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Your study environment

Queen Mary University of London has three libraries across its UK campuses.

The main library is at Mile End and houses a large collection of multi-disciplinary materials.

Whitechapel and West Smithfield libraries cover all aspects of Medicine and Dentistry.

Students are free to use any site library regardless of their discipline.

All QM Libraries house an extensive collection of books as well as journals, both electronic and print, plus a range of services to support learning and research across all areas of the University.

The Library buildings offer bright, open spaces with a wide variety of facilities and study areas designed to suit all learning styles. 


QM Libraries provide:

  • Over 2,000 study spaces across the Library buildings
  • More than 400 open-access PCs
  • Areas for individual and group study
  • Accessible study rooms (for Library users who have a disability)
  • There are dedicated study spaces for both postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students

Other University study spaces

In addition to our Library spaces, there are lots of other places where you can study across the University, e.g. the Graduate Centre 7th Floor, Canalside, the Hive, the Garrod Building at Whitechapel.

More information about the facilities available can be found here.


There is an expectation that the level of noise in the libraries will be kept to a minimum. However, there are a number of areas within the Library which have been specifically designated as quiet or silent. The libraries have 3 different zones which highlight different study needs:


Students who use any of the facilities within the library are expected to comply with the rules applying to that particular zone and also be considerate of other students in the same study space. If someone is disturbing your study by making a noise, or chatting with their neighbour let us know by coming to the Welcome Desk or text the number of the desk where you are sitting and a description of the noise to 07342 073 201. This is our Noiseline number.  Library Staff will investigate the disturbance.

Any users whose behaviour is deemed unacceptable by a member of library or security staff may be asked to leave.

Food and Drink 

Lidded hot and cold drinks are allowed anywhere in the Libraries. Cold snacks are also acceptable on the Ground Floor only. Food should not be consumed anywhere else in the Library.  Due to hygiene issues, hot food is not allowed in the Library. This includes food that is normally eaten hot. Please do not bring it into the Library as you will be asked to leave with your food.  There is a Cafe in Mile End Library as well as various vending machines in Whitechapel, however, no hot food is available. 

Other food areas on our campuses where you can eat and drink can be found here.

The Learning Cafe in Mile End Library is usually open from 09:00 to 20:00. For current opening hours please visit the Learning Cafe page.


Help make the Library a good place to work in by keeping it clean and quiet. Tidy up after yourself - use the recycling bins and avoid leaving litter on the tables or stairs.

Please treat the Library cleaning team with courtesy and respect.  Regular cleaning will take place and it may cause some disruption to your studies but please be patient with staff as they are working to make the Library a clean and pleasant space for you to work and study in.

If there are any issues please let the Welcome Desk Staff know.


Throughout the day Library staff will fill the printers with paper and change toners if required. They will also refill before they leave and handover to Security. Security staff may not be able to fix paper jams or other problems. If unable to assist Library staff will deal with any queries when on duty. Remember that printers are available on all floors of the library and also in Canalside and The Hive at Mile End, the Garrod Building at Whitechapel and also the Robin Brook Centre at West Smithfield.  

Desk Clearing at Mile End Library - maximising the availability of seats for the benefit of all users

Monday 1st April - Friday 31st May 2019

The Library is a working space for everyone. There is always a high demand for study spaces, especially when nearing exam time.

For the most part, students feel it is unfair to reserve desks with belongings for long periods of time when the space could be used by others. Desk Clearing can occur at any time, however, it tends to be actively used during exam time to ensure the availability of study spaces.

If you need to go for a break, please clear away your belongings so that another student can use the space especially, for example, if you are taking a lunch break.  You should never leave valuables on an unoccupied desk anywhere in the library. 

Don’t give thieves a chance!

  • Any belongings left unattended for one hour or more will be removed by staff so that other students can use the study space. A Desk Clearing Notice will be left on the desk. Please take this notice to the Welcome Desk where your items will be returned to you

  • QM Library books will be returned and re-shelved
  • Please inform a member of the Library Staff should you wish to report a desk that may require our attention.  This will assist students in finding a study space as well as help avoid desks being out of action for a long period of time. Staff can be contacted by calling the Welcome Desk on 020 7882 7311 or NOISELINE on 07342 07320


Don’t be tempted to spend every hour in the library, especially during exam time.  Please plan your studies and regular breaks.  A good night’s sleep is essential!  (BTW no sleeping in the Library!)

Study Well 

Tips from your Student Union on study methods, good revision habits, relaxation techniques and a full list of QMSU 24/7 supportive events and workshops can be found here

Information about writing and study guidance is available on the Learning Development website

There are also books in the Teaching Collection that you may find useful covering various topics such as dealing with stress, relaxation techniques, study methods etc.  The Teaching Collection is on the Ground Floor, Mile End Library, near the Learning Cafe. A small collection on these topics is available also at Whitechapel Library.

Personal Safety 

If you are planning on studying late, you should consider and plan your journey home before you leave the Library. For tips on how to ‘stay safe’ please see the QMUL Security Service Personal Safety Guide.

Safety of your personal belongings

It is your responsibility to look after your belongings.  Please do not leave your personal belongings unattended.  

If you need a break away from your desk it is advised that you take your valuables with you. Unfortunately, items do get stolen from the Library.

Our staff are walking the public areas of the library frequently but that may not be enough to prevent the theft of your items.  

Laptop/netbooks are highly desirable and easily taken. Additionally, if your laptop is stolen, you lose more than just a computer – you lose your data, your work, your pictures… everything!

Please report any suspicious behaviour to the Welcome Desk Staff or via Noiseline on 07342 07320. Staff will investigate.

If a theft occurs please report the incident immediately to the Welcome Desk Staff or contact QMUL Security on 020 7882 3333


Lost Property

The Library accepts no responsibility for the security of user’s personal belongings whilst in the Library. No items should be left in the Library and any that are left are done so at the owners risk.

The Library will keep low value, non-perishable items of lost property for between two and three months. Every month, items that have exceeded this period will be destroyed, donated, or recycled as necessary.

High value items of lost property such as wallets, passports, mobile phones will be taken to QMUL Security immediately.

Fire Safety

In the event of the fire alarm sounding:

  • Leave the building immediately using the nearest available fire exit
  • Do not use the lift
  • Follow the instructions by the Fire Marshall or staff to go to your assembly point (Mile End Library – Geography Square; Whitechapel Library - Blizard Mews; West Smithfield Library – The Square by the fountain)
  • Do NOT re-enter the building until authorised to do so by the Fire Marshalls or staff

If you discover a fire:

  • Raise the alarm by shouting ‘FIRE’
  • Operate the nearest fire alarm call point
  • Leave the building quickly and calmly by the nearest fire exit

Out of hours

Mile End and Whitechapel libraries will be staffed by Security from 20:00 during the weekdays and from 18:00 at weekends. At the moment, West Smithfield Library is staffed by Security from 14:00.

Please treat the security team with respect and courtesy. They are unable to check Library accounts or answer circulation queries.  If you have any problems taking out a book, logging into an e-resource or with your account please contact Library staff by emailing and your email will be dealt with as soon as possible during staffed hours.

No ID Card No Access

You need your QM University/ Alumni / QM Visitor / QM SCONUL ID card/s to gain access to the Library.  This is especially important during Self-Service hours when Security staff will be on duty. There are no exceptions.  


Security will patrol the Library at regular intervals throughout the night.  They will be checking that users are being considerate of their colleagues and using the library for study purposes only.  If required, please be prepared to produce your ID card. 

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