Back Back

British Library service outage update

British Library service outage update

An update on the British Library service outage

Many of you will have seen the news that the British Library has been experiencing a major systems outage following a cyber attack in recent weeks. This has impacted many of the services offered by the British Library and the disruption is expected to continue over coming weeks, with no confirmed timeline yet available for a full recovery.

The British Library is a major source of published content drawn on by the wider academic community and its likely that many colleagues and students at Wolverhampton will have made use of British Library services in the past, for example through use of Inter-Library Loans.

Changing your British Library Password:

The British Library have recently shared an update on the situation containing the following important information for anyone who has registered for a British Library user account:

‘Following confirmation that this was a ransomware attack, we’re aware that some data has been leaked. While this appears to be from our internal HR files, we recommend that if you have a British Library login with a password that you use elsewhere, you change it on other sites as a precautionary measure. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides guidance on staying secure online, including how to create a strong password

How might the continued service outage impact me?

Inter Library Loans:

The University Library has several routes to sourcing items requested via inter-library loan. This means fortunately we have been able to service the majority of lending requests despite the outage at the British Library. For this reason we would advise our users to continue to use the service as normal.

However there are occasions where the British Library may be the only viable source of an item requested – where this is the case, the library team will liaise directly with the requesting user to make them aware of potential delays.


Access to the British Library’s EThOS service for electronic access to theses is currently unavailable, with no clear date for when this may be restored.

Digitisation requests:

The Library purchases some rights-cleared article copies for reading lists through the British Library, and there may be a delay on new requests where this is the only source of digitisation, but again the library team will advise individual requesters where this is the case.

Which BL services are available and staying updated:

A number of services remain available across the British Library’s physical sites. This is likely to change as the situation develops but a list is being maintained on their blogsite: Knowledge Matters blog

The British Library are also posting regular updates to their X (Twitter) account on the handle @britishlibrary

Support in the interim:

We recognise that limited access to the British Library may pose challenges to colleagues and students across the university. If you are experiencing difficulty in access to materials please contact the library and we will help where we are able.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

Share this release