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October 2012 Round-up - The McClay Library

Study Environment

Welcome to the University for the 2012-13 academic year. Whether you are a new or a returning student, I am sure you will spend a lot of time in the McClay Library over the months ahead and we want to make sure that your time here is as comfortable and productive as possible. 

Below is a summary of our policies in relation to control of noise, food and drink and reserving seats, all issues which caused some concern last year.    

  • Control of Noise

The Library is divided into zones (whisper and silent study) and the location of these zones is well signposted. You are asked to respect the needs of fellow students by observing these clearly defined zones and choosing the appropriate one for your study.  

Mobile phones should routinely be set to silent and used only in stairwells.

  • Food & Drink

While we are happy for you to have drinks with secure lids (both hot and cold) in any area of the Library (except the Special Collections Reading Room), food should only be eaten in the student lounge area on the ground floor.

  • Reserving Seats

To ensure that study and PC spaces are fully utilised at all times, spaces should not be left unoccupied for more than 30 minutes. As there are significant PC and study spaces available, it should not be necessary to tie up spaces and deprive others of the opportunity to use them while you are away. Staff will be happy to help you to find a PC or study space if you experience any difficulty when the building is busy.

As well as staffing the enquiry desks on each floor, Library staff operate a roving support service on all floors. They offer help with Library services and resources and will remind you about these policies where necessary. Please support Library staff and help us to create the environment you have asked us to provide.

 Access to the McClay Library

It is extremely important that you carry your current student card with you at all times when you come to the Library. You need it for printing and photocopying as well as access to the building, borrowing books and fines payment at the payment stations. As part of our access policy aimed at protecting primary access to the building for Queen’s students and minimizing delays at Reception, students who have forgotten their card are granted cardless entry on confirmation of their identity and completion of a form. However, a maximum of three cardless visits will be permitted each year.

Your student card and Queen’s credentials are exclusively for your use and may not be shared with any other individual, whether another Queen’s student or not. Disciplinary procedures are instigated against Queen’s students suspected of card misuse and a number of students were fined during the last academic year. 

Please remember that only the latest smart card issued to you will let you into the McClay Library.

Noise Alert Service

During the last academic year, we ran a successful noise alert service which was well received by students. This year, we plan to offer this service again during the busy examination period from December through January. In the meantime, if you experience any difficulties with noise in the Library, just alert a member of staff.  

Book Scanner on Floor 1

There is now a high quality book scanner beside Special Collections on the first floor of the Library. The cost is a very reasonable 1p per page and you can e-mail the output to your Queen’s e-mail address as well as saving to a pen drive.  

Changed your Password?

Have you recently changed your password using the facility in Webmail? If so and you are now experiencing difficulties accessing e-resources, please visit the Helpdesk on the Ground Floor of the McClay Library to have your password re-set.

Fire Evacuation

Information Services is required to carry out a fire drill in the McClay Library at least once each academic year. Our last drill, in March 2012, was very successful and the building was cleared in approximately 5 minutes. However, the speed of evacuation was reduced because most students left the building via the main staircase rather than using the other exits and staircases in the building. Taking the nearest available route will significantly improve the speed of evacuation when the Library is busy. 

If you have any comments or queries on the content of this document or wish to comment on library services more generally, please e-mail: