Contractor appointed for Library refurbishment

Artists impression og refurbished library

The University has appointed the award-winning firm, ISG Fit Out Ltd. as the contractor for the Library refurbishment. Our Procurement and Estates & Facilities teams collaborated to select ISG Fit Out as the best contractor for this project, based on their competitive costing, quality assurance and technical suitability. We will now be working with ISG Fit Out to share detailed outlines of the redevelopment, including early works taking place this summer.

This major redevelopment continues the popular refurbishments of the upper Library floors carried out in 2013–2014, and will deliver further benefits and improvements for you. On the Ground and First floors, study space will be increased, security will be improved, an improved service for borrowing and returning books will be put into place and the café space will be extended. Throughout the building, new lifts will be installed to provide better disabled access, additional toilets will be added and energy services (including heating and ventilation) will be optimised.

The Library will remain open and fully operational throughout the redevelopment.

Important information about the project, such as the provision of alternative study space and notice of disruptive works will be shared with you all at the earliest possible time.  See an indicative overview of the project and further details of the redevelopment at www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb. Please remember to check back regularly for new project updates here or on the University Library News blog where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users throughout the project.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Help stop study-desk hogging!

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

Need study space? Move stuff after an hour!

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

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

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

Don’t leave your stuff beyond an hour

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

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

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

 

New Library travel mugs, still £5.00

Library travel mug in grey with black lid bearing statement 'I'm keeping a lid on it in the Library'Remember we changed Library rules to allow you drinks in the Library – as long as they’re in lidded containers? And Cafélibro give 5% off drinks in your own cup? … But you need a lidded travel mug inside the Library?

Keeping a lid on it in the Library!

Cafélibro are now selling our latest style of Library lidded mug – still at £5.00, still a competitive price! Our Mark 2 design holds 450ml, is grey with a black lid and bears the statement  ‘I’m keeping a lid on it in the library’. Treat yourself! Make your statement with ours!

Drinks – yes; food – no!

Please note that whilst our rules still ban food from the Library, you can eat cold food in the café. Hot food, including takeaways, is not permitted anywhere in the building.

However, we look forward to forthcoming Library refurbishment which brings new opportunities in an enlarge the cafe! See what the architect plans on our website.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Summer Library refurbishment and study arrangements

Artists impression og refurbished libraryHere’s how the University plans to support you during Library refurbishment works, which – dependent upon the formal appointment of a contractor – should take place over summer 2016.

At times there will be noise and access to some areas will be restricted in the Library between early July and the start of the autumn term 2016, as several large-scale construction tasks are planned. Works include removing stairs, punching holes in the basement for new lifts, refurbishing offices, constructing a small café extension and undertaking roof work.

Whilst the majority of undergraduate students will be away from Reading at this time, we are very aware of the possible impact of this on staff, taught postgraduates completing dissertations, PhD and other researchers, and any undergraduates working on dissertations.

Library business as usual

Be assured that the Library will maintain its usual summer vacation opening hours and all printed books/journals on Floors 2-4 will remain accessible. Library staff will still be on hand to help, including your Liaison Librarians, as will the Study Advice and Maths Support teams.

Alternative University study space

The University and the Library will continue to provide as much information as possible on proposed works and alternative arrangements during this time. We are currently exploring providing alternative study spaces, including some with PCs, and will update you as soon as any plan is complete.

In the meantime, check out University PC areas beyond the Library. Extra study space is also available at RUSU’s The Study, and unreserved teaching spaces can be booked via Room Bookings (rooms@reading.ac.uk).

Further information

The Library Refurbishment 2016-2019 webpage gives further information, including a proposed work schedule, frequently asked questions and links to the latest refurbishment news on the University Library News blog (where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users).

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Further Library refurbishment 2016-2019 approved

Architect's impression of Library building and landscaping

Architect’s impression showing the refurbished Library west front with enlarged café, new cladding and landscaping

A £40 million redevelopment and refurbishment of The University Library starting this June, has been approved by the University Council. This second phase of the complete modernisation and revamp of the Library will increase space for individual and group study, and will make better use of the space currently available on the Ground and 1st Floors. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.

Significant improvements

Specific key areas of improvement will include 200 more study places and increased toilet capacity with toilets available on all floors, including disabled and gender neutral provision. Café space will be expanded, including opening glazed doors onto external al fresco areas. New lifts will be installed, and an improved system for borrowing and returning books will be put into place.

The redevelopment will provide better access and security as well as improving its energy efficiency, through improved insulation and ventilation. The exterior of the building will be totally re-clad and will have replacement windows fitted throughout, providing a striking focal point at the heart of the Whiteknights campus.

University investment rates Library highly

The University Council approved the £25 million building costs, with an additional £15 million costs of keeping the Library fully operational, contingency funding, VAT and project management. This comes after the first £4.4m phase revamped the study spaces and furniture on the 2nd to 5th Floors in 2013 and 2014. Planning permission was granted by Reading Borough Council last December.

Our Vice-Chancellor’s view

“The Library has always played a central role in our life and work, with its location at the very heart of the University’s Whiteknights campus,” says Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell. “We have invested £4.4m in the top four floors of the Library as a first phase of redevelopment and this major new investment of £40m will complete the project. We will combine traditional and crucial functions such as book and journal collections with group study facilities, great digital access and multi-purpose spaces. Our Library has never been a static, sepulchral space. It has continued to evolve over its 50 year history and as these excellent new facilities become available to students and staff.”

Keep calm, we’ll carry on!

The Library will remain fully operational to students across the entirety of the redevelopment. No building work will take place at all during exams. To minimise disruption for Library users, books held on floors being refurbished will be relocated elsewhere in the Library. Print journals will move off site, but as the majority of Library users access journal content online via the Library website, this should cause minimal inconvenience.

In addition, the University will provide alternative study space across the centre of the campus during exam and periods of high-demand – with details being confirmed in due course.

Further information

The Library Refurbishment 2016-2019 webpage gives further information, including a proposed work schedule, frequently asked questions and links to the latest refurbishment news on the University Library News blog (where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users).

A wider Campus Projects website is also in development, in which the Library redevelopment will be featured. Many other communication channels will also be used to help provide as much information as possible across the development of the project.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Carry your Campus Card for 24-hour access

University of Reading Library at nightPlease carry your Campus Card in the Library to prove you are a University member and entitled to access. This is especially important overnight during 24-hour opening when it will open the door for you.

From 19:00 to 08:00 please enter by the right-hand Library door – the revolving door is locked.

  • University members can gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Visitors and University members without their Campus/Library Cards will be asked to show ID and sign our Visitors’ Book.

The Library reserves the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

Campus Card faulty?

Did your Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader overnight 19:00-08:00? Please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email campuscard@reading.ac.uk.

Summer exam-time exclusive access

Please note that during the April-June examination period, we operate a ‘no card, no access’ policy 17:00-08:00 in order to preserve our fantastic University Library facilities for University members only.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Noisy in the Library? Text us!

Man contemplating laptop in lather armchair on Library 5th Floor iby wall decorated with phrases about silenceEver found it too noisy in Library silent or quiet areas? Library staff will always support your right to to work quietly, as protected by Library Rule 13. But how to alert us without leaving your seat or identifying yourself to others? Try out our new pilot NOISE text service!

Before you act, please check that your study area is designated as quiet or silent, or that noise in a group study area is excessive.

Then, text ‘NOISE‘ and the Library location to 07796 300114 e.g. NOISE Library 5th Floor brown reading room. Then we’ll come and investigate.

For more information and a list of Library locations, see our Noise in the Library webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Drinks and phone policy changes

Lidded cardboard coffee cupIt’s not just the Library building that gets a makeover, our policies get them too! From 1 August 2015, hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks are welcome within the Library so long as they’re in lidded containers.

Furthermore, to minimise distractions, mobile phone calls should  be taken within CaféLibro. More information can be found in our Library Policies & Rules.

Keep a lid on it!

We’ve heard what you would like to improve your study space and we’ve done just that! You wanted drinks in the Library? Done. What better brain boost is there than a nice refreshing beverage? Hot and cold drinks in lidded containers are now allowed within the Library! So as long as it’s covered in a bottle, flask or travel mug, then drink away.

But food can be messy and smelly, and a real distraction to one another’s work. No one wants that, so we ask that food still be consumed within the café. Better to eat in the café during a well earned break, don’t you think?

We’re always seeking new ways to improve your experience here at the Library. Therefore to protect each student’s right to work quietly, mobile phone calls should only be made in CaféLibro; elsewhere mobile phones should be switched off or in silent mode.

Need to discuss your work? No problem. Try the group study areas to discuss your work in, such as the snazzy group study pods on the various floors or the Knowledge Exchange on the Ground Floor.

Joe Veale, Library User Services

Essential maintenance and deep cleaning

Carpet cleaning machine in front of table with chairs on topIn order to refresh your newly refurbished Library, we are deep cleaning and checking electrical safety this summer. Floor by floor, section by section, areas will be cordoned off. Work, which involves carpet cleaners, will be noisy and you may wish to use another Library study area at this point.

Progress

  • 5th Floor: clean completed.
  • 4th Floor: clean completed.
  • 3rd Floor: clean completed. 
  • 2nd Floor: clean completed.
  • Staircases: clean completed.

We apologise for any inconvenience during this essential maintenance. Please ask at an Information Desk if you need more help.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Alternative UoR study space

Palmer and Carrington Buildings at night

Are you a UoR student? Whilst Library study areas may be your favourite revision space, you have alternatives on campus. Try:

Visitors, please note!

The above facilities are reserved for University members only. Library entry is also restricted during our students’ exam period.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

 

Restricted entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom now until Friday 12 June, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders overnight and all weekend (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00).  This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

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

HOW TO GET IN – CARD-HOLDERS

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

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

RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS

Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekdays 08:00–17:00, 7 April – 12 June 2015. Regrettably, they may not use study spaces here as these are required by our own students revising for exams. Visitors are encouraged to look to their own school, college or public library for study space.

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

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

CAMPUS CARD FAULTY?

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

Alternative UoR Study space

Remember that UoR students can also use alternative study space provided across campus.

 Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

More surveying for future Library refurbishment

26718429You may notice more surveyors in the Library building, Monday 16 March to Monday 6 April, working on behalf of the ‘Feasibility Group on Refurbishment of the University Library’. This Group is considering a possible multi-million pound Library refurbishment over the next few years including:

  • total 1st and Ground Floor redesign (incorporating cafe and entrance changes)
  • window and building exterior renewal
  • heating and ventilation work and
  • re-siting new lifts.

Work may begin after exams.

How spring surveying may affect you

The Library’s disabled parking bays and an area of Blackhorse House car park will become inaccessible from the Thursday 12 March in order to house the  contractors’ compound. Heavy machinery will be delivered from Monday 16 March – take care when walking around the building.

Surveying work on the Library building begins outside on Wednesday 18 and inside on Thursday 19 March. Disruptive work will be limited to the early part of the working day when the Library is least busy, as far as is practicable. More disruptive work will be done in the first week of vacation (week beginning 30 March), just before the Easter shutdown. Work stops on the Library after Easter to allow for more peaceful exam revision. However, the URS building next door is also being surveyed and works here continue until the end of vacation, (17 April). Continue to take care outside our buildings.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator; Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager