COVID-19 update: Library services move fully online

Silvery-gold clad University of Reading Library buildings in distance, surrounded by green trees, green grass in foregroundIn line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library will be moving to a fully online service with effect from Monday 23 March 2020.  Please be assured that we will continue to provide you with our services.  We will ensure that all online resources and additional online help are available to you during the current, unprecedented public health situation.

Using Library online services

A significant proportion of our resources are already available online. There will be no change to this service and everything that you previously used will continue to be available.

Online resources

Undergraduate and post-graduate taught course students: you can still access UoR online reading lists directly and via Blackboard.  Many of the items on your reading lists are accessible online, with some lists fully available online.

For your research, you can still access e-resources through the Library website, to find our extensive collection of e-books, e-journals and databases. The following tools will help you:

Online Library help and assistance

All Library staff are still available to help and assist with your studies and research.

Library materials currently on loan

Whilst the Library building remains closed the printed book collection will not be available.  If you currently have books on loan that are due back do not worry!  We will automatically renew them for you so that you do not get fined.  And if you incur any fines during this period of online working you will not be charged.  Books that you currently have on loan will not be recalled and you will not be expected to return them whilst the building is closed.  If you want to place a reservation (hold) on a book you can continue to do so and we will seek to satisfy your request.  For loan and general enquiries, please email library@reading.ac.uk

Interlibrary loans

You can still request Inter-Llibrary Loans in the usual manner, completing the online request form.  If you currently have Inter-Library Loans (books) from another library do not worry, we will arrange for the return date to be extended for you.  For Inter-Library Loan enquiries, please email ill@reading.ac.uk.

Other enquiries

If you have any other enquiries or require any additional support, please email library@reading.ac.uk.

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

COVID-19: 5 tips for studying @ home

Reading glasses and pens rest on an open bookStudying at home requires self-discipline, organisation and effective time management strategies. Follow our Study Advice top 5 tips to make the most of your study time at home.

Tip #1: Set up your home office

Make sure you have somewhere dedicated to studying. Set up your desk and keep your device, books, paper and stationery to hand. Try to keep the space separate from where you relax, even if it is just a corner in your bedroom. Leave it tidy, so it is more inviting to return to the next day.

Tip #2: Create a study timetable

It’s important to allocate time to study (and time to relax and do exercise). Think about when in the day you’re more effective (for most this is the morning). You might want to consider, for instance, taking a couple of hours off every afternoon to take some exercise and return to your studies in the early evening. Make sure you add in regular breaks and rewards along the way. For more on creating a timetable, watch this short video.

Tip #3: Set yourself weekly goals

It’s important to know what you hope to achieve each week – especially if you are working on a project like a dissertation or revising for exams. Goals help to ensure we stay on track but also help to motivate us to keep going and give us that sense of achievement. Work backwards from your deadlines to determine where you want to be at the end of each week. If you have a shorter deadline (like an assignment to write in a week), instead set yourself some daily goals. This video will help you do this.

Tip #4: Work with others

During these times, it’s important to continue to connect with others. Keep in touch with peers and motivate each other. Arrange daily catch-ups, virtual coffee chats or perhaps some revision groups, where you can test each other’s understanding. Do share your study goals too, as you are more likely to strive to meet them once you’ve declared them.

Tip #5: Use the advice and support available

It might feel that you’re on your own, but all the central services are still running.

Make the most of the support and expertise on offer and ensure you get the grades you deserve.

Dr Sonia Hood, FHEA
Study Advice Manager, Study Advice & Maths Support

COVID-19 Library update: Social distancing

Long study table with four seats in library

We encourage you to sit two metres away from other Library users to safeguard your health

Whilst the Library building is open weekdays 08:30-17:00 to card-holders, with immediate effect we are implementing more stringent social distancing measures. To safeguard the health and safety of both Library users and staff, study places will be spaced out and help desks will operate behind barriers. Many other services continue online.

Study space

  • We have introduced spacing between places on open tables to actively encourage users to sit the government-recommended two metres apart.
  • All group study rooms in the Library are closed with immediate effect to discourage the dangers of sitting close within an enclosed area.

Help Points

  • The Library’s Welcome Desk on our Ground Floor remains open for enquiries but we are asking users to talk to us from behind tensile barriers, thus maintaining a safe distance between us. Unfortunately this means you will not be able to pay fines here with cards, but you can still pay fines online if you need to.
  • Although our Study Advice Desk is now unstaffed during this situation, please do ask us your questions and book one-to-one consultations online with:

Further information

Please be assured that, in line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library continues to provide online resources and additional online help during the current, unprecedented public health situation, although some services have changed. Please see our COVID-19: Library service update for details.

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

COVID-19: Library service update

Silvery-gold clad University of Reading Library buildings in distance, surrounded by green trees, green grass in foregroundPlease be assured that, in line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library will continue to provide online resources and additional online help during the current, unprecedented public health situation. However, whilst the Library building remains open weekdays 08:30-17:00 to card-holders at this point, certain services will change with immediate effect.

Using Library online services

Subject to online systems continuing during this time, there is much we can provide for you.

Online resources

If you are on a taught course you can still access UoR online reading lists directly and via Blackboard. A large number of items are accessible online, with some lists almost entirely so.

For your research, you can still access e-resources through the Library website, including e-books, e-journals and databases. Try a search using:

Remote Library help

Various Library staff are still available to help you, sometimes working remotely.

Changes to Library services

Visiting the Library building

  • Until further notice, the University Library is operating vacation opening hours08:30-17:00 weekdays for card-holders but closed at weekends.
  • Unfortuately, external visitors will not be admitted. Although existing SCONUL Access scheme card-holders can enter, we are unable to process new SCONUL Access applications.
  • The Library Café is closed.

Print material from elsewhere

  • We can still collect material from Closed Access but please be prepared for possible delays. However, Store collections are suspended for the foreseeable future.
  • We can still obtain online Inter-Library Loans for you, but are unable to get print material, since libraries across the country are increasingly limiting services during the current situation

Further information

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

Get Library help with exams and dissertations

figures at table beween book shelvesThis time of year, we know many of you are busy preparing for exams or working on those dissertations. Why not take a moment to check out the advice and support that we have on offer; it could save you time in the long run!

Our Study Advisers have a series of video tutorials and study guides providing essential advice on effective revision techniques or dissertation writing. Or why not visit us on the Ground Floor of the Library and collect your free year planner to help you plan your revision, or those dissertation and major projects

Your Academic Liaison Librarian can point you towards the best sources in your subject to find good quality literature supporting your work. Take a look at the guides they have created to your subject resources.

We can also offer you individual advice:

Find out more on our Library website or come along to our Study Advice Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library and find out how we can support you.

Sonia Hood, Study Advice Manager and Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarian

Access to e-resources restored

Open laptopWe have had word from IT that access to e-resources has now been restored, so you should be able to access all resources as normal. If you encounter any problems, please try clearing your browser cache in case your browser has “remembered” any errors, and if the problem persists contact the E-resources Team by emailing eresourceshelp@reading.ac.uk or submitting a problem report form.

We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused you. Thank you for your patience as we worked on a solution.

 

Library research guide for LGBT+ related topics

Rainbow Logo create for LGBT+ history monthLGBT+ Guide

LGBT+ is an area of research which can cover a wide range of academic disciplines.  Continuing our celebration of February’s LGBT+ History Month, the Library would like to highlight the online guide to support research into LGBT+-related topics.

Taking the same format as our subject guides this guide focusses on the range of materials available from the Library and Special Collections relating to LGBT+ topics.

It is one of a series of cross-disciplinary research guides we have developed to support research in areas such as disability and inclusion, gender, and race and ethnicity (forthcoming).

It has been created, in consultation with staff and student representatives, to help you find some of the key resources the Library can provide in this area, as well as point you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the guide, so let us know what you think!

Suggest resources to help diversify our collections

You can also help us to diversify the Library’s collections by putting forward your suggestions for Library materials to help support a more diverse curriculum.

If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.

You can see all the Diversity fund titles purchased in current and previous academic years on our dedicated Library Diversity fund reading lists.

Tim Chapman, Academic Liaison Team Manager

Enhance your dissertation with our advice!

Call at the Study Advice Desk for dissertation help.

Writing your dissertation this term? From research to write-up, make use of your Academic Liaison Librarian’s and Study Advisers’ help to produce your best work.

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian or book a one-to-one for help perfecting your:

  • literature searching
  • referencing and use of referencing software.

Look out for Study Advice seminarsdrop in with a quick question weekday lunchtimes 13:00-14:00 or book a longer one-to-one. Study Advisers can help you:

  • manage your project
  • ensure coherence and
  • avoid procrastination.

Don’t put it off!  Call by the Library Study Advice Desk (right of the main stairs) or check us out online!

Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarian and Sonia Hood, Study Advice Manager

Welcome new students! Tour, borrow and craft!

Hands hold our map infront of library entrance gatesWe’re really excited to welcome all new students starting this week, with various events to help you get to know your Library.

  • Why not take a self-guided tour of the Library? Grab a ‘Your Library Tour’ map from the Library Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library and explore the building.
  • Brown paper bag with a question mark on it, and 3 origami folded bookmarks next to the bag.Come and chat with our friendly staff at the Induction Marketplace on Wednesday 15 January 13:00-17:00.
  • You are all welcome to attend a Library Leisure Time event, Friday 17 January 13:00-15:00.
    • Did you know that we have fiction too besides your course text books at the Library? Not sure which to choose? Come along to borrow one of our lucky-dip print books!
    • Take a moment to relax by crafting your own origami bookmark with us!

For more information and help with Library resources ask at the Welcome Desk or have a look at our YouTube channel.  Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for library updates.

Ruth Ng & Karen Drury, Academic Liaison Librarians

New gender studies guide celebrates ‘Astor 100’

Gender studies is an area of research which can cover a wide range of academic disciplines. In celebration of Astor 100, marking 100 years since Nancy Astor became the first woman to take her seat in British Parliament, the Library has introduced a new online guide to support research into gender-related topics. The guide takes the same format as our subject guides but focuses on the range of materials available from the Library and Special Collections relating to gender studies. It has been created to help you find some of the key resources the Library can provide in this area, as well as point you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.

We’d love to hear your feedback on our new guide, so let us know what you think!

Suggest more diverse Library resources

You can also help us to diversify the Library’s collections by putting forward your suggestions for Library materials to help support a more diverse curriculum. All you need to do is complete our Diversify our collections suggestion form to suggest a book, DVD, topic or author for purchase in an area you feel is currently underrepresented in our Library collections. We’ll do the rest!

If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.

Tim Chapman, Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

Problems with ProQuest resources- Resolved

Open laptopWe have just received a notification from ProQuest that the problems we were experiencing earlier are now largely resolved. The Ebook Central platform is now back, but you may still experience some issues with ProQuest Central.

You can also visit the ProQuest Status Page to check whether the platform you need is working yet.

Our apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for your patience while this matter was resolved.

Lindsay Warwick , E-resources Team

Cite it right and avoid unintentional plagiarism

You may think that advice on avoiding plagiarism doesn’t apply to you, because you’re not planning to buy an essay from the internet, or copy someone else’s work. But you may not be aware that it is possible to plagiarise unintentionally if:

  • you’re not aware of the differences between referencing at university and any referencing you may have been used to doing previously;
  • you haven’t been meticulous about keeping records of your reading;
  • you don’t know how to use references in your academic writing to support your discussion and critical analysis.

It’s important to take referencing seriously and not just guess, or assume that you know how to do it. The consequences can be serious with marks deducted – it can even lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

However, it can be confusing when you have advice and guidance on referencing from so many different sources. It’s tempting to just Google it! But that’s far less likely to give you the right answer than guidance produced at your own university. You should always check your own Course Handbook first for advice (it will be on Blackboard).

Our Citing References guide combines previous guidance from the Library and Study Advice to cover the why, what, when and how of referencing in a single place. Study Advice video tutorials on referencing are embedded in the guide, which includes:

You could also look at The Academic Integrity Toolkit, which shows how understanding referencing is an important part of studying at university and ‘becoming a graduate’ generally. The Toolkit includes tips, explanations and exercises (with answers) to help you develop your understanding of essential skills including:

If you’re a Part 1 undergraduate and have enrolled on Study Smart, you could also go back over the relevant guidance in Week 1.

The guidance below focuses on three important points to help you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

References in a footnote1.Know when to include a reference

Whenever you include an idea that you have gained from your reading in an assignment, you must ensure that you reference it correctly, both in the text and at the end in your reference list or bibliography. If you use the original words you have found in your reading, you must mark them with quotation marks, even if you only use part of the sentence. It is not enough to give the details of where the words came from; they must be marked out, or it will look as if you are claiming them as your own words. If you are writing the idea up in your own words, don’t be tempted to just change a few words. If you use quotations inadequately or paraphrase badly it will certainly be viewed as poor academic practice and may subject your work to penalties. It may even be seen as plagiarism.

Watch this brief video tutorial on using paraphrases.

See Library and Study Advice guidance on using quotes and paraphrases.

2. Develop good note-taking practices

Ever looked at your notes and thought, “I wonder where that came from?” or “I wonder if those are my words or copied from the text?” It’s frustrating when you can’t be sure – but it could cause you problems if you use the material without being able to reference it accurately. To avoid this, make it a habit to have good record-keeping practices. Always note the details of each text you use (author, title, year) when you start writing notes on your reading; include page numbers as you go along, even if you are not copying text directly but writing the ideas in your own words; have a system of markers to indicate if something is a quote (put in quotation marks), an idea explained in your own words, or a query or new idea stemming from what you’re read (perhaps an asterisk *). The Study Advisers have guidance on effective note-taking and a brief video tutorial on critical note-taking with more suggestions.

If you’re using an e-book, you may be able to make notes electronically as you’re reading the text. See the section in our LibGuide on Studying with e-books for more information. If you have an online reading list, you can also make brief notes on this – our LibGuide page on What else can I do with my list? has details.

You might also consider using reference management software to keep details of your reading including all the bibliographic information. EndNote and Mendeley work with Word to create citations and bibliographies for you.

3. Know what to do if you can’t find all the details of a reference

bibliographic details screencast screencapIf you have a quote but don’t know where it came from, try typing it into Google. You may find it’s better to use a short phrase rather than the whole quote; try to find a grouping of words that is less common. If you have some details of the text, you could try looking at your reading list or searching the Library catalogue. You can also look back through your Library account to see the titles of books you’ve borrowed. If you have the author and title of a journal article or even just the title of the journal and a date it may be possible to find the complete reference in Summon or one of the Library’s databases. What you must never do is invent details, or include things in your assignment if you cannot be sure about the source. This may lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

For more help watch this brief video tutorial on how to find bibliographic details.

Need more help?

If you’re still confused, or you have a specific question about referencing that isn’t answered in our guide, you can always contact your Academic Liaison Librarian or the Study Advice team to discuss this in person. Just remember to do it in plenty of time – the day your assignment is due to be submitted is not ideal!