Introducing your new Library Study Space Assistants… and other important updates for the summer term 

We hope you found some time to relax over the Easter vacation. 

We’re looking forward to continuing to support all students this summer term, whether you’re on campus or studying remotely. Remember our expert teams, including Academic Liaison LibrariansStudy Advice and Maths Support are all available to provide advice and support online. 

If you’re studying on campus this term, we’ve summarised some important developments for you to be aware of when visiting our building.  

New Library Study Space Assistants 

We’ve recruited a team of 10 new Study Space Assistants to help keep you and our colleagues safe this summer term. They’ll be available to help you find your pre-booked seat, provide advice about alternative study space at busy times, and ensure you’re aware of the safety measures currently in place (see below). You’ll notice them in Study@URS too. 

Keeping our Library safe for everyone – what you need to know

Remember hands, face, space to keep all Library members and staff safe

While the positive progress of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown is welcome news, it’s vital that we do not become complacent and risk a worsening of the pandemic in the UK. We all have a role to play to take the necessary precautions to keep those around us as safe as possible.

In the Library, as well as our usual ‘Code of Conduct’, you must: 

  • wear a face covering at all times, even when sitting at a desk and studying alone, unless you are exempt;  
  • keep a 2 metre distance from others (this includes those from your own household when using the Library, to help us enforce these rules with minimum intervention);  
  • take the stairs rather than the lift, where possible (if you need to use the lift, you must use it alone); 
  • sit in your allocated seat only; 
  • vacate your pre-booked seat promptly at the end of the period for which it has been booked; 
  • follow all one-way systems;  

and 

  • bring your Campus Card and keep it on your desk so it is visible to staff, this will help them check you are sat in your booked seat without interrupting you 

We would like to thank all of you who have been continuing to follow these rules to help protect us all. 

If, however, a member of staff or one of our Study Space Assistants notices that you are not following these rules, they will let you know and you will be asked for your details. If this is the first time you have been spoken to, we will record your details but no further action will be taken – we understand that accidental lapses happen from time to time.  You will be given a short letter to explain why your details have been taken. 

If you breach the rules a second time during the current academic year, we will issue a formal warning in accordance with our Student Disciplinary Procedures. If your details are taken for a third time, you will be issued with a fine of up to £200 (again, in line with our Student Disciplinary Procedures). For further incidents, a higher fine or other penalty (such as a ban from the Library) may be imposed. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. We wish you every success for the summer term ahead.  

Your Library Team

Safer studying in the Library – remember to wear a face covering at all times

The Library continues to remain open for bookable study space and for Click & Collect for those of you here on campus.

Following the announcement of the national lockdown earlier this month, and the risk of increased transmissibility by the new strain of COVID-19, we’ve been reviewing current health and safety control measures.

We’ve updated our face covering guidance which includes a change about how they should be used in the Library. You’re now expected to wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) throughout the duration of your visit, even when sat at your assigned desk.

Remember hands, face, space to keep all Library members and staff safe

This is the only change we’ve made to our current safety measures in the Library so the rest of our previously published guidance remains the same.

The Library is designated as a ‘common area’ along with other spaces on campus as there is a relatively high number of different people using the space each day.

During the Autumn Term and the start of this year some people, understandably, were forgetting to replace their face covering when moving around the building.  Due to this, and as the current transmissibility of the virus is heightened, this additional safety measure will help minimise the risk for all Library users and staff.

Please comply with the new guidance and the existing measures to help us keep you and our staff safe so that we can continue to provide effective library services through this time.  Our staff have been working throughout the pandemic to provide a vital service to support you. Please show them the respect they deserve and comply with their instructions – they are there for your safety.

Breaches of our guidelines are being taken very seriously, and may result in fines and/or expulsion from Halls and/or the University, in accordance with our University disciplinary procedures

We will, of course, keep our policy under review and adjust it as necessary in the coming weeks and months, in line with the wider situation.

See our Current Library Services guide and the Library website for further information about all the services available to you on campus and online.

Your Library team

Study space bookings – changes for 2021

Through feedback from Library users and observation we have noticed that it’s sometimes unclear for users where they should sit and that spaces are booked but not occupied. So in order to improve your experience when visiting the Library to study and ensure that we can continue to operate in a Covid safe way we’re making some changes to our study space booking system and allocating a numbered space to each booking and sending you a reminder the day before. During the Autumn term we’d already started checking your bookings on our system when you arrive at the Welcome Desk to keep study areas from becoming over-populated. It’s important that we have plenty of space for you to effectively social distance in the building, and to guarantee only people who have a genuine booking gain entry.

CLose up picture of a desk showing a label with number

Sit at the desk labelled with the number and area in your booking confirmation email

From 4 January 2021 all study spaces in the Library will have a number. When you book a Study space you’ll be allocated a specific desk to sit at – yours for the duration of your booking. The desk number and area will be on the booking confirmation email you receive. Desk areas are indicated by signage in the building and desk numbers by a label on each space.

You’ll receive a reminder email the day before your booking, if you don’t need the space any more the email will contain details on how to cancel it to make it available for another user. The same option is available in the original booking confirmation email too.

To book and use a study space please follow these steps

  • Book your space online – please only book for yourself, all our study spaces are for individual study as per government guidance.
  • Bring your Campus Card and booking confirmation email to the Library, and please wear a face covering unless exempt
  • Check your study space area and seat number – ask us if you are unsure where it is
  • Sanitise your space with the supplies provided
  • Once seated you can remove your face covering, but please use it whenever you’re moving around inside the building
  • Please vacate your space on time – someone else will be arriving to use it after you

Not received your confirmation email? Don’t book again! Please contact us and we can check your booking is there and re-send the confirmation email. If the space you booked is unavailable, please ask us for help either in person at the Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor or call us on 0118 378 8770.

We want the Library to continue to be a welcoming and safe space for you to study – please continue to help us by following our study space etiquette guidance. We know space is limited but with your help all Library members can have a fair chance to use our facilities.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems and User Services)

Borrow until January for Christmas!

A Christmas tree made of books

Our Christmas present to you! Borrow all vacation, 30 November to 12 January.

To help borrowers heading home early due to UK government guidance, we’re lending everything to all Library members from Monday 30 November until Tuesday 12 January.

These Christmas vacation loans will include standard, 7-day, overnight loans and journals. We hope this will make things a little easier for everyone!

What about holds?

If other Library members have already placed a hold on a 7-day or standard loan item, we will only lend you the item for 7 days. If someone is already waiting to use a Short Loan item we will only be able to lend you the item on overnight loan, so that everyone gets the chance to use the material they need.

If you need an item before January, you can still place holds as normal and we will contact the borrower and try to get it back for you.

We may need to recall your Library books during the vacation if another person requests them, so please check your email regularly. If you have difficulty returning items or any other questions, then please email library@reading.ac.uk for help and guidance.

Vacation hours

See our opening hours for full details of Library opening times over the vacation. No items will be due back between Monday 21 December and Sunday 3 January, the University closure period.

Rebecca Ashley, Library User Services

Keeping the Library COVID-secure

This is a reminder about COVID-secure measures within the Library:

  • There are no group study spaces. Independent study only is supported – you must be seated alone.
  • All seating has been arranged to allow for social distancing. Please do not move any furniture.
  • Signs about COVID-secure measures are there to protect your health and safety and are not to be removed.
  • The study space booking system has been introduced to allow all students to book a space on an equal basis. Any misuse of the system may prevent students with legitimate bookings from entering the building irrespective of their having a booking, and will be addressed.
  • All study seat bookings will be checked before giving entry to the Library in order to avoid misuse of the system.

Working together, we can ensure that the Library is a safe place for all to work and study in. We rely on your co-operation to make this happen. Thank you.

Stuart Hunt
Director of University Library & Collections Services and University Librarian

Safe studying

Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the Library a safe place to study by following the procedures we’ve put in place. Now that we’re getting used to a second lockdown it’s even more important to take extra care and carry on following all the guidance to stay safe.

The Department for Education guidance for using libraries and study spaces underpins our hygiene measures and asks that you:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands frequently, or use our sanitiser
  • Clean your work area with our wipes
  • Study independently

We’ll get through this together!

Your Library Team

Library open daily but not overnight during lockdown

Book ahead to visit the Library  daytime or evenings in lockdown, but not overnight.

Due to the new lockdown period in England, 5 November to 2 December 2020, the University Library opening hours will be changing. We will close overnight and reopen again at 08:30 each morning, except Saturdays when we’ll close at 21:00 as usual.

Starting from 00:01 Thursday 5 November our revised opening hours will be:

  • Sunday to Friday  08:30 – 00:00
  • Saturdays            08:30 – 21:00

Any study space bookings already scheduled for nights affected will be cancelled – we apologise for the inconvenience.

However, all our services and facilities remain operating as normal during our opening hours so you can still use the Click & Collect service, book study spaces, and book an IT Service Desk appointment. All our online services remain unchanged. See our Current Library Services guide for further information.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems and User Services)

Face coverings now mandatory for Click & Collect

From Monday 10 August, following a recent update to government guidelines, face coverings must be worn in the Library when using our Click & Collect services unless you are exempt under government guidelines.

Thank you for helping to keep our Library space as safe as possible.

For more information on how to use the Click & Collect service or place holds for collection, visit our previous blog post.

Tara Healy, Library User Services

Library Click & Collect service

Your Library team is excited to announce that from Monday 13 July Library members will be able to borrow some print books via a new ‘Click & Collect’ style service.

Yellow tape on door mat marks social distancing queue points

Please enter the front door and queue two metres apart

We’ve rearranged things so you’ll be able to place holds via Enterprise (the Library catalogue) on items that are ‘on the shelf’, just like you do with items on loan. We’ll fetch requested books from the shelves each day and you’ll get an email from us when your items are ready for you to collect.

You’ll be able to place holds from Thursday 9 July and the Library will be open for collections only 11:00 – 14:00 Monday to Friday from 13 July. We’ll keep your items available for up to five days as usual.

Barrier tape marks route to collection point

There’s a one-way route to your collection point

We’ve worked hard to put procedures in place that will keep you and our staff safe whilst participating with this service. When you arrive at the Library you’ll find a queuing system in place providing a one-way contactless route in and out of the building, and signs showing you where to stand to maintain your social distance from others.

You’ll be able to engage with staff at a collection point in the foyer, one at a time. We’ll ask you to put your Campus Card down and then step back so we can step forward to read your name and card number. Once we’ve issued your books to you we’ll put them down and step back so you can come forward to collect your books and card.

Barrier tape marks route to exit

Exit by the side door

We’ll wipe the collection point in between each person. We’ll also be wearing gloves when we handle your books.

This service is take-away only and the Library building remains closed for general use. For full details of all aspects of this service visit our Click & Collect FAQs webpage.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

Remember your Campus Card

Remember your Campus Card – you need it every time you visit the Library to enter through our new entrance gates.

Library user tapping campus card to enter library through security gates

Tap your Campus Card to enter and exit the Library

The gates are to increase your security and prioritise study space for University members.

Library members: you can enter and exit just by tapping your Campus Card (the same one you use to borrow) at the gates …. so there’s nothing you need to do other than carry it with you. If you forget your card, speak to staff at the Welcome Desk who can grant you temporary access on a limited number of occasions.

Members of the public over 18You are welcome to use and copy Library printed materials Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00. Please bring phographic proof of ID with you when you visit and speak to staff at the Welcome Desk who will ask for your ID, gather some information about you, and ask you to abide by the Library rules. You need to book ahead to gain access evenings and weekends. Please email library@reading.ac.uk telling us when you want to visit and we will arrange for Security staff to give you entrance: if you have not contacted the Library beforehand you will not be admitted.

Everyone can still use the Library Café and Ground Floor toilets, which you will find before you reach the barriers.

Natalie Guest, Document Delivery Co-ordinator / Academic Liaison Librarian

Settle up before graduation!

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 Library@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 Library@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.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Restricted Library/URS entry for exam-time

Despite opening extensive hours from Saturday 6 April until Friday 14 June, please note access restrictions to Library buildings. From Monday to Friday, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders only. Visitors are only permitted at weekends with prior arrangement. This is to prevent disruption to our 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 card-holders get in

You already need your campus card to enter the Library building at all times. You will also need your card to enter Library@URS after 17:00 and before 08:30 on weekdays, and all weekend. When other doors are locked, please enter by the right-hand doors of Library@URS. Card-holders gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.

Restrictions for visitors

6 April—14 June Members of the public without cards are only admitted on weekends, by prior appointment.

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.

The Library Café will remain accessible throughout, but we apologise to visitors unable to use Café Libro during restricted periods.

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

Whilst refurbishment works continue in the Library building this summer there will be some construction noise. Besides the quieter Library@URS building, UoR students can also use additional study space listed on the Library Refurbishment Project page.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian for
Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)