Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions

The Library is only partially open at present. 

Please use the UEA Digital Library to support your online learning and research.

We are working hard to make the library COVID secure so we can reopen safely. You can read more about our current plans below. 

In the meantine you can:

Access physical books using the Click and Collect Service

Access IT Area study spaces from 16 July

Email us at

Keep checking these FAQs for more up-to-date information as it becomes available. 


The Library building

UEA Digital Library

Borrowing and returning items

The Library building

The Government says libraries can reopen from 4th July. Why is the UEA Library building not fully open yet?

The Library has restored access to physical books since 8th June with its ‘click and collect’ service and we are working towards 17th July for access to some study spaces in the IT areas.

The small number of public libraries that have “reopened” in Norfolk are not yet providing access to study spaces or PCs. This is because open access spaces need to be COVID-secure to reduce the risk of virus transmission through shared tables, keyboards and mice, for example.


Why can’t you reopen the whole building to browse the books and collections like some of the public libraries have?

The Library’s self-service equipment is having to be replaced this summer. We are fast-tracking this during July, affecting several floors of the Library. So we can meet this deadline, and to avoid contractors and students coming into contact, we have to keep Floor 0 closed except for the ‘click and collect’ pick-ups. Mediated face-to-face borrowing cannot be delivered from the helpdesks at this time, as they are not yet COVID secure.  As soon as this self-service installation is completed, hopefully early August, we will reopen further.


What about access to the rest of the building’s study spaces, including the Silent Study, Group Study and Postgraduate study rooms for example?

We are looking to open up on a section by section basis to comply with social distancing, new building capacity limits, and COVID-secure cleaning standards.  This is likely to be a gradual process from August onwards in preparation for increased demand from September onwards.

Tell me more about the IT Area study spaces re-opening on 16 July 

From 16 July we will open the Library IT Labs on Floor 0 and Floor 1. This service is available to all UEA Students and Staff, INTO Students and Staff and students at partner colleges only. The IT Areas will be open to users 09:30-16:30, Monday - Friday only. 

Access will be via the roadway door in the extension part of the building , and you will be required to swipe in to access the building. It is essential that you have a functioning campus card to access the service. If you do not have a working card please contact the IT Helpdesk and arrange to collect a working campus card prior to accessing the Library IT labs.

You will need to swipe in and out of the roadway extension door entrance to enter the labs. We suggest you approach the library via the roadway to access this service rather than using the walkway. There is accessible parking on the roadway and parking in general remains free across campus until the end of July.

We have installed a one way system for accessing the labs - when you enter the building please use the lift to access either floor 0 or floor 1. You should exit using the stairs (unless you need to use the lift). There are clear instructions for you to help you using the the labs safely - please follow all instructions. Only use the pcs marked with  a green tick and, ensure you wipe surfaces down before and after use.

Please note that this service is only for access to Library PCs and printers. You will not be able to access any helpdesk or any other areas of the library using this service .


UEA Digital Library


Are e-books available?

Yes, the UEA Digital Library has a huge range of e-books to choose from. Use ‘Library search’ to find the e-book that you need. Enter your keywords and then use the filters on the left to limit to e-books or  browse through collections in the UEA Digital Library. We also have a help with dowloading page. 


Will there be more e-books and other electronic resources during this period?

Yes, we are making more e-books, journals and other resources available to help you study from home. Many publishers are making more resources temporarily available for the next few months so you may find that items you need are more readily accessible. We show these via our Guide to remote access to library resources during the Covid-19 outbreak or in our full A-Z listings.

We are also partnering with the Norfolk Library Service 'Libraries from Home’ initiative.

To join the public library and use online services sign up here (with your Norfolk address), you will receive an email that allows you to use their online services and then a library card in the post. If you already have a Norfolk library card and just need to know your PIN, email  

Customers can download a range of free eBooks, newspapers and audio books.

What about physical books? The book I need is on the catalogue ‘in print’, can I still get it?

UEA Library is providing a contactless click and collect service to make physical books available for essential work, research or study. This service is offered on a best efforts basis as a temporary COVID-19 contingency, and is initially available to UEA Students and Staff, INTO students and staff, and students and staff at partner colleges only. To find out more and make a request please go to the online form.

Please be aware that pre-requested items can only be collected from the Library between 13:30 – 16:30 Mon-Fri. The Library building is closed for all other services.

If we are unable to fulfil a click and collect request we will try to purchase an e-book alternative for you if possible. Please request the book you need here: We are actively monitoring and acting on these requests as they come in. 

If we cannot find you an e-book equivalent and your request relates to a piece of coursework, your lecturer or supervisor may be able to recommend suitable online alternatives.

Your Academic Librarian is also available for help and advice – see Who to contact or email

If the book you requested is not already held by the Library and it will still be useful to you in a few months, then you could also resubmit this request once the Library building reopens and is able to receive print again. This is only for material that will be useful long term e.g. for reading list and course materials rather than for dissertation research which may have a more limited time span.


Information on borrowing dates for finalists

In order to ensure that students continue to access facilities such as their email account and library services, LTS have extended access for all undergraduate finalists intially through to 31 July and then, for those that need extended access to complete their assessments, LTS will extend access automatically through to 10 September.

It is possible that you may have received an email from the library stating that your items could not be renewed, for which we apologise, but your accounts have now been updated to reflect the 31 July end date, meaning you can continue to borrow from the library via click and collect until then. For those that need extended access to complete their assessments, LTS will extend access automatically through to 10 September If you have any problems accessing your IT account or using the library please contact your LTS Hub.


Can I still recommend books to be purchased?

Yes, if an e-book is available we can normally purchase it and make it available within a few days.

If a book is not available for academic libraries to buy as an e-book, we can order print books, but we won’t be able to make them available to borrow for the time being. Please make requests using the book suggestion form

(Please note that not everything available as an ebook on Amazon or via the Norfolk public library's Overdrive service is available for academic libraries to buy.)


I do most of my searching for articles on the internet using search engines. Do you have anything that can help me find UEA’s resources?

If you search for materials online, rather than through Library Search, you may find that websites require you to pay for material that you can access for free via the UEA Digital Library, or for which an open access version is available.

The Library Access tool is a browser plugin which will automatically tell you if you are on a website that contains material that the UEA subscribes to, or suggest alternative ways that you can access the content for free. It will also help you to log in to websites. Library Access is great for desktop browsing.

There is a range of browser plug-in tools that find open access content, including tools that work on some mobile devices. If you want more information on tools to support your online searching, please visit the browser tools section of our Digital Toolkit.


Can I still make interlending requests?

Whilst we cannot source physical items, we will still try to find you digital versions if available. Requests can continue to be made using the usual interlending request form. Further information about interlending requests


Can I still get books or chapters digitised?

Sorry no, we are not able to digitise safely from our own collections and the British Library have suspended their digitisation service as well.


Borrowing and returning items

What about the books I have out on loan?

We are currently operating Vacation Borrowing, which means anything you have borrowed will not be required back until this ends, this includes interlibrary loans.  Vacation Borrowing status will remain in place until the crisis is over.  Remember there are no fines to worry about and if your account gets automatically frozen, we can unfreeze it for you - just email – we are still here for you behind the scenes.


Should I return my books?

We are automatically renewing all borrowed items so there is no need for you to return items to us.

If you are a Final year student or if your Library account has expired and you would like to drop your books off, we have a drop-box outside the main entrance to the Library building. We empty this box twice a week so it may take a little time for these items to be removed from your Library account, but you will receive an email once this is done.

We would like to stress that your health and safety should always come first in these times, so we ask you only to return items if it is safe for you to do so.

As a temporary COVID-19 contingency, we are now offering a free postal book return service through DHL.  This service is offered to UK-based final year students and anyone with an expired library account. 

For further information about the service and details of how to arrange collection of your items please click here.


What if my account gets frozen / blocked?

Email and we can look into it for you. Remember there are no fines to worry about and if your account gets automatically frozen, we can unfreeze it for you - just email – we are still here for you behind the scenes.


What alternatives are there to borrowing physical items?

Our Digital Library is very much open and there are a huge number of online resources available to you.  These pages should have links to everything you need as well as contact details for your Academic Librarian.


What about borrowing physical books?

If an item is loanable and available in the Library then you can request this using the contactless click and collect request form. If we are unable to fulfil your click and collect request , where possible and available for libraries to purchase, we will look to buy an e-book version for you or suggest an alternative title.