Clare College Cambridge

Using the Forbes Mellon Library

Michaelmas Term 2021 and Lent Term 2022 opening hours: 

Monday 4th October to Friday 3rd December 2021 and Monday 17th January to Friday 18th March 2022: 9am to 12 midnight every day

Christmas vacation opening hours:

Monday 6th December 2021 to Friday 14th January 2022 : Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm (closed weekends and during Christmas vacation closure)

Christmas vacation closure: from 5pm Thursday 23rd December 2021 until 9am Tuesday 4th January 2022

 The Forbes Mellon Library continues to operate library services for all members of Clare College, and we continue to adhere to College policies and follow University and government guidance.  We recommend that library users wear a face covering at all times in the Library, for the safety of other library users and library staff.  We are retaining COVID protocols including hand sanitisation, social distancing (1m+) and ventilation, and we will continue to review risk assessments and protocols on a regular basis. Further details of services and guidance for use of the Library are available on the Forbes Mellon Library Moodle site.  Library staff welcome enquiries from all members of Clare College:

Services for 2021/2022 academic year include an enquiry service (in-person/phone/email/online), provision of study spaces (no booking required) and shared MCS computers. Members of College are welcome to borrow library books via self-service Browsing to Borrow (call into the Library, no booking required) and via Request to Collect (email to The College Library continues to provide services to students working remotely, including supporting access to electronic resources and where possible lending College Library books via a postal service within the UK. The University Library and Faculty/Departmental libraries continue to offer a range of in-person and remote services

How to find a book:

  • Search the catalogue for the University libraries,  iDiscover ,to check if a book is in stock.
  • The record will show the classmark and will also show whether the book is available to borrow.
  • The Library floor-plan above the self-service borrowing terminal will show you where the books with this classmark are located.

 Borrowing and returning:

  • All books can be borrowed except those marked not for loan or reference only.
  • Students can borrow up to 20 items (books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks).
  • The initial loan period is 1 week for undergraduates and 28 days for postgraduates.
  • After this the loan will continue to automatically renew unless the item has been requested by another student.

How to borrow:

  • Use the self-service borrowing terminal next to the main enquiry desk.
  • Scan the barcode number on your University card to display your reader record.
  • Place the item(s) you wish to borrow on the glass plate.
  • The loan(s) will register on your Library record.  
  • If you have any problems borrowing books via the self-service borrowing terminal please speak to a member of library staff.

What to do if you have lost your University card:

Requests for replacement University cards should now be ordered online. Please see the Porters section on the Clare website or follow the link

How to return:

  • Return books by putting them in one of the two book return boxes or return them to a member of staff.
  • There is a book return box inside the library building at the foot of the Bennett Room stairs, off the library foyer. There also a return box outside the building, beneath the library office window.

NB: Please do not return borrowed books to the trolleys in the library or to the shelves.

Lost books:

  • If you think that you may have lost a book, please speak to a member of Library staff so that we can look out for it as well. If you are certain that a book is lost then we may charge a replacement fee.

NB: If for any reason you are unable to renew or return your books please email and library staff will help.

Recalling a book that is on loan:

  • This can be done from iDiscover
  • On its return you will be notified by email.
  • Please then collect from the library office within 4 days.

How to suggest a purchase:

  • We welcome recommendations for book purchases from students.
  • If we do not have a book that you need please fill in a Book Recommendation Form online


Privacy Statement:

Privacy Statement for  non-Cambridge staff/students and members of the public, who are users of the Forbes Mellon Library.  For members of the College please see Data Protection section of the College website for further information on how the College holds and processes your information.