Bookable individual study spaces

Bookable individual study spaces will return for the January assessment period.  This year, we have expanded the service to include spaces at the Innovation Centre Library as well as the usual spaces at Northampton Square and Cass libraries.

Students can book a space to study for up to three hours a day, a maximum of four times a week. Each session can be booked up to one week in advance.  The full terms and conditions are given in the booking process.

All the spaces will be bookable Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm, and midday – 6pm on weekends, but the different libraries are operating different dates for bookings (see below and on the bookings pages for details).

The spaces will be clearly marked so you can find the place you booked. And remember, if a space is empty then you can study there without a booking, but you will need to make way when someone with a booking arrives.

Northampton Square Library

The bookable spaces are on Level 5 and can be found on the Spencer Street side just beyond the help desk.  These spaces are bookable 8th – 26th January inc. Bookings will open on 1st January.

Cass Learning Resource Centre

There are six spaces opposite the Financial Resources Zone, and four in the quiet are of the Library. These spaces are bookable 2nd – 19th January inc. Bookings will open on 26th December.

Innovation Centre Library

There are bookable spaces available on the first floor, near the Library Service Desk.
These spaces are bookable 8th – 26th January inc. Bookings will open on 1st January.

Some of the bookable individual study spaces at Northampton Square Library waiting to be booked


Christmas from the Archive

Whether through tradition, faith or common experience, Christmas is a time when family, friends and strangers come together to celebrate, remember, and look forwards with optimism to the new year approaching.

Never more is this optimism tested than when suffering hardships such as poverty, illness, or experiencing and surviving conflict: and sadly the latter has proved particularly challenging throughout history, throughout the world.

Photo of children at a Christmas party during an air raid
Christmas party sheltering from an air raid in World War II

The photo included, from our Archive, shows children having a Christmas party- but look closely at some of their faces and you begin to sense it’s no ordinary scene. The photo was taken during World War II and the young people featured are sheltering from the horrors of an air raid in the basement of what we assume is College Building (the annotations on the reverse of the photo are limited).

Many higher education colleges and universities closed during the war, but the Institute carried on, determined that normal life should continue as much as possible for everyone involved: one example of this spirit of determination being that the timetable was altered to allow students to get home safely before nightfall heralded the inevitable menace of bombings and gunfire.

The Northampton Institute (City’s previous name) played a vital role supporting both the war effort and the local community. Various armed forces were stationed here, including the RAF- and there are entries in the Alumni magazine of the time, the N’ION, detailing the Morse Code classes that students were invited to attend.

Among the other entries in the N’ION include stories from those escaping the terrors of internment camps, lists of alumni who gave their lives in defence of the freedoms many of us now take for granted, and a passionate editorial outlining the importance of the National Union of Students coming together to fight for a hopeful future based on respect, equality and above all peace: a sentiment still utterly relevant today.

Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful to new year to all.

(If you know anything more about the photo, or persons featured, we’d love to hear from you)




The most wonderful films of the year

Christmas is a great time to bring together everyone, to wrap up warm, open a big tin of sweets and enjoy a cracking film. Whether you like modern comedies or classic weepies, we’re got something for you.

shooting star

Elf [BoB]

“Its hilarious”


Muppet’s Christmas Carol [BoB]

“It’s just so jolly! Love the songs… love Gonzo and Kermit, generally… it gets me in the spirit!”

Christmas with the Kranks [BoB]

“It highlights commercialism and the work involved, but shows the true meaning of community and sharing at the end. We are better and stronger together”.

A Christmas Story [BoB]

“This 1983 holiday classic about a working class family in the American Midwest struggling through Christmas in the 1940s has become an institution in the canon of American films.”

Snowman [BoB] 

“A happy/cosy time with my children”.

“It’s too sad really but pretty cold”.

Home Alone [BoB]

“It’s a classic, ’nuff said”.

The Family Stone [BoB]

“Very relatable when you have to visit your OH’s relatives at Christmas”.

Anything 80 or 90s with a shopping scene at Bloomingdales or Saks

Nightmare before Christmas [BoB]

“I went to see it in the cinema when I was little and loved the songs”.

Meet Me In St Louis [DVD]

“It’s a sweet, happy film, with memorable characters and the famous song ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas'”.

The Wizard of Oz [BoB] 

“What’s not to like?”

A Chrismas Carol [BoB], Oliver [BoB], Mary Poppins, Get Santa, The Santa Clause

“Juz love em!”

Trading Places [DVD]

“It is set at Christmastime but does not focus purely on Christmas, and it is very entertaining but has a serious message that is very relevant to our current times.”

Scrooge [BoB]

“How wonderful”

It’s a Wonderful Life [DVD]

“Makes me cry”

Gremlins [BoB]

“Makes me scared”. Chosen twice.

Disney’s Christmas Carol

“It was always on during Xmas, it reminds me of my childhood!”

Love Actually [BoB]

Samantha loves this film. She “has a detailed list of reasons why”. Another member of staff loves the scene with sneaky love rat Alan Rickman buying some jewelry in a high end shop up west, “best scene in a Christmas mover ever – handsdown”.


This year (2017) the Northampton Square Library will be open 27th – 29th December 10 am – 6 PM for self-service and reference only use. Check Library Services website for more information on library opening times.

Have we missed anything? What’s your favourite festive film?

Revising for your exams or studying over the Christmas break?

We can confirm our opening times for the holiday period.

Northampton Square Library
From Monday 18th December to Friday 22nd December the library will be operating vacation opening hours of 9am to 10pm with reference and self-service after 5pm.

The library will be closed from Saturday 23rd December to Tuesday 26th December inclusive.

We will be open between Wednesday 27th December and Friday 29th December from 10am to 6pm (reference and self-service only).

The library will be closed Saturday 30th December 2017 to Monday 1st January inclusive.

Term time opening hours resume on Tuesday 2nd January. From Monday 8th January, 24-hour opening will begin and run until Friday 26th January.

From the 27th December until the end of 24-hour opening, access will only be available to City University students and staff.

Cass Learning Resource Centre
The library will close at 5pm on Friday 22nd December and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January at 8.30am.

24/7 opening will run from 2nd January at 8.30am until Friday 19th January.

During this time, access will only be available to City University students and staff.

City Law School Libraries
The law libraries at Northampton Square and Gray’s Inn Place will close at 5pm on Friday 22nd December and will re-open with usual hours on Tuesday 2nd January.

24/7 Opening
To help support you during the exam period Northampton Square Library will be open 24/7 from 8:30am on Monday 8th January until midnight Friday 26th January

Cass Learning Resource Centre will be open 24/7 from Tuesday 2nd January until Friday 19th January.
Before travelling in, please check the opening times at each site.students in silent study spaces

Library system downtime 19th-20th December

We are upgrading our library systems overnight Tuesday 19th – Wednesday 20th December.  As a result you may experience intermittent periods of downtime where you are unable to:

  • login to online resources
  • see book availability through CityLibrary Search
  • request items, or
  • login to your CityLibrary Account to renew items.

Please plan ahead to conduct research and manage your account ahead of this period.

Getting to Know CityLibrary: competition winners announced!

Back in September we launched our Getting to Know CityLibrary competition with some fantastic prizes up for grabs: and, excitingly, we can now reveal who our lucky winners are!

Photograph of CityWolf and some prizes (study skills books)
CityWolf with some of the prizes


So congratulations to:

Brigi Fijo: winner of the top prize, a free day pass to CitySport!

Taking home Library Study Packs full of fantastic books and goodies:

  • Lara Physant Murdoch
  • Tom Jenkins
  • Helena Hicks
  • Savvas Soteriou
  • Zin Tun
  • Marwa Sharif
  • Hirva Hingu
  • Najam-Us-Samad Anjum
  • Tom Peri
Photograph of competition entry cards and prizes.
Competition entry cards and prizes

And finally, claiming £10 Print Credit:

  • Nystha Baishya
  • Clarence Tang
  • Jasmine Turner
  • Yulia Sharkova
  • Nithesh Vairavan

Thanks to everyone who took part, we had hundreds of entries- watch out for more competitions and quizzes in the new year!

Law Resources: JustCite

What is JustCite?

JustCite is a legal search engine and citator that indexes and cross references case law and legislation from the UK, Ireland, and other common law jurisdictions. It does not provide full text results, however it provides links to full text content on other databases, such as Westlaw and LexisLibrary.

Why is JustCite useful?

If you don’t know whether to search a case on Westlaw, Lexis, or another database, you can start your research on JustCite.

All on one screen, you can see where a case has been reported and which of these reports City provides access to; you get a list of parallel citations; and you can understand immediately which is the most authoritative citation in the case’s history.

As a plus, JustCite also shows you how a case has been treated subsequently.

How do I log in?

Select JustCite from the databases list, and log in using your City username and password. You then need to click on the “Sign in” button on the top right hand side of the screen, and from there select “Academic – Athens Sign In” (please see screenshots below).

Now select “City, University of London” from “Find your organisation”. You might need to insert your City username and password another time.

First steps using JustCite

Let’s say you are looking for the following case:

Lucasfilm ltd v Ainsworth

Type the 2 party names into the search bar and hit the green button. From the list of results, select the case.

An overview of the whole case will be shown: there is a short summary of the case, the key cases considered, eventual recent articles published about it, the legislation and the EU information considered, and full text links to the actual transcripts or report(s).

On the right of the screen, there is a list of parallel citations. The most authoritative citation is pointed out by a yellow arrow.

In order to see if the full text of the judgment is available through library resources, click on the citation (e.g., on “Law Reports” under the “Supreme Court of England” headline), and select the database of your choice from the drop down list. In this instance, you can see the full-text is available both on LexisLibrary and Westlaw.

Note: To link through to LexisLibrary records please ensure that you have opened and logged into LexisLibrary first.

Also, when clicking through to a Westlaw record, please choose the Athens link rather than the home institution link:

Need an in-depth guide?

If you need more information and want to make the best out of JustCite, please get a “Getting Started” guide in Gray’s Inn Place Library or the Innovation Centre Library. Ask the staff at the Library Service Desk if you can’t find one.

The specials’ time of year

For some Christmas means one thing: Christmas themed TV specials. Nothing brings people together better watching than sitting around the box watching emergency births, surprise reunions and timely snow falls.

You can research the TV of Christmas past with this selection of excellent TV chosen by library staff.

Christmas crackers

Black Mirror White Christmas [BoB]

“This is such a cool series about technology and society in the future, this one is especially great if you need to get away from the sugar of Christmas !!”

“It twists a dark, compelling, and unsettling story around Christmas and technology”.

Extras Christmas Special

Arrested Development – the Christmas episode ‘Afternoon Delight’ [BoB]

“Whilst not the best ever episode of the show it has the key ingredients of a dysfunctional family, a bad Christmas party, and awkward moments, all put together with the running jokes that the series is famous for”

The Blackadder Christmas Special [BoB]

“It turns Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on its head and it hilarious”.

Knowing Me, Knowing Yule… with Alan Partridge [BoB]

“Love everything about this”

Ab Fab

“I like the Christmas special, the one where Patsy tries a little Turkey”

Peep Show Seasonal Beatings [BoB]

“I love that Peep Show where Mark’s parents come to them and Superhans goes as well.”

Family fun

Thomas and friends Ho Ho Snowman

“A lot going on in this one. Very deep”

Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special [BoB]

“It’s just so nice. At first. Then it’s hilarious”

Morecambe and Wise, Only fools and Horses, Gavin and Stacey

“Just love em!”

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

A festive glitterball competition

Worlds Strongest Man

“Not a Christmas themed show but something we would watch every year as a family”. All them glistening, oily muscles, oh don’t.


Cold cut classics

Royal Family

“No idea if it’s still going  but I’ve always liked their Christmas Specials- mainly because it caters to the humour of both my parents, which makes it an easy one to watch as a family, which is rather lovely.”

It is still going. Recently one of the younger characters announced his engagement.

University Challenge Christmas Specials and Professor Higglespoon [sic], Ab Fab Christmas special, Only Fools and Horses when Del Boy falls down the bar, Year Wipe etc

“Just love ’em”

Morecambe and Wise

“Still find them funny even when they are repeated many times”

The Tractate Middoth [BoB]

“Have wanted to see if for a few Christmasses now but been unable to because my Christmas companions have thought of it, a funny name, but I absolutely love the book. I’m looking forward to getting a big plate of cheese, a well aired Burgundy and watching this one day”.


This year (2017) the Northampton Square Library will be open 27th – 29th December 10 am – 6 PM for self-service and reference only use. Check Library Services website for more information on library opening times.

What’s your favourite Christmas shows? Tell us in the comments below.

New Resource: Bloomsbury Popular Music

The Library now provides access to Bloomsbury Popular Music a database which includes the entire Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, the 33 1/3 series and an expanding range of scholarly books

Screenshot of Bloomsbury Popular music

Database features include:

  • Search, browse and filter content by music genre, artist name, topic, and country
  • Artist Pages containing curated links to relevant content for each artist
  • World Map enabling users to navigate to books and articles covering a particular country or region
  • Timeline of Popular Music showing dates of all the albums covered in the 33 1/3 series, plus an overview of contextual events in musical and political history, with links to relevant encyclopedia articles
  • Related Content links on every content page makes it easy to discover relevant material
  • Intuitive, user-friendly interface for desktop, tablet and mobile
  • Easy to cite, share, and print content

Screenshot Bloomsbury

This resource will be of particular interest to students, academics and researchers in disciplines such as music, ethnomusicology, media, cultural studies, sociology and journalism.

You can access Bloomsbury Popular Music via the CityLibrary Search or our A-Z database list.

If you have any questions or comments about this resource please email


What to see in London this Christmas

London is one of the prettiest cities at any time of year. At Christmas it is especially gorgeous.

We asked library staff for their favourite bits of this world class city and got some interesting results. From Handsome Hampstead to finding spiritual solace in the big shops up west, this city’s got something for everything.


Lights in Central London

Central London

“Very lively, lots of lights that cheers me up”

The lighting of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

“Christmas is not a big deal in my family and never has been, but I attended this a few years ago with someone new to London, and it was such a nice festive feeling of community. You can bring your own flask of mulled wine too!”



Festive markets


“I love to go to some of the interesting Christmas events and markets and soak up the atmosphere, discover something new and find unusual Christmas presents”.

German Christmas Markets!

“Wherever they are! I love all the tat. I don’t buy much but I love all the random stuff that comes out at this time of year, and drinking a bit of gluwein and a hot dog whilst looking at all the stuff is great fun”.

Craft markets and going to musicals

“Love ’em”

The Southbank, London

“The lights, the Christmas market and events. It’s always magical at night”.



“Not a clue, I have never spent Christmas in London! I do want to try the iceskating this year though!”

“Canada water ice rink. Best in London”



The big department stores

“I just like it – but not when they are too busy”

“Visit the large department stores – Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason, Liberty to buy a tree decoration”

Fortnum & Mason

“Every year I treat myself to a select few items from the food hall, like preserves or biscuits or chutney”

Oxford Street

“Love the Steel drum band on Oxford Street, Christmas sales”



Out and about in nature

Churches and cathedrals

“I find going into religious buildings at Christmastime, and listening to the music that is made in them, very uplifting”.

The Heath
“A good walk on Hampstead Heath on boxing day is a great way to make room for some more mince pies”.

“I also like to walk in Epping Forest”.


Home comforts


“East London – where I live – and  the Strand. I like to see how East London changes over Christmas, it gives you an idea of how different and multicultural that part of town is. The Strand is always beautiful and they are all light up with musicals signs and xmas lights”


“Stay in for a nice rest”


“Sharing a warm Christmas pudding and brandy creme with Colin”



This year (2017) the Northampton Square Library will be open 27th – 29th December 10 am – 6 PM for self-service and reference only use. Check Library Services website for more information on library opening times.

What’s you favourite place in London at Christmas? Tell us below in the comments or tag us in your instagram posts or use the hashtag #CityLibraryXmas