New year, new habits – making the most of your Library

Happy New Year and welcome to the Spring term. Our Library teams look forward to continuing to support you with your studies.  

If you’re a January starter, we recommend that you look at our top recommendations in the Information for new students LibGuide. If you’re returning to Campus, we’d like to share the following reminders on how to make the most of the services, resources and facilities. 

 

Support with your studies 

Do you need help with an aspect of your studies? Your Academic Liaison Librarian and the Study Advisors will be happy to assist. Take a look at the Training and workshops webpage for more information, links to guides, training materials and more!  

 

Study areas  

Study space is available on all floors of the Library, including individual silent study on the 5th Floor. If you are using this study area, please remember that it is entirely silent so you may prefer to use the individual quiet study areas, located on all other floors, or the range of group study spaces.  

‘Want to know more? 

  • Watch our YouTube video about study areas in the Library or see our Instagram tour to find your favourite space.
  • Find out about additional study space on campus. Visit the Essentials webpages https://www.reading.ac.uk/essentials/Study/Study-space to discover more and, if you’re a postgraduate student, you can also enquire with your department to find out if they can advise on other suitable locations.  

 

Please note: you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with other locations as, at peak times, you may need to find alternative study space. We are currently operating at a slightly reduced study space capacity due to the increased need for ventilation within the building. This provision is aligned with University health and safety guidance. 

 

Stay safe 

If you are using study space in the Library, help us to keep open and stay safe by: 

  • Not moving furniture – study areas have been specifically configured to comply with capacity allowances in relation to ventilation requirements. 
  • Keeping windows open, on ventilation mode, if studying in a space next to a window.  
  • Wearing a face covering (unless you are exempt) when using the Library.  

Masks and other face coverings should cover the nose and the mouth and should remain in place at all times. 

  • Following the one-way systems, using the sanitisation stations and not using the lifts in groups.  

Single occupancy of lifts and other measures are all still in place so please refresh your knowledge of our Covid-19 safety information. Look out for our signage and notices displayed throughout the building to assist you.  

  • Not eating in the Library.  

Help us to keep the building clean, safe and tidy by eating in the Library Café or other suitable spaces on campus. Please do not bring hot food into the Library at any time as this creates unpleasant smells, and is disruptive for other Library users.  

  • Using lidded containers, when bringing drinks into the Library.  

Non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks are permitted – we have recycling facilities for single use cups and plastic bottles.  

 

Visiting the Library between midnight and 8:00? Remember to bring your campus card for entry via the keypad next to the right hand side entry door.  

 

Recalled items 

The Library is a shared resource, so please look out for our recall emails and courtesy reminders. If someone places a hold on an item that you have out, a recall notice will be sent to your University email account. Recalled items must be returned so that other users needing a particular book can gain access. If you still need the item, simply place a request once it has been returned so that the next available copy can be held for you. Further information on recalls can be found here.

 

Opening hours 

24/6+ opening hours resumed on Sunday 9 January – full details of the opening hours may be found here. 

 

Do you follow us on social media? If not, this may be the perfect time to begin so that you can stay up to date and make the most of your Library! 

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Your Library Team

New Year: have a plan

File, calendar, notebook with pencil and laptop graphic

A term in, it’s time to reflect on what has worked and what new strategies we need to try to keep on top of our studies. Study Advice have some videos to help you, a new webinar series and some top tips to starting the New Year on the right track.

 

Tip #1: Reflect on the last term
Regular reflective practice is an important part of doing well at university. It involves looking back on a recent period of study, evaluating your approaches, and setting yourself targets for further development. Before you start planning for the coming term, think back on how the term just gone went:
• What did you enjoy the most? Can you think of why you enjoyed it so much? Equally, what did you enjoy the least, and why?
• Was there anything you did particularly well at? What did you do that worked so well?
• Was there anything you could have done better? If you had to do something similar this term, how might you approach it differently?
• Did you get the support you needed last term? If not, do you know where to find it?
Tip #2: Make a plan
If you don’t have a study timetable, now’s the time to make one. Follow these 5 steps to make a workable weekly plan and ensure you keep on top of your studies this term:
1. Note down everything you need to complete each week. For instance: watching videos, attending seminars, working on assignments, and reading around your subject.
2. Allocate time. Work out how much time you have for each task each week. You should see studying as a full-time job, so aim to allocate 35-40 hours a week to studying.
3. Schedule in time. Using a weekly planner, add in your fixed appointments, then begin slotting in your other study activities. Use the times that you are motivated for study and mix up reading, writing, and listening tasks within a day.
4. Making it easy to stick to. Try to have a set routine, starting study at the same time each day, plan in regular breaks and move things around if your plan is not working for you.
5. Plan backwards from assignments. Give yourself weekly targets to work towards. Try using a termly planner and put it up near to where you study.
Tip #3: Read actively
It’s called ‘reading for a degree’ for a reason: no doubt you’ll be asked to read lots of articles, book chapters and other material to support your learning. But if you find that you read without knowing why you’re reading, you don’t think about what you’re reading or you fail to make connections along the way, then you’ve fallen into the trap of passive reading. Instead, consider why you’re reading, what question might it answer? And consider if you agree with what’s been said. How does it fit in with your course material and other ideas you have come across? In short: think more and read less.
Tip #4: Be more proactive
• Start working on your assignments sooner, even if it’s just setting up a way of organising your lecture notes according to which assignment they’ll be useful for.
• Make sure you’ve done enough preparation before going to your lectures. Give yourself enough time to engage with the required reading, screencasts, or other materials. Take active notes where you are not just summarising the content, but also processing your own thoughts, identifying key terms you don’t understand, and noting down your questions. Using your notes this way will help you participate in class more actively!
• Look for support sooner: don’t ever think you will be penalised or judged for needing support. Students succeed because they use the support available to them, not because they are ‘naturally’ good students.
For more
Watch our new short videos on Organising your studies and Reading academic texts; and see our Time Management Guide
Visit our Study Advice website for more resources, to book a 1-2-1 or attend a webinar this spring term. Our webinar on the 12th January is: ‘work smarter not harder’ and is essential if you want to use your study time more effectively.

Study Advice

Christmas Vacation – Library loans, opening hours and more

Close up image of the word Library as mounted on the library building cladding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a busy Autumn term!  

The final week of term begins on Monday! We thought this would be a good time to share the Library vacation information with you, to help you get the most out of your Library through the break. 

 

Online help 

All our expert staff are available online to help and advise you through the vacation before, and after, the University closure period. Through this time, the following services will be available 

  • For advice on resources for all your course needs, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian, they can assist by helping you to make the most of the Library resources.  
  • Study Advice can help you develop your study skills through the online tutorials and bookable sessions on offer.   
  • The Research Engagement team are available to help support your research needs. If you require help with Open Access, research data management and other research related matters, visit their webpages for further support. 

Once we enter the University closure period, you will still be able to gain help and support through the range of training guides and videos that the teams have produced. 

 

Store and Closed Access requests 

If you need materials from the off-site Store or from our Closed Access shelves, please make sure you place your request in good time. The final dates of collection are as follows 

  • Store collections – Thursday 16 December. Requests for items should be submitted by 8:00, that morning so that they can be processed for retrieval.  
  • Closed Access collections – Wednesday 22 December. Please submit your request before 13:45 if you wish to consult a closed access item in advance of the closure period. 

We will resume Closed Access collections on Tuesday 4 January and from Store on Thursday 6 January. For more information, see Requesting items from Store and Closed Access. 

 

Vacation loans  

To ensure you have good access to resources over the break, vacation loan periods will apply as follows 

  • Items from our Short Loan/overnight loan collection borrowed on Friday 17 December will not need to be returned until Tuesday 4 January 2022, but they must be returned by 11:00 to avoid any charges.  
  • 7-day loans borrowed from Monday 20 December will not need to be returned until the end of the closure period (Tuesday 4 January 2022).  
  • Standard loans (3-week loans) will naturally issue over the break from Friday 3 December. Term loans will update on 2 December so that any items issued then will not be due until Tuesday 22 March 2022.  

Recalls will still apply until the University closure begins so, please remember to check your University email and return any recalls in good time.  

 

Vacation opening hours 

The Library will be open 24/6+ until Friday 10 December, when we will be closing at Midnight. This also signals the start of the weekend closure, and the start of vacation hours as follows 

 

From  To  Opening hours 
Saturday 11 December  Sunday 12 December  CLOSED 
Monday 13 December  Thursday 16 December  Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Friday 17 December    Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Saturday 18 December  Sunday 19 December   CLOSED 
Monday 20 December  Wednesday 22 December  Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Thursday 23 December    Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Friday 24 December  Monday 4 January  CLOSED 

 

Much of the University will be closed between Friday 24 December and Tuesday 4 January. On Tuesday 4 January, the Library will reopen as follows  

 

Tuesday 4 January                        Thursday 6 January                              Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Friday 7 January      Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Saturday 8 January      Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Sunday 9 January    Open 8:30 24/6+ resume. 

 

Further information on the Library opening hours, including the IT Service Desk can be found on the Opening hours webpage.  

If you have a general enquiry, please contact us ahead of the University closure dates by emailing library@reading.ac.uk or phone 0118 378 8770. 

Best wishes, 

Your Library Team 

 

Brush up your referencing with our enhanced guide

Someone studying at a desk with a laptop, book and notepageAre you unsure how or when to cite a reference? Don’t know which style to use? Or have you been marked down for your references?

Then take a look at our enhanced Citing references guide for help!

It includes:

  • Using quotes and paraphrases
  • How to write citations
  • An enhanced list of examples showing how to reference different types of publication. The examples are now in the widely used Harvard style detailed in ‘Cite Them Right’ book.
  • Info on different styles of referencing, including a new page listing the styles used in each School/Department and links to more specific guidance for each one.
  • Guidance on avoiding plagiarism
  • Using Turnitin to develop your referencing
  • An overview of tools you can use to manage references such as EndNote and Mendeley

Further support on referencing

Our Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisers can support you with referencing.

  • Librarians can help with writing references in the correct style and citing specific publications.
  • Study Advisers can support you with using references in your work including: using quotes and paraphrases; working with sources to support your arguments; and developing good academic practice to avoid plagiarism.

If you have a quick query then drop in to the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library Mon-Fri 1-2pm (term-time only).

For more in depth support make an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian or a Study Adviser.

Academic Liaison Librarians & Study Advice

 

New in-depth Library drop-ins

Student visiting the Study Queries desk for guidance on using resources

New! Quick queries hour – ask a librarian that urgent searching or referencing question!

We’re excited to announce that from Monday 25 October, we’re offering an additional hour of enhanced library support every weekday lunchtime. Whenever you have a tricky question needing an urgent answer, but your own Academic Liaison Librarian isn’t available, drop in 13:00 – 14:00 to the Study Advice desk on the ground floor of the Library (to the right of the stairs). The duty liaison librarian will set you right!

This service complements our Study Advice drop-ins for urgent study queries (i.e. those which cannot wait for a longer appointment with a Study Adviser), available from the same desk at the same time, 13:00–14:00 weekdays.

The Study Advice desk is currently open 10:00–14:00 for you to ask quick searching tips, general library advice or to set up an appointment with a Study Adviser or your Academic Liaison Librarian.

What can your Academic Liaison Librarian do for you?

What can you ask an Academic Liaison Librarian?

  • What is the best database to use for my assignment?
  • How can I get started searching for books or journal articles?
  • Where can I find particular types of resources e.g., newspapers, archive material?
  • How do I search Enterprise or Summon effectively?
  • How do I find a reference listed in a reference list?
  • Which referencing style should I use? How do I format a reference to a source? – and other quick referencing queries.

What do students say about asking their librarian?

  • “I found it really helpful and supportive”
  • “[The librarian] made it simpler and easier for me to learn/understand how to use [Endnote]”
  • “Absolutely brilliant! Problem solved. 10/10”
  • “I came in confused but left relieved and with much understanding of how to reference and cite papers”
  • ” I haven’t used the library before, so it was very helpful”

What will you ask?

Kim Coles,
Academic Liaison Team Manager

Hello again and welcome back! 

Following on from Welcome last week, we wanted to ensure that we said ‘welcome back’ to the Library to all of our continuing students too. 

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We’re here to help you with all of your Library questions

We know last year was difficult for everyone and especially for those of you who grappled with online and remote learning. Many of you have been away from campus for a while so, please ask us for assistance if things feel unfamiliar.  

We are pleased to say that many of the measures that were in operation in the Library over the past year have been disbanded! 

 

Study space bookings 

Since 3 September, study space bookings are no longer required for individual study spaces and group study is available again. The 1st Floor Group Study Rooms can, once more, be booked in advance. See our recent blog for more information 

 

Click & Collect 

Click & Collect has ended and you can now browse the shelves and borrow items without having to place holds in advance of your visit. More information about how and when to place a hold on an item can be found on the Placing & cancelling a hold webpage. 

We’ve retained the one-way system, sanitisation stations and enhanced cleaning as these have all proven to be useful over the last year. Additionally, University health and safety policy is still single occupancy usage of lifts and, if you are able to wear a face covering, we encourage you to use one when moving around the building.  

Find out more about keeping safe on the Student Essentials pages.  

 

Library tours  

Have you seen our Instagram tour yet? Library tours continue to be available online and there are several other options too. 

 

Opening hours back to 24/6+  

We’re back to our normal term time 24/6+ opening hours. This means the Library closes Saturday evening at 21:00 and reopens Sunday at 8:30, apart from that we’re open all hours. Please note that the Library Café closes at 22:00 on weekdays and IT Service desk hours can be found on the DTS website. 

 

Don’t forget to make the most of expert help!  

The Study Advice and Academic Liaison Librarian teams have been expanding the range of online materials available to help you make the most of the Library. Visit the Library website to see our new Training and events guide and links to our newest YouTube videos and other resources. 

 

Blog banner image for University Library News

Bookmark the Library blog to stay up-to-date with any changes

 

Further information 

We’ll continue to provide updates on the Library services on our websiteblog, and social media to keep you informed but if you have any questions, please get in touch via library@reading.ac.uk or see our contact information for other options.  

Your Library Team

Autumn term – time to continue your studies

avenue of trees in Autumn

So, the summer holidays are almost over, and thoughts are starting to turn to coming back to uni. Where do you start and how do you make sure you’re ready for the challenges ahead? Follow our Study Advice tips below to ensure you’re ‘study ready’ for the autumn term.

Tip #1: Sort out the stationery

Start with preparing yourself mentally by ensuring you have all the equipment that you need. You’re likely to be attending seminars on campus as well as engaging in online content, so you’ll need to decide if you’re going to stick to pen and paper, make notes digitally or have a combination of both. You may need pens, paper, files and dividers, or ensure you have the digital versions ready; so, set up your online folders for each module.

Tip #2: Check out Blackboard

If you have access to your Blackboard account, check out the information that’s available for each module. Download and save any key documents where you can easily access them. Make a note of the assignment details and deadlines and familiarise yourself with the structure of each module.

Tip #3: Access your reading list

Once you have access to your reading list through Blackboard, you can start by making a note of your essential readings. You might want to purchase some of the books, or check out their availability in the Library.  Your online reading list will show you where to find books on the Library shelves, or how to access online versions available through the Library. You can plan your reading in advance, and you may be able to access and read online versions before you start.

Tip #4: Make a study plan

Once you have access to your own timetable, you can create your own weekly and termly study plans. Check out our videos on managing your time which offer some tips to get you started. Our video on organising yourself offers some advice on managing your studies in a blended learning environment.

Tip #5: Brush up on those academic skills

You might feel that some of your study skills have become rusty over the summer. So, if you want to refresh your skills on writing essays, referencing and organising your study time, check out our Study Advice videos. We also run Weekly webinars to support you to develop your academic skills. Book your space on these today and get yourself study ready!

And if you’re a first-year student, make sure you join 1000s of your fellow students on our Study Smart course. This has been designed by us specifically to help prepare you for studying at university. You’ll find loads of resources to help you and some of our current students are online to answer any of your study questions.

Study Advice 

UoR Library Welcome tours

Full library tour to show the building and key location for Autumn term 2021 lasting 6.58mins on Instagram

Visit the Library via our Instagram tour

There’s been a lot happening this week across the University so if you want to slow things down, try out our self-paced tour. Go through, online at your own pace and in your own time.

Or, if you prefer something a bit more whizzy, take a look at our Instagram tour.

Expandable maps arranged as a welcoming smile.

Mini folding maps – your friendly Library guide

Alternatively, visit the Library in person, pick up an expandable map and take a look around the building yourself.

We like to think we have something for everyone so if you’re new to the University of Reading, or if you’re a returning student and haven’t been onsite for a while, come and see us for help with all your Library needs.

A table with Library, study advice and other University information displayed along with a table top stand displaying relevant information.

Learn what your Library offers, and how we can help you from the display in our foyer

Your Library Team

Education students, welcome to UoR Library!

Femail teacher at door of school classroom furniture

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Early September, children return to school and we welcome postgraduate students learning to teach them with our Institute of Education. Greetings!

Why not come to meet your Education Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisers at the ‘marketplace’ in RUSU’s Cafe Mondial, 10:00-12:30 on Friday 3 (secondary students) or 12:00-13:00 Wednesday 8 September (primary students). We’ll also be around all year to support your studies of course!

Check out our Education subject and referencing guide online to discover online and physical resources – much is online, linked to your reading lists, with printed theory and Teaching Practice Collection resources in the Library building.

You can see what the Library is like right now on YouTube. Do visit the Library on Whiteknights campus once you receive your Campus card. Please note that our opening hours extend in a few weeks time when full term begins. Watch our Library website for changes to accessing collections and our modern study spaces, or follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)!

Your Academic Liaison Librarians for Education

 

Get set for dissertations with live and video training!

Young asian girls crouch at running race start lineSet to start your dissertation this summer? No? Get on track by joining this week’s live webinars introducing reference management tools EndNote and Mendeley, or catch up with our new videos summarising topics discussed at last week’s Master’s Dissertation Fayre!

Join reference management workshops

Book through the Actions tab on RISIS to join Extra EndNote and Mendeley reference management workshops:

  • EndNote Online – Tue 15 June 11am
  • Desktop EndNote – Wed 16 June 11am
  • Mendeley – Thu 17 June 11am

View Master’s Dissertation Fayre videos

Showdy figures study in purle background of caption "Masters Dissertation Fayre 2021 Monday 7th to Firday 11th June.Last week all students attending live webinars and giving feedback said they would recommend the sessions to others. One said, “Everything has been helpful; despite writing two dissertations I have not had sessions like these before. Learning to focus my research (‘systematic searching’ and ‘finalising research questions’ were great) and [learning to] plan my study more carefully are the sorts of things I’ve been needing to improve.”

So help yourself to these newly recorded video versions provided by the Library’s Liaison and Study Advice Teams. Aspects covered include:

Ready? Get set. Go!

Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarian

 

Book your Master’s dissertation webinars this week!

Put your studies on track for success with a series of webinars for Master’s students working on their dissertations! The Master’s Dissertation Fayre, run by the Library’s Study Advice and Liaison teams, is back after the success of last year.  Students loved our range of topics covering all elements of dissertation planning and writing, from choosing a research methodology to writing your literature review.  This year, we’re offering all that and more!

Webinars are running online at 11am and 2pm each day from Monday 7 – Friday 11 June. These friendly and helpful sessions are open to all Master’s students, and you can book a place online.

Topics include:

  • Critical writing
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Systematic literature searching
  • Finalising your research question
  • Using company information databases
  • Writing your literature review
  • Literature searching tips
  • Reference management tools comparison – Endnote vs Mendeley
  • Writing your discussion
  • Using primary sources/archives online
  • Finding statistical sources

We’re looking forward to seeing you virtually, and hearing your feedback.

Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisors

5 tips for starting your Master’s dissertation

So, you may have just finished your exams but now you have to turn your attention to your dissertation. Where do you begin and how can you ensure you stay on track? Below are our Study Advice and Library tips to help you get started and stay focused.

Student studying in the Library

Tip #1: Have a plan

Having a plan not only helps you to stay on track but weekly goals keep you motivated. Work backwards from your hand in date and remember to build in extra time for proofreading and final touches. Our videos on managing your time offer some tips to get you started.

Tip #2: Start with something small

To help you get going, start with a task that you can get done easily. This might be something simple, like setting up a word template or printing off a couple of key articles. Being able to complete one task can give you a sense of achievement and motivate you to tackle more challenging ones.

Tip #3: Think about the information that you need…

…and how to access it! If you are carrying out a literature review, or analysing documents or literature, make sure that you are familiar with the key online resources in your subject area. You can find out more about what’s available to you, as well as contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian, on your Library subject guide. Look at the COVID-19 page in the guide for top tips on how to access resources when off-campus.

Tip #4: Think more, read less

It’s important that you think critically about what you’re reading. This requires you to see the links between various theories and consider what they mean for your research question. So, when taking notes remember to not only record a summary of your reading but more importantly note what you think about what you have read. This will help you when you come to write up. Our video on critical note-taking offers some advice on this.

Tip #5: Attend a webinar

The Library and Study Advice teams are running a series of webinars for Masters students working on their dissertations. The Masters Dissertation Fayre is back for a second year, covering a range of topics from selecting a reference management tool, to structuring your literature review.

Webinars will run online at 11am and 2pm each day from Monday 7th – Friday 11th June. These friendly and helpful sessions are open to all Masters students, and you can book a place online.

Thanks for reading,

The Study Advice Team