Library refurbishment: home stretch for staircase demolition

vie of library building with some wall missing after demolitionWe are nearing the end of a major phase of work in the Library building – the demolition of a staircase, which will make room for new, bigger lifts and a replacement staircase. (The former staircase is enclosed behind hoardings on the right-hand side of the building as you walk through the main entrance.)

The final stages of demolition are planned to take place over the next few weeks – these works will involve cutting the concrete slab on the Ground and Basement Floors, and so will be noisy at times. Additional sections of concrete will also be cut on the north side of the Ground Floor too.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a diversion will be in place outside the Library to keep people safely away from the demolition work.

The demolition is a key stage of the refurbishment – most of it has been completed over the summer, and so while the last works are being carried out, noisy work will be unavoidable at times. These final works will be completed as quickly as possible.

Study space across campus

Links to study space tools, including the Free Room Finder, are available on our Library Refurbishment Project page.

If you haven’t already done so, please read our recent announcement on study space in URS for important information on space changes.

Stay up-to-date

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

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

University Communications
Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

 

 

 

 

 

Need help out of staffed Library hours?

Blue and grey web icon used for Virtual Enquiry Service online chatDid you know that if you have a library-related problem when University of Reading Library staffed services aren’t available you can chat online via the blue ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ box on the Library webpage?

The Virtual Enquiry Service is available from 19:00 Monday to Friday and from 17:00 on Saturday and Sunday through to 09:00 the following morning.

The service is staffed by professional librarians working remotely to answer your queries from our website and other information we’ve supplied.  You can keep an email transcript of the chat. If they can’t resolve a particular issue they’ll refer you back to us during our staffed hours.

During staffed Library service hours, please do continue to contact UoR Library staff to help with your enquiries!

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

Important update: Study space in URS Building

Students outside the URS Building

The University of Reading’s capital investment programme, 2026: TRANSFORM, is well under way to improve further our campus facilities. The University Library is undergoing a major transformation – we are investing over £40 million into making it a modern and comfortable place to study, with the very best facilities and learning resources. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Study space relocation to the URS Building

In April 2017, much of the study furniture from the Library was relocated to the URS Building. Several key services from the Library Building have also been relocated to the URS Building – the Library Information Desk, Study Advice and Maths Support, the Course Collection, the IT Service Desk and Café Libro. The Library Building remains open for borrowing books.

By moving study space and other services to URS, we can provide a quieter environment for study, enquiries and support. It also means less disruption through noise or dust from the building project, with URS still being close enough to borrow and use Library materials.

It is expected that these arrangements will be in place until August 2018, when study space and other facilities are currently planned to move back into the Library.

What’s changing?

Closed pink double doors to large lecture theatreThe URS lecture theatres have been out of use since the relocation to allow us to accommodate the maximum permitted number of study spaces in this building (there’s a restriction on the total number of people allowed in the building at any one time for fire safety). The University has recently taken the decision to re-open the URS large lecture theatre for teaching in the 2017/18 academic year.

Due to the fire safety restrictions in place, this will mean that the number of term-time study spaces available in the URS building will be reduced from around 800 to around 600. This will be disappointing news for some, as the total number of study spaces available to students during term-time will necessarily be reduced. However, please be assured that the University explored every possible alternative option before reaching this decision, but feel it is important that it offers students the best available teaching space for their classes.

We will work to re-instate the study spaces during the Christmas and Easter vacations, and in the summer term for the exam period.

Café Libro will remain open as usual.

Naturally, we will closely monitor the usage of the URS study spaces and the alternative study spaces provided across our campuses (see below for more information) to ensure all spaces are accessible, available and well-used. Feedback from students on these spaces is very much welcome as it will help us to plan study space availability in the future.

Alternative study spaces

Taking into account the reduction of study spaces in the URS Building, there are still over 1,500 study spaces available across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

We have provided some helpful resources to make it easier to find a suitable space to study. These include;

All of these resources can easily be found through the Library Refurbishment Project page. Do bookmark this page on your laptop or mobile to find it easily later.

We are also working with RUSU to create a new study space map which we will share with you as soon as it is ready.

Do not forget too that rooms located in teaching buildings will be subject to departmental use – and as always, please treat all spaces with respect.

Library project; progress to date

 We have made good progress since work started last summer. In summary;

  • all floors have been prepared for works to be carried out – you will notice that several areas have been sectioned off for work, especially on the Ground and 1st Floors;
  • work to improve the exterior of the Library is well under way and internal weatherproofing is largely complete;
  • work is underway for the creation of a brand new café; and
  • we are nearing the end of the demolition of a staircase on the south side of the building – a major phase of work that makes room for new, bigger lifts and a replacement staircase.

We are, of course, taking measures to reduce the risk of noise wherever possible, but please do remember that this is a live construction project – noise will be unavoidable from time to time. As a way of reducing disruption throughout the day, noisy work will cease after 10:00 during term time.

Stay up-to-date

The latest project news is shared through the Library blog – keep checking for updates. Major news will also be shared through the Me@Reading student portal and more.

We also share regular updates through our social media channels – we’re on:

Facebook: /theuniversityofreading and /universityofreadinglibrary

Twitter: @UniofReading, @UniRdg_Student and @UniRdg_Library

Instagram: uniofreading and unirdg_library

Please contact library@reading.ac.uk in the first instance if you have any queries.

Full details of the refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project website.

University of Reading Communications Team

New student? Make the most of your Library – info tip

Students studying in the URS Building

Group study space in the URS Building

Welcome!

We are here to support your studies, providing you with access to information – online, multimedia or printed – and the skills to make the most of it.

For a general intro…

Learning how to use the Library

A large academic library can be confusing and hard to find your way around. This year Library services are also operating from two buildings: study space and services are located in the URS Building, whilst printed materials are still available to borrow from the adjacent Library building.

Come to a ‘Finding your way in the Library’ session

Our interactive sessions run throughout Welcome Week and Week 1. Discover how to find books in the Library and borrow them, and have a tour of the services and facilities in the URS Building. Each session lasts around one hour, but could save you a lot more time in the long run!

To find out more and book your place see – Finding your way workshops.

Students outside the URS Building

The URS Building

Explore your Library & the URS Building in Welcome Week

We are open through Welcome Week, so why not explore before all the other students return? Between 09:00 and 17:00 you can:

  • Collect a self-guided Library tour leaflet to follow – stop off at whatever is relevant to you.
  • Visit the Library to find resources for your subject – pick up a guide to your subject there and pick-up a freebie from one of our information suppliers.
  • Pop in to the URS Building next door to discover your favourite study areas on the 2nd Floor (we’ve got silent, quiet and group spaces) and the largest PC facility in the University on the Ground Floor (along with IT help from the Service Desk).
  • Also meet Study Advice and Maths Support on the Ground Floor of the URS Building and pick up a free planner to organise your new University life!

Visit us in the Marquee

On Tuesday 19 September, Library staff and the Study Advice Team will be in the Marquee for ‘Academic success and module selection day’. Please pop in and have a chat with us about how we can support your studies.

Explore our online help

We’ve got lots of resources on our website to support your studies and develop your skills.

  • Try one of our LibLearn Tutorials to find out how to use the Library, search the catalogue, and more. Available 24/7 on Blackboard, the University’s online learning system.
  • Watch our videos – these cover a variety of topics ranging from placing holds on books, to doing your literature search.
  • Take a look at your subject guide, to discover key resources relevant to your studies.
  • Develop your study skills by exploring the wide range of guides and videos provided by our in-house Study Advice Team.

Our friendly subject liaison librariansGet individual help

Your friendly subject liaison librarian will be happy to give you individual help with any subject-related enquiries, or questions about the Library. You might also see yours as part of a Library session organised by your Department.

For one-to-one help with study skills contact the Study Advice Team.

Prepare yourself for life at University

Have you completed the Study Smart online course? This short course has been designed to help you make a smooth transition to University learning. It covers academic integrity, communicating at University and being an independent learner. Why not find time in Welcome Week to complete the course if you haven’t already done so?

For more information…

For extra guidance see Information for new Library users on our website.

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

This tip was written by Learning Support Co-ordinator Sally Smith and Library Web Manager Jackie Skinner.

Adjusting to study in UK higher education – info tip

Two international graduandsFor international students, preparing for success in UK study means more than just learning the language. You will have many questions about the culture and expectations of universities in the UK, which can be quite different to what you have been used to. Even if you’ve been successful when studying in your home country, you will need to develop and adapt the way you study to succeed in the UK. We have plenty of suggestions that can help – and you can always get in touch with the Study Advice team or your subject Liaison Librarian if you have more questions.

Understanding university study in the UK

The University Study Advisers have developed a guide to help those moving up to higher education in the UK to understand what is expected through exercises and tips. This is one of a whole series of study guides and video tutorials to help you develop the skills you will need for study success, including dedicated advice on assessment by examination in UK Higher Education and guidance on academic writing. You may find the Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester) helpful when starting out with your academic writing.

Other useful guides include UKCISA’s study tips and the Prepare for Success website (University of Southampton).

If you are starting undergraduate study at the University, remember to complete the Study Smart course which is aimed at helping all new undergraduates feel more prepared for study. You can return to the course throughout your first year if you want to remind yourself of what you’ve learnt.

Developing effective practices for UK study

There are various books in the Library written for students on developing your study skills. Many can be found on the 4th Floor with Call Numbers beginning 378. Why not have a look on the shelves to see what is available? Or search the online Library catalogue, Enterprise for “study skills”.

You may find referencing and citation practices in the UK are quite different to those you have been used to. See our Citing References guide for tips on how and when to use references correctly in your writing.

To make the most of the Library, check out the following guides:

Building your cultural and language knowledge

student reading newspaperA good way to practise your language skills and, at the same time, learn something about UK culture is to read newspapers. The Library subscribes to a number of newspapers in print and online.

The Library has many resources that can help you to build your language skills, including books to help with IELTS (International English Language Test Score) and language dictionaries. These can be found on the 2nd and 4th Floors. While on the 2nd Floor, you might also borrow a novel to practise your reading for pleasure, or a film on DVD to help your listening skills. Alternatively, you may prefer to improve your English language skills by using the Teaching Practice Collection on the 4th Floor of the Library which includes an extensive collection of children’s literature in English, both fiction and non-fiction.

A useful online resource for developing your English language is Learn English (British Council). You may also find the English for Uni website helpful. This aims to make difficult grammar and academic writing concepts easier to understand.

There is also general information for International students at the University, including links to advice on visas, accommodation and getting involved in University activities.

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Charlie Carpenter, ISLI Liaison Librarian/International Student Support Coordinator.