Library Refurbishment works 15-21 August

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

Revised impression of the refurbished University Library

Early works for the Library refurbishment continue over the course of the week 15-21 August. Following on from last week, the majority of activity will focus on the erection of hoardings inside and outside the Library, and preparations for the demolition of the glassed-in staircase near CaféLibro.

  • External hoardings continue to be set up around the outside of the Library, and are due to be complete by September.
  • Inside the Library, internal hoardings continue to be set up between the Ground and 4th Floors.
  • CafeLibro remains open for business as usual despite a few noticeable changes to the café area. Hoardings will be erected within the café, and the vending machines and fridges have been moved alongside the café windows.
  • The 2nd Floor group study area remains closed so that hoarding can be erected. Please use group study space on the 4th or Ground Floors.
  • On the Ground floor, hoarding is going up in the entrance hall, around the closed, glass-enclosed stairs, ready for its demolition. The IT and Library catalogue PCs have relocated under the main stairs opposite.

Students and staff are reminded not to enter areas cordoned off for work, such as the 2nd Floor group study area, for their own safety.

The noisiest phases of work will be carried out each morning up until 10:00am.

Contact Library Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter, if you have any queries about the works taking place.

For further information about the refurbishment, please visit

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
with UoR Communications


Ground Floor Group Study Pods unavailable

From Monday 8 August the Group Study Pods on the Ground Floor of the Library will become permanently unavailable as part of the Library Refurbishment Project. Alternative Group Study Pods can currently be found on the 4th Floor and the Group Study Rooms on the Ground Floor remain available. The microfilm and microfiche readers on the Ground Floor of the Library will also be unavailable.

You may have spotted that areas of the Library are cordoned off to allow for building works to commence. These are clearly marked by signage, hazard tape or barriers. Please do not enter any restricted areas as these are now dangerous construction zones. If you need any assistance please speak to staff on the Information Desks.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.


Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager.

2nd Floor Group Study Area and Information Desk closed

IMG_2044 smallThe 2nd Floor Group Study Area and Information Desk have been closed temporarily whilst hoarding is constructed around the builders’ working space. It is still possible to access the 2nd Floor from the main stairs, to access all the stock, and to use the PCs. For printing/copying/scanning please use a machine on another floor. We plan to re-open this area early next week.

Whilst this location is closed please use the Group Study Area on the 4th Floor. If you need any assistance, pop up to the 3rd or 4th Floor Information Desks where staff will be happy to help.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager
for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

1st Floor rooms closed during refurbishment

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

Revised impression of the refurbished University Library. The new entrance and café looks out onto pleasant landscaping. Silver-grey cladding, with regency-gold coloured highlights, increases energy efficiency, weather proofing, and reduces solar glare to the front study spaces

From today, some rooms on the Library’s 1st Floor will be closed to users during the current phase of our Refurbishment Project. This includes two group study rooms (111 and 110) and two PC rooms (109 and 105). However, there are many other group study rooms available on the Ground, 2nd and 4th Floors and other PC rooms elsewhere on the 1st Floor.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Library refurb: preparatory work begins 12 July

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

The refurbished University Library entrance and café will look out onto pleasant landscaping. Silver-grey building cladding, with regency-gold coloured highlights will increase energy efficiency, weather proofing, and reduce solar glare to the front study spaces

We’re getting ready for the latest phase of our significant Library refurbishment! Work taking place over the next few weeks (from Tuesday 12 July 2016) will mostly focus on getting the site prepared for large-scale works happening later this summer. Please be aware that there may be bursts of noisy work during this period. The noisiest work will be restricted to the morning before 10:00. However, your access to the Library, its resources and its staff will be maintained throughout.

Task 1 (from 12 July): The first task is to set up the contractors’ site behind the Library, incorporating the lawn and gardens. You will still be able to enter the Library at the usual front entrance. However, behind the Library the access road will be closed off for the duration of the works and disabled parking bays will be available elsewhere. There are three disabled parking bays in Cedars Hotel Car Park (Car Park 15) and one space opposite the Santander Bank.

Task 2 (from 18 July): Protective hoardings will be erected outside the Library building. More hoardings will go up inside the Library on all floors around the glass-enclosed, south stairs  in preparation for construction of new lifts in this area.  Information Desks may be relocated on the 2nd and 4th Floors but access to all Library stock will be unaffected. CaféLibro service also continues unaffected.

Task 3 (from 25 July): Work will begin on south staircase, which may be noisy at times. You will need to start using bike racks under the overhang of the URS building as those around the Library will be temporarily relocated.

A PowerPoint presentation illustrating each area of work can be downloaded here. This information as a table is here.

Postgraduate students in particular have been alerted to alternative quiet study space on campus they can use this summer, mainly in their own departments.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or for day-to-day information, contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

Rachel Redup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator



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 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 (

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

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