Please note: At present there is limited access to reading room services. For details of what is available, and also what you are unable to do, see the George IV Bridge reading rooms information on our reopening page.
General Reading Room facilities
The General Reading Room has seating for 156 readers. Of these, 23 have internet access, 112 have facilities for portable devices, and 14 are reserved solely for the use of hard-copy newspapers or large-format material. Footrests, a range of support cushions and a balance chair are available on request.
The bulk of the collections is held in areas closed to the public (see Consulting the collections).
However, a range of reference works is available within the reading room for the convenience of users.
Access to the Library's main catalogues of printed collections is available in the adjacent Issue Hall and Multimedia Room. As well as the printed and microfiche catalogues there are 14 computers providing access to our search service, Library Search. They also have web access.
One of the computers has a large monitor and keyboard for those who need enhanced facilities. A CCTV text enlarger with colour monitor is available in the Multimedia Room for those who need magnified or enhanced viewing facilities. More about facilities for people with disabilities
The Enquiry Desk in the Issue Hall offers assistance concerning use of the catalogues, location of materials and reprographic / photocopying services.
Staff also deal with general reference enquiries.
To minimise possible disruption to other users, you may only use your portable personal computers in designated areas.
We have set aside 112 seats for this use, with access to our mains electricity supply, in the General Reading Room. However, you cannot use printers, scanners, or other ancillary equipment.
Free WiFi sessions
Free WiFi (wireless internet) sessions are available in all George IV Bridge reading rooms. Sessions last for 12 hours, and you can have as many sessions as you like.
Ask staff for further information and help, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on the WiFi service.