Nancy Astor exhibition at UoR Library

Lady Astor, first woman UK MP, is depicted next to a representation of her desk, strewn with letters about her appointment and work.

Visit a small free, public exhibition celebrating Nancy Astor, the first female member of parliament in the UK, on the University Library building’s ground floor. This is the latest installation to occupy our new exhibition space created as part of the Library Refurbishment Project, in the foyer beside the Library Cafe, outside card-operated Library entrance barriers.

Kindly funded by the Friends of the University, this exhibition reflects the work on Nancy Astor that Dr Jacqui Turner curated for Parliament’s Vote100 ‘Voice and Vote Exhibition’ in Westminster Hall in 2018 celebrating the centenary of the first women to gain the vote in 1918. Our thanks to the Vote100 Project Management Team for their kind permission to use their materials.

Dr Jacqui Turner is a Reading Lecturer in Modern Political History. Part of her Astor 100 research project work marking 100 years of women MPs, her research of the Nancy Astor Papers, held at the University of Reading Special Collections, has uncovered an array of letters and documents that chart Lady Astor’s career and life. These represent the most comprehensive collection of papers of any female politician. They include political correspondence 1919–1945 and parliamentary papers, general correspondence 1900–1964 and large volumes of newspaper cuttings 1908–1964. American-born, Nancy Astor succeeded her husband as Conservative MP for Plymouth in 1919, becoming the first woman to sit in the House of Commons, and continued until her retirement in 1945.

You can follow Astor100 and see more from the Astor Papers via our Twitter exhibition @LadyAstor 100 ‘An Unconventional MP: the political life on Nancy Astor in 50 documents’. Also, keep up to date with what else is going on, including efforts to raise a statue of Nancy Astor in her Plymouth constituency, via Jacqui’s Twitter feed @Jacqui1918

Rachel Redrup, Library
with Dr Jacqui Turner

Library refurbishment: three lifts in use

Three glass lifts on two floor levels.

All three smart, new lifts, and the staircase behind, are now in use on the south side of the Library building.

Library refurbishment continues to progress with all three new glass lift cars now in operation, and the staircase behind in use.

Use the new lifts to reach group study space on the 1st Floor, and books and materials on the 3rd and 4th Floors. Meanwhile, refurbishment continues on the closed 2nd and 5th Floors. Behind the hoardings, the demolition of the central staircase beside the old lifts is now complete with the removal of the old lifts continuing.

The works involved in removing the old lifts may sometimes be noisy an disruptive. Alternative quiet and silent study spaces are available in the Library@URS building, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus. A guide to the availability of study space across the campus can be seen here: Study space update.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Rachel Redrup for UoR Communications

Library refurbishment: new glass lifts

Person holding out arms to display new glass lift behind

RUSU Disabled Students’ Officer, Blythe Varney was the first student to try out a glass lift. She loves these new bigger lifts because they can take bigger wheelchairs, have ‘a nice smooth ride and they’re a lot of fun to use’.

Library refurbishment continues to make good progress with the significant milestone of the first new lift and staircase becoming operational from today, Tuesday 23 April, with two more lifts coming very soon. This will improve accessibility to upper floors and enable work to start on removing the old lifts.

Use the new lift to reach group study space on the 1st Floor and all books and materials which remain available on the 3rd and 4th Floors. Meanwhile refurbishment continues on the closed 2nd and 5th Floors. Behind the hoardings, the demolition of the central staircase behind the old lifts is now complete. This will create space for print hubs on every floor and a silent study PC area on the 5th Floor.

The works involved in removing the old lifts may sometimes be noisy and disruptive. Alternative quiet and silent study spaces are available in the Library@URS building, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus. A guide to the availability of study space across the campus can be seen here: Study space update.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

 

Language for Resilience exhibition comes to UoR Library

Bronze reflective light fittings above flimsy poster on frame

The British Council’s Language for Resilience exhibitionruns until 29 March at Reading.

In partnership with the University, the British Council has brought the Language for Resilience exhibition to Reading. Running until 29 March, this free and public exhibition is hosted in the University Library building’s new exhibition space on its ground floor, created as part of the Library Refurbishment Project.

Based on research by the University’s Dr Tony Capstick and in collaboration with international institutions across the Middle East, Africa, EU and Americas, this interactive exhibition demonstrates the ways language is used to build resilience among the millions of people that have been displaced from their homes by conflict and civil unrest.

Language learning is imperative to helping refugees and communities overcome miscommunications and social barriers. This exhibition is a valuable opportunity to understand the challenges associated with building resilience, and gives a voice to the young people and adults who deserve to have their stories heard.

Exhibiton posters on frames and boxes containing masks and shoes

The Language for Resilience exhibition celebrates items used in teaching languages as well as people involved.

Refugees displaced by conflict often find themselves far from home, without essential language skills for even basic communication, which hinders the education and career opportunities for both themselves and their children. The exhibition aims to break down barriers by protecting the use of refugee’s home languages and allowing refugee communities to integrate with their host communities so they can feel valued within their new society. Building language resilience will reduce isolation and play a huge role in helping create a safe space for refugees to address the trauma caused by their displacement.

As it stands, only 1 to 5 percent of young refugees are currently enrolled in a university programme in their host countries. Improving language skills will allow more refugees to access the information required to progress in the education system and start to rebuild their lives.

For more information please visit the project Language for Resilience website. To learn more about language and migration research at the University of Reading, please visit the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator with Tim Yates, Marketing Communications and Engagement Team

Library refurbishment: #UoRStudySpace Assistants

three people ditting on soft chairs

Look out for new #UoRStudySpace Assistants to help you find space in the Library@URS, Library or some alternative campus buildings.

We are pleased to announce the University has funded new Study Space Assistants, now in place to advise students on study places available in the Library, and some other campus buildings, during the final months of the Library refurbishment.

Operating term time Mondays to Fridays 11:00-17:00, they’ll check study space capacities in the Library and Library@URS, and other nearby buildings, such as Edith Morley and Palmer, to let you know where there are free study spaces. They will also support the Library team to implement our ‘anti-desk hogging policy’. Look out for assistants in person, and for their Library social media updates using the hashtag #UoRstudyspace (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAs a reminder, our anti-desk hogging policy means that leaving your belongings (but no valuables!) for less than an hour while you borrow a book or get refreshments for example is not a problem. However, Study Space Assistants will be placing warning cards on any unattended desks wrongly ‘reserved’ for longer than an hour and directing other students to use them.

Library buildings

During term-time, Library@URS provides quiet study space 24 hours a day. The Ground and 1st Floors of the Library building can also be used for study during term-time 09:00-22:00 daily, but please remember that construction continues until autumn 2019, so there will be noise associated with this. Check the Library opening hours page for full details.

Alternative study space

Student Services blog highlights extra study areas in Edith Morley (near Support Centre + SAIL Away upstairs), Palmer building (foyer), Chemistry building (lobby areas) and some halls of residence to increase opportunity during the Library refurbishment.

Find out where to study across campus at www.reading.ac.uk/study-space.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator with University Communications

 

Library refurbishment: lift stairs demolition

Looking over stairs, they descend in a spiral

Say goodbye to the staircase behind existing lifts! They will soon be enclosed by acoustic barriers and demolished.

Our Library building refurbishment has now progressed to preparing to demolish the stairs behind the lifts, with actual demolition planned for January 2019. You may experience construction noise, despite the acoustic partitions that are being put in place to help reduce the volume. Here is our advice on how you can still get to upper Library floors; find books moved during this work; and find alternative, quieter study space.

How do I get to upper floors?

Although we will no longer be able to use the stairs behind our existing lifts, access will be maintained to at least two of lifts themselves until new lifts are ready. The big central staircase leading up from the main hall remains our main stairs, with other stairs around the edges of the building available for emergency evacuation.

Where are my books?

During hoarding construction, books previously shelved right next to the lift area have been moved elsewhere on the same floor. Please ask staff at the floor Information Desks if you need help finding them.

  • On the 2nd Floor 337-338.52 has moved to the far (eastern/Eat at the Square) end of the room by the windows.
  • On the 3rd Floor 728-733.5154 has moved to new shelves by the Information Desk.

Where can I find quieter study space?

This phase of construction will sometimes involve noisy or disruptive works. Please make use of the quiet and silent study space in the Library@URS building next door, as well as the variety of alternative study space options across campus. For more see ‘The latest on student study space’ (Student Services news, 31 October 2018or Transform 2026: Study space update (UoR staff portal news, 31 October 2018).

More on Library refurb

Demolishing this staircase will create space for print hubs on every floor and a silent study PC area on the 5th Floor. Find out more about the project on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

Library gates activated. Remember your Campus Card!

Security barrier with sign saying 'tap here' on it

Tap your Campus Card to access security gates to enter or exit study and stock areas.

Library gates are to increase your security and prioritise study space for University members. Remember to carry your Campus Card with you when visiting the Library building! The new access gates were installed as part of the University’s major Library Refurbishment Project. (We initially kept them open so you had time to get used to new Ground Floor areas.)

Library members: you can enter and exit just by tapping your Campus Card (the same one you use to borrow) at the gates …. so there’s nothing you need to do other than carry it with you. You already need your Campus Card to enter the Library@URS building overnight, at weekends and in the revision period when we restrict access to Library study space. If you experience any problems gaining entry with your card, please see staff on duty at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who will be happy to help!

Members of the public over 18You are welcome to use and copy Library materials beyond our security gates weekdays (Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00). Please talk to staff at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who may ask you to provide identification, information about yourself and ask you to abide by Library rules. However, you now need to book ahead to gain access evenings and weekends (17:00-22:00 weekdays or 09:00-22;00 Saturday or Sunday). Please email library@reading.ac.uk telling us when you want to visit and we will arrange for Security staff to give you entrance between these times: if you have not contacted the Library beforehand you will not be admitted.

Everyone can still use the Library Café and Ground Floor toilets, which you will find before you reach the barriers.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services) and Nick Hollis, Library User Services Manager

Bring Campus Cards to open Library gates from 22 Oct

Security barrier with sign saying 'tap here' on it

Tap your Campus Card at Library building security gates to enter or exit study and stock areas.

Get ready to carry your Campus Card with you when visiting the Library building to open the new access gates, installed as part of the University’s major Library Refurbishment Project. We initially kept them open so you had time to get used to new Ground Floor areas. Gates become operational from Monday 22 October to increase your security and prioritise study space for University members.

Library members: you will be able to enter and exit, just by tapping your Campus Card (the same one you use to borrow) at the gates …. so there’s nothing you need to do other than carry it with you. You already need your Campus Card to enter the Library@URS building overnight, at weekends and in the revision period when we restrict access to Library study space.

Visitors needing access to print material, and anyone experiencing any problems gaining entry with your card, please see staff on duty at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who will be happy to help!

You do not need your cards to use the Library Café and Ground Floor toilets which you will find before you reach the barriers.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

Library building areas reopen after refurbishment

Parts of the Ground and 1st Floors of the University Library building have reopened as our refurbishment progresses!

New Library Café

The ground floor has a brand new Library Café, which offers hot drinks made by a barista and a ‘grab and go’ menu – including sandwiches, fresh soup and toasties. Two Freestyle machines offer water and a range of soft drinks.

If you would like to sit in the café, there are a range of seating options – including comfortable cushioned benches with plug sockets for phone and laptop charging. You will be able to order from a broader range of food and drink options.

A limited menu of coffee, pre-packed sandwiches and snacks is available this week (Welcome Week) and the cafe will be open from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. From Monday 1 October, the café will stay open later and close at 9.30 pm with the fuller menu available.

Some Library study areas

The Library’s ground floor offers other study seating options, while the first floor offers a range of group study seating options.

Students are welcome to use these study spaces (no food in these areas please!), but please bear in mind that Library refurbishment continues on these and other floors until autumn 2019 and it will sometimes be noisy or disruptive. Therefore, study space and services remain in Library@URS for the whole of the academic year 2018/2019. Library@URS provides a quieter environment for study while still being close enough to borrow and use the Library’s printed materials. Students may also use the variety of alternative study space around the University.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and this Library blog.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

Library refurbishment: toilets, stairs and landscaping changes

When using the Library building after Monday 30 July, please be aware of the latest changes due to ongoing refurbishment. These affect where to find toilet facilities, accessing upper floors and approaching the Library building entrance.

Use stairs behind lifts

Red barriers on slate floor with balconies above

Please use lifts and adjacent stairs in the centre of the building.

Do not be alarmed if, on entering the Library, you no longer see a flight of stairs directly in front of the current entrance. These have been demolished as part of Ground Floor refurbishment. Until newly installed stairs are ready to use at a later stage, please use the existing stairs behind the lifts in the centre of the building. Ask at our Info Point for directions.

Toilets on the 3rd Floor

Red arrow points to door labelled as gender neutral toilet next to book shelves

New toilets are on the 3rd Floor, behind the book area, on the east side.

Take your first opportunity to try out the new gender-neutral and accessible toilets at the far end of the recently re-opened 3rd Floor! (See our 3rd Floor plan.)

Opening these new facilities means we have closed the Ground Floor toilets, so that contractors can work on with creating new single-sex toilets as part of Ground Floor refurbishment. This section is due to open in autumn this year.

The nearest single-sex toilets to the Library are located in the URS and Edith Morley buildings. Please ask Library staff at the Ground Floor Help Point who can point you in the right direction.

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Landscaping refurb: outside seating and planters to be replaced

Also after Monday 30 July, contractors will be fencing off the outside seating and brick-built planters directly outside the Library building. These are to be removed in anticipation of new landscaping to complement Library refurbishment.

Please walk between the fencing and hoardings to access the Library entrance. Watch out for occasional traffic directed by contractors’ when gates are opened.

More information

Keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news on our  Library refurbishment webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Library refurbishment: latest news and progress

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Work on the University’s major refurbishment of our University Library is progressing well, with the project currently on track to meet its target completion date in late 2019.

Much of the work over recent months has focused on the Library’s exterior, in addition to the basement, Ground, 1st and 3rd Floors. Work will continue in these areas and other floors over the coming months, which will inevitably include periods of noisy work. Over the next few weeks, noisy works are expected around the Ground Floor and the exterior of the Library, with a cherry picker on site to carry out important works.

Books on shelves, purple pillar, grey carpet

You’ll find your books on the 3rd and 2nd Floors now, allowing contractors to refurbish the 4th Floor.

One of the biggest phases of work recently has been the move of books from the 2nd and 4th Floors to the 3rd Floor (which was reopened in early May). The moves were completed ahead of schedule on Wednesday 6 June, with the Library catalogue updated daily to show the correct locations for moved books. The 3rd Floor is not currently furnished with study space while refurbishment work continues but Library staff are available on this floor to help with any enquiries about finding books, using the catalogue, or subject queries. With the books now removed from the 4th Floor, it is now closed for refurbishment.

Much of the work taking place over the summer vacation has been designed to meet our goal of reopening the refurbished Ground and 1st Floors in September 2018, including some study space. This will be a key milestone for the project ­– however, please note that work will continue on these and other floors, and will include periods of noisy work. The URS building will therefore continue to be used in its current capacity for the remainder of the project. (See the University’s ‘Study space across campus‘ page regarding overall space strategy.)

For the latest information and updates, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and Library blog.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

Study space on campus: Spring update

Whiteknights mapHere’s some info to help all you students, working hard on assignments/projects/dissertations/revision, find study space facilities across campus.

600-800 Library@URS study spaces

There are around 600 study spaces in the URS building term-time weekdays, which increases to around 800 at weekends and during vacation periods when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use (there is a limit on the total occupancy of the building for fire safety). The closed rooms will therefore be reopened permanently during Library@URS opening hours from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period).

900 more spaces across campus

As well as the URS Building, there are more than 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. To help make it as straightforward as possible for you to find study space during this period, we’ve summarised the resources available as follows:

  1. Study Space Map

The University has had great feedback from students who have used this Study Space map to find alternative study space, in addition to that offered in the URS Building;

  1. Free Room Finder

The Free Room Finder online tool displays rooms available for immediate use and you can search based on campus area, time needed, and/or capacity required;

  1. PDF study space list

Updated every term, this list highlights spaces across our campuses that can be used for study (subject to scheduled teaching or departmental use);

  1. Live list of available PCs

This PC availability webpage shows where there are PCs available on campus in real time;

  1. RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2

Study spaces available for all campus card holders;

  1. Extended Chancellor’s building opening hours

This building is available to use as study space from 6-9pm Monday to Friday during term time and also at weekends (between 10am and 6pm) at the discretion of the Library supervisor if study space in the URS Building becomes full. If you are having difficulty finding a study space in the URS building at the weekend please talk to Library staff at the Library@URS Ground Floor Information Desk;

  1. Additional study space at Eat at the Square

Eat at the Square will be open after lunch from 3-6pm Monday to Friday during term time, providing additional study space as well as refreshments from The Grumpy Mule;

  1. Central Room Booking service

Students can book rooms on campus in advance, for example, for group study;

  1. Anti-desk-hogging service in the Library@URS building

Help Library staff make the most of Library@URS space: If you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings, speak to staff at the Reception or the Information Desk on the Ground Floor;

  1. NOISYCHAT service in Library@URS building

Please text Library staff quietly if you experience noise in a silent study area and they will investigate as soon as they can.

Study space in Halls

The University has been working to create more than 100 new study spaces across our Halls of Residence, which includes refurbishing spaces so that they are more suitable for productive study. The spaces will be located in Wessex Library, St George’s Computer Room, Wantage Computer Room, Stenton JCR, Childs JCR and Mackinder JCR. It originally hoped these spaces would be ready by the end of February – unfortunately, although the refurbishment work is complete, we have experienced some unforeseen delays with our furniture supplier, which now means that the spaces will be ready in late March. The supplier is working hard to deliver the furniture within the next couple of weeks, and we will of course let you know when the spaces are ready to use.

In the meantime, there are other spaces in Halls that can be used for study, including the Bridges JCR, Benyon JCR and Sherfield Bar. Please call the Halls Hotline if you’re not sure where these spaces are or want to check opening times.

More on Library Refurb

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

University Communications/Library Marketing Co-ordinator, Rachel Redrup