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Using the MMLL Library

Current information about available library services and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The MMLL Library is currently closed due to the Coronavirus lockdown and all staff are working from home. Please contact us at with any questions!

The University Library is now offering zero contact services, which include a Click & Collect service for borrowing books and a Scan & Deliver service for requesting scans of print materials:

Recovery planning is currently taking place to assess which services we can offer to readers in Michaelmas Term 2020. We will keep this page updated with any developments.


Who is the MMLL Library for?

All members of the university are welcome to use the MMLL Library, but we particularly exist to support teaching and learning in European languages, literatures and cultures, in linguistics and in film studies. We have over 115,000 books and over 5,000 films, as well as European magazines and newspapers. We have a small collection of scholarly print journals, but provide online access to a much larger number of e-books and e-journals.

The Library also includes a German research collection, the Beit Library collection.


What resources do I need and where can I find them?

For each course you study, you should be provided with a reading list via Moodle, which will give you a list of core texts and readings you ought to familiarise yourself with.

You can find these resources by using University’s library catalogue, iDiscover. This is a powerful database, which searches every library in the University and colleges and which contains both electronic and physical resources.

You can find a LibGuide for using iDiscover here and the UL has produced a number of useful videos for getting the most out of iDiscover, some of which you can see below.



There are 7 iDiscover terminals in the library which you can use to search the catalogue – 5 on the first floor and 2 on the second floor.

If you are having difficulty using iDiscover or if you want advice on search strategies, ask a member of library staff for assistance.

MMLL Librarians can also advise you on using subject-specific databases to find other resources that don’t appear in iDiscover but which the University provides access to.


How do I find an item on the shelves in the MMLL Library?

Almost every book and DVD in the MMLL Library is available on the open shelves (though we also have a small number of very rare and very old items in the Reserve Room.) Use iDiscover to find the classmark of the item you’re looking for.

Once you’ve got the classmark, check the first element of it (which should be made up of one to four capital letters, sometimes followed by a number.) This letter tells you what section the item is in (so all books in the French section have classmarks beginning with F, and all DVDs have classmarks beginning with VID, for example.)

You can use the library map to find each section (zoomed-in version available here and you can find more copies in the library itself) and within them books are ordered consecutively by classmark.

Library Map


How do I find space to work?

There is desk-space for more than 100 people to work in the MMLL Library at the same time, so it should usually be easy to find a seat. If you have mobility issues and need an adjustable chair, we have dedicated seating on the first floor.

We also have beanbags which you are welcome to use, but please be considerate and don’t leave them blocking fire exits or access routes.

You’re welcome to use a laptop in the library, but if you would rather use a library computer then we have 12 PCs in the computer room on the first floor. Each of them is loaded with the full suite of assistive software Cambridge has licences for. We also have three Grab & Go laptops available for students to use in the Library.

If you like to listen to music whilst working, that’s absolutely fine but please use headphones. If you don’t have your own, we can lend you them (as well as many other useful peripherals) from the Information Desk.

If you’re looking for specialised workspace (either inside the MMLL Library, or elsewhere) you can use SpaceFinder to customise your search and find a workspace that is perfect for you.


Do you offer printing? Scanning? Photocopying?

The answers to those questions are yes, yes and yes.

All of these services can be accessed via the Multi-Functional Device (MFD) outside the entrance to the library. Scan in with your university card. Scanning to email is free; printing and photocopying are charged at a rate of 5p per sheet for black and white and 20p per sheet for colour. You can top up your printer credit here.

The printer is called MMLL_FindMe. To configure your laptop to print from it, follow the instructions here.

If you need assistance using the MFD, ask at the Information Desk.


What else can I do in the library?

We want the MMLL Library to be a safe, welcoming place and for students to feel they can come here for things other than an impending essay crisis (though we can help with that too, obviously.)

So we offer a range of activities and resources to make your time at Cambridge as relaxing as we can.

  • We have a selection of Wellbeing books, to help you manage stress, learn more about yourself and provide self-care.
  • We have graphic novels in a variety of languages. We're actively developing this collection, so if you'd like to recommend a graphic novel (or any other item you think we ought to have), fill in our request form.
  • We have a hot drinks machine, providing a range of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages to get you through the day. You’re welcome to take cups in to the library, just put a lid on it!
  • We offer yoga classes on Wednesdays at lunchtime. Everybody is welcome!
  • We’ve got a range of film and current affairs magazines in all the languages taught in the MMLL Faculty, which you are welcome to read in the library.
  • We have a shelf of withdrawn and donated books seeking good homes. Please make a donation – everything you give pays to keep the MMLL Library open later in the evenings.
  • Or just take a seat out the front of the library, relax and chat with your friends.


Keep in touch