Library refurbishment: toilets, stairs and landscaping changes

When using the Library building after Monday 30 July, please be aware of the latest changes due to ongoing refurbishment. These affect where to find toilet facilities, accessing upper floors and approaching the Library building entrance.

Use stairs behind lifts

Red barriers on slate floor with balconies above

Please use lifts and adjacent stairs in the centre of the building.

Do not be alarmed if, on entering the Library, you no longer see a flight of stairs directly in front of the current entrance. These have been demolished as part of Ground Floor refurbishment. Until newly installed stairs are ready to use at a later stage, please use the existing stairs behind the lifts in the centre of the building. Ask at our Info Point for directions.

Toilets on the 3rd Floor

Red arrow points to door labelled as gender neutral toilet next to book shelves

New toilets are on the 3rd Floor, behind the book area, on the east side.

Take your first opportunity to try out the new gender-neutral and accessible toilets at the far end of the recently re-opened 3rd Floor! (See our 3rd Floor plan.)

Opening these new facilities means we have closed the Ground Floor toilets, so that contractors can work on with creating new single-sex toilets as part of Ground Floor refurbishment. This section is due to open in autumn this year.

The nearest single-sex toilets to the Library are located in the URS and Edith Morley buildings. Please ask Library staff at the Ground Floor Help Point who can point you in the right direction.

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Landscaping refurb: outside seating and planters to be replaced

Also after Monday 30 July, contractors will be fencing off the outside seating and brick-built planters directly outside the Library building. These are to be removed in anticipation of new landscaping to complement Library refurbishment.

Please walk between the fencing and hoardings to access the Library entrance. Watch out for occasional traffic directed by contractors’ when gates are opened.

More information

Keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news on our  Library refurbishment webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Water restored in Library

The leak in the Library building has now been fixed.

Drinking water and toilets are both available on the Ground Floor of the Library building during opening hours.

More information

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian for
Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Library refurbishment: noise expected from external works (updated)

We’re making good progress on our major refurbishment of the Library. While work continues on the inside of the Library building, much attention will be paid to the Library’s exterior over the coming weeks.

How will this affect you?Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

As the works will involve the use of heavy machinery, we anticipate high levels of noise around the outside of the Library building. One major phase of work will be the creation of new ramps and steps into the building – this involves working with concrete, and so will necessitate drilling at times.

In addition, work will continue to transform the exterior facades of the building. Some of the work will involve loud machinery, which is likely to be audible from nearby buildings such as Edith Morley. Night works will also take place at various points over the summer.

We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause, and are extremely grateful for your patience at this time.

More information

For the latest refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian
for University Communications

Latest round of book moves complete

As of 6 June the latest round of book moves are complete. All the books and other materials have been moved to the 2nd and 3rd Floors so that work can start on refurbishing the 4th Floor, which is due to close on 11 June.

Where are items now located?

2nd Floor

  • 000s – computer science
  • 300s – social sciences, law
  • 800s – literature
  • 900s – history, geography, archaeology
  • Journals in all subjects

3rd Floor

  • 100s – philosophy, psychology
  • 200s – religion
  • 400s – languages, linguistics
  • 500s – science
  • 600s – technology, business, typography
  • 700s – arts
  • European Documentation Centre (EDC)
  • Music CDs
  • Teaching Practice Collection

Need help finding something?

If you need help locating an item or subject in the new arrangement please ask at the Information Desks.

More information

There are a few works to be completed on the 3rd Floor, but these won’t restrict access to the books and are due for completion on 1 September 2018.

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

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

Study space on campus: Spring update

Whiteknights mapHere’s some info to help all you students, working hard on assignments/projects/dissertations/revision, find study space facilities across campus.

600-800 Library@URS study spaces

There are around 600 study spaces in the URS building term-time weekdays, which increases to around 800 at weekends and during vacation periods when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use (there is a limit on the total occupancy of the building for fire safety). The closed rooms will therefore be reopened permanently during Library@URS opening hours from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period).

900 more spaces across campus

As well as the URS Building, there are more than 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. To help make it as straightforward as possible for you to find study space during this period, we’ve summarised the resources available as follows:

  1. Study Space Map

The University has had great feedback from students who have used this Study Space map to find alternative study space, in addition to that offered in the URS Building;

  1. Free Room Finder

The Free Room Finder online tool displays rooms available for immediate use and you can search based on campus area, time needed, and/or capacity required;

  1. PDF study space list

Updated every term, this list highlights spaces across our campuses that can be used for study (subject to scheduled teaching or departmental use);

  1. Live list of available PCs

This PC availability webpage shows where there are PCs available on campus in real time;

  1. RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2

Study spaces available for all campus card holders;

  1. Extended Chancellor’s building opening hours

This building is available to use as study space from 6-9pm Monday to Friday during term time and also at weekends (between 10am and 6pm) at the discretion of the Library supervisor if study space in the URS Building becomes full. If you are having difficulty finding a study space in the URS building at the weekend please talk to Library staff at the Library@URS Ground Floor Information Desk;

  1. Additional study space at Eat at the Square

Eat at the Square will be open after lunch from 3-6pm Monday to Friday during term time, providing additional study space as well as refreshments from The Grumpy Mule;

  1. Central Room Booking service

Students can book rooms on campus in advance, for example, for group study;

  1. Anti-desk-hogging service in the Library@URS building

Help Library staff make the most of Library@URS space: If you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings, speak to staff at the Reception or the Information Desk on the Ground Floor;

  1. NOISYCHAT service in Library@URS building

Please text Library staff quietly if you experience noise in a silent study area and they will investigate as soon as they can.

Study space in Halls

The University has been working to create more than 100 new study spaces across our Halls of Residence, which includes refurbishing spaces so that they are more suitable for productive study. The spaces will be located in Wessex Library, St George’s Computer Room, Wantage Computer Room, Stenton JCR, Childs JCR and Mackinder JCR. It originally hoped these spaces would be ready by the end of February – unfortunately, although the refurbishment work is complete, we have experienced some unforeseen delays with our furniture supplier, which now means that the spaces will be ready in late March. The supplier is working hard to deliver the furniture within the next couple of weeks, and we will of course let you know when the spaces are ready to use.

In the meantime, there are other spaces in Halls that can be used for study, including the Bridges JCR, Benyon JCR and Sherfield Bar. Please call the Halls Hotline if you’re not sure where these spaces are or want to check opening times.

More on Library Refurb

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

University Communications/Library Marketing Co-ordinator, Rachel Redrup

How did you use Course Collection and Holds?

White ghostly imagined people sitting at wooden desks. Shelves of books in background.

After refurbishment, Course Collection and the Hold Shelf will return to the Library building and look something like this.

In spring 2017, whilst it was still in the Library building, we surveyed how students used the Course Collection and Holds Shelf. Here’s what you told/showed us could improve things now, whilst both collections temporarily occupy the URS building, and provides insight for their return to a refurbished Library building.

Research methods

We used two different techniques: we collected your opinions using a graffiti wall asking what users of the Course Collection liked about it and what they felt could improve it for them; we also did some behavioural mapping – observing how the space and services were being used. Although Library Refurbishment plans were already established, we felt observational techniques could inform whether plans were on the right track and give us practice on evaluating use of the new spaces for after refurbishment.

Results confirm refurbishment plans

You told us that you liked the Course Collection’s quiet, warm environment, conveniently close to the main entrance, toilets and café (for that all important caffeine fix!) Our observation exercise confirmed this, showing many users chose the space to work quietly – something we weren’t expecting! The planned Library refurbishment includes new toilets and refreshment areas throughout the building, so should bring this convenience to several study areas.

You also told us you’d like more study spaces in the Course Collection, and more sockets. Observation showed that the most Course Collection popular seats had plug sockets for laptops etc and/or were by a wall or divider, suggesting you can concentrate better when you can’t see anyone working opposite. Library refurbishment will deliver more Course Collection study spaces, all with sockets. There will also be individual comfy study carrels to accommodate that desire to study undisturbed.

Hold shelf improvements

A surprise to us was that a third of those went up to the Hold Shelf didn’t collect a book. It was really useful for us to discover where we could improve your experience of finding your hold and understanding what to do. We have now displayed flow-chart posters beside the Hold Shelf to indicate what to do if you do not initially find your hold, and added more labelling to the Enterprise Library catalogue where books are on hold.

Map of Course Collection annotated with coloured lines and arrows

UX technique employs coloured lines on a map to indicate how different people use an area

Our experience of ‘User Experience (UX)’

Observing how library spaces are used has been both fascinating and incredibly useful. We’re reassured our refurbishment plans will improve your experience of using the new Course Collection space and we’ve gained insight into where we can make service and system design more straightforward for you. We’re hoping to use observational techniques in the future to continue to improve library services and spaces. If you’d like to know more about User Experience (UX) techniques at University of Reading Library, please contact Natalie Guest: n.guest@reading.ac.uk.

Natalie Guest, Library user Services and
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Library refurbishment: extra study space and update on works

Whiteknights map

Download the new Study Space Maps now from www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb

Here is an update on new study spaces available later this month and works taking place inside the Library.

New study spaces around campus

The Library@URS offers around 600 study spaces during term time. While the space is convenient for studying, we do recognise that it can be difficult to find space during peak times (occupancy rates suggest this is typically 10:00– 16:00).

Following student feedback, the University will be able to offer additional study space beyond the Library@URS from Monday 15 January 2018:

  • Study space at Eat at the Square: Eat at the Square will be open after lunch 15:00-18:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. It will provide approximately 280 spaces, with refreshments available to purchase from The Grumpy Mule.
  • Extended Chancellor’s Building opening hours: Opening hours for the Chancellor’s Building have been extended to offer additional space 18:00–21:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. (This is in addition to opening Chancellor’s at weekends if URS becomes full – see below).
  • New study spaces to be created in Halls: In case you missed our announcement last November, more than 100 new study spaces will be available across our Halls of Residence. We are aiming for these to be ready by the end of February.
  • AVAILABLE NOW – Study Space Map: We have also produced a Study Space Map highlighting spaces across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses. Download the map today at our Library refurbishment page (top link in ‘FIND STUDY SPACE BEYOND THE LIBRARY’ box).

The above new services join our existing Library@URS arrangements and space-finding tools. To recap, these are:

  • Library@URS arrangements
    • Library@URS anti-desk-hogging service: Does that jacket really need its own space? Please speak to staff at the Reception or ground floor Information Desk if you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings.
    • Chancellor’s Building as overflow space: The Chancellor’s Building can be opened as relief space if URS becomes full at weekends – please speak to staff at the URS ground floor Information Desk for more information.
    • Extra URS space over weekends and vacations: Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be available when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use over weekends and vacations (due to fire regulations). In term time, the rooms are available from 18;00 Friday until 08:00 Monday. The rooms will be immediately available during vacations and summer terms, ensuring the maximum study space capacity can be used at exam revision time.
  • Digital space-finding tools can be easily accessed through the Library refurbishment page:

Noisy works within the Library

As ever, the Library building remains open for borrowing books and learning materials while refurbishment work takes place.

Please note there may be noisy works over the next few weeks as the next phase of work includes the cutting of concrete slab on the Ground and Basement Floors.

Where to find out more

Don’t forget that Library staff are on hand to answer your questions and help you out –  please speak to staff at the Library@URS Reception or Ground Floor Information Desk if you need assistance or have any queries.

Please visit the Library refurbishment webpage for further information on the project, including the latest news, links to space-finding tools and FAQs.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for UoR Communications

 

Help make the most of Library@URS space

Students studying in the URS Building

Group study space in the URS Building

Looking for a space when URS is busy? Help us to help you make the most of our study space.

Weekend and vacation study space

Students can access extra study space in the URS building over the weekend and during vacation time. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays during term time, as well as all throughout the vacation. The rooms are closed during term time weekdays as the Large Lecture Theatre is in use in the URS Building.

The Library has also made arrangements to open the Chancellor’s Building to provide more space on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 and 18:00 if the URS Building reaches capacity. Users are requested to talk to Library staff at the URS Ground Floor Information Desk if they are having difficulty in finding a space.

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAnti-desk hogging service!

Please help us share study space in the URS building fairly. While it’s fine to pop over to the Library building for a book and return to your desk within a short time, we think it unfair for students to reserve desks with their belongings for long periods when other students want to use that space.

If you find unattended study places apparently ‘booked’ with clothes, stationery and the like, please ask Library staff for support at either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor. We will give you a timed warning card you can place on the abandoned 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. Also ask staff to help explain, should anyone return after an hour to complain.

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.

Noisy chatLower part of face with forefinger placed to lips

Are 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.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Weekend study space / Library refurb progress

Weekend Library study space

Students studying in the URS BuildingStarting this Friday (17 November), students will be able to make use of additional study space in the URS building over the weekends. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays, during term time. These rooms had to be closed when the Large Lecture Theatre in URS was reopened in September. They will still be closed on term-time weekdays but will be open for use over the weekends and also during vacations and summer terms when the lecture theatre is closed.

The Library also has arrangements in place to open up space in the Chancellor’s Building on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 and 18:00 if the Library@URS reaches capacity. Users are requested to talk to Library staff at the URS Ground Floor Information Desk if they are having difficulty in finding a space.

Library refurbishment progress

Work has begun on the installation of the cladding towards the front of the University Library. Over the next weeks, the contractors will be installing cladding brackets and rails on the exterior walls, which will involve heavy drilling. Occupants of Edith Morley, Whiteknights House and URS buildings may experience a higher than usual noise level, but are advised that the noisiest drilling work will finish by 10:00 every day.

Meanwhile, work continues inside the Library with the focus on the internal and service works on the Basement, Ground and 1st Floors; surveying and ductwork on the 4th Floor; works to the roof and 5th and 6th Floor plant room; and, weather proofing of the north, east and south sides.

The path diversion in place outside the Library will continue and we will keep you updated on the progress.

Stay up-to-date 

Keep checking the Library blog for the latest refurbishment news and updates. For more information on the Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

More Library study space at weekends

Students studying in the URS Building

Weekend group study rooms include sofas and easy chairs.

We’re providing more Library group study space for students at weekends within the URS building, plus an option to open more space in Chancellor’s building on request!

Weekend/vacation/summer URS group study rooms

Due to fire safety limits on URS building occupancy, certain group study rooms had to be closed when the University brought the Large Lecture Theatre back into use in September 2017. However, from Friday 17 November 2017 we have arranged for weekend reopening of those study rooms whilst the theatre is unused. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will open at 18:00 on term-time Fridays and close at 08:00 on Monday mornings.

These rooms will also open during vacations and summer terms, ensuring the maximum study space capacity can be used at exam revision time.

Ask for extra weekend space in Chancellor’s building

Even with the full complement of study space restored to around 800, we appreciate that the URS building may still become very busy at weekends. Although RUSU’s The Study and The Study @ TOB2 also open weekends, other additional campus study space available weekdays may not.

Therefore, we have arranged that if URS study space reaches capacity on a Saturday or Sunday between 10:00 and 18:00, the senior library supervisor will be able to request the Chancellor’s building be opened as well. So please ask at the URS Information Desk if you think you need more space.

More information 

Details of URS and Library building weekend opening hours are available online.

All the latest Library refurbishment news is available on the Library blog. For more information on Library refurbishment, please see our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project page.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator