COVID-19: 5 tips for studying @ home

Reading glasses and pens rest on an open bookStudying at home requires self-discipline, organisation and effective time management strategies. Follow our Study Advice top 5 tips to make the most of your study time at home.

Tip #1: Set up your home office

Make sure you have somewhere dedicated to studying. Set up your desk and keep your device, books, paper and stationery to hand. Try to keep the space separate from where you relax, even if it is just a corner in your bedroom. Leave it tidy, so it is more inviting to return to the next day.

Tip #2: Create a study timetable

It’s important to allocate time to study (and time to relax and do exercise). Think about when in the day you’re more effective (for most this is the morning). You might want to consider, for instance, taking a couple of hours off every afternoon to take some exercise and return to your studies in the early evening. Make sure you add in regular breaks and rewards along the way. For more on creating a timetable, watch this short video.

Tip #3: Set yourself weekly goals

It’s important to know what you hope to achieve each week – especially if you are working on a project like a dissertation or revising for exams. Goals help to ensure we stay on track but also help to motivate us to keep going and give us that sense of achievement. Work backwards from your deadlines to determine where you want to be at the end of each week. If you have a shorter deadline (like an assignment to write in a week), instead set yourself some daily goals. This video will help you do this.

Tip #4: Work with others

During these times, it’s important to continue to connect with others. Keep in touch with peers and motivate each other. Arrange daily catch-ups, virtual coffee chats or perhaps some revision groups, where you can test each other’s understanding. Do share your study goals too, as you are more likely to strive to meet them once you’ve declared them.

Tip #5: Use the advice and support available

It might feel that you’re on your own, but all the central services are still running.

Make the most of the support and expertise on offer and ensure you get the grades you deserve.

Dr Sonia Hood, FHEA
Study Advice Manager, Study Advice & Maths Support

COVID-19 update: Library services move fully online

Silvery-gold clad University of Reading Library buildings in distance, surrounded by green trees, green grass in foregroundIn line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library will be moving to a fully online service with effect from Monday 23 March 2020.  Please be assured that we will continue to provide you with our services.  We will ensure that all online resources and additional online help are available to you during the current, unprecedented public health situation.

Using Library online services

A significant proportion of our resources are already available online. There will be no change to this service and everything that you previously used will continue to be available.

Online resources

Undergraduate and post-graduate taught course students: you can still access UoR online reading lists directly and via Blackboard.  Many of the items on your reading lists are accessible online, with some lists fully available online.

For your research, you can still access e-resources through the Library website, to find our extensive collection of e-books, e-journals and databases. The following tools will help you:

Online Library help and assistance

All Library staff are still available to help and assist with your studies and research.

Library materials currently on loan

Whilst the Library building remains closed the printed book collection will not be available.  If you currently have books on loan that are due back do not worry!  We will automatically renew them for you so that you do not get fined.  And if you incur any fines during this period of online working you will not be charged.  Books that you currently have on loan will not be recalled and you will not be expected to return them whilst the building is closed.  If you want to place a reservation (hold) on a book you can continue to do so and we will seek to satisfy your request.  For loan and general enquiries, please email library@reading.ac.uk

Interlibrary loans

You can still request Inter-Llibrary Loans in the usual manner, completing the online request form.  If you currently have Inter-Library Loans (books) from another library do not worry, we will arrange for the return date to be extended for you.  For Inter-Library Loan enquiries, please email ill@reading.ac.uk.

Other enquiries

If you have any other enquiries or require any additional support, please email library@reading.ac.uk.

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

COVID-19 Library update: Social distancing

Long study table with four seats in library

We encourage you to sit two metres away from other Library users to safeguard your health

Whilst the Library building is open weekdays 08:30-17:00 to card-holders, with immediate effect we are implementing more stringent social distancing measures. To safeguard the health and safety of both Library users and staff, study places will be spaced out and help desks will operate behind barriers. Many other services continue online.

Study space

  • We have introduced spacing between places on open tables to actively encourage users to sit the government-recommended two metres apart.
  • All group study rooms in the Library are closed with immediate effect to discourage the dangers of sitting close within an enclosed area.

Help Points

  • The Library’s Welcome Desk on our Ground Floor remains open for enquiries but we are asking users to talk to us from behind tensile barriers, thus maintaining a safe distance between us. Unfortunately this means you will not be able to pay fines here with cards, but you can still pay fines online if you need to.
  • Although our Study Advice Desk is now unstaffed during this situation, please do ask us your questions and book one-to-one consultations online with:

Further information

Please be assured that, in line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library continues to provide online resources and additional online help during the current, unprecedented public health situation, although some services have changed. Please see our COVID-19: Library service update for details.

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

COVID-19: Library service update

Silvery-gold clad University of Reading Library buildings in distance, surrounded by green trees, green grass in foregroundPlease be assured that, in line with the University’s move to online teaching, the University Library will continue to provide online resources and additional online help during the current, unprecedented public health situation. However, whilst the Library building remains open weekdays 08:30-17:00 to card-holders at this point, certain services will change with immediate effect.

Using Library online services

Subject to online systems continuing during this time, there is much we can provide for you.

Online resources

If you are on a taught course you can still access UoR online reading lists directly and via Blackboard. A large number of items are accessible online, with some lists almost entirely so.

For your research, you can still access e-resources through the Library website, including e-books, e-journals and databases. Try a search using:

Remote Library help

Various Library staff are still available to help you, sometimes working remotely.

Changes to Library services

Visiting the Library building

  • Until further notice, the University Library is operating vacation opening hours08:30-17:00 weekdays for card-holders but closed at weekends.
  • Unfortuately, external visitors will not be admitted. Although existing SCONUL Access scheme card-holders can enter, we are unable to process new SCONUL Access applications.
  • The Library Café is closed.

Print material from elsewhere

  • We can still collect material from Closed Access but please be prepared for possible delays. However, Store collections are suspended for the foreseeable future.
  • We can still obtain online Inter-Library Loans for you, but are unable to get print material, since libraries across the country are increasingly limiting services during the current situation

Further information

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Stuart Hunt, Director

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

 

No access to 1st Floor 10-19 August

The 1st Floor of the Library will be closed during the week of 10 to 19 August so that the space can be used for Clearing.

With Clearing itself taking place on 15 and 16 August 2019 in the 1st Floor of the Library, it will be closed from 10 to 19 August to allow for setup and strike down of the equipment necessary for Clearing.

Study space will still be available on the ground, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors throughout this time, including a few PC spaces on the 4th Floor. There are also a variety of alternative study spaces across campus, including 24-hour PC labs in Agriculture GL20, Meteorology GL68 and Palmer G.09.

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

Restricted Library/URS entry for exam-time

Despite opening extensive hours from Saturday 6 April until Friday 14 June, please note access restrictions to Library buildings. From Monday to Friday, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders only. Visitors are only permitted at weekends with prior arrangement. This is to prevent disruption to our 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 card-holders get in

You already need your campus card to enter the Library building at all times. You will also need your card to enter Library@URS after 17:00 and before 08:30 on weekdays, and all weekend. When other doors are locked, please enter by the right-hand doors of Library@URS. Card-holders gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.

Restrictions for visitors

6 April—14 June Members of the public without cards are only admitted on weekends, by prior appointment.

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.

The Library Café will remain accessible throughout, but we apologise to visitors unable to use Café Libro during restricted periods.

UoR campus card faulty?

Should your University Campus Card fail to open our doors 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 study space during Library refurb

Whilst refurbishment works continue in the Library building this summer there will be some construction noise. Besides the quieter Library@URS building, UoR students can also use additional study space listed on the Library Refurbishment Project page.

Katie Winter, Trainee Liaison Librarian for
Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

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

 

Play fair and share in the Library

Male students reading books

Help make the Library work effectively by respecting everyone’s right to resources and space. Just a minute checking when your Library loans are due back or clearing a desk space for others can help make this term a success for everyone.

Here’s some simple suggestions on how to keep on top of your Library account, save time and money, help your friends, and provide a pleasant and productive working environment for all:

 

  • Return Library items on time

Avoid fines and help fellow users access the material they need. Make use of the e-receipts function on the Library’s new Self-Service machines to keep track of those important due dates!

 

  • Keep up to date with your account

Remember to check your University email to keep updated with any reminders the Library sends you – including new due dates for recalled items!

 

  • Don’t hog study spaces with your belongings

Please free up study spaces for other users when you are leaving the area for a substantial time. This allows other users the chance to utilise out study areas and keeps your valuables safe.

 

Check out our ‘Using the Library’ and ‘Policies and Rules’ pages for more information.

 

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services