Head upstairs for more Library study space

Enjoy the full range of study spaces the Library has to offer. Following a multi-million pound refurbishment we now provide around 1,500 study spaces, 200 more than we had before. Be sure to investigate all five floors and three types of study space to find what suits you best. Our contemporary, new environment is very popular so do check out the upper floors for places others may not have reached yet!

Study your way in the Library

See our study space video or plans of each floor and you will find that study space has been arranged into three different types:

Group study – where talking is required
To discuss your work in groups, or if you concentrate best with background noise, head to the front of the 4th or 2nd Floors, the back of the Ground Floor, or the 1st Floor PC area for a choice of individual rooms, group pods, diner-like seating or long tables. There are eight bookable group study rooms on the 1st Floor.

Individual, quiet study
To work quietly by yourself, use an individual desk by the windows around the books on the 4th, 3rd and 2nd Floors, or in Short Loan on the Ground Floor.

Silent study
To work in silence choose from individual comfy chairs or a desk in one of our enclosed study rooms on the 5th Floor.

Study space across campus

Whilst the Library houses the largest single collection of study spaces on campus, at busy times you may wish to use other study areas. The Study Space Across Campus Essentials page includes both RUSU Studies, the ‘Free Room Finder’ showing which teaching rooms students can use, and the Study Space Map listing other study areas.

Rachel Redrup
Academic Liaison Librarian

Library open following major refurbishment

The University Library is now open following its major refurbishment. Over £40 million has been invested into improving key features and facilities, including:

  • increased study space, including space to meet growing demand for group study.
  • new automated service to make borrowing and returning books quicker and easier (freeing up librarians’ time for helping students).
  • print hubs on Ground Floor and floors 1-4.
  • water fountains on floors 1-4.
  • expanded Library café, including new outdoor dining area.
  • new larger cycle sheds.
  • improved impact on the environment, with energy usage lowered by 40% and carbon emissions cut by 30%.
Girl using automatic book borrowing machine

Borrow at contactless Self-Service Points; return at the new book sorter machine.

Minor finishing works will continue to take place as and when needed over the coming weeks. Any major work will take place outside typical user hours.

Study space on campus

The Library now houses the largest collection of study spaces on campus. There are still plenty of other places on campus to go for studying – details of these can be found on the Study Space Across Campus Essentials page.

Those returning to campus may note that the URS Building is being used for teaching this term and is no longer used as Library study space.

Where to get help

Study Advice and Maths Support Desk

There are plenty of places within the Library you can get help.

  • For general enquiries, including help with your Library account or finding your way around, please use the Welcome Desk (Ground Floor).
  • For expert advice on a range of study skills and resources in your subject area, please use the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk (Ground Floor).
  • For IT enquiries, please visit the IT Service Desk (1st Floor).

Maps of each floor are also available – please take a look to see exactly where specific features are located within the building

 

Book moves to the 2nd Floor

What’s changing?

With the Library refurbishment drawing towards its later stages, the 2nd Floor is nearly ready to be reopened. The next phase involves moving stock to their final locations on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors.

When will it start?

We anticipate that the book moves will start in the week beginning 29 July, though 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?

Normal size books, large books and journals of the same Call Number will all be found on the same floor.

2nd Floor

000s – computer science

100s – philosophy, psychology

200s – religion

300s – social sciences, law

3rd Floor

400s – languages, linguistics

500s – science

600s – technology, business, typography

700s – arts

Teaching Practice

4th Floor

800s – literature

900s – history, geography, archaeology

Where can I get help?

Library staff will still be available at the Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor – please contact them if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

More information

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

Katie Winter, Academic Liaison Support Librarian

Library refurbishment: return to a single Library building

Chairs in front of a long enquiry counter where on the other sides a librarian sits talking on phone. Two people are talking across the far end of the counter.

Come to the Library building Welcome Desk where Library staff have relocated to assess all your library-related queries!

Library refurbishment has reached the significant point where services and study space return to one single building! Most services are already up and running in the Library building, with our contractors moving study space furniture and PCs back from the Library@URS building over the next days. The Library@URS building is now closed, as of 2 July 2019.

Services in the Library building

Books on shelves to left of table and chairs with packing crates sticked to right.

Overnight loan books moved back to the Library building to form Short Loan (formerly Course Collection) on the Ground Floor. You also collect ‘Holds’ here now.

Services now returned to the Library building include Library User Services’ Ground Floor Welcome Desk; the Short Loan collection of overnight loan material (formerly Course Collection); and the Holds shelf where you can collect requested material. Come to the Library building once more to receive Study Advice and Maths Support, or help from your subject’s Liaison Librarians.

Small beared-person behind counter helps long-haired person sitting on a stool infront of him.

Receive IT help in person at the IT Service Desk on the Library’s 1st Floor!

The IT Service Desk is now restablished on the 1st Floor, where more and more PCs will arrive to create an area for individual and group PC study, with two teaching rooms.

People sit on seats outside large building with glass front and metalic brown cladding.

Try out communal benches for groups or single seats for individual reading outside the Library Café this summer!

You may already know the well-established Library Café, but do try out the smart, new outside seating which includes communal benches for groups, and single seats for individual reading.

Coming to the Library building soon!

Quiet and group study area seating is due to return to the 3rd and 4th Floors over the next weeks. (We anticipate refurbishment of the 2nd Floor to be completed in time to reopen in August.)

View of construction site from above,. One shelter is roofed, another has beams raised above a concrete pad.

New cycle shelters are under construction, in line with the University’s environmental policies.

Work continues in several areas, including on new cycle shelters – which can be viewed from the new lift stairs – so note that there may still sometimes be noise and disruption in the Library building. Although the Library@URS is closing, a variety of alternative study space options remain across campus.

Further information

Library refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

To keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and look out for posts on this Library blog.

Rachel Redrup for University Communications

Library refurbishment update

Room of empty circular and hexagonal desks with chairs

Next session, the Library’s 1st Floor will become a PC area for individual and group study, with PC teaching rooms and the IT Service Desk. PCs will be installed over the summer, arriving soon.

Library refurbishment continues to progress well across all remaining areas.

Outside, you will have noticed the change of access to the Library, with both doors at the main entrance now open. Access will change again as external works progress. Hard and soft landscaping will continue as well as planting of shrubs. Steel work is also being delivered for the new bike shelters, which will be installed shortly.

On the inside the PCs from Library@URS will be move back to the Library building in the next few weeks.

As works continue there may sometimes be noise and disruption. Alternative study spaces are available in the Library@URS building for the time being, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and look out for posts on this Library blog.

Rachel Redrup for University Communications

Library refurbishment: Change to entrance

You can enter the library from the left-hand side (nearest the cafe).

Next Tuesday 28 May, the area around the current right-hand Library entrance doors will be closed off. The doors to the left of the entrance will be opened in their place. This is to allow for work to be finished on landscaping around the entrance.

These changes will affect the out-of-hours Book Drop next to the entrance, which will be inaccessible while this area is closed off. You will still be able to return books inside the Library building from 09:00-22:00 every day and in the Library@URS building which remains open at all times except Saturday night.

These works are expected to take about one week. Once the works are complete, both sides of the entrance will be available.

Also from next Tuesday, the Library can only be accessed from the direction of Palmer quad and Edith Morley. If you are coming from the direction of Library@URS, you will need to cross the quad towards Edith Morley and approach from that direction. These works are expected to take several weeks.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and look out for posts on this Library blog.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

 

Nancy Astor exhibition at UoR Library

Lady Astor, first woman UK MP, is depicted next to a representation of her desk, strewn with letters about her appointment and work.

Visit a small free, public exhibition celebrating Nancy Astor, the first female member of parliament in the UK, on the University Library building’s ground floor. This is the latest installation to occupy our new exhibition space created as part of the Library Refurbishment Project, in the foyer beside the Library Cafe, outside card-operated Library entrance barriers.

Kindly funded by the Friends of the University, this exhibition reflects the work on Nancy Astor that Dr Jacqui Turner curated for Parliament’s Vote100 ‘Voice and Vote Exhibition’ in Westminster Hall in 2018 celebrating the centenary of the first women to gain the vote in 1918. Our thanks to the Vote100 Project Management Team for their kind permission to use their materials.

Dr Jacqui Turner is a Reading Lecturer in Modern Political History. Part of her Astor 100 research project work marking 100 years of women MPs, her research of the Nancy Astor Papers, held at the University of Reading Special Collections, has uncovered an array of letters and documents that chart Lady Astor’s career and life. These represent the most comprehensive collection of papers of any female politician. They include political correspondence 1919–1945 and parliamentary papers, general correspondence 1900–1964 and large volumes of newspaper cuttings 1908–1964. American-born, Nancy Astor succeeded her husband as Conservative MP for Plymouth in 1919, becoming the first woman to sit in the House of Commons, and continued until her retirement in 1945.

You can follow Astor100 and see more from the Astor Papers via our Twitter exhibition @LadyAstor 100 ‘An Unconventional MP: the political life on Nancy Astor in 50 documents’. Also, keep up to date with what else is going on, including efforts to raise a statue of Nancy Astor in her Plymouth constituency, via Jacqui’s Twitter feed @Jacqui1918

Rachel Redrup, Library
with Dr Jacqui Turner

Library refurbishment: three lifts in use

Three glass lifts on two floor levels.

All three smart, new lifts, and the staircase behind, are now in use on the south side of the Library building.

Library refurbishment continues to progress with all three new glass lift cars now in operation, and the staircase behind in use.

Use the new lifts to reach group study space on the 1st Floor, and books and materials on the 3rd and 4th Floors. Meanwhile, refurbishment continues on the closed 2nd and 5th Floors. Behind the hoardings, the demolition of the central staircase beside the old lifts is now complete with the removal of the old lifts continuing.

The works involved in removing the old lifts may sometimes be noisy an disruptive. Alternative quiet and silent study spaces are available in the Library@URS building, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus. A guide to the availability of study space across the campus can be seen here: Study space update.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Rachel Redrup for UoR Communications

Library refurbishment: new glass lifts

Person holding out arms to display new glass lift behind

RUSU Disabled Students’ Officer, Blythe Varney was the first student to try out a glass lift. She loves these new bigger lifts because they can take bigger wheelchairs, have ‘a nice smooth ride and they’re a lot of fun to use’.

Library refurbishment continues to make good progress with the significant milestone of the first new lift and staircase becoming operational from today, Tuesday 23 April, with two more lifts coming very soon. This will improve accessibility to upper floors and enable work to start on removing the old lifts.

Use the new lift to reach group study space on the 1st Floor and all books and materials which remain available on the 3rd and 4th Floors. Meanwhile refurbishment continues on the closed 2nd and 5th Floors. Behind the hoardings, the demolition of the central staircase behind the old lifts is now complete. This will create space for print hubs on every floor and a silent study PC area on the 5th Floor.

The works involved in removing the old lifts may sometimes be noisy and disruptive. Alternative quiet and silent study spaces are available in the Library@URS building, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus. A guide to the availability of study space across the campus can be seen here: Study space update.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

 

Library refurbishment: new walkway

New walkway to Library building entrance (marked in blue).

Starting this week, there will be a new temporary walkway created to access the Library building. This will allow landscaping work to be undertaken next to the Library entrance.

This new walkway (marked on the image in blue) will be slightly further away from the building. This will be used when approaching the Library from the direction of Palmer quad or Whiteknights House. Access from the direction of the URS building remains the same.

The area marked in red is where the landscaping work will be taking place. This work is due to be completed at the start of May.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and look out for posts on this Library blog.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Book moves to 4th Floor complete

As of 18 February the latest round of book moves are complete. All of the books and other materials from the 2nd Floor have been moved to the 4th Floor so that work can start on refurbishing the 2nd Floor.

Where are items now located?

3rd Floor

  • 100s – philosophy, psychology
  • 200s – religion
  • 400s – languages, linguistics
  • 500s – science
  • 600s – technology, business, typography
  • 700s – arts
  • Oversize MF 000-700
  • European Documentation Centre (EDC)
  • Music CDs
  • Teaching Practice Collection

4th Floor

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

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

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

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Library refurbishment: #UoRStudySpace Assistants

three people ditting on soft chairs

Look out for new #UoRStudySpace Assistants to help you find space in the Library@URS, Library or some alternative campus buildings.

We are pleased to announce the University has funded new Study Space Assistants, now in place to advise students on study places available in the Library, and some other campus buildings, during the final months of the Library refurbishment.

Operating term time Mondays to Fridays 11:00-17:00, they’ll check study space capacities in the Library and Library@URS, and other nearby buildings, such as Edith Morley and Palmer, to let you know where there are free study spaces. They will also support the Library team to implement our ‘anti-desk hogging policy’. Look out for assistants in person, and for their Library social media updates using the hashtag #UoRstudyspace (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAs a reminder, our anti-desk hogging policy means that leaving your belongings (but no valuables!) for less than an hour while you borrow a book or get refreshments for example is not a problem. However, Study Space Assistants will be placing warning cards on any unattended desks wrongly ‘reserved’ for longer than an hour and directing other students to use them.

Library buildings

During term-time, Library@URS provides quiet study space 24 hours a day. The Ground and 1st Floors of the Library building can also be used for study during term-time 09:00-22:00 daily, but please remember that construction continues until autumn 2019, so there will be noise associated with this. Check the Library opening hours page for full details.

Alternative study space

Student Services blog highlights extra study areas in Edith Morley (near Support Centre + SAIL Away upstairs), Palmer building (foyer), Chemistry building (lobby areas) and some halls of residence to increase opportunity during the Library refurbishment.

Find out where to study across campus at www.reading.ac.uk/study-space.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator with University Communications