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.
The 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;
- the Free Room Finder, showing rooms available for immediate use;
- the list of alternative space, highlighting spaces across Whiteknights and London Road campuses, updated for each term;
- the live list of available PCs, giving information in real time on PCs across campus;
- RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2, offering study spaces to all campus card holders; and
- rooms which can also be booked through the University’s Central Room Booking
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.
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:
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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