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Our services: Study Spaces: Bill Bryson Library

Study Spaces at Bill Bryson Library

At Bill Bryson Library, our study spaces include individual and group spaces, study rooms and designated spaces for Postgraduate students.

Study Zones in the Library

The Library provides a range of study environments so you can choose the one most suitable for your needs. Please be considerate of other users and help us maintain the described noise level in each area. 

Use the tabs below to find out more about each study zone and where they are in the building. 

Collaborative study 

Suitable for group work and discussions at a normal volume, with moveable wipe boards available for use. 

Bookable Group Study Rooms are available but are not soundproof. They are suitable for group work and discussions at a normal volume. 

Lidded drinks and cold food are allowed in these areas.


  • Level 1 - North and South Wing 
  • Bookable group study rooms 
  • There are also collaborative study spaces available in the Teaching and Learning Centre

Quiet, individual study 

Low background noise levels rather than silent. Please keep conversations to a minimum. 

  • Turn off mobile phone alerts
  • If you need to answer your phone, please move to one of the stairwells
  • Be considerate when using laptops with sound – use headphones and make sure others can’t hear
  • Lidded drinks and cold food are allowed in these areas.

Bookable Individual Study Rooms are available for single person use. Please note, they are not soundproof.  

You can use our Study Booths on Level 2 (opposite the Help and Information Desk) if you need to speak to participate in an online lecture. Please keep conversation levels low and use headphones. 

If you need to work in a group or have a longer conversation, please use the Collaborative Study Area on Level 1 or book a Group Study Room.  


This applies to the following areas: 

  • Level 1 – East Wing (Atrium) 
  • All areas on Levels 2, 3 and 4
  • Bookable individual study rooms on all Levels, including Disability Support Rooms 

Silent study 

For those of you who prefer to study on your own with no noise around you. 

  • Work silently, including when using computers or laptops
  • Turn off mobile phone alerts
  • If you need to answer your phone, please move away from the silent study area
  • Make sure no sound from your computer/laptop/personal devices can be heard by others
  • Please don’t eat in this area out of consideration to others.

All study spaces in our silent study zone at Bill Bryson Library are bookable. 


Reporting noise or other issues in the Library 

We ask all our users to be considerate of others and maintain described noise levels in each area of the Library.  

If you think others are being too loud or misusing a space, you can contact us through our live chat service between Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm to reach staff based in the building who will be able to investigate the issue. Outside these times, please speak to Library or security staff at our Help and Information Desk on Level 2. 

You can choose to chat with us online anonymously but remember to tell us where you are and we’ll aim to get there as soon as possible.  

Visit our website for more details on our live chat service and support in the Library.

Non-bookable spaces

We have a variety of non-bookable study spaces available throughout our opening times at Bill Bryson Library, including:

  • individual study spaces (available on all floors)
  • group study spaces (Level 1 North and South Wing)
  • spaces with PC access (Level 2, 3 and 4 East Wing) 
  • spaces with docking stations (Level 2 East Wing)
  • Postgraduate Room (Level 4 West Wing)

If you’re leaving your desk for longer than 30 minutes, please take all your personal belongings with you and leave the desk clear for the next person to use. 

We do not take any responsibility for items left unattended in the Library and suggest you keep valuable items with you at all times.

Bookable spaces at Bill Bryson Library 

The following bookable spaces are available at Bill Bryson Library. To help you find them when you visit, we’ve included brief information on how to get to them, photo guides, and our floor maps will help you to see where the areas are in the building. 

Please only sit in these bookable areas if you have pre-booked your space. 

Type of bookable space Location Finding these areas (photo guides)
Quiet, individual study

Level 3
North, South and West Wings

Bookable area via Main Stairs
Bookable area via Central Stairs

Bookable area via lift

Silent study Level 1
West Wing

Silent study via Main Stairs
Silent study via lift

PCs and docking stations  Level 1 and Level 3
West Wing

See Silent Study guides above
Level 3 PCs via Main Stairs

Level 3 PCs via lift

Postgraduate Research students
(Kepier Room)
Level 4
South Wing

Kepier Room via Central Stairs
Kepier Room via lift

Individual study rooms Available on all floors -
Group study rooms Available on all floors -
Disability Support (DS) study rooms Level 1
West Wing

DS Rooms via Main Stairs
DS Rooms via lift

Booking timeslots and allowances

You can view the details of available timeslots and booking limits for each of the following bookable spaces:

How to book a study space

Visit our Space Bookings system to book a study space.

Your study space is allocated by the system, limited to floor level. Our Disability Support rooms are available to students who have an assessed need to access these spaces. Our study space location plans will help you to find your allocated seat before you visit.

You can arrive at any time during your booked timeslot, but we do ask you to leave the study space by the end of your allocated time ready for the next person who has booked.

If you have made a booking and you decide you don’t need it or are unable to attend, please cancel your booking to allow others to make use of it. Simply go to the ‘My Bookings’ tab on the Space Bookings app and cancel your booking. 

Visit our Space Bookings system guide for further details.

Study spaces for Postgraduate students

We offer dedicated study spaces for our postgraduate students to use in Bill Bryson Library.

Postgraduate Room (Level 4 West Wing, non-bookable)

With swipe-card access, our Postgraduate Room provides dedicated study spaces for all postgraduate students, including Masters students. There are desk, PC and docking station study spaces, along with study areas for group work, comfortable seating and access to toilets. 

From September 2023, you don't need to book to use this space.

Kepier Room - Postgraduate Research students (Level 4 South Wing, bookable)

Our Kepier Room is available to Postgraduate Research students and you will need to book a space in this room through our Space Booking system. There is a mixture of desk, PC and docking station study spaces for individual study.

Bill Bryson Library site information

For directions and details of facilities available within the Library, visit our Libraries and Site Information guide.

Bill Bryson Library

Opening Times and Contact Details

From Monday 8 January: 

  • 24/7 opening until 10pm on Friday 15 March 

Saturday 16 March – Friday 19 April (Easter vacation): 

  • Monday-Friday between 8am-10pm (including Good Friday and Easter Monday) 
  • Saturday-Sunday between 9am-10pm 

From Saturday 20 April: 

  • 24/7 opening until 10pm on Friday 31 May (including all bank holidays) 

Durham University Library  
Stockton Road  
DH1 3LY  
United Kingdom  

Tel: +44 (0)191 334 3042
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 2971 

Available study spaces at Bill Bryson Library

How busy is Bill Bryson Library right now?

Find out how many free study spaces there currently are at Bill Bryson Library by clicking the link above.

A view of Bill Bryson Library through trees

Study space location plans

Bill Bryson Library floor maps

Please review our floor maps to help you to:

  • see where resources for your subject are kept
  • see which study zones are bookable or non-bookable 
  • help you to find your pre-booked study space before you visit.

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