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New Stratford Library

Latest news

February 2014

Bookable group study rooms

You can now reserve one of Stratford Library's group study rooms online. If you need to practice a presentation or discuss a topic as a team, our group study rooms are the perfect place to do it.

To book, pick an available slot and fill in your details. A confirmation will then be sent to your UEL email address. Click here to make your reservation today

September 2013

Official launch of the new Stratford Library

The new £14 million library was officially launched at a ceremony held on 25 September. Among those in attendance were Chancellor of the University, Lord Gulam Noon, UEL Vice Chancellor, John Joughin, and President of the Students' Union, Friday Obodo.

The launch marks the completion of the building project, which began in October 2011. Find out more on the UEL News page.

July 2013

New Stratford Library - Your view

Comfortable chairs for study

We've already had a huge amount of positive feedback on the new library. Here are some of our favourite comments:

  • It's a library for the 21st century!
  • It feels like a real library
  • Overwhelmed!
  • Thank God for a real library! Excellent
  • Looks amazing!
  • Very nice library, interesting
  • Very inspiring
  • Wowee!!
  • What a lovely library
  • Brilliant library
  • It's just fantastic!
  • I'm sorry I'm leaving
  • What a fantastic building it's amazing you did all that in two weeks
  • What a lovely new library
  • It's beautiful
  • Really really excited, wonderful! Can't wait to use the study rooms
  • Fab. Spacious. Much better than previous library – this is more fit for purpose. PCs way faster and much more pleasant atmosphere and environment to study in
  • Fantastic, very impressive, lots of space to study
  • Nice isn't it - can't keep away
  •  The library is beautiful
  • The library is very beautiful. I should come back this year although this year is my final
  • I like the library it looks very smart and stylish, good work
  • The new library beats beauty. It is a reflection of the university's good intention for students good experience in their study life - Friday Obodo, UELSU
  • It's a very nice area - I love it!
  • It's a marvellous building - modernized. A very good environment for students and members of staff
  • Lovely building. Great space for students to study and collaborative work
  • It's terrific - I love it
  • I want to come back and do a Masters so I can use the library - fantastic
  • Loving the new design
  • Very warm and welcoming, full of support from staff team
  • Very good learning environment with new computers, spacious with automatics door for easy access
  • Very spacious library - the resources are in large quantities. Very good only concern would be the availability of the study area in busy times of the semester
  • Beautiful library 

June 2013

We're open!

Stratford library exterior

The new library at Stratford Campus, Water Lane is now open to students and staff.

May 2013

Stratford and Duncan House Library closure

  • Friday 7 June to Sunday 23 June
  • New Stratford Library opens - Monday 24 June, 9am

Say goodbye to the old...

Old Stratford library

...and hello to the new!

New Stratford Library - artist's rendition

New Stratford Library opens Monday 24 June.


New Stratford Library gallery now available

We've added a gallery featuring images of the new library. More will be added as we begin to move in, so be sure to keep checking back.

Click the Gallery tab at the top of the page to get a glimpse of the brand new Stratford Library.

April 2013

Library closure information

Our new, state-of-the-art library in Stratford will open on Monday 24 June. In order for us to move our collections across, Stratford and Duncan House libraries will be closed from 5pm on Friday 7 June.

Click here for more information on the closures. If you have any queries, please email us at

March 2013

Date set for opening of New Stratford Library

On Monday 24 June, the new Stratford Campus Library in Water Lane will open for business. The brand new library will offer all UEL students and staff state-of-the art facilities including eight high-specification group study rooms; Wi-Fi enabled social study spaces, and a 24 hour café area. As well as over 150,000 items of stock, students will have access to the vast digital library through over 120 PCs. You can take a look at some photos of our progress below.

In order to transfer our collections into the new library, we'll be closing both Stratford and Duncan House libraries for the two preceding weeks - but a full online library service will be available, and we'll make sure that you are disturbed as little as possible. Docklands Library will remain open throughout . More details about the services we'll be offering during the closure period will be announced shortly. So put a note in your diaries: Stratford and Duncan House Library will be closed from 8-23 June, and the brand new Stratford library will open on Monday 24 June.

Shelves at new Stratford Library

The new library will include space for over 150,000 items of stock.


View from New Stratford Library

The building will comprise three floors of high-quality learning space.


Shelves at new Stratford Library

A number of state-of-the-art facilities will be available via more than 170 PCs.


If you’ve got any questions or queries, send an email to  and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

February 2013- PROJECT UPDATE

Coming soon…

There are only a few months to go before the opening of UEL's £15million new library at Stratford Campus. Over three floors, the library will incorporate the latest interactive technology and will include social learning areas as well as group study rooms and silent study spaces.

The library will be opening in the early summer but before then we'll need to move over 150,000 books and journals. This won't affect our term-time opening hours, and the libraries at Duncan House and Stratford will remain open throughout the exam period in May and into the first week of June.

We'll keep you updated of our progress. If you have any comments or queries please get in touch through our dedicated new Stratford Library mailbox.


New Stratford Library is 'top' quality

Construction work continues on the new library at UEL's Stratford Campus. A recent 'topping out' ceremony on 17 July commemorated completion of the building's concrete frame, which has been finished to the industry's highest standards.

The design of the library takes on board the user brief and stakeholder requirements and will also be environmentally friendly. You can see how work is progressing via a live feed on the library website, and watch a 3D animation showing you what the library will look like upon its completion in early 2013.

The Vision

‘Our vision is for an integrated and innovative new library at Stratford which will reflect the very best in sector practice and provide 21st century library services to support the learning, teaching and research needs of UEL.’

Key features

  • Three floors of high quality learning space
  • 130,000 books and journals covering Law, Social Sciences, Health, Sport and Biosciences, Psychology and Education
  • Advanced digital library and self-service facilities
  • 24/7 accessibility
  • 226  quiet and silent study spaces
  • 70  social and collaborative learning areas with Wi-fi throughout
  • 8 group study rooms with state-of-the art media facilities
  • Café
  • Automated book returns sorter
  • Landscaped internal garden 

Look round

Your view

We’ve been involving students and staff at every stage of the design process. Have a look at the links below to see what we’ve found out and how your views have shaped the new library. If you'd like to be involved in future surveys and focus groups, or if you'd just like to make a comment, please email Anna Knox, the Customer Services Manager.

Testing the new furniture for Stratford Library

Samples of proposed furniture for the new Stratford Library are currently on display to students and staff in Stratford Library, Water Lane. If you’d like to see the furniture, and give us your opinion about it, pop in to the library – you’ll find the furniture in the Media Area. Fill in a short evaluation form, or give your opinions to a member of staff.

A successful day was spent reviewing furniture samples by Library staff and students on 21st February. The session included a review, scoring and commentary session. The sample furniture will remain in the  Library for a few more weeks, so please do have a look and comment as you see fit – comment sheets are available for you to complete.

Presentation of initial architectural plans

In November 2010, students were invited to hear a presentation of the initial architectural plans by Steve Jones, one of the architects from Hopkins Architects Partnership. Following the presentation, the students were invited to comment.. All the comments were then used to amend the plans where possible. To read a report about the presentation, click here

Finding out what's important to you

In May 2010, we held a series of focus groups to find out how you like to use the library and what’s important to you in a library building. After some very useful discussions we’ve got some valuable information and ideas which we’ll be passing on to the Project team who are developing plans for the new library at Stratford. Below are some of the things you told us were important to you.

Every time I come into the library I bump into someone from my course and I want to find out what they’re doing’

‘There is no student life here so I only meet people at lectures or in the library.’

‘I don’t like clubs but I do want to meet up with friends near here’

‘I haven’t got time after working to go out so the library is a good place to hang out’

‘Sometimes when I’m studying for a long time I just want to relax a bit’

‘We don’t have halls (of residence) so we can’t go home together’

‘There needs to be clarity at the beginning’ 

‘Creating an environment that people know where they need to go and what the choices are’.

‘I’d like to come in, decide where I’m going and just go straight there’

‘Students need to know what is expected of them from the moment they walk in’.

‘Docklands comes right at your face so I’m not sure of where to go for what I want’.

‘A traditional library might feel daunting to some new students’.

‘It took me a year to really feel like I knew the library.’

‘I agree we should be green, but we have to be warm enough in the winter and cool enough in the summer. Natural light and ventilation is important but ultimately what’s more important?’

‘Study is so influenced by temperature.’

‘..nothing too extreme – something a bit serious with no distractions.’

‘Nice to have bright funky designs but the library needs to be more serious.’

‘Everything needs to be streamlined. I don’t have time to queue – I like self-service’.

If you'd like to read the full report of the Focus groups,

New Stratford Library Survey

In March 2010, we ran an online survey to find out what you would and wouldn't like to see in the new library. We received over 400 suggestions - your most popular suggestions are listed below.

What would you like to see in the new Stratford Library?

1. More books & journals

2. Silent study rooms with & without PCs

3. More PCs

4. More group study rooms

5. 24 hour coffee shop/vending machine

6. Clean toilets/clean library

7. Individual study carrels

8. More/reliable printers

What don't you want in the new library?

1. Noise

2. Broken/old equipment

3. Food/eating/drinking

4. Dirty toilets/dirty library

5. Clutter/cramped spaces

6. Litter

7. Mobile phones

8. Dull/dark colours


When will the new Stratford Library open?

The new library is now open to students and staff. Come along and see our brand new, state of the art library for yourself at Stratford Campus, Water Lane.

When will Duncan House and Stratford library close?

In order to move the collections, Stratford and Duncan House Libraries will close at 5pm on Friday 7 June. The new library will open on 24 June. Docklands Library will remain open throughout this period.

Can I borrow more books before you close?

In the week before we close (3-7 June), you can borrow 25 items - that's 10 more than usual.

Can I access online resources while you're closed?

You'll have 24/7 access to our full range of online resources, using your Athens password if you're off-campus. If your Athens password isn't up-to-date, email The printed journal collection won't be available.

Can I get any help online while you're closed?

Our Ask-a-Librarian chat, text and email service will be available throughout the closure period. For online support with research Info skills offers online tools, guides and videos.


Text-a-librarian: 0203 322 3464

Info skills:

Can I get any help for my specific subject while you're closed?

Your Subject Librarian has compiled information and resources specifically for your studies, available on the library website under Subject Support. You can also email them with any queries.

Can I order inter-library loans while you're closed?

If you're a 2nd, 3rd, 4th year or postgraduate student, you will still be able to request electronic articles which are not available from our own collections. You can also order inter-library loans from the printed collection, and we’ll send them to Docklands library for you to collect.

Click here for information on inter-library loans.

What will happen if I'm asked to return a book while you're closed?

You can bring your books back to Docklands library if you're able to, but you won't get charged any fines while we're closed.

Where can I collect a requested book?

You can pick up your requested book from Docklands library while we're closed.

Can I visit other Libraries in London?

The SCONUL Access Scheme allows you to visit other university libraries.

Where can I go to study while you're closed?

The Computer Centres at Stratford and Duncan House Campuses will be open for individual study, printing and photocopying, and the Red Room at Stratford offers space for group study. Additionally, rooms  2.01, 2.02, 2.03 and 2.04 in the Education Building at Stratford will be available to all students for quiet study until 18 June.

Docklands library will also remain open throughout this time.

I am a student from another university, can I still access UEL libraries?

As long as you have the appropriate ID you can still access Docklands Library.

Access to Duncan House and Stratford Libraries will not be available from 5pm Friday 7 June. The new Stratford Library will open to external/Sconul visitors from Monday 8 July and entrance will be via the main UEL reception in The Green. For more information please email

Who can I contact if I have any queries?

If you have any queries about the new library or about the two weeks we'll be closed, please email us at

Where can I find out more about the new library?

For information on all our services, including more details of the new library, check our website.


Click the images below for the full-size picture

Stratford library exterior Outside of building Outside of building ‌‌Entrance
Entrance Staff outside Stratford library  Entrance gates‌‌  Self service machines
Book sorter room Book sorter Archive room shelving ‌‌Atrium
Furniture  Bamboo  Bamboo  Shelving
Study area Top floor  ‌‌Central lightwell  Stairwell
View from first floor  Plasma screens  Skylight  View from Stratford library roof
View from roof: Westfield shopping centre View from roof  Reception desk  Book returns drop
Atrium Atrium Furniture Library furniture
Library tour group Student using PC‌‌ PC area Students at PCs
Library signage Stratford library exterior    


We'll add more images as we move in to the new library. Keep checking our gallery for more pictures.

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