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Library Induction

New Library Induction

Welcome to the New Library at Magdalene College.

Your College library provides you with a place to study, access to resources across all subjects and support from knowledgeable Library staff.

We aim to provide all books needed on all subjects for Part I papers and as many as possible for Part II papers, with some material for Part III and postgraduate studies also available.

In-person Fresher induction tours will be scheduled by subject groups, please see your Freshers pack for details and make a note of the time. The Library staff look forward to meeting you!

Tours for new Graduates or for anyone uncertain about using the Library will be available via the MagdNet booking system after Freshers week: Tuesday 12th October 10am, 11am and 2pm. Thursday 14th October 10am, 11am, 1pm. 

The information on this page covers the basics you will need to make get the most from the library on your first visit. 

We strongly encourage you to have a look through the New Library webpages, which hold a wealth of information on available resources, collection and guides on how to get the most out of Cambridge Libraries.

Also follow us on social media for updates, tips and pretty pictures:

Access to the New Library is strictly for current Magdalene students, Fellows and staff. Please do not let non-Magdalene members into the Library. 

24 hour Study Space

The New Library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout term time and vacation periods.

We have over 90 study spaces available with a mix of individual desks, group desks, comfortable seating and window seats. We have some areas on the First and Second Floor where we have retained 2 metre social distancing, as well as several individual desks.

The Rowan Williams Room (Social Space) will be available at the start of Freshers week. It will be open at the start of term Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. 

A bookable Group Study Room is also available via the MagNet booking system, please ask staff for details.

We encourage you to visit the Library and browse the collection but a Request and Collect service is available if you are resident in College but are unable to get to the Library yourself. Books can be collected by a friend if you are in isolation.

On Arrival

Access is via a university card reader on the external door and on the internal Library entrance door to the left and the social space door to the right.

Before arriving for the first time please update your card by scanning it on the card reader outside the Porters’ Lodge or your card will not get you into the building.

If your card will  not let you in try the Library Office via the intercom or check with the Porters that you have the correct access (they can fix it very quickly).

Please be ready to identify yourself to Library staff on request, if you do not have your Library card please ensure you know your CRSID (or university email address!).

A map can be picked up from the map holders in the entrance foyer and throughout the Library, the Library map can also be accessed on the Library Map page.

Finding books and Borrowing

You can borrow up to 12 items (Books, DVDs, Flashcards etc) at one time from the New Library.

Loans will automatically renew every 7 days.

If your loan is requested by another user you will have 3 days to return it.

You will receive monthly automated reminder emails listing your loans and their current due date, but it is advised that you regularly check you account on iDiscover and the self-service machines.

The Library works on a self-service system for borrowing and returning books, with a self-service machine for borrowing and returning on the Ground Floor and a second machine just for borrowing on the First Floor.

A dedicated iDiscover kiosk is available on the First Floor to search the Library catalogue and look up the item shelfmark.

For detailed information about finding and borrowing books, including guidance on using the Self Service terminal please watch the video below and check the Finding and Borrowing webpage.

Finding and Borrowing Books

Do I have access to other Libraries?

Most students belong to (at least) three libraries during their studies at Cambridge University: College Library, Faculty/Departmental Library and the University Library. Each library has their own rules, opening hours and borrowing rights.

You can find details of every library in Cambridge via this directory.

The University Library has produced a short Cambridge libraries introduction video

Cambridge Libraries Introduction

Library Rules

The Library rules are in place to provide a safe and welcoming environment that is conducive to study for all users and staff.

By accessing the Library you are expected to follow the library rules.

  • The Library is a quiet space
  • The Library is for current Magdalene Members only
  • Switch mobile phones off
  • No food
  • No non-covered drinks. Reusable Keep Cups are preferred.
  • Don’t remove books without borrowing. Speak to a member of staff or double check your books on the self-issue machine if the gate alarm goes off.

Staying Safe

If the fire alarm sounds please exit the Library immediately via the nearest Fire Exit. There are two fire escape stairwells to the rear of the building on each side.

Refuge Point

There are disabled refuge points at the fire escape stairwells to the rear of the building on the first and second floor.

Fire Muster Point

The fire muster point is on the gravel path in the Fellows Garden beyond the large tree.


Please do not climb on the Library furniture or desks. Kick-stools are available on all floors to help reach the higher shelves. If you cannot find one please ask staff.


Building entrance and Library entrance doors are fully powered and are opened by presenting University cards to the card reader. Exit is are also via non-contact pads.

A lift is available to all floors in the Library. 

There is a disabled toilet on all floors. 

All disabled toilets have alarms that will sound in the Library and alert the Porters Lodge.

Many of the study spaces have adjustable chairs.



Toilets are available on all floors.

There is a disabled toilet on all floors. 

All disabled toilets have alarms that will sound in the Library and alert the Porters Lodge


Toilets will be cleaned every morning, as will study spaces. Zonal cleaning will occur throughout the week and cleaners may still be working in the Library at the start of morning study sessions, please understand this is necessary work to maintain a clean and safe building.

Provision of antiviral spray cleaners and paper blue roll will be made at a number of locations within the study rooms for users to self-clean before use.

IT Provision

Wifi is available throughout the building, some desks also have wired network sockets.

Self-Service borrowing and returning is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Security Gates are also operational.

A Catalogue terminal is available on the first floor.

An overhead scanning terminal is available in the first floor copy room.

A printer/copier/scanner is available in both the First and Second Floor copier rooms. It is possible to print from your own device over the network or use the designated networked computer in the Second Floor copier room.