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Library FAQs

Here you can find answers to some frequently asked questions about using the Quincentenary Library.

If you can't find what you need please get in touch with the library team by emailing or dropping by our office in the library.

How much does photocopying and printing cost and how do I pay for them?

If you search the College intranet JNet for 'printing and photocopying', the IT department has created a factsheet.

How do I send a file to print from my computer to the printer?

If you search the College intranet JNet for 'Webprint', the IT Department has published a factsheet.

The catalogue says a book I want to consult is only available under Electronic Legal Deposit. How do I access this?

I want to recall a book, but I can’t see the recall option on the record.

You need to be logged in before the recall option appears. Recalls are switched off during vacations.

How long can I borrow a book for?

You can borrow up to 15 items for 7 days (undergraduates) or 28 days (postgraduates, Fellows and staff). These books will autorenew until the end of the academic year unless recalled by another user.

I've found the classmark of a book that I want but I can’t find it on the shelf.

Please check that you've written down the classmark correctly. Try looking around the shelves and tables where the book should be; sometimes they get misplaced. If you still can't find it please ask library staff for help.

My card doesn’t scan into the computer.

You need a University card with a barcode on the back – if you have a temporary card with no barcode you'll need to ask the librarians for help or fill out one of the borrowing slips. If the barcode on your card has rubbed off you'll need to get a replacement from the Porters’ Lodge.

What are the library rules?

You can find the library rules in hard copy within the library guide leaflets on the reference desk or on the website's library pages.

I've lost my University card.

If you lose your University card please report it to the Porters' Lodge immediately; they will be able to arrange for the issuing of a replacement card. You can still borrow books without a card if you ask the library staff or invigilators for help.

How does the photocopier work?

You need to use your University card to use the photocopier and pay for your copies. You'll find full instructions and prices on the board beside the machine.

I thought I had borrowed a book correctly but when I tried to leave the alarm went off.

First try borrowing the book again just in case the system didn’t work properly the first time. If the same thing happens please speak to the library staff. You aren't allowed to borrow a book if the system doesn't recognise it has been signed out.

The photocopier is broken or has run out of paper.

Please tell the librarians or the IT department staff and they can call an engineer or restock the paper tray as needed. If the problem occurs out of hours, then please email

A book I haven't borrowed or have already returned is showing up under my name / I have had an email saying that I have borrowed books that I know I have returned

Check to see if someone else borrowed your library card. If not, please see the librarians and explain the situation – if you can find the book somewhere in the library that will help. Unless you let us know about this you may be charged a fine to cover the cost of replacing the book.

I have heard that the library has some ‘light reading' books. Where are they?

We have a large collection of 'light reading' books for when you want a break from studying. You can find them in the room next to the library office.

How do I find what I have out on my account?

When you’re using iDiscover click on ‘Login to iDiscover’ at the top right of the screen and log in using your Raven password. When logged in clicking on your name will give you the option to see what loans you have in all of the Cambridge Libraries using this system. If you are using the catalogue computers in the library, remember to log out when you have finished. You will receive a monthy letter from Cambridge Libraries letting you know what you still have out on loan.

How do I borrow light reading books? They don’t have a barcode.

We lend out the light reading books on a trust basis. You don’t need to sign them out on the computer; they're not in the catalogue. Just take a book and return it when you're finished. 

I'd like to borrow an item from the store or the library office, but I can’t get there during office hours.

Please email us at with details of the item you'd like to borrow. We will borrow it for you and leave it on the Recalls Shelf for you to collect.

The computers are not working in the Kwok Room.

Please report any problems with computers in the Kwok Room to staff in the IT department. You can reach them by email on or by calling +44 (0)1223 339945.

How do I get an interlibrary loan?

Interlibrary loans can be obtained from the University Library and some faculty libraries. 

The Kwok Room printer has run out of paper.

If the printer in the computer centre runs out of paper please let the IT department staff know by emailing If they are closed then the library office should have some paper you can use. The Porters may also be able to give you some paper for the printer.

The computers are logged out / the screen is stuck / the search is taking a long time to process.

Please let the librarians know about this so that we can address the problem. You can find us in the library office or email us at

I've spilt some water on one of the books.

Please bring the book to the library office straight away so that we can dry it properly and stop it going mouldy. 

How do I limit my search in iDiscover to just items held in Jesus College?

Once you've done your initial search select ‘Jesus College’ from the list on the right of the screen or from the drop down list on the right of the search box.

WiFi has stopped working – what should I do?

Let the IT Department know. In the meantime we have network leads which you can use to connect to the network.

The Jesus College book that I need is shown as ‘on loan’

To recall the book you must first log into iDiscover using your Raven password. Click on the Jesus Copy in the Request options, you will then be able to recall the book. You will get an email when the book has been returned to the library, where it will be available from the recall shelf for you to collect. Recalls only operate in term time.

I don't understand the classmark / call number system.

The library uses the Bliss Classification System: there are alphabetical classmarks that spiral clockwise down through the library, starting with A in the top corner of the building and finishing with Z on the ground floor. You'll find notices next to the shelves explaining how the system works.

The book I need is shown as ‘missing’.

Please email It's possible that the librarian will be able to replace the book for you quickly.

The book I need isn't in the catalogue and I need it for an essay tomorrow.

Please explain the situation to staff in the library office; sometimes we can buy a book very quickly if it's available in a local bookshop.

The classmark says ‘Jesuan Collection - Reference’.

This item is a book by or about a Jesuan and is shelved in the Old Library or Webb Library, not the Quincentenary Library. If the book is a 20th century or late 19th century book and you give the details to a librarian we can fetch it for you. You can read it in the Quincentenary Library, but you won’t be allowed to borrow it. For earlier books, you will need to book an appointment to read it in the Old Library. Please note it may take some time to collect these books, especially if it is housed in the Webb Library, so it is worth seeing if there is a copy available elsewhere.

The classmark starts with ‘store’, how can I get hold of the book? I can’t get to the Library during working hours.

Store books can only be retrieved by the librarians. Just tell us which book you'd like to see and we will fetch it for you, then you can borrow the book as normal. We can also borrow it for you and leave it on the click and collect trolley in the Library Cloisters for you to collect.

The classmark is ‘oversize’ – where is this book?

You can find the oversize books in our collection in the Creswick Room, just by the door.

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