for one of our NHS COVID-19 app posters displaying a QR code. Open your NHS COVID-19 app and tap “Venue Check In“. Now use your smartphone camera to scan the QR code on the poster.
    phone scanning a qr code
  3. The time and date of your visit will be stored on the app. It will not be sent or shared with the University or anyone else.
    date and time logged on COVID-19 app
  4. Once you have scanned the QR code on the poster, you will be successfully checked into the app and find a place to work in the Library.
    successful login with QR code on COVID 19 app
  5. You may get an alert through the app if NHS contact tracers identify that you have visited the Library at a time when you may have come into contact with coronavirus (COVID-19).  They will provide advise on what you need to do.
    alert symbol for the COVID-19 app
  6. If you develop coranavirus (COVID-19) symptoms yourself, please make sure to record this in the NHS COVID-19 app and follow Government guidelines/advise. By notifying the app you can help protect others in the university and local communities.

NOTE: You will need to scan in separately to each of the venues across our campuses that are using the app.  Each will have a different QR code.


Further Information

The Student Hub is open to students. 

Term time hours are Monday to Thursday 8:00 – 20.00, Friday 08:00–17:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00–13:00. 

However where possible contact them by emailing or calling 01782 294751.

For Staffordshire University updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19):