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Library Essentials

Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to assist you in using the library and with finding different types of resources to include in your assignments, dissertations and projects. 

Use this guide to:                                                                                                                                       


Our libraries

City, University of London has three libraries: the Northampton Square Library, the Business Library and the Law Library.

City students can use any of the three libraries to work and study. 

See our 10 things about CityLibrary interactive presentation.

City card

Your City card is essential to access the Libraries at City.  Remember to bring it with you at all times to gain access to the library and to borrow any library materials.

Reading Lists Online

Most of the modules you will take at City will have a reading list, prepared by your lecturers, indicating the books and journal articles you need to read for the course, as well as additional readings you may find useful to learn more about the topic and to write your assignment.

You can access your reading list from your module on Moodle.  Click on the Reading lists tab in the Quick Links section.

You can also access the list from the Library homepage. Select the Reading Lists tab, then search for the module code or the module title.

Make the best use of your reading lists to find the library resources recommended for your module and to save time.

  1. If the title recommended is available as an e-book, you will find a direct link to the electronic text.  You will only need to enter your City username and password to access the full-text.
  2. Check the notes added by your lecturers, they may have indicated which chapters of the book you are expected to read.
  3. We should have online access to the journal articles added to the reading list.  Follow the links, you should be able to access and download the article from the journal website; or we may have digitised the article for your reading list, so you can download a PDF of the document.

CityLibrary Search

CityLibrary Search is a library search engine.  You can use CityLibrary Search to find information on the topic you are researching, and to locate books, e-books, journal articles, videos, and other material in the library collection at City.

We recommend using filters to limit the search results. There are also a few techniques, and search tips you could use to refine the search and make your results more relevant. Check the CityLibrary Search guide to learn more. 

See the CityLibrary Search video (5 mins) with sound and closed captions below:



If all copies of a print book that you need are already out on loan to other students, remember to use the "Request it" button to reserve a copy of book. You only need to log in with your City username and password to complete the request and select from which Library at City you want to collect the book.

When the book is returned to the library, you will receive a courtesy email to inform you that the book is ready for collection.

Top tips:

  • Ensure the Library has your correct email address and check your emails.
  • We will only keep the book for you on the hold shelf for 4 to 7 days.  If it is not collected within that period of time, the book will be automatically reserved for the next person in the queue.
  • 24 hour loan books cannot be reserved.
  • Check CityLibrary Search, we may also have an electronic copy of the book, that you can use while you wait for the print copy to be returned to the library.
  • Remember that if an item is reserved, it cannot be renewed and it has to be returned by the due date to avoid incurring library charges.

Finding a book or e-book

See the soundless video or transcript below on how to find a book or e-book using CityLibrary Search.


Finding a journal article

Journal articles are a useful source of up to date information for academic research.

See the soundless video or transcript below on finding a journal article.


Managing your library account

See the soundless video or transcript below on how to manage your Library Account.