ANNOUNCEMENT: Electric works (11th-14th DEC) and ALL DAY CLOSURE (15th DEC)

Planned essential electric works will occur throughout the RAI building (including the Vere Harmsworth Library) throughout the 11th-14th December, culminating in an all day closure on Friday 15th December 2023. Readers are advised that there will be some noise disruption throughout the week, and some reader spaces, including the 1st Floor Group Study Rooms, will be off limits.

The work will begin on Monday 11th December, and will be focused on the Ground Floor on the western side of the building (past the PCAS machine). This area from the electric cabinet onwards will be closed off to readers. Access to the PCAS machine will be maintained. The Library has been advised that there will be drilling for around half an hour, and that this noise will affect the Ground Floor level. Readers are advised to move to the upper floors to avoid disturbance.

After works on the Ground Floor are completed, the electricians will move up the building, to the 2nd and 3rd Floors. This work will be focused in the Group Study Rooms and RAI Office space (former Breakout Room). This will reduce noise disruption in the main reading rooms, but some disturbance may be expected.

Earplugs are available at the Enquiry Desk for readers if necessary.

The 1st Floor Group Study Rooms will be unavailable throughout the week of 11th-15th December. The Godfrey Hodgson Room will be available throughout the 11th-14th December. Please check the Bodleian Libraries Group Study Rooms pages for alternative spaces.

The entire RAI building, including the VHL will be closed on Friday 15th December 2023. The Library aims to re-open on Monday 18th December, subject to completion of works. Please check the VHL webpage or Twitter account for regular updates. Any change to the plan of works above will be communicated as soon as possible.

We would like to thank our readers for their patience during these essential works.

If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please ask at the Information Desk, or email For further information about the planned works, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at

New! Book the VHL group study spaces online

[UPDATE: room bookings can now be made at least 1 hour in advance, rather than the previous 2 hours – December 2023]

The Vere Harmsworth Library will be trialling a new online room booking system, alongside the Social Science Library and Radcliffe Science Library. 

Current University members will be able to book slots in any of the three VHL Group Study Rooms (including the Godfrey Hodgson Room). Users will be able to book up to 10 hours per week up to 10 weeks in advance. You must place your booking at least 2 hours before your booking starts. [UPDATE: this timeframe has been adjusted to 1 hour in advance – December 2023]

Screenshot of new online booking system homepage

Users of the Group Study Rooms on the 1st Floor of the Library will still need to come to the Enquiry Desk to exchange their University Card for the key to the room.

Visit our online page to check availability and place your booking here.

Please note that readers with a Bodleian Readers Card will not be able to place an online booking and should email if they are interested in booking a study room.

Skype + webcam available in the group study room

We have installed Skype and a webcam on the PC in the group study room. If you would like to use these facilities (for academic purposes, not just to call your aunt in Australia!), please email us to book the room. The PC in the group study room has sound enabled, unlike the main library PCs, so can also be used for looking at audio-visual resources (again preferably for academic purposes, tempting as Star Wars Kid or those guys on the treadmills may be…).