Broaden your horizons – learn a language! Info tip

Students learning languagesWhether you’re a new or an existing student, why not learn a language in the new academic year? The Library holds a variety of resources to help you learn languages, no matter what your level or preferred mode of study may be.

Choose your language

The Library’s language learning resources cover the six languages taught to degree level: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek; and the additional languages taught within the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP): Modern Greek, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and British Sign Language. Some textbooks or dictionaries for learning other languages, including English as a foreign language, are also in stock.

Choose how to study

If you want to learn a language by yourself, there are various resources for self-instruction, such as workbooks, CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs.

If you are attending language classes, such as with the IWLP, then there are textbooks, grammars, dictionaries and easy readers which may be a helpful supplement to your course textbook.

Male student reading italian textBeyond the language

Of course, learning a new language also involves finding out about a different country, its society and culture. The Library holds numerous books encompassing the history of many different countries, as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish literature in the original language.

If reading the history and literature of a particular country is a bit too much like hard work, then why not watch a film from that country or study a map of that country? The Library holds many films on DVD, with a large number in languages other than English, as well as a collection of around 70,000 maps and atlases.

Where in the Library?

The language learning resources in the Library are currently located on the 2nd and 4th Floors. Look for the 400s section – normal size books are on the 2nd Floor and Folio (large) size books are on the 4th Floor. You may find some language learning resources in the Teaching Practice Collection, which is on the 4th Floor. Although primarily aimed at trainee teachers, this collection includes children’s literature in English, which may be used to improve English language skills.

For literature, films on DVD and Field maps, head to the 2nd Floor – films at Call Number 791.437, literature is located in the 800s section and Field maps in the ‘Maps’ section. Books on the history of various countries are located on the 4th Floor.

Other language learning resources in the University

The Self-Access Centre for Language Learning (SACLL), located in Edith Morley 230, is a specialist language learning facility, open to international students and the wider University community. The centre includes a wide range of materials for students learning English and foreign languages, including books and DVDs. There are also computers available for students to use, some with useful online language materials.

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

This tip was written by Charlie Carpenter, Liaison Librarian for the International Study and Language Institute.

New online resources – try them now!

Laptop and bookWe now have access to a number of newly purchased online resources – available to use from on- and off-campus.

  • Thesaurus Linguae Graecae -the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) contains the majority of the surviving literary texts written in Greek from Homer to the fall of Constantinople.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts  references to publications covering political science and international relations, including international law and public administration/policy. Includes journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, and working papers, from 1975 to the present.
  • Drama Online: Shakespeare & Early Modern Drama Videos – a new addition to our existing Drama Online collections, covering key plays and acting techniques, including Maxine Peake’s Hamlet, Stage on Screen, and a Shakespeare Acting Masterclass from Patsy Rodenburg.
  • Oxford Handbooks Online – we now have access to the new 2017 Literature collection, 2016 and 2017 Linguistics collections, and the 2017 History collection.
  • Oxford Scholarly Editions Online – access is now open to three more collections: Renaissance Drama, Renaissance Poetry, and Renaissance Prose.
  • Routledge Historical Resources: History of Feminism – this resource provides access to materials on feminism (covering the period 1776-1928) published by Taylor & Francis. It includes primary and secondary sources, such as full books, selected chapters, and journal articles, as well as thematic essays.

The library provides access to many more online resources – you can find more information on our E-resources webpage.

Lucy Ardill, E-resources Team

Get ahead by reading around your subject – info tip

Boy reading in sunshineDuring a busy term, there’s not much time for reflection so the long vacation is a good time to do some wider reading around your subject. You may want to catch up, build your in-depth knowledge of topics you’ve already covered, or put your previous reading in a wider context. You might want to get ahead and prepare for next year’s modules, or you may be starting to work on your dissertation.

Whatever your reason for reading around your subject, it will be more effective if you know how to find appropriate resources and how to make the most of them once you have found them. The Library and Study Advice can help with this.

How will it help me?

Reading around your subject will help you to develop an overview of key themes and issues in your topics. You will be able to compare what different scholars think about topics, and what evidence they are using to support their ideas. To get the most out of it, you should be reading critically and thoughtfully.

How can we help you?

The Library has plenty of tools to help you find materials that are not on your reading lists.

Start by looking for your subject on the Subject help pages. The guides list the essential things you need to know to get you started on wider reading: the numbers at which the main topics are classified; dictionaries and encyclopaedias for your topic; how to search for journal articles and the appropriate databases to use; even some evaluated web sites.

If you already know a key text for your topic, search for it in the Library catalogue (Enterprise). From the full record, you can find more books by the same author or on the same subject by clicking on the links.

Searching Summon can give you a different angle. Enter a search term and it will show you chapters within books that are available online, online journal articles, and even news items on your topic that might get you thinking.

Yi-Yellow-Brick-RoadDon’t forget to think beyond books and journal articles, especially if you’re researching for your dissertation. Our databases can point you to newspaper articles, reports and primary texts including letters and ephemera – often offering the full text online. Plus our Special Collections have archived material and rare books to explore from Brian Aldiss to The Wizard of Oz.

Getting the most out of your reading

The Study Advice guide on Managing academic reading includes ideas on how to select materials, reading techniques and common abbreviations you may come across. There is also a brief video tutorial on Reading academic texts that includes guidance on reading strategies to help you make the most of your reading time.

Make sure you keep records of the bibliographic details in case you want to refer to the text later in your assignments. We have guidance on Effective note-taking so you can avoid having more notes than the book you’ve just read. Or watch our video on Critical note-taking to help you develop your thinking about what you’ve just read.

If you’re reading for your dissertation, we have a video tutorial on Starting research for your dissertation for tips and strategies.

Let us take you somewhere you’ve never been this summer and help you to make the most of reading around your subject!

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

This info tip was written by Tim Chapman, Science and Life Sciences Liaison Team Manager and Ian Chilvers, Liaison Librarian for Computer Science & Mathematics and Statistics.

More journal archives now available

ArchiveWe have recently purchased access to a number of online archives to give you full access to articles in older issues of these journals and newspapers:

You can also find resources relevant to your subject by exploring your subject guide.

Lucy Ardill, E-resources Team

 

Temporary relocation of 2nd/4th Floor Information Desks

A helpful sign

Information Desks on the 2nd and 4th Floors of the Library have been temporarily relocated to the former staff offices on the north side of the building (facing the Palmer Building). Staff are still available there to help you, Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00.

The Help Point remains available on the Ground Floor.

We will post an update once we have moved back to our original location on the 2nd and 4th Floors. In the meantime, please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this.

Keep up to date

Keep checking the Library blog for the latest refurbishment news and updates.

Details of the Library facilities available in URS (including services, map and opening times) can be found on our dedicated URS Building page.

All of the above can be easily accessed through our Library refurbishment project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Bethan Davies, Trainee Liaison Librarian4th Floor Desk Map

 

Resolved – problems downloading on the ScienceDirect platform

We are pleased to say that the problems with downloading PDFs from ScienceDirect have been resolved and you should be able to use this resource as normal. You may need to clear your browser cache and cookies first.

If you experience difficulties accessing any of our resources please fill in the E-resources problem report form and we will do our best to assist you.

Apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

Lucy Ardill, E-resources Team

Library refurbishment: path deviation and demolition of staircase

Orange barrier across footpath with partially demolished Library building behindPedestrians and cyclists should note that a path diversion has been placed around the south west corner of the Library Building.

The diversion has been put in place as a major phase of work – the demolition of staircase 2 – will commence from Monday 7 August.

The diversion will take pedestrians and cyclists away from the concentrated area of work around the south side of the building – please just walk around under the end of the URS Building to regain your route.

Inside the Library, staircase 2 is enclosed behind hoardings and is located on the right-hand side of the building as you walk in through the front entrance, adjacent to the male toilets.

The demolition will be carried out in progressive phases, moving from top to bottom of the structure. Noise levels are likely to be high, depending on the works being carried out. The bulk of the noisiest demolition works are planned to be carried out before the start of the Autumn Term.

Study space across campus

You can find details of study space across campus on the Library refurbishment project page.

This includes around 800 spaces available in the URS Building, and other campus rooms available for immediate use, which you can find through the Free Room Finder.

Stay up to date

Keep checking the Library blog for the latest refurbishment news and updates.

Details of the Library facilities available in URS (including services, map and opening times) can be found on our dedicated Library@URS page.

For more information on the Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated project page.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Library refurbishment: path deviation

Orange barrier across footpath with partially demilished Library building behindIf you walk or cycle around the south west corner of the University Library Building, please be aware of a path diversion. We have redirected some pathways to send pedestrians and cyclists, more safely, a little further away from the building, in preparation for demolition of Library staircase 2 over the next few weeks. Please just walk around under the end of the URS Building to regain your route.Hoardings across path to one side of Library building

Rachel Redrup
Library Marketing Co-ordinator