Using the Library

This page gives a brief overview of the facilities at Balliol’s Broad Street Library.  Current members can find out more by accessing the Balliol Library study resources canvas course. For information about the College’s unique collections of archives, papers, medieval manuscripts and early printed books, please go to our Historic Collections page.

Opening times

  • The Library is currently open 9.00am-4.30pm only in order to test Covid-19 safety measures. It is usually open 24/7 to College members except during Closed Periods.
  • Access by University card accredited by Balliol Library.
  • Visitors: by appointment only, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Disabled access

If you have a disability and feel that you would benefit from extra support in order to get the most out of the Library during your time at Balliol, Aishah Olubaji, the Early Career Librarian and Library Disability Rep, would be very happy to hear from you. Currently there is only first-floor access to the Library; one way in which we can help those who are unable to access it is by dropping off books at a convenient place in the College for collection. Whatever support you need, please contact us.


  • Borrowing limit: The borrowing limit is usually 12 items. It has been raised to 20 items during Michaelmas 2020. 
  • Loan period: two weeks during term time and the whole Vacation.
  • Loans may be renewed unless reserved by another reader.
  • Fines of 20p per day charged on overdue items.

SOLO online catalogue (Search Oxford Libraries Online)

  • Can be accessed on the reading room PCs.
  • Gives location of books in Balliol, the Bodleian, and all Oxford Faculty libraries.
  • Provides access to major online resources and databases.

Renewing loans

You can renew your loans up to four times through SOLO. You may only renew items which are not yet overdue. If you would like to renew books that are overdue, please email the Library team.


  • Wi-Fi can be accessed via Eduroam or OWL.
  • Readers are required to abide by the University’s rules on computer use. 

Location of books and periodicals

  • Old Library:  collections on Economics, History, International Relations, Management Studies, Modern Languages, Politics and Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics
  • Reading Room: collections on Ancient History, Classics, English, Philosophy, reference works
  • Tylor Law Library: law reports, periodicals, and books on law

Library rules

Latest news and reminders