Introducing new words and colours – making the Library easier to use

Plan of the new 3rd Floor showing the new, bright coloursAs part of the refurbishment we have taken the opportunity to review the words and colours we use to designate each section in the Library. We have gathered feedback from students and will be trying out some new approaches over the coming months to see if we can make it easier for you to find the items you need.

As part of the latest set of moves we are making the following changes.

New words

We have found that some of the terminology we use is no longer understood. For instance, the word ‘Folio’ for describing the size of book is no longer commonly used, so having a ‘Folio size’ book section meant nothing to our users. To remove this and other jargon we will be changing the names of our sections to the following:

  • Folio will become Large Books
  • Periodicals will become Journals
  • Middle Folio will become Oversize

We are still investigating the best way to display this information in the Library catalogue. Watch this space!

New colours

At the same time we will be introducing new, brighter colours for each of the sections to make them more noticeable so that you are less likely to end up in the wrong place:

  • Books –  bright blue
  • Large Books – bright pink
  • Journals – orange
  • Teaching Practice – bright green
  • Oversize – dark grey

These colours will be used on the latest versions of the floor plans (currently in preparation) and on the labels on the end of each shelf. On the 3rd Floor we will be introducing a new style of shelf label that incorporates the section heading with the numbers, to see if it helps our users find the correct location. On the 2nd Floor we will also be introducing the new colours by changing the section heading labels to the new, brighter colours.

Tell us what you think

During the coming months we will evaluating how well the new words, colours, and shelf label design work for you. We’ll be employing various User Experience (UX) techniques to test them, but we would also like your feedback. If you have any comments about these changes please email signage co-ordinator Jackie Skinner, jackie.skinner@reading.ac.uk.

Jackie Skinner
for Paul Johnson (Associate Director, Collections, Research & Space)

Book moves continue: 21 May

On Wednesday 9 May, books began moving from the 2nd Floor to the newly reopened 3rd Floor.

This week

This week, Call Numbers in the Folio 500s and 600s will be moving from the 2nd to the 3rd Floor. Call Numbers in the 300s and 900s and the Folio 100s, 200s, 400s and 700s will also be moving from the 4th to the 2nd Floor. So if you’re looking for books about social science, philosophy, religion, languages, linguistics, science, business, arts, history or geography, they may have moved. Look out for signs on the shelves to point you in the right direction and please ask our friendly Library staff for help at the Information Desks or Ground Floor Help Point if you get stuck. The Library catalogue will be updated to reflect the new locations, usually within a day.

Last week

Last week moves were completed on the normal size 100s, 200s, 400s, 500s, 600s and 700s, which are all now on the 3rd Floor. Moves also began on the Folio size 500s and 600s, with Folio 500-579 PRE and Folio 600-612 VAN now on the 3rd Floor.

More information

You can read more about the book moves here. We’ll also provide weekly updates on what is moving via this blog, Twitter (@UniRdg_Library) and Facebook (@universityofreadinglibrary).

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

3rd Floor book moves

What’s changing?

Work on the 3rd Floor of the Library is progressing. The next phase involves moving stock from the 2nd and 4th Floors onto this floor to prepare for the 4th Floor closing for refurbishment.

When will it start?

The anticipated start date for this is between Wednesday 9 May and Friday 11 May, with a timeframe of 7-8 weeks. This is subject to approval from Building Maintenance. We’ll keep you updated on this blog and on Twitter (@UniRdg_Library) and Facebook (@universityofreadinglibrary).

Can I still access my books?

Yes! In keeping with our strategy to maximise access to stock throughout the Refurbishment Project, all books will remain accessible as far as possible throughout the move. Each shelf will be unavailable for around thirty minutes whilst the stock is being moved. The Library catalogue will also be updated to reflect the new locations, usually within a day.

Where will I find my books after the move?

The stock will be split by Call Number as follows:

2nd Floor

000s – computer science

300s – social sciences, law

800s – literature

900s – history, geography, archaeology

Journals

3rd Floor

100s – philosophy, psychology

200s – religion

400s – languages, linguistics

500s – science

600s – technology, business, typography

700s – arts

EDC

Teaching Practice

Where can I get help?

Library staff will still be available at the Information Desks and Ground Floor Help Point – please contact them if you can’t find what you’re looking for. The 4th Floor Information Desk will  move to the 3rd Floor from 14 May.

More information

Work will continue to take place on the 3rd Floor, which is anticipated to be due for completion on 1 September 2018. The work will not impact access to books.

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

Katie Moore and Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarians

Library and URS at Easter

Library closed Thur 29 March to Tues 3 April

The Library and URS Building will close at 17:00 on Wednesday 28 March for the University Easter closure period. We will reopen at 08:30 on Wednesday 4 April. You can always view our full opening hours on our website.

Help while we’re closed

If you need help while we’re closed you can chat online via the blue ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ box on the Library homepage! This service is staffed by professional librarians working remotely to answer your queries from our website and other information we’ve supplied.

Borrowing over Easter

Revising this Easter vacation? It’s not all bad! The Library makes getting those crucial textbooks even easier for you. It will be ‘business as usual’ with loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term.

So keep checking your account and renewing your loans unless someone else recalls them. No items will be due back over the closure period and we’ll email you if your loans are recalled! You can return items at the Library even when we’re closed or you can even post them back to us. If you’re ever unsure, you can contact us.

Study spaceEaster chicks

All of the group study rooms in Library@URS will be open from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period). If you ever need to find study space just check our Study Space map to find a place or use the Free Room Finder online tool which displays rooms available for immediate use.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

 

 

Be fair and share books and space!

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyHelp make the Library work effectively by respecting everyone’s right to resources and limited space. It can be as easy as checking when your Library loans are due back or clearing a desk space for other users. And don’t forget there are alternative study spaces on campus too.

Here are some simple suggestions on how to keep on top of your Library account, save time and money, and help provide a pleasant and productive working environment for all:

Please help us share study space in the URS building fairly. It is fine to pop over to the Library building for a book and return to your desk within a short time. However, we think it unfair for students to reserve desks with their belongings for long periods when other students want to use that space.

If you find unattended study places apparently ‘booked’ with clothes, stationery and the like, please ask Library staff for support at either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor. We will give you a timed warning card you can place on the abandoned stuff. Put the belongings to one side and sit down. If the owner returns within the hour, they are entitled to the space back. If not, you can sit there. Also ask staff to help explain, should anyone returning after an hour and complain.

Where unattended stuff hasn’t been moved overnight, staff will remove it to URS Reception. If it is not claimed by the next morning, it will be taken to Palmer Reception, the centre for all lost property in the University.

Check out our ‘Using the Library’ and ‘Policies and Rules’ pages for more information.

Alternative Campus Space

Check the ‘FIND STUDY SPACE BEYOND THE LIBRARY’ section of the Library Refurbishment Project homepage for alternative space.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

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

Inter-Library Loans – research materials delivered to you

Are you currently researching a topic for a dissertation? If so our Inter-Library Loan service maybe able to help you! This service brings you material which is not held in our Library giving you access to a wide range of academic books and journals on request.

If you’re a member of staff or a PhD candidate you can make your ILL request online.

If you’re an undergraduate or taught postgraduate you can make your request in a few simple steps:

  1. Fill in a paper Inter-Library Loan form. Get yours from the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of the URS Building, or download and print an ILL form. Don’t forget to get your request authorised by your supervisor/tutor. They can sign your request form or email us from their University email address.
  2. Attach an ILL voucher to your form. This is a blue sticker available from your school. Alternatively, you may pay for your request at the Information Desk on the Ground Floor of the URS building – a loan or article costs £3.
  3. Hand in your form to the Information Desk and we’ll do the rest.

If you have any questions about requesting an Inter-Library Loan please get in touch with us either at the Information Desk at the URS Building or you can send us an email: ill@reading.ac.uk

Holly Thomas, Library User Services.

Keep renewing your loans over Christmas!

With textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve made sure our policy ensures fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term. This means that items will not be issued to cover the whole Christmas vacation.

Just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them … so keep checking your University account! You can even return loans by post if you prefer. If your account is blocked please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

This means you can place holds on books on loan in vacations. The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

We know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure period (Friday 22 December to Monday 1 January – see our Opening hours page for more information), so we’ve made special allowances. Any journals, 7-day loans or Course Collection items borrowed from Saturday 16 December until the Christmas University Closure will be due back on Tuesday 2 January (by 10:00 for Course Collection items). No items will be due back between Saturday 16 December and Monday 1 January.

Happy holidays!

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

 

 

Get your Store and Closed Access requests in soon!

Pine tree covered in snowLast collections before Christmas closure

If you want items kept in areas not accessible to Library users or members of the public before Christmas make sure that you get your requests in on time!

  • Off-Site Store will need to be requested before 08:30 on Thursday 21 December.
  • Closed Access items will need to be requested before 10:30 on Thursday 21 December.

Normal service will resume on Tuesday 2 January with the first Closed Access collection on that day and the first Store collection on Thursday 4 January.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to make Closed Access and Store requests, check out the ‘Requesting items from Store and Closed Access‘ information page.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

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

Book it, Borrow it! Introducing Course Collection.

What is Course Collection?SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Course Collection consists of high demand and essential reading list materials suggested by your lecturers and is located on the ground floor of the URS Building.

Most items are available to borrow but a few items can only be used within the section.

So how does it work?

  • Borrow 2 items at a time
  • 6-hour loans
  • Overnight loan on items borrowed after 16:00
  • Weekend loans on items borrowed after 16:00 Friday

Book the book!

Did you know you can book Course Collections items for use on a specific day? Book up to two items on our Library catalogue up to seven days in advance. Just click the “Book a Course Collection Copy” link.

bookingsChoose to pick up your book between the following times:

  • Daytime: 10:00 – 11:00
  • Overnight: 16:00 – 17:00

Items booked for collection between 16:00 – 17:00 on Friday will be due back the following Monday at 10:00.

Remember to always check your receipt for the return time!

Fines for overdue Course Collection items are 80p per hour or part of an hour.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

 

 

Library recall notices – check your clutter!

If you’re using Office 365 to access your University email account remember to check your clutter folder regularly. Some Library communications such as urgent recall notices maybe sorted into your clutter folder, so please be vigilant.

To ensure these emails are automatically sorted into your Inbox in future, either right click on the message and choose ‘Mark as not clutter’, or just drag it to the Inbox. These recall notices are important reminders that you need to return checked out items sooner than the original due date, otherwise fines of 80p per item per day will be incurred on your account. Find out more about borrowing from the Library here.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services