Library services to support your studies, and information services to help you get the most out of Cambridge, are described below.

Other services at Sidney

Comb binding

We provide a comb-binding service for your assignments, dissertations, notes etc. Covers are clear plastic on the front, with blue or black leathergrain card on the back, and spine sizes are up to 330 sheets typical (80gsm) A4 paper.

All spine combs are black. If you particularly need other colours, or you have special structural requirements such as fold-out map pages, please let us know in advance.

Cost is £1.00 up to 100 pages, £2.00 up to 200 pages and £3.00 for over 200 pages (using 2 covers and 1 spine). You may pay by cash, or via your College bill, whichever you prefer. To get something bound, simply arrange to bring the pages to the Library Office during staffed hours and we'll do it as soon as we can.

The binding process can usually be completed in a few minutes. Because of the uncertainties of the pandemic situation, it might be best to book a specific date and time for the binding.

If you have any questions about this service, please don't hesitate to contact the Library staff.

The service is available only to members of Sidney Sussex College.

Medical and Natural Sciences resources

We have a battered old real skeleton (in a cupboard): ask the Librarian for the keys. There's a smart artificial skeleton (Nigel) on a stand, with a brain and a larynx nearby. Some sets of flash cards are out on the shelves, and more are available from the Library Office, along with molecular and crystal model kits.


The Library contains two of the College's multi-function printer / scanner / photocopier units, one in the Computer Suite, and one beside the Library Office. There are also paper trimmers, hole-punches and staplers, all near the entrance area on the ground floor. Please ask at the Library Office if you require anything else - the odd bit of graph paper; treasury tags; rubber bands; paper clips and so on.

Alternative study spaces

Alternative study spaces at Sidney

Please note that all details below are subject to change during the pandemic situation. Please bring any questions on study space directly to the Librarian.

The Library and Computer Suite are typically supplemented in Easter term by other College spaces. Depending on the pandemic situation in 2022, arrangements will be announced nearer the time.

In addition to normal Library rules, please respect COVID safety rules in full, and specifically:

  • You are strongly recommended to wear a face covering
  • Maintain social distancing by leaving empty those desks marked as out of use
  • Clean your space with the materials provided at the start and end of your study session. This is particularly important as afternoon turns to evening, since Housekeeping staff do not have the capacity to provide an end-of-working-day clean.
Alternative study spaces at the University

Please note that all details below are subject to change during the pandemic situation.

If none of the Sidney-based options quite meet your needs, you could consult the University Library's "Spacefinder" resource. This resource is being revised for use during the pandemic.

There are many faculty and department libraries which normally admit all members of the University, regardless of the subject of their study or research. Study in other College libraries, however, is allowed (for example, in order to consult a specific book not available for borrowing) only with the permission in advance of that College's librarian, which is unlikely to be granted during the pandemic.

In addition to other Sidney rooms, and other libraries, there are other Computer Suites managed by the University. Such a facility is sometimes called a Managed Cluster, a Managed Cluster Service / Room / Site, or an MCS. It may also be referred to as a PWF (Public Workstation Facility), a term used in previous years. See here for Information on Managed Cluster Services.

Using other libraries

Other libraries in Cambridge

Details and contacts for all the libraries associated with the University are to be found in the Cambridge Libraries Directory and the Map of Libraries.

All University members may use their own College Library and Faculty/Departmental Library, as well as the University Library. Using the University's iDiscover catalogue it is possible to locate materials held by other libraries in Cambridge. Students must, however, apply to these other libraries individually to arrange to use the materials, as each library has its own rules. Joining one Cambridge library does not automatically make you a member of all of them. In particular, students may not visit another College library unless they have permission to do so in advance from that College's librarian. You will not normally be allowed to borrow material from any other college library, but may be permitted to consult works under supervision, and / or make photocopies within normal legal limits.

Cambridge University Library

The University Library provides access to a vast array of resources. It is a legal deposit library, meaning that it is entitled to claim a copy of every publication in printed form published in the UK and Ireland. It also holds many books published outside that area, journals, maps, photographs and music and has extensive special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and other materials. In addition it subscribes, and provides access, to a vast array of electronic resources for all members of the University.

Libraries beyond Cambridge

Please note that all details below are subject to change during the pandemic situation.

Students who wish to use another university library in or near their home town during the Summer Vacation should first consult the SCONUL Summer Vacation Access web page for details on which libraries provide access. Read that page carefully, since although Cambridge is a member of SCONUL [checked 10th June 2019], it does not participate in the year-round "SCONUL Access Scheme", and if your target library believes you are applying for that, you will almost certainly be turned away.

Check in advance with your target library exactly what identification documents they require, and what access it is their policy to grant. Please do not expect borrowing rights. They may require more evidence than your University card, so you may need to contact Sidney or departmental library staff, or your DoS or Tutor, for a letter confirming that you are studying here. You may also need to present other identification documents - do please check in advance to avoid disappointment and a wasted journey.

Remember that your local public library should have access to a fully-fledged inter-library loan service, including academic titles, even if it has hardly any such titles on the shelves. The larger the library, the more likely they are to be familiar with the service, and there will almost certainly be a charge per request. Do consult us if you are thinking of making such requests, as we may just possibly still be able to help you, even if you are far from Cambridge.

University of Cambridge Careers Service

The Careers Service are impartial and can work with you from day one to explore options, connect with employers and navigate the complex job market – saving you time and maximising your employability prospects.

Whether you have no idea what to do next, a few ideas or a definite plan, they offer plenty to help you take the next step: one-to-one guidance consultations; 14 major careers events each year; an extensive programme of briefings and skill sessions; coordinated employer presentations; a free book on CVs and Applications; and a database of over 4,000 graduate-level job vacancies.

Reference management

Further information

Information on the reference styles applicable to each department can be found in the Cambridge LibGuides.

The Sidney Sussex College Librarian can also help you get started if you would like to use a reference management programme (eg EndNote, Mendeley) in your work.

Cite them right online (via University subscription)

University resources
Automatic break reminder recommended by University Occupational Health Service

Workrave: A programme which encourages you to take micropauses and rest breaks.