Library visitor arrangements change after 18 April

Three femal studetns walk infront of orange building with protruding sturts and undercroft on a sunny dayArrangements will be different for non-UoR visitors to this Library from 18 April until at least August 2018 whilst we operate from two buildings: the Library Building (no 2 on the Whiteknights campus map) and the URS Building (no 33 ).

SCONUL Access users

Users of the SCONUL Access scheme for students and staff from other universities:

  • SCONUL members in Bands A, B and C: You can borrow materials from the Library Building and use study spaces in the URS Building. Please call at the URS Building Information Desk to collect your Library card.
  • SCONUL Band R full-time undergraduates from other institutions: You may view and copy stock in the Library Building, but you may not borrow or take material to any other building. You will be able to use your own resources in URS Building study space.

Visiting as a member of the general public

You may view and copy stock in the Library Building, but there will be no study space here. We are sorry, but whilst Library services are relocated to URS, we will be unable to provide guest access to e-resources as a ‘walk-in user’.


Unaccompanied children will not be permitted in the URS Building, in line with current rules on children in the Library building. Unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate school visits until after August 2018.

Further information

See why Library study space moves to URS in a previous news post. For further information, see our Library Refurbishment Project page.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sue Egleton and Nick Hollis, Library User Services

It’s all change on the 4th Floor

In preparation for refurbishment this summer we have moved most the books on the 4th Floor. So if you are used to going to the same spot for your books on your subject, you might have to go to a new section or check the shelf labels for their new location.

4th Floor plan with red arrows showing where stock has movedWe moved …

  • 4th Floor normal size books along so that the remainder of the Bulmershe Collection can be integrated with them.
  • 4th Floor folio (large) books to the area opposite the photocopiers.
  • 4th Floor Reference Collection to the end of normal size 900s.

If you have problems locating a specific item, or just generally finding your way around during or after these moves, please ask at the 4th Floor Information Desk.

Cripps Transport men moving large books from library trolleys to new shelves

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator


Library Collections Project progress, Autumn 2012

Students at Library entrance, framed by red autumn leavesReviewing all Library stock

In 2009, the Library undertook an ambitious five-year Collections Project to review every resource we own and ensure relevance to University teaching and research. We are keeping well-used material on open shelves for immediate access; storing less frequently-used research material where it can be retrieved within the week; and responsibly disposing of other material.

As of this Autumn, we’ve now reviewed 97.6% of all journals and 86.7% of all book stock, and hope to complete by New Year. This summer alone we relegated 3,793 items and withdrew 10,888 items. We also participate in the UK Research Reserve project to ensure print copies of research journals are retained nationally for inter-library loan lending. This summer we agreed to safeguard 13.71 metres of journals, send 1.85m to the British Library to fill in gaps in their holdings and dispose of about 210 metres.

More study space in the Library

Another Project aim was to increase Library study spaces. Moving stock, shelving and furniture this summer enabled us to create an additional 17 study spaces on the 5th Floor, and 48 across the 2nd , 3rd and 4th Floors.

650 moves in with 600s

Our ultimate aim is to to make everything much easier to find so this summer we moved Call Number 650  into the 2nd Floor 600 sequence. It had been an anomaly amongst other numbers on the 4th Floor.

Integrating the Bulmershe Collection continues

Following the closure of Bulmershe Library in 2011, we brought well-used material over to the University Library. Some material was immediately integrated with existing sequences. More was  placed in separate ‘Bulmershe Collection’ areas awaiting catalogue record upgrades and insertion into main collections. This autumn, we estimate we’ve integrated about half these books so far. Most ex-Bulmershe journal Call Numbers are also integrated – numbers 360-370 are due for completion in a few weeks. The Teaching Practice Collection – children’s resources for student teachers to assess and use – will remain a separate collection.



650 moves to 2nd Floor

Men moving books on library shelvesDo you use University Library business, marketing, accounting or typography material with 650 Call Numbers? Please be aware that these books and journals  moved from the 4th to the 2nd Floor over summer 2012!

Completely integrated with the rest of the 600 sequence on the 2nd Floor, 650 items should be easier to find. However, please ask at Information Desks if you need help.

The move brings us closer to our ultimate aim of running the Call Number sequence straight through the Library from 000 on the 2nd Floor up to 999 on 4th Floor. This is just  part of our ambitious Collections Project 2009-2013 to reprofile Library collections and space to better meet Library users’ future needs.


What have we done for you lately?

What has the University Library done for students lately? Here’s an update showing what we did over the last year.

Library study space and technology

  • Created more study spaces on the Ground, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Floors, including the new Group Study Pods.
  • Added four plasma screens to Group Study areas – just plug in your laptop.
  • Installed Smartboards to training rooms – try them out yourselves when the rooms are not booked.
  • Reserved the whole 5th Floor for Silent Study

Rewiring the Library

After installing up-to-date power distribution last summer, we’ll rewire each floor over the next few years. The 5th Floor is currently getting new lighting, data and power plug sockets. Work continues after the revision season.

New Off-site Store allows stock moves

Our Collections Project will continue to provide further improvments over the next few years.

Library home for Study Advice & Maths Support

Student talking to Study Adviser Michelle ReidWe built Study Advice a new, permanent home by the University’s largest PC area and IT Help counter. Increased use shows how much easier it is to find and use the service in the Library.

Library help – our ‘constant’!

Librarian helping student at a PCThroughout every change, Library staff remain passionate about teaching you to find information you need to achieve high standards. Contact us for help.

What did we do for you before?

Find out what the Library did for you over the last few years on a previous blog.


What has the Library done for you lately?

What has the University Library done for students lately? Here’s how we enhanced your central hub for study and interaction this summer.

Study space and technology enhancements

  • Refurbished Silent study desks on Library's 5th FloorWe’ve created more study spaces on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Floors, where we’ve refurbished yet another room. We’ve also reserved all 5th Floor areas for Silent Study, expanding the number of places in this category since last year.
  • We’ve added plasma screens to two Group Study Rooms and two new Group Study Pods on the Ground Floor  – just plug in your laptop. Remember you can still book Presentation Practice Room 106 on the 1st Floor with its plasma screen.
  • Hand writing on a Smartboard screenWe’ve installed Smartboards to training rooms 107 and 108. You’ll benefit during Library and ITS training taught here or try them out for yourselves when the rooms are not booked.
  • We moved the ‘Quiet with PCs’ room to the quieter, far south side of  the 1st Floor – Room 109.

Stock moves, and a new Store

We created additional study space when we moved 14,000 shelves of books and journals. In addition, we’ve:

Our Collections Project will continue to provide further improvments over the next few years.

Library home for Study Advice & Maths Support

Student talking to Study Adviser Michelle ReidWe’ve built a new, permanent home for Study Advice, conveniently right next to the University’s largest PC area and IT Help counter, concentrating advisers right where they’re needed.

Rewiring project

The University installed up-to-date power distribution this summer and will rewire over the next few years, improving safety. We will press for an additional increase in plug sockets for laptop users.

Helping you – our ‘constant’

Librarian helping student at a PCThroughout every change, we remain passionate about helping you find the information you need to achieve the highest standards. Use our experience and training to get ahead. Contact us for help.

What did we do for you before?

Find out what the Library did for you over the last few years on a previous blog.



Bulmershe is an ex-Library!

Bulmershe Library staff wave goodbye

Bulmershe Library Team say goodbye before disbanding

Bulmershe Library is dead! Long live ‘Bulmershe Collections’ at the University Library at Whiteknights (until we integrate them with other stock there). Long may Library services for all schools and departments continue from this single, central Library site.

Bulmershe Library staff said goodbye to their last customer on Friday 29 July 2011. This completes the University’s 2006 plan as academic activity ceases at Bulmershe Court campus. Film, Theatre & Television has already moved to Whiteknights. Health and Social Care has now closed. The Institute of Education will soon move to London Road campus.

Bulmershe Collections at Whiteknights

Bulmershe Collections have moved to Whiteknights. You will find most items on open shelves in separate sections towards the front of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors. Others you can request from closed Store or Stack areas through the Unicorn catalogue.

Bulmershe Court Book Drop

You may still return University Library loans on the Bulmershe Court campus via the Book Drop in the wall of the inner courtyard near Reception. We will continue to operate this service whilst the Institute of Education remains here.

Library staff  help

Subject liaison staff  for IoE and FTT continue to serve their departments from Whiteknights. Other staff move to other library jobs or retire. Thanks for telling us you appreciated our support over the years. Some of us will see you soon. We commend you to our Whiteknights colleagues!


Off-site Store now in use!

First Off-site Store retrieval service user receiving prize from Librarian

First Off-site Store retrieval service user, Dr Tony Corley received a book token from Nick Hollis, Circulation Services Manager

To mark the opening of a new Library retrieval service, we presented a prize to the first person collecting material held in our new Off-site Store. Dr Tony Corley was surprised and delighted to receive a small book token as well when he came to read the journals he had requested online.

Over the summer we will transfer further lesser-used and research-level journals and books to the Store. This will help release more space at Main Library Whiteknights to accommodate material Bulmershe Collection material, when Bulmershe Library closes this July.

Requesting ‘Off-site Store’ material

You’ ll recognise Store items on the Unicorn catalogue by the location ‘Off-site Store – available on request’. To use them, just click on the ‘Request item from Off-site Store’ link on the left-hand side of the screen. Items will be made available for you to collect from the Main Library Ground Floor service desks. (For operational and safety reasons, it will not be possible for users to browse the collections held in the Store.)

During this summer’s move we won’t be able to guarantee a delivery time, but we will contact you as soon as items are available. So during this period, we recommend you order items as soon as possible.  

After stock moves are complete, we will collect Store items twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.  Items will be ready for you at Main Library on these days after 15:00 and remain there for up to seven days for you to consult or borrow.

The Store within our Collections Project

Moving lesser-used and research material to Store is an integral part of our five year Collections Project to re-profile Library collections to better meet users’ needs and improve study space. 

We will also be rearranging Main Library collections this summer, so it will be ‘all change by autumn’. For day-to-day news of moves, see the Library’s University Library news blog (also on the Library website) or follow the Library on Twitter.

More on the Off-site Store retrieval service

For further information on the new Off-site Store service, please contact your Liaison Librarian or Nick Hollis, Circulation Services Manager.


What have we done for you lately?

So, what has the University Library done for you lately? Here are some recent developments, several implemented following students’ requests. 

Improvements to Library environment

  • New study spaces created and refurbished on the 5th Floor [2009-2011]

    Studying on the Library's 5th Floor

    Work peacefully in a recently refurbished 5th Floor study room

  • 50 additional power sockets for laptops installed on the 2nd, 3rd and
    4th Floors facing Palmer/Carrington Buildings [Autumn 2009]
  • Eyelets in study desks to secure laptops [Autumn 2010]
  • Refurbished and additional toilet facilites [Spring 2011]
  • Improved access to Wi-Fi [2010]
  • New voiced closing message and fire alarm; upgraded fire-stairs and refuges with inter-coms [2009-10]
  • More Study Rooms and a Silent Study Room [2008]
  • New Course Collection / Cafe / Knowledge Exchange and Study Rooms  [2007]

Improvements to Library services

  • Opening to midnight Monday-Thursday term-time and Easter Vacation [from April 2009]

    Alarm clock

    Study until midnight, Monday to Thursday!

  • Library homepage redesigned incorporating students’  information priorities [Sept 2010]; Entire website redesigned based on student views [2007]
  • ‘Roving’ Library staff introduced to help you where you need it [Autumn 2010 and 2009]
  • Upgraded Unicorn Library catalogue provides new e-resource-only searching, your recent loan record and username/password access [Autumn 2010]
  • University Library news blog delivers alerts and news faster [2010]
  • Improved, popular online help including the crucial referencing, database and literature searching guides [Autumn 2010]
  • Online ‘Closed access’ requests [Autumn 2010]

Improvements to Library collections

  • Access to e-resources has greatly increased. You now have access to:
    • nearly 22,000 e-journals
    • over 9,000 e-books, including 100s of reliable references sources you can search together through Credo or Oxford Reference Online
      Students using the Library Course Collection

      Enhanced funding buys more Course Collection texts

  • Enhanced Course Support funding buys extra copies of textbooks [2008 onwards]
  • A scanning project provides online course texts directly via Blackboard. (You may not even realise this comes via the Library!)
  • Showing a floor number on Unicorn and redesiged shelf labels helps students find stock more easily [2008 on]

Future developments

We plan to introduce further study space on the 2nd and 4th Floor reading rooms by 2013 as part of our ambitious Collections Project. Running since 2009, it’s a long-term strategy to create space for study, and Bulmershe books and journals, by reviewing all Library stock and relegating lesser-used research material to an off-campus Store. 

Helping you – our ‘constant’

Throughout every change, we remain passionate about helping you find the information you need to achieve the highest standards. Use our experience and training to get ahead through: 

Librarian helping student at a PC

Contact us for personal help


Request ‘Closed access’ items online!

From Monday 4 October, you will only be able to Request items from closed access collections at Main Library online via Unicorn and no longer using small green printed slips. Just click on ‘Request item from Closed Access’  on the left-hand side of the catalogue record from wherever you are and have it ready for collection when you visit!

This streamlining will help us prepare to bring you material smoothly from our new off-campus Store by 2011 as well. (More information on our Collections Project  page.) 

Exceptions are:

  • Online card catalogue items: please request this at the Main Library Ground Floor Information Desk
  • Bulmershe Library ‘closed access’ items: please request these at Bulmershe Library Information Desk.

If you have any further questions, please contact Nick Hollis, Circulation Services Manager.

655s and 710s have switched floors!

Girl reading up to select some Library booksWe have relocated some books and journals between Main Library’s 3rd and 4th Floors to make it easier for you to find them.

  • Printing, publishing and typography (655) is now with the rest of the 650s stock on the 4th Floor.
  • The real estate and planning collection (710–719) is now with the 700s on the 3rd Floor.
  • We have also incorporated books in these numbers from Bulmershe Library.

Please ask at the 3rd or 4th Floor Information Desks if you need help finding anything.

This move is part of our ambitious Collections Project 2009-2013, reprofiling Library collections and spaces to better meet Library users’ future needs. Firstly, it gets us closer to our aim of running the Call Number sequence straight through the Library, from 2nd up to 4th Floor. It is also a useful pilot for bigger moves next summer when Main Library receives stock from Bulmershe Library which closes in 2011. Watch this Library space! 

For more information, see Collections Project webpage

Faster inter-library loans as we join UKRR

Faster inter-library loan delivery is just one benefit you’ll soon see now Reading has joined the UK’s other research intensive university libraries to create a national, distributed journal collection for future researchers.

What is UKRR?

UK Research Reserve logoThe UK Research reserve (UKRR) for printed journals is being created to guarantee at least three copies of each item will be securely retained nationally, including one at the British Library for quick inter-lending. Funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with £9.8m over five years, this project also allows participating HE libraries to safely withdraw duplicated, low-use issues to create more study space.

UKRR’s pilot phase saw eight universities, led by Imperial College, re-purpose 11,000 metres of shelf space with over 8,000 titles being added to the Reserve. Reading has been selected to join the project, which now involves all the top research ‘Russell Group’ universities and five other important ‘1994 Group’ universities.

Benefits of membership

  • Quicker delivery times and improved service levels from the British Library’s document supply / Inter-Library Loans service.
  • The chance to acquire journals from other university libraries to further enhance research collections in Reading’s areas of strength.
  • We choose which items we contribute to the Reserve.
  • Knowing researchers can access Reserve copies means we can confidently withdraw printed journal parts where the University no longer needs them (eg where they are surplus to anticipated research needs, or available electronically and not needed in print as well).

UKRR and our Library Collections Project

UKRR aims fit well with the University Library’s Collections Project – to create additional study space and re-organise holdings at Main Library Whiteknights in anticipation of Bulmershe Library’s closure in 2011.

In line with our Collection policies, we are already consulting Schools about which journal volumes we might withdraw for the UKRR, and which to retain at Main Library or the new, low-use Store.

If you would like to know more about the UK Research Reserve or the Library’s Collections Project, please contact the Collections Project Co-ordinator, Vicky Bird