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Biological Sciences Libraries

Access to the Library

The Plant Sciences Library is situated on the ground floor of the building. It is accessed either from Reception or from the Tennis Court Road lobby. The Library doors are opened by validated University card: Validation is done in the Department’s Accounts Office on the first floor.

Staff, Postgraduate students and Plant Sciences Part IIs have 24-hour 7-day-a-week access.


The layout of library stock is admittedly confusing, because space is limited. The Library is divided into Bays [1-8 downstairs and 9-15 upstairs]. The stock shelves meander round the Bays in an initially confusing manner, so…
All shelves have a label on them, usually at the top, which will look something like B12 [Books, 12th stack] or J15 [Journals, 15th stack] - these should help with finding items, as the order of the shelf numbers reflects the order of the books/journals.


  • Bays 1 is closed to Library users
  • Bays 2 is the Quiet Study Room. It is avalable to all Library users, though currently only the 4 seats on the right are free for anyone to use
  • Bays 3 & 4 have been combined to form a flexible study area where you can work in groups if you need to;
  • Bay 5 contains the stairs that lead up to Bays 9-15, and the photocopier, which can also be used as a printer and scanner;
  • Bay 6 houses the library staff desk and, behind it, a small study area, which is also sometimes booked for supervisions;
  • Bays 7 and 8 house computers. If the desk space is used, elsewhere, please use the space between the computers to study

In addition the Bays hold library stock – Bays 2 – 5 and the corridor house books; and Bays 6 – 15 house journals. 


The librarian is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Library. Please do ask if you have any questions or need help – the easiest way to do this is to e-mail


There are currently 6 desktop PCs in Bay 8 and another 8 computers in Bay 7.

There is no dedicated area for laptops: you may use your laptop anywhere in the Library, depending on whether you need access to a power socket or network cable. A network box is sited in the Library, so connection to the network is very good, but if you experience problems you are encouraged to use Eduroam. Please contact if you need help with setting up.

Printing and Photocopying

We have a networked copier/printer in the corridor. You need to have credit on a University DS Print account to be able to use it - even to scan and send [which is not actually charged].

Inter-Library Loans and photocopies from other libraries

If the item you want is not available electronically, and not held in the Plant Sciences Library, the next step is to check if it is held in another Cambridge library – use iDiscover to check across all libraries.

If the item does not seem to be available in Cambridge, ask the Librarian if it can be sourced for you.