What’s new in Digimap?

New licence agreements

From 1 August, Digimap (our online map and spatial data delivery service) will implement new licences.  The first time you log in after this date, you will need to agree to the new licences before you can access the service. Log in as usual and follow the prompts – there’s no need to re-register your details.

New look

When you log in, you will see that Digimap has a new look. The homepage has been refreshed, while retaining the easy access and functionality of the  old page.

Digimap home page 2018

As with the current homepage, login is possible either using the ‘Log In’ button in the top right corner or by accessing each Roam or Data Download application directly (see the ‘Geology Roam’ and ‘Geology Data Download’ example below:

Geology Digimap home

More information about the maps and data in each collection is now given, and there is also more detail on how to access the maps and data and easier links to Help information.

New resource – Marine Digimap

As part of the new licensing agreement, we now have access to Marine Digimap. This has two types of data:

  • Nautical charts – derived from UK Hydrographic Office paper charts
  • Marine themes – including elevation, shipwrecks, aquaculture areas, windfarms and navigational features

Marine Digimap could be useful for offshore engineering projects, management of marine and coastal environments, marine ecology studies, environmental impact assessments and tourism.

Digimap Marine example

Judith Fox, Map Librarian

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

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)

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

Make your dissertation stand out by using Special Collections – 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?

Students looking at a rare book from the University of Reading Special CollectionsOur 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
  • The history of mathematics
  • Beekeeping
  • Farming records
  • Women’s history
  • Children’s literature
  • Architectural history

Finding items on your research topic

Rare book spinesYou 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 & Fiona Melhuish, Special Collections Librarians.

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)