Welcome Back Week in the Library

Welcome Back Week starts on Monday 21 January and we’re getting involved at the Library!

University Services Fair

The Library team will have a stand at the University Services Fair in RUSU Upper 3Sixty on Monday and Tuesday next week. Come and chat with our friendly staff if you have an questions about the Library.

You can also have a go at our Summon Speed Search! It only takes a couple of minutes and you’ll be in with the chance of winning a prize. Can you make it to the top of our leaderboard? Visit our stand to see if you can win.

Library tours

If you’ve not yet had a chance to look around the Library, come along to one of our tours which are running every day next week. Tours start at 13:10 and will last 20-30 minutes. No need to book – just turn up at the Library and meet by our display in the foyer. We’ll guide you round the building and tell you everything you need to know about using the Library. If you’re a Postgraduate student, come along to our Wednesday tour!

More information

We’ll be posting about what we’re up to throughout the week so check Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for further updates.

As always, you can also ask for help at an Information Desk. Go to the URS Ground Floor Information Desk for general enquiries. Go to the Library Building, 2nd or 3rd Floor Desks for help finding books.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Resolved – problems with e-resources

Open laptopThe intermittent problem with access to many of our e-resource platforms has now been resolved, and you should be able to access all e-resources as normal.

If you are still having any problems with access, please contact us at eresourceshelp@reading.ac.uk or submit an e-resources problem report form.

Thank you for your patience during this time.

Sophie Dorman – E-resources Team

Request items we don’t stock with Inter-Library Loans!

Do we not stock that one book you really want for your dissertation? Then why not see if you can borrow it from another Library through our Inter-Library Loans service!

What are Inter-Library Loans?

The Inter-Library Loans service delivers material you need which is not held in our Library. We can obtain a wide range of academic books, journals, and conference proceedings from other libraries.

All members of the University can request inter-library loans – Staff, Students, and Associates. Please note that the Inter-Library loan service is not available to External borrowers.

Do I have to pay to make a request?

We do not charge for the majority of requests, however we do charge for certain items and repeated renewals.

We would also charge users for any overdue or lost requested items.

Please see our webpage for more information. 

How can I request a loan?

You will need to fill in a request form via Unicorn with a much detail as possible about the item you want to request.

The length of time it will take for your item to be processed varies so as a guide please allow a minimum of two weeks for your request to be ready.

Although in some cases items will be ready for collection within a couple of days of the request!

More information

Please see our Inter-Library Loans webpage for further information.


Matthew Pearson, Library User Services


2nd Floor books moving to the 4th Floor

What’s changing?

With the Library refurbishment drawing towards its later stages, the 4th Floor is nearly ready to be reopened. The next phase involves moving stock from the 2nd Floor to the 4th Floor, in preparation for the 2nd Floor closing for refurbishment.

When will it start?

The anticipated start date for this is Monday 21 January, with a timeframe of 5-6 weeks. This is subject to approval from Building Maintenance. We’ll keep you updated on this blog and on Twitter (@UniRdg_Library) and Facebook (@universityofreadinglibrary).

Can I still access my books?

Yes! In keeping with our strategy to maximise access to stock throughout the Refurbishment Project, all books will remain accessible as far as possible throughout the move. Each shelf will be unavailable for around thirty minutes whilst the stock is being moved. The Library catalogue will also be updated to reflect the new locations, usually within a day.

Where will I find my books after the move?

The stock will be split by Call Number as follows:

3rd Floor

100s – philosophy, psychology

200s – religion

400s – languages, linguistics

500s – science

600s – technology, business, typography

700s – arts


Teaching Practice

4th Floor

000s – computer science

300s – social sciences, law

800s – literature

900s – history, geography, archaeology


Where can I get help?

Library staff will still be available at the Information Desks and Ground Floor Help Point – please contact them if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

More information

Books with Call Numbers in the 800s and 900s will be moving to their final locations and will not be moved again, while books in the 000s and 300s will move back to the 2nd Floor once it has been refurbished.

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Get set for referencing success using Mendeley or EndNote

Have you been marked down for inconsistencies in referencing? Are you fed up with writing all of your references for your dissertation by hand? There are programs that store your references and help you create bibliographies in Microsoft Word. We’re running sessions throughout the Spring Term covering the variety of options available – whether you’re working on your dissertation or starting your PhD, come along and find out how much time you can save! You can book onto any of these beginner sessions on RISIS under the Actions tab.

New for 2019: Mendeley

Mendeley is designed to make storing references as simple as possible. We mainly recommend it for undergraduate and masters students. Its main feature is ‘watched folders’ – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer for details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word. Workshops are taking place at the following times:

  • Wed 23 January, 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 20 February, 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 20 March, 14:00-15:00

EndNote Online

EndNote Online is similar to Mendeley, but instead of using PDFs you collect reference details from databases such as Summon. It works particularly well with Web of Science as both products are owned by the same company. EndNote Online also has the specially-created ‘Harvard for Reading’ style, which will ensure that your references are formatted exactly to your department’s specifications. It’s free to use on any PC, including your home PC. We recommend it for undergraduate and masters students. Come along to a workshop at the following times:

  • Wed 6 February, 14:00-15:30
  • Wed 27 February, 14:00-15:30
  • Wed 13 March, 14:00-14:30

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote has many more features than Mendeley or EndNote Online and is designed for postgraduate researchers and staff. You can store a huge number of references and PDFs. In addition, you can select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. It’s free on all campus PCs through Apps Anywhere, but is costs around £96 to install on your own PC. We’re running workshops at the following times:

  • Wed 13 February, 14:00-16:00
  • Wed 6 March, 14:00-16:00

Book your place

Sign up to any of our sessions through the Actions tab on RISIS. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions but would like to know more, take a look at our reference management guide or contact your Liaison Librarian.

Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Keep your valuables safe

Open laptop with notepadGot a new laptop for Christmas? Using your tablet in the Library buildings? Left your phone on your desk?

Watch out for your own property and for suspicious activity in the Library buildings. It only takes a few seconds for a passing thief to steal your possessions, so keep them safe.

What you can do

  • Keep your property with you or leave it with someone you know you can trust, even if you’re only stepping out for a minute.
  • Save these numbers and report suspicious activity:
    • to Library staff or University Security on 0118 378 6300;
    • 999, the Police emergency number, if you see a crime in progress.

If you find you have been the victim of crime, go to a Library Information Desk where we will help you report the incident to Security Services.

What we do

  • Library staff encourage you to take care of valuables during regular patrols enforcing good conduct, but we cannot look after your valuables for you. We might leave you an ‘almost stolen’ card on unattended property – but remember a thief would steal it.
  • University Security patrol the Library and Library@URS. They may conduct spot checks on Library users. Have your Campus or Library card to hand or sign a visitor’s form on entry

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Personalised Library support for your subject – info tip

If you’ve ever felt a little overwhelmed by the range of resources that the Library has on offer then you might want to get help from your very own subject Liaison Librarian or explore one of our dedicated subject guides.

Subject Liaison Librarians

Every subject offered at Reading has a Liaison Librarian – they are your main point of contact with the Library. They can help you make effective use of the huge range of resources the Library has to offer in support of your studies by:

  • showing you how to use information resources effectively – your librarian can offer training sessions for your School/Department on finding and using relevant resources
  • creating and updating Library guides for your subjectproviding an overview of the range of subject specific print and e-resources available to you
  • helping you save time by making the most of all our Library services
  • giving you individual help with research – your librarian can offer in depth help in finding information, including identifying the most relevant print and online resources for you to use

Look at our list of liaison librarians to find out who you should contact for more help with finding resources for your subject.

As well as providing one-to-one advice and offering group training sessions and workshops, every Liaison Librarian has created a guide for each subject, with lots of helpful information and advice on finding resources for your studies.

What is a subject guide and how do I find mine?

Our online subject guides include information about relevant books, reference materials, journal articles, electronic resources (including e-journals, databases and multimedia resources) and other useful websites relating to your area of study. There’s also advice on citing references in your work. They have been created by our team of subject Liaison Librarians, and are regularly reviewed by them to ensure they remain relevant and up to date.

The key link 'explore key resources in your subject' - this will take you to your subject guides.To access the guide for your subject just click on the “Explore key resources in your subject” in the ‘Help for your subject’ section of the Library website homepage, or go directly to our list of subject guides.


How do I find the information I need?

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page:

  • Reading Lists – how to get started with your online reading list (if your course/module has one) and how to effectively manage your academic reading.
  • Dictionaries & encyclopedias – online dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as highlighting key print titles in the Library. It also links to e-resources such as Credo Reference, Oxford Reference and specific dictionaries for your subject. It is far more reliable to use these than to use Wikipedia for your work.
  • Books – tips on finding books using Enterprise and lists of Call Numbers for particular topics within your subject area. This section also showcases new books that have been purchased for your subject.
  • Journal articles – tips on finding journal articles on Summon and links to the key databases databases for finding journal articles in your subject area.
  • E-resources – lists key databases for your subject, as well as other useful resources such as multimedia resources, company financial databases, and online tutorials and guides to e-resources related to your subject.
  • Websites – a list of relevant websites that could be useful for your work. There are also hints on how to evaluate a website, so if you conduct an internet search you can be more confident you are using reliable information.
  • Citing references – points you in the right direction for getting help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. You’ll also find information on reference management software which can save you time collecting references and writing your bibliography.
  • Further sources – information on Special Collections which may be relevant to your subject, and obtaining other materials such as conference papers, theses, maps and newspapers.

Need more help?
We want to help you find the information you need. Please contact your subject liaison librarian if you would like more help. You can also check out the Help tab in your subject guide for more advice.

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Kerry Webb, Associate Director (Academic Liaison & Support).

Library refurbishment: lift stairs demolition update

Our Library building refurbishment has now progressed, with demolition of the stairs behind the existing lifts beginning this month. You may experience construction noise, despite the acoustic partitions that have been put in place to help reduce the volume. Here is our advice on how you can still get to upper Library floors and find alternative, quieter study space.

How do I get to upper floors?

Say goodbye to the staircase behind existing lifts!

Although we will no longer be able to use the stairs behind our existing lifts, access will be maintained to two lifts until our new lifts are ready. The big central staircase leading up from the main hall remains our main stairs, with other stairs around the edges of the building available for emergency evacuation.

Where can I find quieter study space?

This phase of construction will sometimes involve noisy or disruptive works. Please make use of the quiet and silent study space in the Library@URS building next door, as well as the variety of alternative study space options across campus. For more see ‘The latest on student study space’ (Student Services news, 31 October 2018or Transform 2026: Study space update (UoR staff portal news, 31 October 2018).

More on Library refurb

Demolishing this staircase will create space for print hubs on every floor and a silent study PC area on the 5th Floor. Find out more about the project on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Winter, Marketing Assistant
and University Communications

New off-campus link to Artfilms trial

Some paints, paintbrushes and a sketchbookWe have a new off-campus link for our trial access to Artfilms. The new link is available here.

Our trial access lasts until 31st December. You can access thousands of art videos from Artfilms-Digital, including masterclasses, interviews, documentaries and other films to entertain, educate and inform.

Access is available on-campus and off-campus.

Help us to decide

If you have any feedback about this resource, good or bad, please let Ruth Ng and Karen Drury, Liaison Librarians for Art, know – karenandruth@reading.ac.uk

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

Use other libraries with SCONUL Access scheme

Are you going home for the holidays but still want to get some research done? Or are you someone thinking of visiting our Library and want your own access card to make your visits here that much easier?

Then follow the instructions below to see if you could join the SCONUL scheme!

What is SCONUL?sconul logo

The SCONUL Access scheme is a reciprocal relationship between many university libraries across the UK and Ireland allowing members of the different institutions to make use of each other’s libraries.

What access can I get?

Depending on whether you are a full or part-time student, an undergraduate, postgraduate or staff member, you could be eligible for borrowing books or reference access to other SCONUL Access member libraries.

How do I apply?

Go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page and select your status and home institution.  You will then see a list of all the libraries that you are eligible to use. Select the library that you wish to use and click on the ‘apply for access’ button and complete the online form.

You will receive an email authorizing your registration at all the libraries you are eligible to join.  Simply take your email and University Campus Card along to the Library you wish to access and you will be issued with your own access or library card.

Remember you only need to apply once – you can use the same email to join as many libraries as you want!

Note: Not all libraries are members of the scheme, and not all members of the scheme accept all types of users. Each library participating in SCONUL Access chooses which types of users to accept under the scheme. The SCONUL Access participating libraries page will only the display the ones you can use. If you are unsure please contact the Library.

Further information

If you are a current University of Reading student or staff member looking to use another institutions library please follow the link here.

If you are a member of another institution looking to use the University of Readings Library resources please follow the link here

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Keep borrowing over the Christmas holidays!

University Library in snow with fir tree in foreground

The end of the Autumn term is rapidly approaching! Have you checked what our opening hours are over the Christmas vacation? Or do you know when your items have to be returned by over the University closure period?

Opening hours

Autumn term will end on Friday 14 December as the Christmas vacation begins the following day, Saturday 15 December. This means that the opening hours of both University Library buildings will change.

Please note that both Library buildings will be open on the weekends of 15/16 December, 22/23 December and 5/6 January but as self-service only.

The Library buildings will also be closed over the University Christmas closure between Monday 24 December and Tuesday 1 January.

Please see our opening hours page on our website for more information.


With textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve made sure our policy ensures fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term. This means that items will not be issued to cover the whole Christmas vacation.

Just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them … so keep checking your University account! You can even return loans by post if you prefer. If your account is blocked please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

This means you can place holds on books on loan in vacations. The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

We know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure period, so we’ve made special allowances. Any journals, 7-day loans or Course Collection items borrowed from Friday 14 December until the Christmas University Closure will be due back on Wednesday 2 January (by 11:00 for Course Collection items).  No items will be due back between Friday 21 December and Monday 1 January.

Happy holidays!

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

New Library entrance now open

The new Library entrance from inside

The new entrance to the Library building is now open and the old revolving door

The new accessible entrance to the main Library building – the Book Drop is available as normal.

has been cordoned off. The new entrance is accessible and the out-of-hours Book Drop is still available.

Although the entrance has been opened, work is not yet complete. For now, please use the door on the side closest to the URS Building (pictured) – once the project is complete, doors on both sides of the entrance will be available.

More information

Keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.


Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarian