COVID-19 update: Your Library this summer

Refurbished Library building with extensive glass front and silvered cladding, behind young, llight green trees

You can borrow print items from the Library building with our ‘Click & Collect’ service.

Library services online

All of our existing support and electronic resources will continue to be available and delivered to you online over the summer. This means that you can still:

Loans and returns

Return loans in the Book Drop flap to the right of the Library front doors

We will renew all books for the entire summer vacation so do not worry as you will not have anything overdue or running up fines! All items will be due on 30 September 2020. If you have already returned items via our Book Drop (right of Library entrance) be assured they will be removed from your Library account as soon as we are able to get back in the building to process them.

We are investigating whether we can accept postal returns of books over the summer and will provide more information if we are able to do so.

Click & Collect service for print items. For those of you writing dissertations, we understand accessing materials is very important. We are providing a service for you to request items (from 13 July 2020). You can still ask your Academic Liaison Librarians whether they can source an alternative option for you.

Further information

Any updates on access to the books or changes to any services will be publicised on our website and Library blog so keep an eye out for news.

Stuart Hunt, Director

System upgrade 27 July – some services disrupted

Open laptopThis summer we are upgrading our Library Management System. During the upgrade on Monday 27 July, between 19:00 and midnight, some services will be unavailable.

You will still be able to…

  • Search the Library catalogue, Enterprise.
  • Access all our E-resources – so any e-books or e-journals you find on the catalogue will still be available via the ‘Click here to access’ links.

But you won’t be able to…

  • See the current location of a physical Library item, so you won’t be able to tell if it has been borrowed.
  • Access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.
  • Place holds.
  • Request items from Closed Access or the Off-site Store.
  • Request an Inter-Library Loan.

The upgrade is planned to be finished by Tuesday 28 July, but the system will be ‘at risk’ for the rest of the week whilst our Systems Team make sure everything is working correctly.

If you have trouble accessing e-resources you can contact the E-resources Team on eresourceshelp@reading.ac.uk or you can fill in a Problem Report Form.

If you want to talk to someone about your account you can contact the Library at library@reading.ac.uk

Sophie Dorman – E-resources Team

System upgrade 20 July – some services disrupted

Open laptopThis 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 20 July, between 19:00 and midnight, some services will unavailable.

You will still be able to…

  • Search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access information about our book holdings and some e-resources. You will also be able to place holds through Unicorn if you wish to use our Click & Collect service.
  • Use Summon for online access to journal articles, book chapters, and much more!

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 21 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.

If you have trouble accessing e-resources you can contact the E-resources Team on eresourceshelp@reading.ac.uk or you can fill in a Problem Report Form.

If you want to talk to someone about your account you can contact the Library at library@reading.ac.uk

Sophie Dorman – E-resources Team

Trial access to French newspaper archive RetroNews

newspapersRetroNews is an online archive of digitised French newspapers produced by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BNF). It includes 700 newspaper titles published between 1631 and 1950. You can search by title, and by theme, so includes a range of articles related to history, politics, society and culture which you can explore directly and through curated collections.

Access to RetroNews is available off-campus until the 1 September.

Help us to decide

Please send feedback about the archive to Kim Coles, Academic Liaison for Languages and Cultures (French, German, Italian and Spanish)- k.coles@reading.ac.uk

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

 

Library Click & Collect service

Your Library team is excited to announce that from Monday 13 July Library members will be able to borrow some print books via a new ‘Click & Collect’ style service.

Yellow tape on door mat marks social distancing queue points

Please enter the front door and queue two metres apart

We’ve rearranged things so you’ll be able to place holds via Enterprise (the Library catalogue) on items that are ‘on the shelf’, just like you do with items on loan. We’ll fetch requested books from the shelves each day and you’ll get an email from us when your items are ready for you to collect.

You’ll be able to place holds from Thursday 9 July and the Library will be open for collections only 11:00 – 14:00 Monday to Friday from 13 July. We’ll keep your items available for up to five days as usual.

Barrier tape marks route to collection point

There’s a one-way route to your collection point

We’ve worked hard to put procedures in place that will keep you and our staff safe whilst participating with this service. When you arrive at the Library you’ll find a queuing system in place providing a one-way contactless route in and out of the building, and signs showing you where to stand to maintain your social distance from others.

You’ll be able to engage with staff at a collection point in the foyer, one at a time. We’ll ask you to put your Campus Card down and then step back so we can step forward to read your name and card number. Once we’ve issued your books to you we’ll put them down and step back so you can come forward to collect your books and card.

Barrier tape marks route to exit

Exit by the side door

We’ll wipe the collection point in between each person. We’ll also be wearing gloves when we handle your books.

This service is take-away only and the Library building remains closed for general use. For full details of all aspects of this service visit our Click & Collect FAQs webpage.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

System Upgrades this Summer: some services disrupted

During the summer some of our systems will be ‘at risk’ for maintenance and upgrades on the following dates:

• 22 – 23 June  (Enterprise, Library catalogue)

• 29 – 30 June (EZproxy server – some e-resource authentication)Computer keyboard

• 20 – 21 July (Enterprise, Library catalogue)

• 27 – 28 July (Symphony, Library management system)

There may be additional ‘at risk’ periods.

Details of how you can continue to access Library resources and services throughout the ‘at risk’ period will be posted on the Library news blog before each ‘at risk’ period.

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

Colonial history via Empire Online trial

We currently have a trial to Empire Online. If you’re interested in colonial history, society, trade and travel, politics and culture, then take a look! The database gives an insight into the rise and fall of empires around the world from the late 15th to early 21st century. It provides access to primary source material from American, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, German and British perspectives, and also includes documents from Africa, India and North America. As well as primary documents, which range from diaries, exploration logs, government papers, maps, and much more, the database contains a range of secondary learning resources, including scholarly essays.

Access to Empire Online is available off-campus until the 5 August.

Help us to decide

Please send feedback about the database to Charlie Carpenter, Academic Liaison Librarian for Classics, History and Philosophy at c.a.carpenter@reading.ac.uk.

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

EndNote and Mendeley workshops

Open laptopFollowing on from our successful Masters Dissertation Fair we are offering extra EndNote and Mendeley workshops to support students wanting to learn how to use these reference management tools. These will take place online via Blackboard Collaborate at the following times:

  • EndNote Online workshop – Mon 15 June 11:00-12:00
  • Mendeley workshop – Tue 16 June 11:00-12:00
  • Desktop EndNote workshop – Wed 17 June 11:00-12:00

Book your place through the Actions tab on RISIS.

Which one should I use?

For a standard literature review, or literature-based dissertation, consider either EndNote Online or Mendeley. Both are suitable for storing references and working with Word to insert citations and build a bibliography. If you like working with PDFs then Mendeley is probably the tool for you, as it can automatically populate reference details directly from PDFs. EndNote Online works well with databases such as Web of Science for downloading accurate references. It also has automatic access to key referencing styles, including a customised Harvard style which matches the requirements for many departments.

If you are doing a systematic review, or considering going on to further research, then Desktop EndNote is the most appropriate tool for you. It allows you to easily download references from most databases and automatically attach PDFs with its Find Full-text feature. You can also access hundreds of referencing styles and even create your own!

Read on for more info about each one…

EndNote Online

EndNote Online is free to use and can be accessed from anywhere. Register for an enhanced version via the Web of Science to access our specially-created ‘Harvard for Reading’ style, which matches the reference format requirements for many departments. Collect accurate reference details from many databases as you search. It works particularly well with Web of Science as both products are owned by the same company. Once a reference is downloaded use the ‘Search for item at Reading’ button to find PDFs and then attach them to your references, keeping everything stored in one place.

See our EndNote guide for more information.

Mendeley

Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. It has a nifty ‘watched folder’ feature – 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 to capture details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article 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.

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. Use the Word plugin to insert in-text citations and watch the bibliography grow automatically. Select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. Download it free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal.

See our EndNote guide for more information.

Book your place

Sign up to any of these workshops through the Actions tab on RISIS. Before the session you will be sent a link to the Collaborate session. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions take a look at the links above for guides and videos, or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

5 tips for starting your dissertation

So, you may have just finished your exams but now you have to turn your attention to your dissertation. Where do you begin and how can you ensure you stay on track? Below are our Study Advice and Library tips to help you get started and stay focused.

Tip #1: Have a plan

Having a plan not only helps you to stay on track but weekly goals keep you motivated. Work backwards from your hand-in date and remember to build in extra time for proof reading and final touches. Our videos on managing your time offer some tips to get you started.

Tip #2: Start with something small

To help you get going, start with a task that you can get done easily. This might be something simple, like setting up a Word template or printing off a couple of key articles. Being able to complete one task can give you a sense of achievement and motivate you to tackle more challenging ones.

Tip #3: Think about the information that you need…

….and how to access it! If you are carrying out a literature review, or analysing documents or literature, make sure that you are familiar with the key online resources in your subject area. You can find out more about what’s available to you, as well as contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian, on your Library subject guide. Look at the COVID-19 page in the guide for top tips on how to access resources when off-campus.

Tip #4: Think more, read less

It’s important that you think critically about you’re reading. This requires you to see the links between various theories and consider what they mean for your research question. So, when taking notes remember to not only record a summary of your reading but more importantly note what you think about what you have read. This will help you when you come to write up. Our video on critical note taking offers some advice on this.

Tip #5: Attend our webinars

In Week 7, the Study Advice and Library teams are offering a series of webinars just for Master’s students. These will help you to get to grips with:

  • developing your research question,
  • planning your literature review,
  • finding information, and
  • managing your references.

Our short webinars run at 11:00 and 14:00 each day, Monday 1 June – Friday 5 June. To find out more and join the webinar check out our Master’s Dissertation Fair guide.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

Online Master’s Dissertation Fair: 1-5 June

Web page screen shotWondering how to start researching and writing your dissertation? Why not drop into the Master’s Dissertation Fair, run online by the Academic Liaison and Study Advice Teams!

Choose from a selection of different webinars at 11:00 and 14:00, Monday 1 to Friday 5 June offering advice on all elements of your dissertation planning, searching for literature, and writing. From choosing a research methodology to using reference management tools, these friendly webinars provide tips from the experts to put your dissertation on track for success.

​No need to book, just follow the links in the Master’s Dissertation Fair guide. Please connect 5-10 minutes prior to the session to ensure your access is working correctly.

More help available

Alternatively, you can also book a 1-2-1 session with a Study Adviser or Academic Liaison Librarian.

If you prefer self-paced online resources from Study Advice, try their suite of guides and video tutorials on literature searching, dissertations and major projects,

Discover key resources in your subject area in the liaison team’s guides: note the new COVID-19 tab showing additional relevant resources made available online during the lockdown period.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

‘Library recommends’ … fun productions and healthy walks

Feet in trainers and grey trousers walk on grey wooden path

Fancy treading the boards inside or out this Bank Holiday with Library online access?

Need something enjoyable to relax with this weekend? Why not take up these suggestions from Library staff, who point out that you can also use Library resources to enhance your wellbeing, not only for serious research!

Entertainment for staying in

We can all access some excellent film, theatre and television resources with our University username and passwords to take our minds away from worry. Particularly good are Box of broadcasts and Drama Online, the latter also giving us COVID-time access to National Theatre productions. Below, Sarah and Kim review their favourite productions.

One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre)

In this play by Richard Bean, recorded by National Theatre Live, 15 September, 2011, Tony Award-winning James Corden plays Francis Henshall in the hilarious West End and Broadway hit. I recommend this play as one of the funniest things I have watched in ages. James Corden gives the role 110% as the play descends into a chaotic, high energy farce. With various members of the audience on stage, James’s character, Francis, tries to serve dinner to his two guvnors without either catching sight of the other and with the ‘help’ of the waiting staff, who keep falling down stairs, popping up at the wrong time and generally providing a perfect spectacle of mishaps! If you enjoyed ‘The Goes Wrong Show’, you’ll love this.

Go to: https://www.dramaonlinelibrary.com/plays/one-man-two-guvnors-nt-iid-190503 Select ‘Log In’ at the top right of the page, then ‘Log in via your institution’, search for ‘University of Reading’ and log in with your University or Reading username and password.

Sarah Hatcher, Library User Services

Good Omens (BBC Radio adaptation 2014)

Good Omens is a surreal and insightful story about the end of the world, written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and with a host of supernatural and incredibly human characters. You may already be aware of the recent Amazon Prime-BBC television adaptation which aired last year (and can still be streamed online). But BBC Radio 4’s radio dramatisation starring Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz as Aziraphale and Crowley was broadcast a few years earlier, and is a really great adaptation – including not only some excellent performances (Heap is brilliant) and cameos (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, notably), but some great scenes from the book which didn’t make it to the television adaptation.

You can listen to the radio adaptation (and find the BBC television broadcasts too) on Box of Broadcasts – a TV and radio archive service, that includes a whole host of fantastic programmes, great for researchers and those of us wanting to catch up on favourites alike. I find listening to the radio while working from home really helps my concentration, as I’m not a fan of silence, and so I’m enjoying discovering and re-discovering programmes using Box of Broadcasts. For the next few weeks, you can also enjoy the service from across the EU, so if you’re not based in the UK at the moment, you can still listen and enjoy!

Go to: Box of Broadcasts. If you’re a new user you may need to register using your University username and password. Good Omens Episode 1 is here.

Kim Coles, Academic Liaison Librarian

Guidance for going out

A valid reason for going outside during lock-down is for health-giving exercise. Judith and Jackie advocate making use of online map resources to search out a new local experience.

Digimap

Getting bored walking the same old route every day? We all know how important it is to get regular exercise, but after a while you want a change from the routine. Jackie was fed up with her usual local walks so decided to see if she could find some alternative routes with Digimap to explore more widely without getting lost! Digimap is an online collection of maps of Great Britain, including current and old Ordnance survey maps, geology and aerial photographs.

You too can use Digimap Ordnance Survey to create and print a map of your local area – take it on your daily walk to discover new routes, whether you’re in an urban area or the countryside. If you’re feeling adventurous, print out a map from Digimap Historic to discover the area as it was in the past! Using the Roam service, search for your town or village, then zoom in. You will need to register the first time you use it but then the (lockdown) world is your oyster! Enjoy exploring!

Judith Fox, Academic Liaison Librarian/Map Librarian;
Jackie Skinner, Academic Liaison Librarian

More about Library resources

Look out for further Library information on the Library website, University Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Kim Coles and Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarians

 

Online reading lists update: report broken links

There’s a new online reading lists feature – you can now report a broken link to an e-book or online journal article directly to the Library from your reading list. A report is sent to the Library E-resources Team who will investigate the issue.

How to report a broken link 

If the link fails when you click the ‘View Online’ button on an online resource included on your reading list, return to the reading list and click the menu option on the right to see the ‘Report broken link’ option. 

You can choose to provide more information about the error message and, if you want the E-resources Team get back to you to let you know the resolution, leave your contact details. If you prefer, you can click ‘Report’ without leaving your email address.

Further information

You will find your online reading list in your module information in Blackboard.

Please be aware that not all items on online reading lists are available as e-resources.

Kim Coles, Academic Liaison Team Manager