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Using the Library

Customer charter

We are committed to providing high-quality support to those using SOAS Library for research, study and lifelong learning. We are enhancing the learning environment to provide a more user-focussed and modern service to meet your needs.

This statement sets out the Library’s commitment to service delivery and explains how we can work with you to provide the best possible learning experience.


  • We will treat you with respect and courtesy at all times and in a fair and consistent way.
  • We ask you to treat library staff and fellow users with equal respect and courtesy.
  • We will endeavour to minimise problems and respond to complaints diplomatically and promptly


We will provide a variety of learning environments
  • With and without computer workstations
  • For group and individual study
  • Including clearly marked silent study areas
We ask you to respect our facilities and other users by:
  • Not smoking (e.g.cigarettes, e-cigarettes) or vaping in the Library
  • Not eating in the Library
  • Bringing only non-alcoholic drinks, with lids to control spills
  • Not disturbing others through the use of mobile telephones or loud conversation
  • Not reserving study places
  • Placing all rubbish in the bins provided

We will clear and tidy study areas daily

Services and collections

We train our staff to provide a high-quality user-focussed service and to help you make the most of your time at SOAS. We will provide a range of training opportunities and publications to enable you to use our resources and develop lifelong learning skills. We publicise our services and opening hours and will keep you informed of changes.

We provide a range of facilities to support your use of the Library including photocopiers, computers, media equipment and self-issue machines. We ask you to treat these facilities with respect and to follow operating instructions.

We will develop and manage collections of printed, non-printed and electronic materials as set out in our collection development policy. We welcome your suggestions to improve our collections.

You are asked to treat all printed and non-printed materials with due respect and care. We ask you to observe copyright regulations for both printed and electronic information.

We will provide a central information service which acts as your initial gateway to the Library. Where necessary, more detailed enquiries will be referred to the relevant specialist.


We aim to provide a safe environment within the Library. We encourage you to look after your personal property at all times and not to leave possessions unattended.

We ask you to carry your SOAS identity or library membership card with you at all times and to show it to library staff on request.

Special needs

We are committed to ensuring that all users can make full use of our services and facilities.

We offer as much help and support as possible to any user who has a disability, a specific learning difficulty or dyslexia. We are improving our services and are undertaking various initiatives to develop our provision further. See Disability Support for more information.

We recognise the needs of part-time students and distance learners and will respond to them accordingly.

We can provide a better service for you if you are able to contact us in advance about any special requirements.

Comments and suggestions

We provide a comments and suggestions area and email address ( and welcome your feedback. We will use these to help us improve our service. We will reply to signed comments within one week