Finding your way with our map resources – info tip

Field mapsDid you know that University of Reading Library has more than 70,000 maps and atlases and is one of the largest university collections in the country? Our maps can be used for your teaching, research, and holidays!

Geographical cover

We have excellent coverage of Britain, including detailed coverage of Berkshire and the Reading area. Coverage of Europe is also very good, at least to road map level of most countries.

Coverage of the rest of the world varies with what is available – it may not be possible to obtain recent maps of some areas, especially as many governments consider maps to be politically sensitive. However we will certainly have something for all parts of the globe.

Date range

Reading 1761Although the collection is mostly post-1900, we have many facsimiles of earlier maps, including reproductions of English 18th century county atlases.

We also have Ordnance Survey maps dating back to 1830, as well as access to Historic Digimap, so it is possible to produce a time sequence of maps of a particular place.

Older versions of atlases and maps may reveal hidden information about a place and its past.

Types of map

Various mapsYou need to consider the type of map you need, and what you are planning to do with it.  Maps come in a variety of different types:

  •     Sheet maps or atlases
  •     Flat or folded
  •     Loanable or reference
  •     General purpose or thematic
  •     Paper or digital

Atlases are generally available for loan, and are mostly found in the 912 and FOLIO–912 sequences on the 2nd Floor.

Most of the map collection is non-loan, but a set of folded ‘Field maps’, including British Landranger and geology maps, are available for loan on the 2nd Floor.

Thematic maps show geology, soil types, land use, population, languages – anything which can be shown with a spatial distribution.  Many maps of this type are included in atlases, but may also be found as sheet maps.

Digital maps

roam TowerDigital maps are of increasing importance. For Great Britain, Digimap delivers maps and map data from official sources to UK higher education, and you can easily create authoritative location and site maps.  There are five different collections available to members of the University of Reading:

  • Digimap – contemporary Ordnance Survey maps and data, ranging from small scale base maps to detailed large scale plans
  • Historic Digimap – historic Ordnance Survey maps from 1840 to the 1990s.  They can be compared side-by-side to help follow changes in the landscape
  • Geology Digimap – geology maps and data from the British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • Environment Digimap – landcover maps for different years, from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  This collection includes scans of the Dudley Stamp Land Use maps from the 1930s
  • Aerial Digimap – detailed aerial photography in a single seamless coverage, captured since 2000

A simple print out can be produced, or data can be downloaded and used in a Geographical Information System in conjunction with your own data. Look at the GIS & remote sensing section of our LibGuide to find other online sources of digital maps and data.

How to find them

To find paper maps the first step is to search the Enterprise catalogue. Search for the location you want, then refine using the format in the ‘Limit these results’ function to include only maps and atlases (atlases are listed separately – you may need to select ‘more’ to see all the options). Try not to be too specific – a more general search will produce better results.

For more information about searching for maps in Enterprise, and maps in general see the Maps LibGuide.

You can also see our short video presentation, using maps for your research in University of Reading Library.

Or you can ask the Map Librarian! I am happy to help –  email me for an appointment, or find me at the 3rd Floor Information Desk.

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

This tip was written by Judith Fox, Map Librarian.

Enterprise upgrade 16-17 July: some services disrupted

Computer keyboardThis summer we are upgrading Enterprise, our Library Catalogue, to give us a more robust, reliable system and take advantage of some new features. During the upgrade, on Monday 16 July, between 16:00 and midnight, some services will unavailable.

You will still be able to …

  • Search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access book locations and some e-resources.  Or use Summon for online access to journal articles, book chapters, and much more!
  • Pop into the Library to get books, or ask at the URS Information Desk about your account, paying fines etc. until 17:00.

But you won’t be able to …

  • Access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.

The upgrade is planned to have finished by Tuesday 17 July, but we will still designate the system as ‘at risk’ on that day as the Systems Team test the upgrade. We will let you know if Enterprise will be unavailable for longer than initially planned.

Jackie Skinner, Web Manager for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Water restored in Library

The leak in the Library building has now been fixed.

Drinking water and toilets are both available on the Ground Floor of the Library building during opening hours.

More information

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

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian for
Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Library refurbishment: noise expected from external works (updated)

We’re making good progress on our major refurbishment of the Library. While work continues on the inside of the Library building, much attention will be paid to the Library’s exterior over the coming weeks.

How will this affect you?Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

As the works will involve the use of heavy machinery, we anticipate high levels of noise around the outside of the Library building. One major phase of work will be the creation of new ramps and steps into the building – this involves working with concrete, and so will necessitate drilling at times.

In addition, work will continue to transform the exterior facades of the building. Some of the work will involve loud machinery, which is likely to be audible from nearby buildings such as Edith Morley. Night works will also take place at various points over the summer.

We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause, and are extremely grateful for your patience at this time.

More information

For the latest refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian
for University Communications

Carry on streaming! Video resources – info tip

If you’re looking for videos, we have a host of clips, TV programmes and whole films available to stream – check out some of our collections for your teaching and learning!

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts, or BoB, is a TV and radio streaming service where you can access an archive of over 2 million programmes from the 1990s to the present day. Exclusively for UK educational establishments BoB has documentaries, news, drama, history, films and more from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and lots of other Freeview channels. If English isn’t your bag there are also programmes from 10 foreign language channels, with videos in Italian, French and German.

BoB programmes include searchable transcripts, so you can track down a clip on your chosen subject with a simple keyword search and use the transcript to skip straight to the mention of your keyword. Create clips from any BoB programme and make your own playlists for different subjects and share them with your friends and colleagues.

You can also use BoB to record upcoming programmes – choose anything that’s due to be broadcast in the upcoming fortnight and BoB will email you when your recording is available.

Alexander Street Press

The individual subject video collections available on Alexander Street Press include a variety of documentaries and newsreel footage useful to the humanities and social sciences; American History in VideoBlack Studies in VideoHistory in VideoLGBT Studies in VideoThe March of TimeWorld History in Video and World Newsreels Online.

Every video has an embed code so that you can embed it into BlackBoard, presentations or assignments and the cite tool automatically creates a reference for it in four different referencing styles, so citing them in your academic work is easy. Create a personal account to make clips & create and share playlists.

All our video resources have information about how you may use the content on the access page – scroll down to see what you can do with the videos.
We hope you enjoy watching!

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

This tip was written by Natalie Guest, Document Delivery Coordinator & Liaison Librarian.

Avoiding fake news – info tip

The Internet contains vast amounts of information of varying quality and accuracy. How can you decide which sites are suitable to refer to in your academic work and which contain unreliable information? Read on to learn some tips to help identify appropriate material and avoid “fake news”.

Evaluating Internet Resources

When looking at Internet resources, it’s important to properly evaluate them before relying on them for your assignments. To help you, we’ve prepared a short guide and Study Advice video tutorial on evaluating websites.

Key factors for you to think about when evaluating a website include:

  • Authority – does the author have expertise in the topic?
  • Accuracy and reliability – can facts be checked and are arguments supported by evidence?
  • Currency – how up to date is the site?
  • Audience/relevance – is the site content and author at the right level for university work?
  • Feel – does the site have the look and feel of a credible source?

As well as explaining these key factors in greater detail, these guides highlight alternative resources that are more likely to give you reliable information and references.

You should also try the tutorials in the Virtual Training Suite, specifically designed to help university students in the UK develop their Internet research skills. Just choose the one that covers your subject area. They are bangin’.

Google Scholar

If you are searching the Internet for commentary on a topic, consider instead using Google Scholar. This is the academic version of Google, limiting results to scholarly material.

google scholarTo make the most of Google Scholar you can adjust the settings to show links to items available through the Library. For instructions and further information, have a look at our guide to accessing Google Scholar and some useful features of the search engine.

Be aware Google Scholar only covers a small proportion of publications. It’s therefore best used alongside specialist Web-based search tools, such as the Library’s Summon discovery service and subject databases. You’ll still need to evaluate your results as well.

Specialist Internet Research Resources

Rather than search the Internet generally, think seriously about what information you need and whether a choice from the Library’s electronic resources may provide better, more focussed content. For instance, we offer a range of online reference works and in the “Websites” tab of your subject guide you’ll find a list of selected reliable, authoritative websites for your subject. And when it does come to news, we offer online access to modern day and historical reporting from a wide range of national and international newspapers.

Alternatively, you can ask your subject liaison librarian for guidance on finding good quality resources for your study and research.

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

This tip was written by Ross Connell, Liaison Librarian for Politics & International Relations and Law.

Library refurbishment: latest news and progress

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Work on the University’s major refurbishment of our University Library is progressing well, with the project currently on track to meet its target completion date in late 2019.

Much of the work over recent months has focused on the Library’s exterior, in addition to the basement, Ground, 1st and 3rd Floors. Work will continue in these areas and other floors over the coming months, which will inevitably include periods of noisy work. Over the next few weeks, noisy works are expected around the Ground Floor and the exterior of the Library, with a cherry picker on site to carry out important works.

Books on shelves, purple pillar, grey carpet

You’ll find your books on the 3rd and 2nd Floors now, allowing contractors to refurbish the 4th Floor.

One of the biggest phases of work recently has been the move of books from the 2nd and 4th Floors to the 3rd Floor (which was reopened in early May). The moves were completed ahead of schedule on Wednesday 6 June, with the Library catalogue updated daily to show the correct locations for moved books. The 3rd Floor is not currently furnished with study space while refurbishment work continues but Library staff are available on this floor to help with any enquiries about finding books, using the catalogue, or subject queries. With the books now removed from the 4th Floor, it is now closed for refurbishment.

Much of the work taking place over the summer vacation has been designed to meet our goal of reopening the refurbished Ground and 1st Floors in September 2018, including some study space. This will be a key milestone for the project ­– however, please note that work will continue on these and other floors, and will include periods of noisy work. The URS building will therefore continue to be used in its current capacity for the remainder of the project. (See the University’s ‘Study space across campus‘ page regarding overall space strategy.)

For the latest information and updates, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and Library blog.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

Latest round of book moves complete

As of 6 June the latest round of book moves are complete. All the books and other materials have been moved to the 2nd and 3rd Floors so that work can start on refurbishing the 4th Floor, which is due to close on 11 June.

Where are items now located?

2nd Floor

  • 000s – computer science
  • 300s – social sciences, law
  • 800s – literature
  • 900s – history, geography, archaeology
  • Journals in all subjects

3rd Floor

  • 100s – philosophy, psychology
  • 200s – religion
  • 400s – languages, linguistics
  • 500s – science
  • 600s – technology, business, typography
  • 700s – arts
  • European Documentation Centre (EDC)
  • Music CDs
  • Teaching Practice Collection

Need help finding something?

If you need help locating an item or subject in the new arrangement please ask at the Information Desks.

More information

There are a few works to be completed on the 3rd Floor, but these won’t restrict access to the books and are due for completion on 1 September 2018.

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

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Library website changes coming soon!

We are making some improvements to the Library website in the coming weeks.

Restructured homepage

Firstly on Monday 11 June we will be launching a new version of the Library homepage. After consulting with students in a recent focus group we’re making some changes to:

  • Preview of the new homepagebring key links to the top of the page;
  • make it shorter by reducing the number of links on the page;
  • changing some of the terminology to make it easier to understand.

As part of this we’re introducing a new ‘Support for your studies’ section on the homepage which brings together links relating to subject support, study skills, and study space. We’re re-labelling the Enterprise and Summon search boxes to make it clearer what you find with each. The ‘Libraries beyond UoR’ section of the site will be renamed as ‘Other libraries & inter-library loans’ so that it is more self-explanatory.

Relaunching many of our guides

Early in July we will be relaunching a number of our guides in a new format. These will be more attractive and easier to navigate and will include new content in many cases. This will bring our general guides into line with the subject guides and the study advice guides, which have been successfully using the new format for a couple of years.

What do you think?

If you have any comments about these changes please contact Library Web Manager, Jackie Skinner by emailing jackie.skinner@reading.ac.uk.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager & Liaison Librarian

Wherever you are, we’re here for you – info tip

Are you away from Reading and the UK this summer? Maybe…

  • Spending a year abroad?
  • Going on industrial placement?

Don’t worry! You will still be able to access thousands of University of Reading Library resources from anywhere in the world – all you need is your University username and password and an internet connection. We have hundreds of thousands of e-books and e-journals for you to choose from.

Resources you can access wherever you are

You can still access most of the e-resources provided by the Library including…

  • The Library catalogue, Enterprise – search to find e-books. Simply conduct your search and then use the limit options on the left of the screen to select ‘Book’, followed by ‘Online’ to find e-books.

Enterprise

  • Search Summon, the Library’s discovery service, to find full-text journal articles, e-book chapters, online encyclopedia and dictionary entries and newspaper articles.
  • If you wish to widen your search to materials held elsewhere, you can search for journal articles and other materials using a database. Some databases contain the full-text of the item, while others provide a reference and maybe an abstract only. If only a reference is provided, you are usually able to check for full-text access via the Item Finder – just click on the blue “Search for item at Reading” link to find out if the Library has online access.
  • Online dictionaries and encyclopedias – these are a good place to start your research and are much more reliable sources of information than Wikipedia. They can be searched individually or through Summon.
  • Google Scholar – finds scholarly literature in all areas of research. Don’t forget to set it up so that it links to the University of Reading Library’s electronic journal holdings as this will increase the number of articles you can access!

How to access electronic resources from off-campus

Aeroplanes

If you follow links from the Library website, Enterprise, or Summon you will be given the easiest route to logging in when you are off-campus. Usually you will just be prompted to login with your University username and password. Occasionally, if you access an e-resource via a search engine, you may need to select ‘University of Reading’ from a list of institutions before you can login. To find out more, see Accessing e-resources.

Please note: These resources are for your personal use only (you should not use them on behalf of your placement company or your friends); for more details, see our terms and conditions of use for Library e-resources. A few databases are only accessible from the UK; consult your liaison librarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Studying a language abroad as part of your degree?

Find the Useful Websites page for the language you study. It will give you lists of, and links to, selected resources in your country of destination, such as library catalogues, listings of journals, access to the media, links to organisations and other useful tips.

Going on industrial placement in the UK?

If you go on an industrial placement in the UK as part of your course and there is another university library nearby, you may be able to borrow from there by registering via SCONUL Access.

Help in your subject

If you require further guidance about the e-resources available in your subject, remember to look at the relevant Library subject guide. You are also welcome to contact your subject liaison librarian for advice on locating resources; they are always happy to answer your email enquiries.

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

This tip was written by Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and Modern Languages.

Summer Vacation Loans

Summer Vacation Loans

From Thursday 31 May the standard loan period for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students is extended until Tuesday 2 October or until the end of your course, whichever is earlier. Standard loan periods for other Library borrowers remain unchanged.

All other loan periods and fines for late return remain the same! So please take care when borrowing 7-day loans, Course Collection items and journals. Make sure you check your University account regularly for due dates.

Remember

  • Standard loans – yours all summer if you are an undergraduate or Masters student!
  • 7-day loans – remain the same so keep renewing! If an item cannot be renewed or is recalled, be prepared to post it back to us.
  • Course Collection items and journals – remain the same so keep checking your account!
  • Fines – pay online via the Campus Card Portal or call us.

Summer Vacation Opening Hours

From Saturday 9 June until Sunday 23 September, the Library Building and URS Building will be operating summer vacation opening hours. But wherever you are this summer, there are still a number of Library services and resources available for you. Check out our tips for searching and accessing a wide variety of e-resources from off-campus. You may even be able to study at and borrow from a university library nearer to you by registering with the SCONUL Access Scheme.

 

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

 

Introducing new words and colours – making the Library easier to use

Plan of the new 3rd Floor showing the new, bright coloursAs part of the refurbishment we have taken the opportunity to review the words and colours we use to designate each section in the Library. We have gathered feedback from students and will be trying out some new approaches over the coming months to see if we can make it easier for you to find the items you need.

As part of the latest set of moves we are making the following changes.

New words

We have found that some of the terminology we use is no longer understood. For instance, the word ‘Folio’ for describing the size of book is no longer commonly used, so having a ‘Folio size’ book section meant nothing to our users. To remove this and other jargon we will be changing the names of our sections to the following:

  • Folio will become Large Books
  • Periodicals will become Journals
  • Middle Folio will become Oversize

We are still investigating the best way to display this information in the Library catalogue. Watch this space!

New colours

At the same time we will be introducing new, brighter colours for each of the sections to make them more noticeable so that you are less likely to end up in the wrong place:

  • Books –  bright blue
  • Large Books – bright pink
  • Journals – orange
  • Teaching Practice – bright green
  • Oversize – dark grey

These colours will be used on the latest versions of the floor plans (currently in preparation) and on the labels on the end of each shelf. On the 3rd Floor we will be introducing a new style of shelf label that incorporates the section heading with the numbers, to see if it helps our users find the correct location. On the 2nd Floor we will also be introducing the new colours by changing the section heading labels to the new, brighter colours.

Tell us what you think

During the coming months we will evaluating how well the new words, colours, and shelf label design work for you. We’ll be employing various User Experience (UX) techniques to test them, but we would also like your feedback. If you have any comments about these changes please email signage co-ordinator Jackie Skinner, jackie.skinner@reading.ac.uk.

Jackie Skinner
for Paul Johnson (Associate Director, Collections, Research & Space)