Understanding your reading lists – info tip

Studetnt working on a laptop on the 5th floor

Many lecturers issue students with a reading list containing references to books, journal articles and other useful materials to help with assignments. There’s lots of help available to ensure you find what is on your reading list and successfully complete your work.

Some reading lists can be very long. Check the Study Advice guide on managing academic reading for help on reading in a focused and selective way.

Online reading lists

To improve your learning experience, the University has invested in an online reading lists system. These lists are accessible online via Blackboard and the internet, giving you real-time availability of University Library print material and links to online resources such as e-books, e-journal articles, external webpages and embedded multimedia. You will also be able to access scanned extracts of key readings directly from your reading list.

For a quick guide on how to get the most out of your online reading list, watch our video.

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How to find the items on your reading list (paper or online): start with the catalogue!

Start with our advice on understanding your reading list. This guide explains how to identify the different kinds of references and successfully search for them on Enterprise, the Library’s catalogue.

Tips!

  • If you cannot find a book you might have mistyped your search – check the spelling of your search terms.
  • There might be a mistake, or typing error on the reading list – try searching for a few key words from the title.
  • If you have an online reading list, click on the title of the item to find real-time information about availability and where in the Library the item is located.

If you need further help searching Enterprise for a reading list item, ask at a Library information desk, or get in touch with your Liaison Librarian.

Getting hold of the books you need

When books are in high demand there are several ways you can ensure you get hold of the books you need by:

  • Placing a hold on a book
  • Booking an item in Course Collection
  • Accessing e-books

Placing a hold on a book

If a book you want is out on loan to someone else you can place a hold on (reserve) the book using Enterprise. To find out more about how to place holds watch this video.

You can see your place in the queue, if there is one, and can cancel your hold by logging into your account on Enterprise.

You will receive an email when your hold is available. You can then collect your hold from the Holds area within the Course Collection on the ground floor of the Library. There are detailed instructions on the Library website.


Booking an item in Course Collection

You may borrow two Course Collection items at a time. All items taken from the Course Collection must be issued, even if you only want to read them elsewhere in the URS Building, including the study spaces directly outside the Collection. You can issue and return items at the Self-Service Points in the Collection. There are photocopying facilities within the Course Collection if you do not wish to borrow.

If a book you need is in the Course Collection, you can book it to ensure that you can use it at a time convenient to you. You can book up to two Course Collection items for the 10:00, 16:00, and weekend loan (16:00 on Friday) slots. Booked Course Collection items can be collected from the Ground Floor Information Desk in the URS Building.

More detailed instructions on how to book a Course Collection item are available on the Library website.


You don’t always have to borrow a print copy: accessing e-books

e-book search filterThe Library provides access to many e-books and these can be found through Enterprise, in the same way as print books. You can filter your search results to only show e-books by selecting the ‘Online’ access and ‘Book’ format options from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

To read the e-book click on “Click here for online access to this book” and then just log in with your University username and password.

For advice on using our different e-book formats, see our e-books guide.

What if something on my list isn’t in the Library?

The Library contacts all schools and departments to request reading lists before the start of each course. When lists are sent to us, we try to ensure we have all the items on the lists. A lecturer may recommend you buy your own copy of a book, or it may be readily available to you elsewhere, such as in a departmental resource centre.

Please tell your Liaison Librarian if an item on your list is not held in the Library and your list does not indicate it is available elsewhere.

If the item you need is in the Library, but there is high demand for it and you feel there are not enough copies, contact your Liaison Librarian, who can arrange for copies to be placed in the Course Collection. Your Liaison Librarian may also purchase extra copies, if appropriate, or an e-book version, if available.

Alternatively, consider going beyond your reading list by searching Enterprise for a particular topic or looking on the shelves for books with similar Call Numbers.

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

This tip was written by Kerry Webb, Associate Director (Academic Liaison and Support).

Enterprise upgrade 26-27 July: some services disrupted

Fire extinguisher hung on wall behind grinning, enigmatic but cheeky blighter.

Systems Team Manager Sam is ready to fire-fight any possible blips after the Library systems upgrade, over-night on Wednesday 26 July.

Following on from our recent upgrade to Enterprise, our Library Catalogue, we need to do a bit more work to give us a robust, reliable system and take advantage of some new features. Whilst we do this Enterprise may be unavailable on Wednesday 26 July, between 15:00 and midnight.

You will still be able to …

  • Search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access book locations and some E-resources.  Or try Summon for some other E-resources.
  • Pop into the Library until 17:00 or ask at the URS Information Desk about your account, pay fines etc.

But you won’t be able to …

  • access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.

This work should have finished by Thursday 27 July, but the catalogue will still be ‘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.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Using Library books around refurb work

Here’s an update on accessing Library resources within the Library Building, even though many other areas are closed for Library Refurbishment Project construction work.

Using Library resources

Tall man holds small book, small lady holds large book outside UoR Library

Large size arts & hums books have moved up to our 4th Floor; normal sized items down to the 2nd Floor.

The 2nd and 4th Floors of the Library are open, containing all your books. This includes arts and humanities material, relocated from the now-closed 3rd Floor: normal size material went to the 2nd Floor; larger size and Teaching Practice Collection items to the 4th Floor. If you need any help finding anything, just ask Library staff at 2nd or 4th Floor Information Desks.

A few unique print journals are retained on the 4th Floor, but as most print journals are unavailable until after refurbishment, we encourage you to use our online journals or request an inter-library loan.

Man uses Library Self-Service Point machines of right, computers on left.Although much of the Ground Floor is now out-of bounds, we created a small area at the bottom of the main stairs for you to borrow, return or renew your loans at Self-Service Points or use PCs and catalogues. Just ask at the Help Point by the entrance if you need assistance. Ground Floor toilets are also still available.

Library construction work

White cloth over doors to 3rd Floor from stairsYou may have heard construction work in progress from areas closed-off for your safety (Ground Floor, 1st, 3rd and 5th Floors). Our contractors are demolishing internal walls in advance of refurbishing our 1st and Ground Floors; removing staircase 2 before installing new accessible lifts; and preparing to install new heating, ventilation and toilets on our 3rd Floor; besides installing new windows. Find out more about our plans on our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or visit our URS Building display (2nd Floor landing by Café Libro) for images of future development and previously refurbished floors, which will be reinstated.

URS Building facilities

Lego construction figures arranged around book and large single black Lego brick

Remember! Library Building = books + builders; URS (Lego) Building = study space + services.

Remember to visit the URS Building for Library services and study space, next door at the other end of the orange brick road, further away from potential construction noise. This is also where you will find Cafe Libro, Course Collection material and can collect ‘holds’.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Enterprise upgrade 17-18 July: some services disrupted

Fire extinguisher hung on wall behind grinning, enigmatic but cheeky blighter.

Systems Team Manager Sam is ready to fire-fight any possible blips after the Library systems upgrade, over-night on Monday 17 July.

This summer we are upgrading Enterprise, our Library Catalogue, to give us a more robust, reliable system and take advantage of some new features. During the upgrade, on Monday 17 July, between 15:00 and midnight, some services will unavailable.

You will still be able to …

  • search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access book locations and some E-resources.  Or try Summon for some other E-resources.
  • pop into the Library until 17:00 or ask at the URS Information Desk about your account, pay fines etc.

But you won’t be able to …

  • access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.

The upgrade is planned to have finished by Tuesday 18 July, 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.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

 

Arts and hums books move floors for refurb

books being packed into cratesIn advance of refurbishing the Library Building’s 3rd Floor, we’ve moved arts and humanities print books to the 2nd and 4th Floors. This is part of our strategy to always give you access to print books in the Library throughout the Refurbishment Project, although they will move location from time to time as work is carried out on different floors, and follows our making space for books by moving print journals off-site.

Where are arts and humanities books?

Art and humanities books previously shelved on the 3rd Floor include those with Call Numbers in the 100s (philosophy, psychology), 200s (religion), 400s (languages), 700s (arts), 800s (literature), music CDs and the Teaching Practice Collection.

Moved temporarily down to the 2nd Floor are:

  • 100s, 200s, 400s, 700s, 800s normal size items (Call Numbers with no prefix before number)

Moved temporarily up to the 4th Floor are:

  • Language dictionaries and 3rd Floor Reference books.
  • 100s, 200s, 400s, 700s, 800s larger size items (Call Numbers beginning ‘folio’ or ‘middle folio’).
  • Teaching Practice Collection, including kits.
  • Music CDs.

book shelves in the second floor reading roomThe catalogue is updated and revised floor plans are in place. If you have any difficulty locating anything, please ask us for help at the 2nd or 4th Floor Information Desks.

More information

Find more about the Library’s major £40 million refurbishment on the Library Refurbishment Project webpage (see FAQ 6 on book moves) or email us at library@reading.ac.uk.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Out-of-hours Library chat this summer

The summer vacation is finally here! From Saturday 10 June until Friday 15 September, the Library Building and URS Building will be operating summer vacation opening hours. Wherever you are this summer, there are still a number of Library services and resources available.

Out-of-hours virtual enquiry service

During staffed service hours, you can contact UoR Library staff to help with your enquiries. But what about when the Library and URS Buildings are closed (evenings and weekends over the summer vacation)? During these times, you can chat online via the blue ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ box on the Library webpage.

This 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 staffed hours.

Going away this summer?

If you are travelling further afield this summer, there is still a wealth of information available right at your fingertips. Check out our tips for searching and accessing a wide variety of e-resources from off-campus.

Don’t forget, summer vacation loans also give undergraduate and taught postgraduate students the opportunity to borrow standard loan item all summer! You may even be able to borrow from a university library nearer to you by registering with the SCONUL Access Scheme.

Lucy Shott, Library User Services

Library systems upgrades: 3-4 and 17-18 July

Sam Tyler grins whilst holding travel mug up to the camera

Systems Manager, Sam Tyler, will be celebrating with fizzy pop in his branded Library travel mug once Library systems are all successfully updated in July.

This summer the Library is upgrading its Library Management System in order to gain a more robust system and maintain its security. However, please be aware that there may be some disruption to Library services whilst we are setting this up on Monday 3 to Tuesday 4 July and Monday 17 to Tuesday 18 July 2017.

If you plan to use the Library on these days, either in person or online, please check our University Library News blog nearer the time to see how the system upgrade could affect you. The Library will remain open throughout, as will most of our systems’ functionality.

We hope that you have a great summer and are looking forward to a new upgrades as much as we are!

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Print journals move as Library refurb progresses

blue crates on floor beside half-filled shelves of print journalsOur Library Refurbishment Project moved into another phase as we shifted around various print materials on the Library Building’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors. Throughout the Project, you will always be able to access print books here, but they will move location as work is carried out on different floors. We are creating space for books by moving print journals off site.

If you have any difficulty locating anything during the moves, please ask Library staff for help at the 2nd or 4th Floor Information Desks.

Journals move progress

Young man empties library materials from shelves into blue boxes, shelves recede into distance either side of him.We began to move print journals from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors off-site from the week of 22 May 2017 and completed the process by 27 June. A few print journals were identified as essential for study and teaching. Exceptionally, these remain in the Library Building at the back of the 4th Floor, next to legislation and European Documentation Centre (EDC) material, along with all new issues of current titles.

Using journals

Library staff have planned ahead to reduce the impact moving print issues might have had for those using journals:

More informationEmpty shelves reced into distance. Crates in centre. Lone figure pushes away more crates

See our other post about arts and humanities books moving from the 3rd to the 2nd and 4th Floors. Find out more about the Library’s major £40 million refurbishment on the Library Refurbishment Project webpage (see FAQ 3 and 6 regarding journals) or email us at library@reading.ac.uk.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

 

Summer vacation loans are landing!

AeroplanesFrom Thursday 1 June to Tuesday 5 September the standard loan period for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students is extended until Tuesday 26 September or until the end of your course, whichever is earlier. Standard loan periods for other Library borrowers remain unchanged.

All other loan periods and fines for late return remain the same! So please take care when borrowing 7-day loans, Course Collection items and journals. Make sure you check your University account regularly for due dates.

Remember

  • Standard loans – yours all summer if you are an undergraduate or Masters student!
  • 7-day loans – remain the same so keep renewing! If an item cannot be renewed or is recalled, be prepared to post it back to us.
  • Course Collection items and journals – remain the same so keep checking your account!
  • Fines – pay online via the Campus Card Portal or call us.

Lucy Shott, Library User Services

Leavers! Settle up before you go

It will soon be time to close one account… and maybe open another?

Settle up before you go!

If you are graduating this summer then please don’t forget to return your loans and clear your account before you go. If you have any outstanding fines or bills you can pay online via the Campus Card Portal or at the Ground Floor Information Desk now situated in the URS Building.

Before you leave don’t forget to return:

  • Standard loan, 7-day loan and journal items to the Library Building
  • Course Collection items to the URS Building

Money left on your card?

Save the pennies and avoid having any leftover money on your Campus Card at the end of your course. When you top-up your card via the Campus Card Portal there is now no minimum amount you have to spend. This means you can top-up exactly what you need to see you through to the end of term!

Membership after you graduate

If you are interested in borrowing from the University Library after you graduate, annual Library membership is half-price at £45! Alternatively, if you are beginning a new course at UoR next session you can apply for membership over the summer for a reduced charge of £20. Registrations for membership can be made at the Ground Floor Information Desk in the URS Building.

Lucy Shott, Library User Services

Library study space now located in URS Building

blue sofas and tables and chairs

One of the new group study rooms relocated to the URS Building.

Much of the study furniture from the Library has relocated to the URS Building. It now provides students with a contemporary and versatile space to work and study – including around 800 spaces (145 computers), work areas for collaborative, quiet and silent study, and several key facilities from the Library Building.

Including URS, students can now access over 1,700 study spaces across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

URS Building key features

  • Library Information Desk: For general and registration enquiries, located on the Ground Floor.
  • Study space: A variety of study areas – group, quiet and silent – are available on the Ground and 2nd Floors.
  • Study Advice and Maths Support: Get help with study skills and maths on the Ground Floor.
  • Course Collection: Find key texts for your modules in the Course Collection on the Ground Floor.  Holds are also available to collect here.
  • IT Service Desk and facilities: PCs and printing facilities are available on the Ground Floor.  If you need help, just ask at the IT Service Desk there.
  • Café Libro: The Library’s popular café is located on the 2nd Floor of the URS Building.
  • Opening Hours: The URS Building will adopt the 24 hour opening during term (except closing 21:00 Saturday to 08:30 Sunday) as is currently the case in the Library.

Take a look at the map and floor directory to see what’s been moved where.

Preparation of space

Furniture being moved form outside the Library, passing hoardings

Vitra staff moved and reassembled our modern study furniture in URS

The relocation was carried out over the Easter vacation – during this time, several new improvements were made to the URS Building in order to make its study environment as welcoming as possible:

  • Rooms have been configured to meet a wide range of study needs – you’ll find individual study booths, group areas, quiet study spaces and more.
  • We have improved several of the building’s existing features in order to make it a better place to study – new lights have been fitted to make studying easier, and south-facing windows on the Second Floor have been tinted to deflect heat.
  • We have balanced creating a maximum number of spaces with ensuring that students can study in comfort and safety. Health & Safety guidelines recommend that URS holds a maximum capacity of 800 students.
  • Our job as a University is to provide students with comfortable spaces to study, and we believe that URS will prove to be a popular home to Library study space until summer 2018, when facilities will move back into the Library Building.

Why has the space moved?

Relocating study space and facilities from one to building to another posed several benefits.

Moving study space from the Library into URS will provide a quieter environment for study while still being close enough to borrow and use materials. It also means we can carry out more work inside the Library than previously planned, and so will complete the refurbishment around six months earlier.

With URS in such close proximity to the Library, you won’t have far to take the materials you’ve just borrowed from the original Library building for studying.

Library Building key features

The Library remains open for use – inside you will still find:

  • Printed materials: All printed material (other than Course Collection) will remain inside the Library for borrowing or reference.
  • Library staff: Although Library staff are now based in URS, they will still offer a Help Point by the Library entrance and Information Desks on the 2nd and 4th Floors.
  • Opening Hours: The Library Building will open 09:00-22:00 seven days per week during term time. URS will be open 24/6+ during term time (closed Saturday nights).

Construction work will continue in the Library Building whilst we strive to complete the project as soon as possible, so you may experience considerable noise whilst using this building.

Alternative study space across campus

Including URS, there are approximately 1,700 spaces to study on campus (subject to teaching timetabling and departmental use).

Keep in touch

While we have taken great care to ensure that URS meets your needs, we appreciate that there may be more to improve over the coming weeks. Please pass on any feedback or comments to library@reading.ac.uk.

Further information

A dedicated URS Building page has been created to help clarify exactly what has moved from the Library. It will be kept updated by our Library team, who will also share regular news and updates via the Library blog. The Library opening hours page lists opening times for both the Library and URS buildings.

Further details of the Library’s major £40 million refurbishment can be found on our Library Refurbishment Project webpage: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

Using University Special Collections for your dissertation – info tip

Are you planning your dissertation? You might want to consider using the University’s Special Collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books.

Why use Special Collections?

Rare book spinesOur collections include rare books, manuscripts, records, letters, photographs, maps and drawings. Using this type of material can add a unique dimension to your work and enliven your dissertation. You could, for example, encounter the annotations of previous readers in a book and discover what they thought of a text, get a glimpse of the inner workings of a farm or a publishing company by looking at their records, or find out how new discoveries in your discipline were communicated and disseminated at the time.  You are also much more likely to produce original research, which will help you gain you a better mark, and you will develop valuable research and critical thinking skills.

Walking into Special Collections can sometimes seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be! We’re helpful folk down here, and we’re always happy to get you started. The University’s Special Collections are available for all students in the University, and you can access over 150 important collections covering a wide range of arts and humanities, science and social science discipline areas.

In the past, students have used Special Collections to research a wide range of subjects, including:

  • A collection of historical postcardsMills & Boon romantic fiction
  • Botanical illustration
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The publishing industry
  • Mathematics
  • Bees
  • Farming records
  • Women’s history
  • Children’s literature
  • Architectural history

Finding items on your research topic

You may be surprised at the variety of material you can access to support your research! See the A-Z list of collections or our list of featured items for a flavour of what’s available.

Try the following to see if there is useful material for your research project:

Using Special Collections

A Wizard of Oz illustrationItems from our collections cannot be borrowed, but they can be consulted in our reading room. You’re advised to plan ahead and contact Special Collections prior to your visit, so that we can have the material ready for you for when you arrive. We are based on the London Road campus, in the same building as the Museum of English Rural Life.

Go to the Special Collections website for more useful information on using the service.

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

This tip was written by Erika Delbecque & Claire Wooldridge, UMASCS Librarians.