Important update: Study space in URS Building

Students outside the URS Building

The University of Reading’s capital investment programme, 2026: TRANSFORM, is well under way to improve further our campus facilities. The University Library is undergoing a major transformation – we are investing over £40 million into making it a modern and comfortable place to study, with the very best facilities and learning resources. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Study space relocation to the URS Building

In April 2017, much of the study furniture from the Library was relocated to the URS Building. Several key services from the Library Building have also been relocated to the URS Building – the Library Information Desk, Study Advice and Maths Support, the Course Collection, the IT Service Desk and Café Libro. The Library Building remains open for borrowing books.

By moving study space and other services to URS, we can provide a quieter environment for study, enquiries and support. It also means less disruption through noise or dust from the building project, with URS still being close enough to borrow and use Library materials.

It is expected that these arrangements will be in place until August 2018, when study space and other facilities are currently planned to move back into the Library.

What’s changing?

Closed pink double doors to large lecture theatreThe URS lecture theatres have been out of use since the relocation to allow us to accommodate the maximum permitted number of study spaces in this building (there’s a restriction on the total number of people allowed in the building at any one time for fire safety). The University has recently taken the decision to re-open the URS large lecture theatre for teaching in the 2017/18 academic year.

Due to the fire safety restrictions in place, this will mean that the number of term-time study spaces available in the URS building will be reduced from around 800 to around 600. This will be disappointing news for some, as the total number of study spaces available to students during term-time will necessarily be reduced. However, please be assured that the University explored every possible alternative option before reaching this decision, but feel it is important that it offers students the best available teaching space for their classes.

We will work to re-instate the study spaces during the Christmas and Easter vacations, and in the summer term for the exam period.

Café Libro will remain open as usual.

Naturally, we will closely monitor the usage of the URS study spaces and the alternative study spaces provided across our campuses (see below for more information) to ensure all spaces are accessible, available and well-used. Feedback from students on these spaces is very much welcome as it will help us to plan study space availability in the future.

Alternative study spaces

Taking into account the reduction of study spaces in the URS Building, there are still over 1,500 study spaces available across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

We have provided some helpful resources to make it easier to find a suitable space to study. These include;

All of these resources can easily be found through the Library Refurbishment Project page. Do bookmark this page on your laptop or mobile to find it easily later.

We are also working with RUSU to create a new study space map which we will share with you as soon as it is ready.

Do not forget too that rooms located in teaching buildings will be subject to departmental use – and as always, please treat all spaces with respect.

Library project; progress to date

 We have made good progress since work started last summer. In summary;

  • all floors have been prepared for works to be carried out – you will notice that several areas have been sectioned off for work, especially on the Ground and 1st Floors;
  • work to improve the exterior of the Library is well under way and internal weatherproofing is largely complete;
  • work is underway for the creation of a brand new café; and
  • we are nearing the end of the demolition of a staircase on the south side of the building – a major phase of work that makes room for new, bigger lifts and a replacement staircase.

We are, of course, taking measures to reduce the risk of noise wherever possible, but please do remember that this is a live construction project – noise will be unavoidable from time to time. As a way of reducing disruption throughout the day, noisy work will cease after 10:00 during term time.

Stay up-to-date

The latest project news is shared through the Library blog – keep checking for updates. Major news will also be shared through the Me@Reading student portal and more.

We also share regular updates through our social media channels – we’re on:

Facebook: /theuniversityofreading and /universityofreadinglibrary

Twitter: @UniofReading, @UniRdg_Student and @UniRdg_Library

Instagram: uniofreading and unirdg_library

Please contact library@reading.ac.uk in the first instance if you have any queries.

Full details of the refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project website.

University of Reading Communications Team

Help stop desk hogging in Library@URS

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAlthough your study space has moved into the URS Building, we all still think it unfair for students to try to reserve desks by leaving their belongings behind.

If this affects you, please go to either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor and ask Library staff for support. We have warning cards you can place on unattended 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 instead. Also ask staff to help explain if anyone returning after an hour complains.

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  (open in exam-time Monday to Friday, 13:00-14:00 only).

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sue Egleton, Head of Systems and User Services.

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 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

Restricted Library/URS entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom Monday 3 April until Friday 9 June, overnight and all weekend Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders only. This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

Restrictions apply to both our buildings:

  • Library Building (Monday to Sunday 17:00 – 22:00)
  • URS Building (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00)

We operate a ‘no card, no access policy’ and reserve the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

How card-holders get in

University of Reading Campus Card-holders and Library Card-holders are welcome at all times. However, during restricted times, when other doors are locked, please enter by the right-hand doors of both the Library and URS Buildings.

  • University members gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Library Card holders must show their card to staff to gain entry. Please knock for attention if staff are not right beside the door.

Restrictions for visitors

3 April – 9 June 2017  Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekday daytimes:

  • Library Building (Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00)
  • URS Building (Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00)

Regrettably, they may not use study spaces here as these are required by our own students revising for exams. Visitors are encouraged to look to their own school, college or public library for study space.

As always, our policy is that children in the Library must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We apologise to visitors unable to use Café Libro during restricted periods. Please try another outlet on campus or at Christchurch Green.

UoR campus card faulty?

Should your University Campus Card fail to open our doors with the card reader, please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email cardfinance@reading.ac.uk.

Alternative study space during Library refurb

UoR students can also use additional study space listed on the Library Refurbishment Project page.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & Services)

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’.

Children

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

Help stop Library study desk hogging!

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyIt is so unfair when students try to reserve study space by leaving their belongings behind. You think so and so do we. If this affects you, please ask Library staff to support you by placing warning cards on unattended stuff. If it is not moved after an hour, you will know you can sit there. Just ask us to help explain if anyone returns after this time and complains to you.

Leaving things overnight is particularly underhand. Between midnight and 08:00, staff will remove property left unattended for more than an hour to ‘lost property’ at Library Reception. If not claimed, the next morning it will be taken to Palmer Reception, the centre for all lost property in the University  (open 10:00-14:00 or in exam-time Monday to Friday, 13:00-14:00 only).

For more information, see our ‘Help stop study-desk hogging’ post from when we initiated this service in exam-time 2016.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sue Egleton, Head of Systems and User Services.

Play fair and share!

Male students reading booksHelp make the Library work effectively by respecting everyone’s right to resources and space. Just a minute checking when your Library loans are due back or clearing a desk space for others can help make this term a success for everyone!

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

  • Return Library items on time, even if the Library is closed – don’t forget you can also post items back to us
  • Ensure nothing is overdue and avoid fines by keeping up to date with your loans online 24/7 through your Enterprise account
  • Print a receipt when borrowing items, as a reminder of when they are due back
  • Check your University email account regularly for Library messages – standard loan items can be recalled from you before the original due date
  • Don’t leave belongings behind to reserve study areas especially in revision time – our Library space is for the benefit of everyone
  • Find a study area with a sound level that suits you – from Group Study Rooms on the 2nd and 4th floors to silent study on the 5th

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

Lucy Shott, Library User Services

Help stop study-desk hogging!

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyThanks for telling us how unfair you think it is when students try to reserve study space by leaving their belongings behind. From Monday 18 April, we are cracking down. Look out for our cards – but we need your help too!

Need study space? Move stuff after an hour!

Have you ever been looking for somewhere to work, seen empty seats, but been put off by unattended property there? You don’t know whether someone has just stepped away for a moment, or deliberately left stuff there during a long lunch, a whole afternoon or even overnight…. No longer!

During the exam revision period, Library staff will place cards on unattended property, noting the time. If the owner does not return within one hour, you are entitled to occupy the study space yourself, carefully putting items to one side for the owner to collect later.

Library staff will support your need for space, so just tell us if the returning student complains.

Don’t leave your stuff beyond an hour

Although you should always keep valuables with you, it’s OK to leave your things on your desk whilst you fetch a book or visit the toilet for instance. However leaving belongings at a study space beyond one hour is unacceptable and deprives others. Leaving things overnight is particularly underhand.

Between midnight and 08:00, staff will remove property left unattended for more than an hour to ‘lost property’ at Library Reception. If not claimed, the next morning it will be taken to Palmer Reception, the centre for all lost property in the University  which is open during exam-time Monday to Friday,  13:00-14:00 only (although other times, 10:00-14:00).

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for Sue Egleton, Head of Systems and User Services.

 

Restricted entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom Thursday 31 March until Friday 10 June, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders overnight and all weekend (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00).  This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

We operate a ‘no card, no access policy’ and reserve the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

HOW TO GET IN – CARD-HOLDERS

University of Reading Campus Card-holders and Library Card holders are welcome at all times. However, during restricted times, the revolving door will be locked, so please enter by the right-hand Library door.

  • University members gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Library Card holders must show their card to staff to gain entry. Please knock for attention if staff are not right beside the door.

RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS

Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekdays 08:00–17:00, 31 March -10 June 2016. Regrettably, they may not use study spaces here as these are required by our own students revising for exams. Visitors are encouraged to look to their own school, college or public library for study space.

As always, our policy is that children in the Library must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We apologise to visitors unable to use CaféLibro during restricted periods. Please try another outlet on campus or at Christchurch Green.

CAMPUS CARD FAULTY?

Should your University Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader, please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email cardfinance@reading.ac.uk.

Alternative UoR Study space

Remember that UoR students can also use alternative study space provided by the University during exam-revision time across campus.

 Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Loans periods same over vac – keep renewing!

University Library in snow with fir tree in foregroundWith textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve changed our policy to ensure fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term.

So just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them. If the book needs to come back, we’ll email you …  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 now place holds on books on loan in vacations. (Previously we only recalled books during vacations at the start of the following term.) The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

The move away from books being out all vacation should benefit students and researchers needing to continue studying, especially finalists at Easter.

However, we know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure (Thursday 24 December to Sunday 3 January – see our Opening hours page for more information), so we’ve made special allowance. We’ll give you a bit longer to borrow: from Friday 18 December for Course Collection items; from Saturday 19 December for 7-day and journal loans). Also, nothing will be due back, and we won’t recall anything, between Saturday 19 December to Monday 4 January.

Happy holidays!

Rachel Redrup. Marketing Co-ordinator

Lidded drinks allowed! Need our travel mug?

Red and grey Library lidded travel mug You may take your hot or cold non-alcoholic drinks anywhere in the Library – as long as they’re in lidded containers – now we’ve changed Library rules on drinks.

Did you know Cafélibro give you 5% discount on drinks if you bring your own cup – but you’ll need a lidded travel mug to take it inside the Library.

Library lidded mugs £5

To celebrate our rule change, Cafélibro began to sell the Library’s own stylish, lidded mug at £5 – a competitive price! Our Mark 1 design was produced in red, grey and white, bearing the statement  ‘I’m keeping a lid on it in the library’. From April 2016, our Mark 2 design went on sale in black, grey and red.

We gave away the first 50 free to Library users mentioning the phrase ‘I’m keeping a lid on it in the library’ when buying a Cafélibro drink. They were so popular, they were all owned by happy customers by the end of lunchtime on the first day!

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator