Systems upgrade 26-27 June: some services disrupted

Fire extinguisher hung on wall behind grinning, balding man.

Library Systems Manager Sam is ready to fire-fight any possible blips after the Library systems upgrade, overnight on Tuesday 26 June.

Next week we are upgrading our Library Management System to give us a more robust, reliable system. During the upgrade on Tuesday 26 June, between 17:00 and midnight, (after the Library buildings are closed) some services will be unavailable.

You will still be able to …

  • search the Library catalogue, Enterprise.
  • access to all our E-resources – so any e-books or e-journals you find on the catalogue will still be available via the ‘Click here to access’ links.

But you won’t be able to …

The upgrade is planned to have finished by Wednesday 27 June, but we will still designate the system as ‘at risk’ on that day as the Systems Team test the upgrade.  We will be sure to inform you if there are any other changes to the service that may occur.

Ian Chilvers, Systems Administrator

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

Night demolition noise 5-8 June

Demolition works late in the evening this week  will enable construction of our new Library café.

Please be aware that if you are in the Library building late in the evening this week, you could experience some loud noise.

In preparation for constructing our new Library café, the former Ground floor female toilet-block will be demolished. Contractors will be working throughout the night this week (Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 June) in order to get urgent work done, though the noisiest work will be restricted to 20:00 – 22:00 so that residents in Halls or surrounding areas are not disturbed. Anyone using the study spaces in URS in the evening should be mindful that some noise from the Library may be audible from 20:00 – 22:00.

Alternative toilets

During works you can use unisex/gender-neutral toilets on the Library’s Ground Floor, south side – these were converted from the former male toilet-block. The nearest single-sex toilets are located in the URS Building. Please ask Library staff at the Ground Floor Help Point for directions if you need help finding them.

Gender-neutral and single-sex toilets will be permanently available in the Library building once the refurbishment is complete.

More Information

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

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

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

How did you use Course Collection and Holds?

White ghostly imagined people sitting at wooden desks. Shelves of books in background.

After refurbishment, Course Collection and the Hold Shelf will return to the Library building and look something like this.

In spring 2017, whilst it was still in the Library building, we surveyed how students used the Course Collection and Holds Shelf. Here’s what you told/showed us could improve things now, whilst both collections temporarily occupy the URS building, and provides insight for their return to a refurbished Library building.

Research methods

We used two different techniques: we collected your opinions using a graffiti wall asking what users of the Course Collection liked about it and what they felt could improve it for them; we also did some behavioural mapping – observing how the space and services were being used. Although Library Refurbishment plans were already established, we felt observational techniques could inform whether plans were on the right track and give us practice on evaluating use of the new spaces for after refurbishment.

Results confirm refurbishment plans

You told us that you liked the Course Collection’s quiet, warm environment, conveniently close to the main entrance, toilets and café (for that all important caffeine fix!) Our observation exercise confirmed this, showing many users chose the space to work quietly – something we weren’t expecting! The planned Library refurbishment includes new toilets and refreshment areas throughout the building, so should bring this convenience to several study areas.

You also told us you’d like more study spaces in the Course Collection, and more sockets. Observation showed that the most Course Collection popular seats had plug sockets for laptops etc and/or were by a wall or divider, suggesting you can concentrate better when you can’t see anyone working opposite. Library refurbishment will deliver more Course Collection study spaces, all with sockets. There will also be individual comfy study carrels to accommodate that desire to study undisturbed.

Hold shelf improvements

A surprise to us was that a third of those went up to the Hold Shelf didn’t collect a book. It was really useful for us to discover where we could improve your experience of finding your hold and understanding what to do. We have now displayed flow-chart posters beside the Hold Shelf to indicate what to do if you do not initially find your hold, and added more labelling to the Enterprise Library catalogue where books are on hold.

Map of Course Collection annotated with coloured lines and arrows

UX technique employs coloured lines on a map to indicate how different people use an area

Our experience of ‘User Experience (UX)’

Observing how library spaces are used has been both fascinating and incredibly useful. We’re reassured our refurbishment plans will improve your experience of using the new Course Collection space and we’ve gained insight into where we can make service and system design more straightforward for you. We’re hoping to use observational techniques in the future to continue to improve library services and spaces. If you’d like to know more about User Experience (UX) techniques at University of Reading Library, please contact Natalie Guest: n.guest@reading.ac.uk.

Natalie Guest, Library user Services and
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

UoR Staff! Suggest titles to diversify stock

Rainbow flag coloursIn celebration of February’s LGBT+ History Month, the Library is once again inviting UoR staff to suggest books, DVDs or CDs to help Library collections support a more diverse curriculum. You then get two more months to provide requests – this year’s order deadline is 30 April 2018. We will resume taking orders for the 2018/19 session from 1 August 2018.

Suggest more diverse resources

What resources can you suggest in your specialism to represent more ethnic or LBGT+ groups or geographical areas? Complete our new Diversify our collections suggestion form to help us spend a special £1,000 fund, over and above resources supporting existing reading lists.

It’s great if you can suggest specific titles, but we still want to hear from you where you feel we just need more in a certain area. For example:

  • [name] is underrepresented in your collection, can you buy more of her novels/poetry?
  • I would like more books on the construction industry in Africa – are there any that can be bought?
  • there aren’t any books on the history/political situation in [country]
  • can you purchase some more books on LBGT issues in higher education?

Your subject Liaison Librarian will be dealing with your suggestions. She or he can also help you with other Library matters, including queries about items on reading lists.

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

Last session’s suggestions

Examples of material purchased last session include:

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
for Kerry Webb, Associate Director (Academic Liaison and Support)

Library refurbishment: extra study space and update on works

Whiteknights map

Download the new Study Space Maps now from www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb

Here is an update on new study spaces available later this month and works taking place inside the Library.

New study spaces around campus

The Library@URS offers around 600 study spaces during term time. While the space is convenient for studying, we do recognise that it can be difficult to find space during peak times (occupancy rates suggest this is typically 10:00– 16:00).

Following student feedback, the University will be able to offer additional study space beyond the Library@URS from Monday 15 January 2018:

  • Study space at Eat at the Square: Eat at the Square will be open after lunch 15:00-18:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. It will provide approximately 280 spaces, with refreshments available to purchase from The Grumpy Mule.
  • Extended Chancellor’s Building opening hours: Opening hours for the Chancellor’s Building have been extended to offer additional space 18:00–21:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. (This is in addition to opening Chancellor’s at weekends if URS becomes full – see below).
  • New study spaces to be created in Halls: In case you missed our announcement last November, more than 100 new study spaces will be available across our Halls of Residence. We are aiming for these to be ready by the end of February.
  • AVAILABLE NOW – Study Space Map: We have also produced a Study Space Map highlighting spaces across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses. Download the map today at our Library refurbishment page (top link in ‘FIND STUDY SPACE BEYOND THE LIBRARY’ box).

The above new services join our existing Library@URS arrangements and space-finding tools. To recap, these are:

  • Library@URS arrangements
    • Library@URS anti-desk-hogging service: Does that jacket really need its own space? Please speak to staff at the Reception or ground floor Information Desk if you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings.
    • Chancellor’s Building as overflow space: The Chancellor’s Building can be opened as relief space if URS becomes full at weekends – please speak to staff at the URS ground floor Information Desk for more information.
    • Extra URS space over weekends and vacations: Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be available when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use over weekends and vacations (due to fire regulations). In term time, the rooms are available from 18;00 Friday until 08:00 Monday. The rooms will be immediately available during vacations and summer terms, ensuring the maximum study space capacity can be used at exam revision time.
  • Digital space-finding tools can be easily accessed through the Library refurbishment page:

Noisy works within the Library

As ever, the Library building remains open for borrowing books and learning materials while refurbishment work takes place.

Please note there may be noisy works over the next few weeks as the next phase of work includes the cutting of concrete slab on the Ground and Basement Floors.

Where to find out more

Don’t forget that Library staff are on hand to answer your questions and help you out –  please speak to staff at the Library@URS Reception or Ground Floor Information Desk if you need assistance or have any queries.

Please visit the Library refurbishment webpage for further information on the project, including the latest news, links to space-finding tools and FAQs.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for UoR Communications

 

Noisy chat in Library@URS? Text us!

Lower part of face with forefinger placed to lipsAre others chatting too noisily in the Library’s URS building? Alert us by text, without identifying yourself to others or leaving your seat!

First check your URS study area really is designated as ‘quiet’ or ‘silent’, or that noise in a ‘group study area’ is excessive. If it is, text:

  • NOISYCHAT‘ and your location to 07796 300114 
  • eg NOISYCHAT 2n19 Silent Study.

We’ll come and investigate. We support your right to to work quietly, as protected by Library Rule 13.

For more information, and a list of URS building locations, see our Noise in the Library webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Library/URS buildings open additional weekends in vacation

Christmas presentsThe University is pleased to confirm that, following student feedback, we have made arrangements for the Library and URS buildings to be open for two additional weekends during the forthcoming Christmas vacation period as follows:

  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December (09:00-17:00)
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December (09:00-17:00)

The Library will be open for access to printed books with self-service borrowing and returns.

The URS Building will be open for study (including use of PCS) and self-service borrowing and returns from Course Collection.

Both buildings will be supervised by our Security team. For any Library-related queries, students can seek advice from qualified staff using our online chat service, accessible from the Library homepage.

Full details of Library and URS Building opening hours, including vacation times, are available online.

We are currently working on finalising our opening hours for the Easter vacation period and will confirm details nearer the time.

Full details of the Library refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated project website: reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
University Communications

Weekend study space / Library refurb progress

Weekend Library study space

Students studying in the URS BuildingStarting this Friday (17 November), students will be able to make use of additional study space in the URS building over the weekends. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays, during term time. These rooms had to be closed when the Large Lecture Theatre in URS was reopened in September. They will still be closed on term-time weekdays but will be open for use over the weekends and also during vacations and summer terms when the lecture theatre is closed.

The Library also has arrangements in place to open up space in the Chancellor’s Building on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 and 18:00 if the Library@URS reaches capacity. Users are requested to talk to Library staff at the URS Ground Floor Information Desk if they are having difficulty in finding a space.

Library refurbishment progress

Work has begun on the installation of the cladding towards the front of the University Library. Over the next weeks, the contractors will be installing cladding brackets and rails on the exterior walls, which will involve heavy drilling. Occupants of Edith Morley, Whiteknights House and URS buildings may experience a higher than usual noise level, but are advised that the noisiest drilling work will finish by 10:00 every day.

Meanwhile, work continues inside the Library with the focus on the internal and service works on the Basement, Ground and 1st Floors; surveying and ductwork on the 4th Floor; works to the roof and 5th and 6th Floor plant room; and, weather proofing of the north, east and south sides.

The path diversion in place outside the Library will continue and we will keep you updated on the progress.

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 project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

More Library study space at weekends

Students studying in the URS Building

Weekend group study rooms include sofas and easy chairs.

We’re providing more Library group study space for students at weekends within the URS building, plus an option to open more space in Chancellor’s building on request!

Weekend/vacation/summer URS group study rooms

Due to fire safety limits on URS building occupancy, certain group study rooms had to be closed when the University brought the Large Lecture Theatre back into use in September 2017. However, from Friday 17 November 2017 we have arranged for weekend reopening of those study rooms whilst the theatre is unused. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will open at 18:00 on term-time Fridays and close at 08:00 on Monday mornings.

These rooms will also open during vacations and summer terms, ensuring the maximum study space capacity can be used at exam revision time.

Ask for extra weekend space in Chancellor’s building

Even with the full complement of study space restored to around 800, we appreciate that the URS building may still become very busy at weekends. Although RUSU’s The Study and The Study @ TOB2 also open weekends, other additional campus study space available weekdays may not.

Therefore, we have arranged that if URS study space reaches capacity on a Saturday or Sunday between 10:00 and 18:00, the senior library supervisor will be able to request the Chancellor’s building be opened as well. So please ask at the URS Information Desk if you think you need more space.

More information 

Details of URS and Library building weekend opening hours are available online.

All the latest Library refurbishment news is available on the Library blog. For more information on Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project page.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Refurbishment: Covered walkway over Library entrance

Scaffolding bridges grey hoarding infront of building

Work on a covered walkway up to the entrance should take place before the Library opens at 09:00.

From the week beginning 6 November, contractors aim to work early in the morning to build a covered walkway up to the Library building door. They will cease before the Library opens at 09:00, so access to all your books will not be compromised.

This work completes precautions to safely separate us from refurbishment works soon progressing to the front of the building. Hoarding has already moved forward, with paths moved to where bike shelters used to be. Alternative bike racks are by the URS building, in Palmer quad and outside Whiteknights House.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator