Located in the centre of Memorial Court, the FML is the focal point of their working life, as it provides a wide variety of different, quiet workspaces. Additionally, it is conveniently situated next to the Library Common Room (LCR) where you can fuel yourself on (free!) tea, coffee or snacks. There will be an introductory session to the FML and the Cambridge Library system in general in Freshers’ Week; the librarians also hold really useful sessions on various library-related topics throughout the year. You need your University Card to access the building, which is open from 7am-12am during the first two terms and until 2am in Easter (exam) term.

You may choose to use your faculty library more than the FML, but most first and second year students find almost everything they need there. Remember that in addition to an array of academic books the FML also gives you access to study skills books, DVDs, CDs and audio books. There are also computers, printers and a photocopier available as well as wireless internet throughout.

Printing in the FML costs 4p per side for black and white, and 14p per side for colour printing. To print you will need to top up your account online using your debit/credit card. Instructions can be found on the notice boards in the library computer rooms. There is also a light fiction section in the LCR, separate from the main library, where you can borrow from at any time without checking the books out.

The FML is run by an extremely helpful team – Catherine Reid (car40) is Librarian, Julie Hope (jab40) is Deputy Librarian, and Claire Butlin (cb731) is Library Assistant. Their office is on the ground floor of the FML. If a book that you want is not in stock, please do fill in a recommendation form (on the FML website), e-mail the librarians, or pop in and see them with your request. They can often get it within the next working day. The librarians are also happy to bind dissertations and projects for you or laminate posters. Should you have any issues with the library throughout the year, or any questions or ideas for improvement, please contact the UCS Library/Academic Affairs Rep, Wulf Scouller (ws354).

Lipstein and Turpin Law Reading Rooms

These reading rooms are available exclusively to Law and Land Economy students and are located on J staircase in Ashby Court. They are open 24 hours, though both are reference libraries, so books cannot be taken out. There are also computers, printing facilities and wireless Internet for laptops. Some of the most frequently used books in the reading rooms also have copies in the FML that can be borrowed.

The University Library

Extremely hard for Clare Freshers to miss, the University Library (the “UL”) is directly opposite the FML. This imposing-looking building is a copyright library, meaning it should contain one copy of every book published in the UK. Despite its appearance, it is actually rather beautiful inside. There are seats throughout the shelving rooms, as well as a variety of different reading room spaces. Even if you never get round to using the books themselves, it may be worth remembering the UL Tea Room, which does breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. Monday to Friday, the library is open 9am-7pm (Michaelmas and Lent Terms) and 9am-9.45pm (Easter Term). It is also open 9am-4.45pm on Saturdays throughout the academic year but closed on Sundays.

Yet more libraries!

Each student has access to their own Faculty library, and most faculty libraries can be used by students not of that faculty (ask the librarians if in doubt). You can work in any library you like without registering, as long as you don’t take out any books. If you would like to consult a book in another college’s library, you can contact a Librarian to arrange this.

It’s really important you find a comfortable place to work, so check out the Spacefinder tool if you’re struggling, which gives suggestions tailored to your preferences:


Don’t forget about the large collection of e-resources, which can be accessed via iDiscover. Though it differs from one subject to another, you also might have to make use of “Moodle”. This is a way for your teachers to get electronic resources to you, for instance by uploading book extracts or homework tasks.

Buying Books

With all these libraries, you should not need to buy very many books, CDs or computer software for your studies. If, however, you do find yourself needing to purchase some, then don’t worry! There is a book grant available to all students who fill in a questionnaire on several aspects of college life and work that will be sent to all students in Lent term (see the Financial Information section of this booklet for more information on grants).