How can the Library help you?

The Library isn’t just somewhere you can get books. It’s somewhere you can do your work on your own or with others, escape sensory overload and get some help with studying. This section of the toolkit will introduce our library and the services it can offer you.

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Sparsholt Library holds over 20,000 print resources, such as books and academic journals. We also provide students with access to a large collection of eBooks and online journal articles.

We have specialist library staff who understand autism and want to help you make the most out of your time at uni. They can help you with finding, choosing and using library resources for your assignments and projects amongst many other things.

You can go to the Library Welcome Desk to book a 1:1 session with a Librarian, a quiet room to work in, or an appointment with DigiEd who can help you use Assistive Technology.


When is the Library open?

In term time the library is staffed 08:30-18:00 (8.30am-6pm)Monday – Thursday, and 08:30-17:00 (8.30am-5pm) on Fridays.

University Centre Sparsholt students can have 24 hour access to the Library by using a key fob. You will learn more about this during your Induction. Ask at the Library Welcome Desk or email our helpful Library team:

How many books can I borrow?

You can borrow up to 10 items at any one time.

How long can I borrow books for? 

Very popular books can be borrowed for 1 week. Other books can be borrowed for 3 weeks.

(If your Needs Assessment recommends extended Library loans, discuss this with HE support and Library staff)

Can I reserve a book?

If a book is on loan to another library user, contact the Library team and the book will be reserved for you. You will receive an automated email when the book is available for collection.

What happens if I do not return a book?

You are trusted to return your books on time or renew them if you need to keep them for longer.

You will be sent reminder emails when the book is due back and overdue, but if you do not respond to overdue notices you will be charged for the cost of replacing the book(s).

If you are unable to return your books on their due date or going on work placement, please contact the Library:  We are always happy to renew books!

As well as access to books and journals, the Library also has computers and photocopiers/printers for students to use.



How could this affect me?

Many students in the Autism&Uni surveys mentioned the library as somewhere they really enjoyed being, whether they needed some quiet space to get away from it all or find some help or just to get some work done.

During opening times, our helpful Library staff are always happy to help you- just ask at the front Welcome desk

Explain you have Autism if you feel comfortable doing so- our Librarians are very used to supporting students with Autism.

Library staff are not just there to lend books – they can:

  • Help you find information in books, magazines, ebooks and online journals
  • Reset your college password if you have forgotten it
  • Reset your OpenAthens password if you have forgotten it
  • Provide 1-2-1 support, guiding you through ebooks and online journals, searching online journals, and login issues.
  • Show you how to use the printer/photocopier, and top-up your print credits
  • Lend you noise cancelling headphones
  • Help you book a quiet study space

If you need to borrow noise-cancelling headphones while you are in the Library- please ask one of our Library staff members.

Can I book a quiet space?

Yes, the Library quiet study room is bookable for individuals or small groups during staffed hours. To make a booking, please ask at the Library Welcome Desk or email

Bookings can be made up to 1 working day in advance, for a maximum of 2 hours. If no-one else has booked the room after your session, you can extend your booking.


What to do next?

Make an appointment with your academic librarian

Practical tips

How do I contact the Library team?

There are several ways you can contact the Library staff:


Or Phone: 01962 797232

Or Visit the Library during staffed hours


How do I make sure I can find a quiet place to work in the Library?

If you need it to be very quiet in the Library- try using your key fob and go later in the day. Only University Centre Sparsholt students and staff can access the Library after 6pm.

Or ask for noise-cancelling headphones

Or book a quiet room.


How do I find books in the Library?

There are a number of ways to find books in the Library. We will suggest a few of the best methods here, but you will find your own ways too.

Search the Library catalogue – it is a powerful search engine, holding details of all books, magazines and eBooks held in the Library.  To search the library catalogue, go to (you’ll be prompted to enter your computer username and password)

Browse the shelves – you can use signs and labels to find the different areas

Ask the Library team – we are all happy to help you.


How do I access Sparsholt College ebooks and online resources?

To use any of the Library online resources off-campus, you will need an OpenAthens login.

OpenAthens gives you secure, easy access to online library resources with a single username and password.

At the start of your course, you will receive an email containing your OpenAthens username and an activation code to create your own password. If you do not receive your login details, send an email to the Library and we will be happy to help:


Questions to think about

Do you:

  • know where the Library is?
  • know when you can use the Library?
  • know how to contact a member of the Library staff?
  • know how to find the books and journal articles you need?
  • know how to ask for noise cancelling headphones or how to book a quiet room?
  • know how to ask Library staff to help find books and resources for your assignments?
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