We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

St John's College

Library and study space


The Sir William Leech Library has an excellent stock of around 27,000 books, which includes a particularly fine theology collection. The library occupies the first and second floors of our purpose-built Learning Resource Centre (LRC), which can be found next to the college chapel. Library users will need to swipe their campus card to gain access to the LRC. There are CCTV cameras and a book security system in operation.

Students and staff of St John’s College are entitled to use the library study space and borrow books. Due to precautions related to COVID-19, the option to join the library as a paid subscription member is currently suspended.

Using the Library

From 21st September 2020, the library will be open 8.30am – 10pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am – 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Library staff Melissa Campey or Laura Rowland will usually be present on weekdays between 9am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

In order to allow social distancing, library access is currently limited and most visits will need to be pre-booked.

Please watch our library video tour for an overview of how library services are currently working.

The following services are available:

Book borrowing

  • Searching for books

The library catalogue is fully searchable online. Select St John’s College from the drop-down menu to limit your search results to our library.

  • Click and Collect

If you know what book you need, please search the catalogue to check that it is available and then place a request using our click and collect form. Requested books will be loaned to your account and left in named bags in the LRC lobby for collection. Please leave 2 full working days before coming to collect your books. For reassurance, you can also login to your library account and check that the book has been loaned to you before travelling to collect it.

  • Browse and Borrow

If you want to visit the library in person, please book a browse and borrow slot. This will enable you to browse the shelves, select books and borrow them on the self-issue machine.

Book returns

Please place returned books in the library postbox in the LRC lobby.

If you are already in the library for another reason, you can also place returned books in the box next to the self-issue machine.

There will be a delay in returned books being removed from your account as they must be quarantined before processing.

Computer use

There are 6 computers available to book for 2 hour sessions. Please make sure you book your session before visiting to use a computer.

During your computer session you are also able to browse the library and borrow books on the self-issue machine.

Printer and photocopier use

There is no need to book to come and use the printer, but please pay attention to the maximum capacity sign on the door of the ‘Study Space’ room and come back another time if it is too busy.

Study Space

9 bookable, 2 metre spaced study desks with power are available on the upper floor of the library. Please book a 2 hour study session if you want to make sure you can study in the library.

9 free access study desks with power are available on the lower floor of the library without pre-booking. Please keep your study session to around 2 hours if all spaces are taken so that other students have an opportunity to work in the library.

Safety precautions during the COVID-19 period

We ask that library users:

  • Do not enter the library when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Use hand sanitizer provided, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and keep 2 metres away from other people.

  • Wipe down desks, computers, the printer and the self-issue machine before and after use with the antibacterial wipes provided.

  • Place books used in the library but not borrowed into the quarantine boxes.

  • Only attend the library for a booked session or to use the free access study space or printer.

  • Pay attention to any safety notices displayed in the library.

Further help and information

  • Call 0191 3343891 during staffed hours to speak to Melissa or Laura.


Contact us

College Librarian

Melissa Campey

St John's College 

3 South Bailey 



T: 0191 334 3891 

St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.