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Holdings and Services

How to Find a Book

All the Library's holdings on open shelves and all antiquarian holdings are catalogued on SOLO, which also provides access to the University's on-line resources such as journals and databases. To find an item in St John's Library search on SOLO and then follow the location guidelines of our in-house classification system.

Although most books in the Library may be borrowed by college members, some copies of popular textbooks and some older items are confined to the Library and may not be borrowed. These are stamped "Confined to the Library" and/or have a red spine label.

Borrowing Books

Please do not remove a book from the Library without having it checked out at the Desk. Junior members may borrow up to 10 volumes in term, and up to 20 in vacations. Books borrowed during term must be returned in person by Wednesday of 8th week, and vacation loans by Wednesday of 1st week. Reminder notices are sent at appropriate times via email and a general notice is posted in the Porter's Lodge.

Returning Books

Please return books to the Main Desk after use. If you have to return books to the Porters' Lodge, please leave an accompanying note of explanation.

Fines for Overdue Books

These are payable at 20 pence per volume per day for each volume returned late. Reminder notices are sent at appropriate times via email and posted in the Porter's Lodge. Fines for late return of books requested by other readers are much higher.

Working in the Library

Readers may not reserve a work space but must remove all personal books and belongings when leaving the Library. Up to six books may be left overnight with a completed slip, showing name and date, on a designated trolley. Please put any books not on loan on a shelving trolley. Items left on tables will be put in plastic bags in the lobby. Junior members wishing to work in the Old Library may sign for a key at the Desk.


Nearly all journals and periodicals are available onl-line via OXLIP. The Library does continue to subscribe to some titles in hard copy. Except for the law journals and reports, which are housed in the Kendrew Law Library, in general the volumes of the last ten years of each periodical are shelved with their subject, and previous years are kept in the stores. Some historical and classical titles are held in the Old Library. Recent (unbound) issues are either with books on the subject, or on the display shelf at the east end of the Old Library (top of stairs). Periodicals, whether bound or unbound, may not be borrowed, except for those single issues which are kept as books and catalogued separately on OLIS.


In addition to books and periodicals, the following equipment is available for use by College members:

  • Photocopier
  • Microfilm and microfiche readers/printers
  • Multimedia PCs and printers (with Internet and OLIS access)
  • Wooden book rests

The photocopier is situated in Bay 16/18 at the western end of the Paddy Room. It is card operated. To purchase a card, please ask at the Porters Lodge: a card costs £5 for 100 copies. Alternatively the Library Staff may be able to offer one or two pages of copying at 5p per sheet, so ask at the Issue Desk for small amounts of copying. An additional photocopier is available in the JCR computer room.

Please ask at the Desk for information about book rests, microfilm and microfiche readers and printers.

Contact details

St John's College
St. Giles, Oxford OX1 3JP
Work Tel: 01865 277300
Fax: 01865 277435
University of Oxford