The Oxford University Language Centre Library holds materials in 200 languages. It has lending books, sound recordings, videos, newspapers and online resources. It includes all the languages taught at the Language Centre, other languages, indigenous and heritage languages, less commonly taught languages, pidgins and creoles, as well as material in some endangered languages.


Expand All

The Library is located on the second floor of the Language Centre.

Opening hours are as for the Language Centre:

In Term: Weeks 1 to 8
Monday-Thursday 08:45-19:00
Friday 08:45-17:00
Staffed hours: Monday-Wednesday (Weeks 1-8) 14:30-17:00.
Please refer to the Contact Us page for details of fixed closures.

The library is open to all University members. It is a lending library, with the exception of class textbooks and reference books. 

If you would like to use the Library but are not a University member and have a Bodleian Readers card, are undertaking a language course or can demonstrate a legitimate interest in language learning please email

The library holds some 10,000 books, CDs, and DVDs, and some magazines and newspapers.

There are two self-study rooms where you may use our audio-visual resources.

There are no photocopying facilities at present.

A PC with access to SOLO and the Universities e-resources is located at the back of the library. Log on with your Bodleian log-in (your University Card barcode number and your Bodleian Libraries password (NOT your single-sign on). If you're not sure what your Bodleian Libraries password is or if you need to reset it go to 

Eduroam and OWL are available throughout the Language Centre. Oxford University staff and students will find guides on how to connect to Eduroam on the IT Services website.

All LCL books are catalogued on the University of Oxford’s Libraries Search and Discovery tool, SOLO.

You can restrict your search to the Language Centre Library only. Sign in to SOLO with your University Single Sign On in order to place holds and access your borrower record.

SOLO provides:
• The item shelfmark, so that you can locate it in the library
• Loan status – 'Available' means you can borrow the item; a 'due back' date signifies that the item is currently on loan. Reference items may not be removed from the Language Centre.

All library material is classified alphabetically by language and most shelfmarks start with the first two letters of the name of the language in English. For example, AR for Arabic, FR for French, GE for German, EFL for English (English as a Foreign Language). There is more information on the collections below.

The library does not have full-time staff. During term-time, the library is staffed from 14:30-17:00 Monday to Wednesday. For help at other times, please email

If you need a query resolved urgently, staff at the Continuing Education Library at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square ( will do their best to help you.

You can borrow up to 10 items at a time. Books and CDs for 4 weeks and DVDs for 2 weeks. You can renew up to 4 times. Vacation-long loans are automatically given between 8th and 0th week.

To borrow an item outside of staffed hours complete a loan form (on the desk by the front door). You will need to enter:
• Your name
• University Card Barcode Number
• Shelf mark and/or title of the item (listed on book/DVD/CD)
• Item Barcode (inside book cover, inside or on front of DVD/CD)

When complete please sign and date the form, and place it in the blue Book Drop Box. Items will be added to your account during the next staffed time period.


In the unlikely event of there being no forms, or if you need an item issued/query resolved urgently, you may take items to the staff at the Continuing Education Library at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square ( who will do their best to help you.

Place your returned items in the Returns Box in Library (next to the Library Office). Items will be removed from your account during the next staffed time period.


When the Language Centre building is closed, library books can be returned by putting them into the mail box on the metal gate at the entrance to the building.

Only items issued for 2-weekly and 4-weekly loan may be removed from the building.
Readers remain responsible for the material borrowed until it is returned and checked-in.
Reference material should not be removed from the library.
Food and drink should not be brought into the Library except for bottled water.
No user may engage in conduct which infringes the regulations of the University in respect of the use of its materials, facilities or copyright, including the use of computers and audio-visual resources.
The marking or defacing of items belonging to the Language Centre (for example, writing in workbooks) is forbidden. Readers may be asked to replace the materials.

The reference collection is at the beginning of the book collection, consists of dictionaries (bilingual and monolingual), grammars in English and in the target language, grammars with exercises, vocabulary builders, subject vocabulary builders and books on writing style.

CALLs are installed on the networked computers. Most CD-ROMs will be on the CD shelves. Some, not yet catalogued, will be in the Librarian’s Office.


The second part of the book collection which is found after the reference collection, starts with textbooks which are classified alphabetically by language and then alphabetically by title. It is then followed by listening and reading material, literature (bilingual English-target language and monolingual), music, video scripts and introduction to the culture of the country.

Most textbooks are accompanied by CDs, sometimes also video and CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning, see Reference tab). The shelfmark on the textbook will indicate whether or not the textbook works alongside other material. For example the textbook Sueños world Spanish, which you will find under the letter S in the textbooks collection, will have the following shelfmarks:

SP Shelfmark for Spanish
CCU Shelfmark for CDs (starting with C) 1-8
SP VBE 1-20 Shelfmark for Videos (starting with V)
The textbook Sueños world Spanish is accompanied by 8 CDs and 20 videos.

Tapes and videos accompanying textbooks are shelved alphabetically by shelfmark (and not by title like the textbooks). For example the tapes for Sueños are placed at SP CCU which one would find after SP CCT, the videos will be after SP VBD.

After the textbook section, you will find a generalities section. Here you will find books on the general culture of the country.

The phonetics books will help you with your pronunciation. The shelfmark is going to be PH + Language shelfmark, for example SP for Spanish. Most of the books are accompanied by CDs which you will find at the end of each language CDs section.


DVDs are shelved alphabetically by language. At the beginning of each language section you will find the film collection, classified alphabetically by director’s name, for example: SP V ALM for a film by Almodóvar.


The collection consists of same-language subtitles for French, German, Italian and Spanish. The collection is available on the carousel, next to the CD collection.


The second section will be for documentaries and DVDs linked with textbooks. The
classification is alphabetical by shelfmark, for example: FR VA will be followed by FR VB etc.


The library no longer stocks foreign-language newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Some back issues are available to read within the library (including Le francais dans le monde, L’Obs, Der Spiegel, Deutsch Perfekt, Oggitalia, Punto y coma, Carta de Espana, and Lingo). You can find these on the display table by the library entrance.

The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford
Members of the University and Bodleian card-holders have access to the extensive resources of the Bodleian Libraries, both print and electronic, using SOLO.
Only University members have remote access to electronic resources, such as e-journals and databases (including newspapers).
For resources in a particular subject, select from the subject list.


Oxfordshire Central Library
Very good choice of language learning material including BSL (British Sign Language).


AULC (Association of University Language Centres)
A list of all the other language centres in the UK and Ireland.

Opening hours

The Library's opening hours are the same as the Language Centre: 08.45 to 19.00, Monday-Thursday and 08.45 to 17.00 on Friday during term time. The library (and the Language Centre building) is closed over the long vacation except by prior appointment. For more information, see Contact or Visit Us | Oxford University Language Centre.

Library books can be returned at any time by putting them into the mail box hanging on the metal gate at the entry to the building.

During term, the library is unstaffed except for the following times:

  • Staffed hours (term-time, Weeks 1-8 only): 14.30-17.00 Monday-Wednesday

Contact the library

Language Centre Library
12 Woodstock Road
 01865 283362 (during staffed hours only; see above)

Related links