Guide to Library Services


The library aims to provide users with access to relevant and timely information resources in a helpful and accessible learning environment. We are committed to remaining an up-to-date, well-managed and well-stocked theological resource centre that demonstrates a high quality of service, is responsive to users’ needs and encourages learning, research and personal development within Sarum College and beyond.

The Collection

The library has a collection of over 40,000 books, arranged in Dewey Decimal order. The main library houses books in the first half of the Dewey sequence. The rest of the books are in library rooms 2 and 3.

Our stock covers philosophy, psychology, theology, ethics, spirituality, liturgy, world religions and sociology. We also have a large ‘stack’ of historical books, journals, sermons and pamphlets as well as a number of special collections.

The library subscribes to about 50 journals. These are available for use in the library only, but one article from any one issue may be photocopied. Current copies are displayed on a rack in the main library and recent back copies are shelved nearby. The list of current journals is available on the journals and e-journals page.

The main library has a newspaper stand containing the Catholic Herald, Church Times, Church of England News, The Tablet and the Methodist Recorder as well as other newsletters.

Using the library

Students of Sarum College are entitled to use all the library’s facilities during the length of your course and you will be issued with a membership card at the beginning of the course.

If you are not a member of staff or a student, you are welcome to join the library as an external member. There is a charge for this.

Attending a conference or staying as a B&B guest at Sarum College does not entitle you to borrow books. However, you are welcome to use the library for reference purposes during your stay and to use the guest computer.

The library is usually staffed Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5pm, with occasional extended hours on ministry training weekends, TQQ Tuesdays and during MA residentials but you may use the Library outside these hours as long as the College Reception desk is open. Please ask for the library door code.

We are happy to receive requests for books or information by post, phone, fax or e-mail. If you are unable to visit regularly, we can post books to you for a small charge.

Library Catalogue

The entire library collection is available on the computer catalogue, which is easy to search by typing in an author’s surname, a title or a keyword.  Two Catalogue and Self-issue Stations are permanently available in the library and staff will show you how these work.

You can use the online catalogue to check whether a book is in stock and available to borrow, reserve an item that is currently on loan, renew your overdue books, and email Library staff with any queries directly from the website.


External members of the library may borrow up to 10 books at a time, for up to 8 weeks.  Most students are allowed to borrow up to 15 books at a time.

The library operates a self-issues system.  You are responsible for the issue and return of your own books and it is important that items are not removed without first having been issued on the computer. Staff will show you how to do this. Please remember to bring your library card with you every time you need to borrow a book.

Books may be renewed up to 3 times by phone, post or email as long as they are not required by another borrower. If you would like to access your library record from the website in order to renew your books online, please ask for your PIN.

Please return all books as soon as you have finished with them, or if asked. We do not charge fines for overdue items but overdue reminders are sent out at intervals and if you fail to respond to repeated reminders, you will be invoiced for the cost of replacements. Books may be returned by post but please parcel them securely.


Some books from current booklists are shelved on the Special Reserve Shelves near the reference section in the main library. To enable as many students as possible to use these in-demand books, they are usually issued for one or two week loan or may be for reference only. Lists of library books for each course are available on SarumLearn.

Reserving a Book

If the book you require is on loan, you can request it via the ‘reserve’ button on the full catalogue record, by filling in the details on a request form in the library or by emailing Library staff will then recall it for you.  If the book is available on the shelves, please email the library.

Inter-library Loans

If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we can borrow books and obtain copies of articles from other libraries in the UK and abroad. A small charge is made for this service.

Finding Information

Library staff are happy to help you to find the information you need.  Please ask or fill in an information form if the library is unattended, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

We hope you will enjoy using the Library. Please let us know if you have any difficulties or if there is anything you think we could do to improve our service to you