Bookings to view reference items

From 12th April 2021 you are able to book to view particular reference books and local studies documents held at The Core Library, Solihull.

You need to email or phone us with details of exactly what you want to look at, preferably with at least three days notice. We will then locate the item(s) and agree a mutually convenient time for you to visit. Bookings will be available for morning sessions (10am-12pm) or afternoon sessions (1.30-3.30pm) Monday-Saturday.

Try to find the item on the catalogues first

Check our general library catalogue first of all, and our Solihull Heritage Gateway for any local studies or archive documents. We need to know any reference numbers or class numbers listed, as well as the author and title, if applicable.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, please let us know and we can advise further. Please order only the amount of documents you will be able to view in the two-hour booking slot. Normally, no more than six items may be ordered per booking.

It’s easier for staff to deal with emails at the moment rather than phone calls so please contact us on for general reference queries or for anything related to local history or family history.

If you’re not able to email, then please call 0121 705 6977 9am-5pm Monday-Saturday. If possible, please avoid calling between 12-2pm.

Do you need to visit us, or can staff check something for you?

Alternatively, if it’s something that staff are able to look up for you – e.g. phone books, electoral registers – please email us at with the details and we’ll do our best to help. We may also be able to supply copies, if this is more convenient than visiting in person (see below).

Obtaining copies

Currently, we have no photocopying or scanning facilities publicly available. However, as long as the documents are not too fragile and there are no copyright restrictions preventing copying, staff are able to photograph or scan items and email copies to you free of charge for your personal/non-commercial use.

If you do need to visit to view items, you are welcome to bring along a camera or phone and use these without flash to take your own photos (provided such photos do not infringe copyright).

Visiting the Core

We will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time for you to visit to view the items you have requested. You do not need to arrive exactly at the agreed start time for your booking, but you do need to finish promptly at either 12pm (for a morning booking) or 3.30pm (for an afternoon booking). This is so that staff have time to prepare the area for the next customer.

The first floor of the Core remains closed to visitors but a table will be reserved for you on the ground floor of the library. You are welcome to bring in a laptop or tablet but there is no power socket in the vicinity so the device must be able to run from battery power for the duration of your visit.

We ask that only one person attends per booking, unless a helper or carer is needed to assist.

Government requirements for the compulsory wearing of face coverings apply in libraries so, unless you are exempt, you must wear a mask or face covering for the duration of your visit.


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