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OxLibris: School sessions

Information about the OxLibris scheme for local Oxfordshire state school sixth form pupils.

School sessions

Booking now closed

We are unable to run OxLibris library sessions during the 2020-21 school year because of restrictions to library capacity put in place as part of Covid-19 safety measures. If you would like more information about the scheme please contact

For more information about Bodleian Libraries visits for schools visit 

Book a session

These sessions are open to Oxfordshire state schools.  They are designed for Year 12 and 13 students who need access to academic resources for A Level coursework in subjects like English and History or for EPQ research. We can offer sessions during the University vacation in July and September 2019.  Sessions are 2-3 hours long (so they usually fill a morning or an afternoon) and groups of up to 15 students plus an accompanying member of school staff can attend.

About the sessions

Sessions for school groups will be held in college libraries in Oxford.  Schools will be matched with a college based on when they’d like to visit and how many students they want to bring. 

All Oxford colleges have an academic library for their students.  Attending a session in a college library will allow students to explore a small academic collection, browsing the shelves for material and accessing electronic resources, with the support of library staff.

Each Oxford college, and its library, is different.  Most college libraries have at least 40,000 books as well as journals and magazines across a wide range of subject areas. 

During the session, students will be able to browse books on the shelves and use library study spaces to spend time reading relevant books.  They will also be able to take turns to search for online resources on the library's PCs (most libraries will have 2-4 PCs available to use).

Library staff will be on hand to help students find their way around the library and search for relevant books using our library catalogue, SOLO.

Before the session

We will do our best to match schools with a college library on a convenient time and date, and will then introduce the teacher to the college librarian so that you can be in touch directly to make arrangements for your visit.

We find that students make the most productive use of this opportunity when they already have a specific research topic; the session is an opportunity for them to find library resources, research independently and make notes for 2 or 3 hours. If possible, we ask teachers to send us a list of research topics in advance so we can check that the college library has relevant resources, because not all colleges teach every subject.

Please ask students to bring paper and pens to take notes. A camera or smartphone is also useful for taking pictures of relevant chapters or articles, within copyright limits. They can also bring a USB to save some digital resources, or send themselves resources to an email address. Students are welcome to bring laptops to take notes, but they won’t be able to connect to the college internet network.

Students who want to plan ahead can also search the library catalogue for books held in a specific college library before the session.  For more advice on how to do this, see the section on how to search for college library resources.

Hertford College Library

Hertford College Library is based right in the centre of Oxford opposite the Bodleian Library.  It has around 45,000 books across three floors.

More information about Hertford College:

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Hertford


Hertford College Library reading room with students

Balliol College Library

Balliol College Library has around 70,000 books and is located in the centre of Oxford on Broad Street.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Balliol


Christ Church College Library

Christ Church Library is in a beautiful historic building just off St Aldate's.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Christ Church


Reading room in Christ Church Library

Harris Manchester College Library

Located just to the east of the city centre, Harris Manchester has around 50 study spaces.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Harris Manchester


Lower reading room in Harris Manchester Library

Jesus College Library

Jesus College's Library has over 40,000 books and is located in the city centre.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Jesus


Book filled shelves in Jesus College Library

Merton College Library

Merton's library is spread across two buildings in the college site.  The college is located just off Oxford's High St.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Merton


Students at desk in Merton Library

© John Cairns -

New College Library

New College has a large library with around 100,000 books and is located a few minutes' walk from the city centre.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at New College


central aisle in New College Library

Queen's College Library

Queen's College's recently refurbished library has around 50,000 books. The college is in central Oxford and accessed via the High Street.

More information about Queen's College:

Library webpage

Subjects taught at Queen's College


Student browsing shelves in Queen's College Library

St Anne's College Library

St Anne's Library is spread across two buildings, one old and one very new, and has over 100,000 books. The college is located on Woodstock Road to the north of the city centre.

More information about St Anne's College:

Library webpage

Subjects taught at St Anne's


Students at PCs in St Anne's Library

St Edmund Hall Library

St Edmund Hall's library is house in a 12th century church and has around 40,000 books.

Library webpage

Subjects taught at St Edmund Hall