Using the Library

Opening times

  • Library 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, Amy Boylan, 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: 12 items. 
  • Two-week loan period for most books and DVDs.
  • 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 through SOLO. You may only renew items which are not yet overdue.


  • Laptop computers may be used in the Library.
  • University wireless service ‘OWL’ can be accessed using the Oxford University VPN service.
  • Readers are required to abide by the University’s rules on computer use. 

Location of books and periodicals

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

Books request form

e-Resources gateway

Library rules

Latest news and reminders