covid 19 library faq

GSA Safe Campus measures mean that your use of the Library during academic session 2021/22 may be different than in previous years. This page outlines how you can discover and access our resources and services during this period.

Remember that GSA-wide updates on the School’s overarching approach to provision are being published regularly on the GSA Student Intranet.

Dec 21: Please note that due to current restrictions, general members of the public cannot currently visit the library.

When is The Library Open?

Library Term Time Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm

Will I Be Able To Visit The Library Without An Appointment?

Yes. You will be able to visit the Library without an appointment.

You will be able to browse the collection, borrow and return books, use a computer, spend time in the Silent Sensory Room and study at the study desks.

You will not be able to access the Library without your GSA swipe card.

There is currently no legal requirement for social distancing in Scotland.  The GSA advise that especially indoors, keeping responsible distance from people in other households and avoiding places that are crowded will minimise risk. The advice from the GSA is to try to keep at lease 1m apart.  The library has put in place control measures to help with including physical barriers and monitoring of numbers of users in the building.

The most up to date Scottish Government guidelines state that face masks should be worn at all times in all spaces in the Library. Please do your bit to keep GSA students and staff safe by keeping your mask on at all times during your Library visit, even when using a computer or studying.

Face coverings must be worn at all times within the GSA unless exceptions apply.  Exemptions include:

  • When eating or drinking
  • When there is a medical condition which means they are unable to wear a mask

Study Rooms remain bookable spaces. Please see below for further information.

How Can I Book A Study Room?

To book a 3-hour study room in the Library:

  1. Go to the GSA Bookings Portal at least 12 hours in advance
  2. Under ‘Book by Category’, select ‘Library’
  3. On the following screen, click’ Make Me Owner’
  4. You will then be presented with the option to book a study room or click and collect.
  5. Library Study Room bookings can be made up to 4pm for the following day
  6. Study rooms can be booked for 3.5-hour sessions on a Saturday
  7. If you experience any problems logging into the Bookings Portal, email us

How Many Study Room Visits Can I Book Per Week?

You will be permitted to book up to 2 study room visits across a single day of the week, providing a maximum of 4 hours study time. You will not be permitted to book study room visits across multiple days. This is to ensure that access to the Library is available to as many students as possible and in as fare a manner as possible.

Will Study Desks Be Available?

Yes. 71 study spaces are available and you do not need to book these.

Will Computing Facilities Be Available?

Yes. 49 of the 71 study spaces will provide access to PCs or Macs. You do not need to book these.

What Can I Do During a Study Visit?

During your study visit, you will be able to browse the library’s collections. You can return books at the self-service machines. You will be able to request reference items such as dissertations, zines, journals, and short-loan books from the Library Service Desk.

During your visit you must wear a mask and observe 1M+ physical distancing guidelines at all times.

If you simply wish to borrow specific print titles from our collections, there is no need to book a study visit. Use our Click & Collect service instead – details below.

Will I Be Able To Borrow Books?

Thousands of digital resources relating to different topics or interests are available in the Library Catalogue. You should prioritise these resources in your studies wherever possible. Further information on how to access these resources is provided later in this document.

You may require specific texts that are unavailable digitally but that we hold physically. You are now permitted to enter the Library without an appointment at any time during our opening hours.

We are continuing our Click & Collect service for people who would like to get specific books:

  • Go to the GSA Bookings Portal
  • Under ‘Book by Category’, select ‘Library’
  • On the following screen, click’ Make Me Owner’
  • Select a collection slot. Each collection slot lasts for 30 minutes, and you must arrive at the Library during this time.
  • You will be asked to list the books you require, up to a maximum of 5 books
  • The books will have been issued to your library account prior to collection
  • Collection slots are issued solely for the quick pick-up of books. 
  • Click and Collect bookings can be made up to 8am for the following day
  • If you experience any problems logging into the Bookings Portal, email us

Can I Return the Books I Have On Loan?

We are asking that you now start to return any books that you no longer require. 

We have a returns box for GSA library books just before the barriers in the LibraryAvailable Monday-Friday 10-4you will not have to book a slot if you just want to return your books.

Will I Be Able to Request Reference Items, Such as Dissertations or Short-Loan Texts?

Yes. You will also be able to request reference items such as dissertations, theses, zines, journals, and short-loan books from the Library Service Desk. 

If you need to consult our dissertations or theses solely to understand the required length or formatting, you should not visit the library. Instead, some representative examples of past dissertations and critical journals are available for you to access online via Canvas. A significant number of past GSA PhD theses can be read, without login, on RADAR, the School’s institutional repository.

What Differences Will I Notice When I Visit the Library?

When you visit the Library, your experience may be different than in previous years. Inside the Library, you will be required to follow social distancing, and to wear a face covering at all times (unless you have a medical exemption). You will find ready supplies of hand sanitiser throughout the Library.

How Can I Access Digital Resources?

During summer 2020, we have prioritised the purchase and discovery of e-resources. These resources can be accessed from home by all matriculated GSA students via your GSA network credentials. You will find several thousand e-books, e-journals, databases and articles in our Library Catalogue and you should prioritise these in your study and research during this period.

Whenever you discover a digital resource in the Library Catalogue, we have tried to provide very clear access instructions under the access link. It is important that you read these instructions, as the method for accessing content will vary between publishers and platforms. However, if you experience problems logging into any particular resource, please let us know here.

Our Magazines-on-the-Go service provides around 50 digital magazines across art, design and architecture, all through an easy-to-use app. Please follow the instructions here.

Planet eStream is our online streaming platform and provides access to over 2 million TV and radio broadcasts. We have over 3000 items already in our collection and are adding more all the time. Login using your GSA network credentials. If you experience any problems using Planet eStream, please contact us here.

If you are a matriculated postgraduate student, you will also have access to online resources from University of Glasgow. To access these resources you will need to use your GUID, which will you should receive from GSA Registry via email a week or so after you matriculate. If you have not received your GUID within a fortnight of matriculating, please contact GSA Registry. Postgraduate students can also register to use the National Library of Scotland’s online resources from home – please register online.

Can I Attend a Library or Canvas Orientation Session?

All our inductions and workshops have been designed for online delivery this academic session. If you are new to the Library, or would like to refresh your skills, particularly with regards to digital content, you can access a calendar of our upcoming workshops on Canvas.

How Can I Contact The Library if I Have a Problem?

If you have any questions relating to Library collections or resources during this time please email If your enquiry concerns Canvas, learning technologies, or problems logging into online resources, please email You can also telephone us during the hours of 09.00-17.00 Mon-Fri at 0141 353 4551.

How Can I Access My GSA Email?

During Academic Session 2020/21 important information may also be sent to your GSA email. Click here for instructions on how to access your GSA email off-campus.

What Services Are Available for Students with Additional Support Needs?

We recognise that adaptions to Library services during this period may pose particular issues for those with additional support needs. If you have a physical or learning difference and would like to discuss your requirements with us, please contact us here

Can I Visit Other Libraries?

Where other UK HE libraries have reopened, nearly all are continuing to restrict access to their own matriculated students. This means that the SCONUL Access scheme previously open to postgraduate students remains suspended.

In particular, the University of Glasgow Library remains closed to GSA students other than those on jointly delivered GSA/GU programmes of study. Do not visit GU Library during this time as you will be denied access.

Will External Visitors Be Able to Access GSA Library?

Yes, we are now accepting external visitors. Please show photographic ID on entry and supply us with your phone number for track and trace.

Can I Request Items from Special Collections?

Special Collection items are housed in our remote store and cannot be requested at this time. Some of these collections have been digitised, with links provided here.

Can I Request an Inter-Library Loan?

We continue to offer an inter-library loan service for journal articles here. Most libraries are not lending their books via ILL at this time, but we are hoping to offer books via ILL later in Semester 1.

Can staff book workshops in the library?

We have one available space for staff to book in the library, which canbe booked for both software and non-software based sessions. This is the Quiet Study Space. It has a capacity of 11 people in the room. There are 5 iMacsand 5 PCS as well as a Staff PC that is connected to a projector. The Quiet Study Space can be booked Monday to Friday. There are 2 slots a day, 9am to 1pm and 1pm to 5pmStaff can book a maximum of 3 slots a week. To book the Quiet Study Space please email your preferred dates and times.