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Library Zones

Cambridge & Chelmsford

We offer a range of study spaces at each library to meet the different needs you have at different times.

If you are being disturbed by noise on one of our Quiet or Silent floors, use our Text a Talker service.

Ground floors – Group Study – Discuss work, plan projects, share ideas
Most of our students will need to work on group projects and assessments, and our ground floors are the ideal place for this. Pods and study rooms are available for booking, or you can use the desks and PCs at any time.

Remember our libraries are for study and research. If you just want to meet up with your friends, there are other spaces outside the library where you can chat as much as you like. Don't be offended if we ask you to move elsewhere.

Food is currently not allowed in the library.

First and second floors - Quiet Study - Whisper
What do we mean by quiet? A brief, whispered conversation about your work is fine. But if you need to keep talking, you're probably disturbing others – please move to the group study area on the ground floor.

Third floors - Silent Study - Shhhh!
When we say silent, we mean silent! These floors are set aside for those of you who prefer to work on your own in silence. If you need to speak at all, please move downstairs.


Our library space at Peterborough's Guild House is for quiet study with a separate room set up for silent individual study. This means you should do your best to avoid disturbing other users. If you need to speak about some work, please whisper and keep the conversation brief.

You can always move to the cafeteria or break-out area outside the library if you need to work together on a project.

Library behaviour

We're all members of our University community, and our library rules (.pdf) encourage respect for each other and our shared spaces.

As well as keeping to the appropriate noise levels for the area you're in, we ask you to:
  • Only have mobile phone conversations in the group study zones or clearly signed areas. Even then please keep it brief and quiet so you don't disturb others.
  • Keep all your devices on silent whenever you're in the library.
  • Not sleep in the library - for safety and security reasons, the library is not an appropriate place to sleep.
  • There are areas just outside Cambridge and Chelmsford libraries where you can eat, and breakout areas on the upper floors of Peterborough's Guild House building. We recommend you take a few minutes for a break from study, and snack outside.
  • Food is currently not allowed in the library.

We have guidelines on Good Library Citizenship, which explain how we address disruptive behaviour.

Please note that the library is not a workshop or makerspace. Specialist creative space to construct/paint etc is available in faculties.

Text A Talker

If you're being disturbed by noise on one of our Quiet or Silent floors, just text us to let us know, and a member of staff will attend.

If you are being disturbed by someone eating or leaving a mess near you, feel free to alert us about this too.

At Cambridge text 07597 525917
At Chelmsford text 07935 009871
*texts are charged at your standard network rate. We won't reply to your text, but we do record the action that we take.

You can also let us know at our Help Desk on the ground floor
Page Last Reviewed: 15th October 2021 by Judith Wells.