Find, Borrow, Return

Working Library is the term we use for our main library that houses our 21st century material. The first floor is the reading room that also serves as a study area. Most of the material you will be needing for your course can be found in the Working Library.

Finding my books

You can find books and online resources using iDiscover ( For additional information on iDiscover and Online resources such as ebooks we have a separate page.



  • To find a book you will need to access iDiscover -- our online catalogue -- by putting in the search box key words such as title, author or ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Don't forget to filter your results if you end up with a large number of potentially-useful items.


  • Once you found your book and clicked on the book you are looking for, you will see a list of libraries in which copies are located. Select "Christ's College Library" and write down the Classmark and Book Location, such as "Floor 2. PQ 1993.5.F82 1990" -- you will need these if you are to successfully locate a book on the library's shelves. We have a Poster on Classmarks and Book Locations to help you understand more about how the library is organised.


  • Come to the library or ask a member of staff to reserve the books for collection by sending an email to the book is reserved pick it up from the reservation shelf opposite the self-issue machines on the First Floor or ask for further assistance from library staff


  • Place the book on your library account by using the self-issue machines on the First Floor; or ask library staff for assistance in person or via email.



Books can be borrowed and returned via the self-issue terminals in the Reading Room (instructions are provided next to the terminals) in the Working Library, First Floor. Please place returned books on the 'Returned Books' trolleys to the left of the self-issue terminals.


Self-Issue machines and Return trolleys
Self-Issue Machines and Return trolleys on First Floor of the library.


Checking your account/Renewing your loans
  • Use our self-issue terminals in the Working Library (Floor 1).
  • Library Account : Go to iDiscover, click on “Login to iDiscover”, and then click Log in to MY LIBRARY ACCOUNT .The account tells you how many books you have on loan from the libraries you have access to across the University, and whether you need to renew or return them.

  For further information please look at the visual guide on accessing your library account.

  • Contact library staff.
Loan rules

Number of loans you can borrow


Loan period

14 days

Maximum renewal limit

56 days

Reference books/periodicals (indicated on spine)

Not borrowable

No fines for Christ’s College Library students, staff or Fellows

Books borrowed over University vacations may be retained until the beginning of the next Full Term. Relevant return dates are displayed in the Library nearer the time or on Latest Updates.


Christ's Library has a no fines policy. We do not fine you for overdo books but we do fine for lost books. You can check your fines from other libraries and pay them off by logging into your library account through Log in to MY LIBRARY ACCOUNT. 


For requesting a book (item from our library that is currently on loan):

1.Log into your library account 

2.Search on iDiscover to find the book you are looking for. Check first to see if the library has other copies.

3.When you find your book, click to enter the record. Next to the holding information there is a "Request button".

 4.Click on the blue 'Request' option on the screen to recall the book from whoever currently has it.

5.The current borrower will be notified of the amended date by which the item must be returned.

6.Once the book has been returned you will be notified by email, and you can then pick it up from the Reservation Shelf by the Reading Room entrance in the Working Library .

For further information we have a  PDF guide on requesting books.

Book recommendations

If a book or DVD (not an ebook) you need is not available in our collection, you can request we purchase a copy. Please visit Book Recommendations for further information on the Book recommendation process and the recommendation form.

Assistive Resources

We have a number of additional resources to help you with your library experience while in the library or remotely. 

Specialized Collections

For additional material that you can borrow or consult in the library , please visit our pages dedicated to our more specialized collections.

Law Library : Accessible to Law students, it is a small study space with law textbooks for borrowing. Additional law material can be found in the Working Library.

Lower Old Library : Material can be borrowed from the 20th and 19th century sections. Material needs to  be fetched by staff. 

Old Library : Material can be consulted during staff working hours, Monday - Friday 9-5. Please contact staff at

Other Libraries

As well as the College Library, you have access to the facilities and collections offered by your Faculty and Departmental Libraries Directory and by the Cambridge University Library. These libraries will have their own websites.