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Wifi at the British Library

To start using the Library's public WiFi you will need to create a WiFi account, which you can do when you next visit the Library. Simply check your laptop, tablet or mobile for WiFi connections and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you have any problems connecting, additional advice and information is available from the reading rooms and Information Desk. If you have any questions about the new service, please ask a member of staff.



Eduroam is a JANET Roaming Service (JRS) that provides an infrastructure for students and academic staff from participating institutions to use their academic credentials to securely access the Internet from any participating institution.

The instructions for connecting are the same regardless of location. However, any device you wish to use to access the service needs to be configured first.

Policy on Internet Access at the British Library (PDF)

Please note:

  • The British Library is committed to making information of all kinds as widely available as possible. As part of this commitment, we have provided WiFi access to users of the building without charge. We ask in return that all those using this service do so in such a way as not to interfere with the enjoyment or safety of other building users. In particular we ask you not to obstruct entrances or passageways when using your laptop or tablet, or to create trip hazards by connecting laptop cables to power sockets.
  • The 1st floor Restaurant is intended for the use of diners. Unless you are a Restaurant customer you may be requested not to use your laptop or tablet in this area. Other seating areas are provided for WiFi use at Upper Ground and 1st Floor.

What do I need to get online?

To use WiFi you need to have:

  • A laptop, tablet, smartphone or PDA with WLAN capability

This means built-in Wireless LAN capability (such as Intel Centrino) or an added WiFi card (PCMCIA wireless card or USB wireless adapter for a laptop or Compact Flash card for a PDA). The British Library WiFi network supports any wireless device that conforms to the 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi standards.

  • A web browser

Please note that if you connect to the British Library’s power supply, the Library will not accept responsibility for any resulting damage to your equipment.

How do I get online?

You need to be at British Library to register for and access the WiFi service.

To connect to the British Library wireless network, view the available wireless networks on your device in the usual way and select the appropriate British Library network. There are two options:

  • BL Registered User: connect to this if you have a British Library online account (for example, if you’re a Registered Reader, or have used the Library’s online Box Office to buy a ticket to an event).
    You need to create your WiFi account by registering your British Library Online Account Username and Password.
  • BL Visitor: connect to this if you’re just visiting the Library.
    If you’re a visitor, create your WiFi account by entering your name and email address. Your login will be emailed to you. You then have 15 minutes to pick up your login details and activate your account.

Full instructions for different operating systems are available.

Once you have connected to the wireless network, launch your web browser and you will be presented with the relevant British Library landing page, where you can log into the service.

You may login up to three devices using the same login credentials. If you do not use the service for 30 minutes, you will be timed out and will need to log in again.

Web filtering

Some web sites may be considered to be inappropriate for viewing in a public area. The Library already uses web filtering software to prevent access to certain categories of web site from the Library terminals; this filtering is also in place on the British Library wireless network.

If you try to access a site that is blocked, a message will appear on the screen, stating why the site you are attempting to access is blocked. If you feel that a site has been miscategorised or you have a legitimate research need to use a site that is blocked, please contact the reference enquiry desk if you are working in a reading room, or email Please provide the URL of the website you are trying to access, so that we can investigate whether or not the site should be blocked. Similarly, if you have a genuine research need to view a blocked site, follow the same procedure. If you would like us to keep you informed of the decision, please also provide contact details.

British Library SpringerLink app

Users of the Library's WiFi service can also access Springer open access content and Springer content to which the Library subscribes via a dedicated app. More information is available on our website.

What should I do if I can’t see the British Library wireless network?

If you cannot see the wireless network on your list of available wireless networks, try the following:

  • Ensure that your wireless card is turned on. Some laptops have a switch to operate this.
  • Try again. Some wireless adaptors can take a minute or two to detect all available wireless networks.
  • Restart your laptop, tablet or PDA. Sometimes operating systems can get in a muddle if they repeatedly detect and lose a network – a reboot can fix this.
  • Move to another location; you may be sitting outside the coverage area.

Still having problems?

Although the service is simple to use, there may be times when you need additional help. If, having followed the instructions in this leaflet, you are still having problems connecting to the wireless network or registering with the service please call the helpline on 020 7412 7005 (available during British Library St. Pancras opening hours).

We regret that it is not possible for British Library staff to offer help with connecting to the wireless network.

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PDF files

The links below are to Adobe PDF files. Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.

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