Library refurbishment: lift stairs demolition

Looking over stairs, they descend in a spiral

Say goodbye to the staircase behind existing lifts! They will soon be enclosed by acoustic barriers and demolished.

Our Library building refurbishment has now progressed to preparing to demolish the stairs behind the lifts, with actual demolition planned for January 2019. You may experience construction noise, despite the acoustic partitions that are being put in place to help reduce the volume. Here is our advice on how you can still get to upper Library floors; find books moved during this work; and find alternative, quieter study space.

How do I get to upper floors?

Although we will no longer be able to use the stairs behind our existing lifts, access will be maintained to at least two of lifts themselves until new lifts are ready. The big central staircase leading up from the main hall remains our main stairs, with other stairs around the edges of the building available for emergency evacuation.

Where are my books?

During hoarding construction, books previously shelved right next to the lift area have been moved elsewhere on the same floor. Please ask staff at the floor Information Desks if you need help finding them.

  • On the 2nd Floor 337-338.52 has moved to the far (eastern/Eat at the Square) end of the room by the windows.
  • On the 3rd Floor 728-733.5154 has moved to new shelves by the Information Desk.

Where can I find quieter study space?

This phase of construction will sometimes involve noisy or disruptive works. Please make use of the quiet and silent study space in the Library@URS building next door, as well as the variety of alternative study space options across campus. For more see ‘The latest on student study space’ (Student Services news, 31 October 2018or Transform 2016: Study space update (UoR staff portal news, 31 October 2018).

More on Library refurb

Demolishing this staircase will create space for print hubs on every floor and a silent study PC area on the 5th Floor. Find out more about the project on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

Library gates activated. Remember your Campus Card!

Security barrier with sign saying 'tap here' on it

Tap your Campus Card to access security gates to enter or exit study and stock areas.

Library gates are to increase your security and prioritise study space for University members. Remember to carry your Campus Card with you when visiting the Library building! The new access gates were installed as part of the University’s major Library Refurbishment Project. (We initially kept them open so you had time to get used to new Ground Floor areas.)

Library members: you can enter and exit just by tapping your Campus Card (the same one you use to borrow) at the gates …. so there’s nothing you need to do other than carry it with you. You already need your Campus Card to enter the Library@URS building overnight, at weekends and in the revision period when we restrict access to Library study space. If you experience any problems gaining entry with your card, please see staff on duty at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who will be happy to help!

Members of the public over 18You are welcome to use and copy Library materials beyond our security gates weekdays (Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00). Please talk to staff at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who may ask you to provide identification, information about yourself and ask you to abide by Library rules. However, you now need to book ahead to gain access evenings and weekends (17:00-22:00 weekdays or 09:00-22;00 Saturday or Sunday). Please email library@reading.ac.uk telling us when you want to visit and we will arrange for Security staff to give you entrance between these times: if you have not contacted the Library beforehand you will not be admitted.

Everyone can still use the Library Café and Ground Floor toilets, which you will find before you reach the barriers.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services) and Nick Hollis, Library User Services Manager

Bring Campus Cards to open Library gates from 22 Oct

Security barrier with sign saying 'tap here' on it

Tap your Campus Card at Library building security gates to enter or exit study and stock areas.

Get ready to carry your Campus Card with you when visiting the Library building to open the new access gates, installed as part of the University’s major Library Refurbishment Project. We initially kept them open so you had time to get used to new Ground Floor areas. Gates become operational from Monday 22 October to increase your security and prioritise study space for University members.

Library members: you will be able to enter and exit, just by tapping your Campus Card (the same one you use to borrow) at the gates …. so there’s nothing you need to do other than carry it with you. You already need your Campus Card to enter the Library@URS building overnight, at weekends and in the revision period when we restrict access to Library study space.

Visitors needing access to print material, and anyone experiencing any problems gaining entry with your card, please see staff on duty at the Help Point (to the left of the gates) who will be happy to help!

You do not need your cards to use the Library Café and Ground Floor toilets which you will find before you reach the barriers.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

Teaching and study space in Library@URS

From 1 October, the University has temporarily converted two more Library@URS rooms for teaching. Although less study space is available here on term-time weekdays, remember you can use alternative study space available across campus, as well as the new group and quiet study areas recently opened in the Library building.

Changing rooms!

With the temporary closure of some teaching rooms in the Palmer building for remedial work, two of the rooms on the second floor of the Library@URS (2s21 and 2n09) have been converted to teaching rooms. When these aren’t in use for teaching they can be used for study. However, owing to fire regulations regarding the safe capacity of the URS building, more group study rooms on the second floor will be closed while teaching rooms and the Large Lecture Theatre may be in use.

All group study rooms will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays during term time, as well as all throughout the vacations and summer term. All other quiet and silent study rooms on the north side of the building will remain open throughout. You can still use the group study rooms on the Library@URS ground floor.

Study space in the Library

The Library’s newly re-opened Ground Floor offers quiet study seating options, while the 1st Floor provides a range of group study seating options. Please bear in mind that Library refurbishment continues on these and other floors until autumn 2019 and it will sometimes be noisy or disruptive. Read more about the newly opened spaces in the Library here.

Alternative study spaces across campus

In addition to Library spaces, there are still around 1,500 study spaces available across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. These are listed on the Student Services pages about alternative study space available across campus or the ‘Find study space beyond the Library’ section of the Library Refurbishment Project page. Do bookmark this on your laptop or mobile to find it easily later!

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and this Library blog.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian 

Study space on campus: Summer update

The summer term is now in full swing, with many students working hard on final assignments, projects and dissertations.

How many spaces are available?

As the Large Lecture Theatre is now no longer in use until the start of the 2018-19 academic year, there are around 800 spaces available in the URS Building (there is a limit on the total occupancy of the building for fire safety).

Beyond the URS Building, there are more than 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. This includes:

  • Study space in Halls: Around 100 new study spaces are now available across our Halls of Residence. You can find the spaces in Wessex Library, St George’s Computer Room, Wantage Computer Room, Stenton JCR, Childs JCR and Mackinder JCR – all study areas have been refurbished and kitted out with new furniture, improved lighting and heating, power sockets and USB ports, and will be open for 24 hours every day during the Quiet Period (until Friday 8 June). Outside of the Quiet Period, the spaces will be available from 7.00am until 12.00am. The spaces are open to residents of each respective Hall, but possibilities of opening the spaces up to other Hall residents are currently being explored;
  • Additional study space at Eat at the Square: Don’t forget that you can now study in Eat at the Square from 3-6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Refreshments can also be purchased from The Grumpy Mule;
  • Extended Chancellor’s Building opening hours: Rooms G11, G12, G13, G14 and G15 will be made available as extra study spaces from 6-9pm Monday to Friday during term time and also at weekends if study space in the URS Building becomes full – please speak to Library staff at the URS ground floor Information Desk to open Chancellor’s at weekends. Please note that classrooms 1-8 are now exam rooms for the entire exam period and are not accessible;
  • RUSU’s The Studyand The Study@TOB2: Study spaces available for all campus card holders.

 

Useful resources

The following resources are available to help students locate study space across campus:

 

Using space fairly

With exams and final projects on the horizon, it’s really important to be fair and considerate when using study spaces around campus. Demand is high at this time of year, so please treat all spaces, fellow students and staff with respect.

  • Anti-desk-hogging service in the URS Building: Students can report unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings by speaking to staff at the Reception or the Information Desk on the ground floor;
  • NOISYCHAT service in URS Building: If there is noise in a silent study area, students can use this service to text Library staff so that noise can be investigated.
  • Consider altering patterns of study: Our records show that 3.30pm is when URS is at its fullest, with space freeing up as the afternoon goes on. It may be worth looking for space before or after peak times – early morning and after 5pm are usually quieter than midday.
  • Don’t be shy: When demand is high, it’s vital that space is used as efficiently as possible. So please don’t be afraid to sit next to someone you don’t know – make use of the spaces that are available, and if studying in a group, consider splitting into smaller groups if it makes finding space easier.

 

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

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Library and URS at Easter

Library closed Thur 29 March to Tues 3 April

The Library and URS Building will close at 17:00 on Wednesday 28 March for the University Easter closure period. We will reopen at 08:30 on Wednesday 4 April. You can always view our full opening hours on our website.

Help while we’re closed

If you need help while we’re closed you can chat online via the blue ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ box on the Library homepage! This service is staffed by professional librarians working remotely to answer your queries from our website and other information we’ve supplied.

Borrowing over Easter

Revising this Easter vacation? It’s not all bad! The Library makes getting those crucial textbooks even easier for you. It will be ‘business as usual’ with loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term.

So keep checking your account and renewing your loans unless someone else recalls them. No items will be due back over the closure period and we’ll email you if your loans are recalled! You can return items at the Library even when we’re closed or you can even post them back to us. If you’re ever unsure, you can contact us.

Study spaceEaster chicks

All of the group study rooms in Library@URS will be open from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period). If you ever need to find study space just check our Study Space map to find a place or use the Free Room Finder online tool which displays rooms available for immediate use.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

 

 

Study space on campus: Spring update

Whiteknights mapHere’s some info to help all you students, working hard on assignments/projects/dissertations/revision, find study space facilities across campus.

600-800 Library@URS study spaces

There are around 600 study spaces in the URS building term-time weekdays, which increases to around 800 at weekends and during vacation periods when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use (there is a limit on the total occupancy of the building for fire safety). The closed rooms will therefore be reopened permanently during Library@URS opening hours from 6pm on Friday 23 March until the start of next academic year (except during the University’s Easter closure period).

900 more spaces across campus

As well as the URS Building, there are more than 900 other study spaces across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses. To help make it as straightforward as possible for you to find study space during this period, we’ve summarised the resources available as follows:

  1. Study Space Map

The University has had great feedback from students who have used this Study Space map to find alternative study space, in addition to that offered in the URS Building;

  1. Free Room Finder

The Free Room Finder online tool displays rooms available for immediate use and you can search based on campus area, time needed, and/or capacity required;

  1. PDF study space list

Updated every term, this list highlights spaces across our campuses that can be used for study (subject to scheduled teaching or departmental use);

  1. Live list of available PCs

This PC availability webpage shows where there are PCs available on campus in real time;

  1. RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2

Study spaces available for all campus card holders;

  1. Extended Chancellor’s building opening hours

This building is available to use as study space from 6-9pm Monday to Friday during term time and also at weekends (between 10am and 6pm) at the discretion of the Library supervisor if study space in the URS Building becomes full. If you are having difficulty finding a study space in the URS building at the weekend please talk to Library staff at the Library@URS Ground Floor Information Desk;

  1. Additional study space at Eat at the Square

Eat at the Square will be open after lunch from 3-6pm Monday to Friday during term time, providing additional study space as well as refreshments from The Grumpy Mule;

  1. Central Room Booking service

Students can book rooms on campus in advance, for example, for group study;

  1. Anti-desk-hogging service in the Library@URS building

Help Library staff make the most of Library@URS space: If you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings, speak to staff at the Reception or the Information Desk on the Ground Floor;

  1. NOISYCHAT service in Library@URS building

Please text Library staff quietly if you experience noise in a silent study area and they will investigate as soon as they can.

Study space in Halls

The University has been working to create more than 100 new study spaces across our Halls of Residence, which includes refurbishing spaces so that they are more suitable for productive study. The spaces will be located in Wessex Library, St George’s Computer Room, Wantage Computer Room, Stenton JCR, Childs JCR and Mackinder JCR. It originally hoped these spaces would be ready by the end of February – unfortunately, although the refurbishment work is complete, we have experienced some unforeseen delays with our furniture supplier, which now means that the spaces will be ready in late March. The supplier is working hard to deliver the furniture within the next couple of weeks, and we will of course let you know when the spaces are ready to use.

In the meantime, there are other spaces in Halls that can be used for study, including the Bridges JCR, Benyon JCR and Sherfield Bar. Please call the Halls Hotline if you’re not sure where these spaces are or want to check opening times.

More on Library Refurb

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

University Communications/Library Marketing Co-ordinator, Rachel Redrup

Be fair and share books and space!

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyHelp make the Library work effectively by respecting everyone’s right to resources and limited space. It can be as easy as checking when your Library loans are due back or clearing a desk space for other users. And don’t forget there are alternative study spaces on campus too.

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

Please help us share study space in the URS building fairly. It is fine to pop over to the Library building for a book and return to your desk within a short time. However, we think it unfair for students to reserve desks with their belongings for long periods when other students want to use that space.

If you find unattended study places apparently ‘booked’ with clothes, stationery and the like, please ask Library staff for support at either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor. We will give you a timed warning card you can place on the abandoned stuff. Put the belongings to one side and sit down. If the owner returns within the hour, they are entitled to the space back. If not, you can sit there. Also ask staff to help explain, should anyone returning after an hour and complain.

Where unattended stuff hasn’t been moved overnight, staff will remove it to URS Reception. If it is not claimed by the next morning, it will be taken to Palmer Reception, the centre for all lost property in the University.

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

Alternative Campus Space

Check the ‘FIND STUDY SPACE BEYOND THE LIBRARY’ section of the Library Refurbishment Project homepage for alternative space.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

How did you use Course Collection and Holds?

White ghostly imagined people sitting at wooden desks. Shelves of books in background.

After refurbishment, Course Collection and the Hold Shelf will return to the Library building and look something like this.

In spring 2017, whilst it was still in the Library building, we surveyed how students used the Course Collection and Holds Shelf. Here’s what you told/showed us could improve things now, whilst both collections temporarily occupy the URS building, and provides insight for their return to a refurbished Library building.

Research methods

We used two different techniques: we collected your opinions using a graffiti wall asking what users of the Course Collection liked about it and what they felt could improve it for them; we also did some behavioural mapping – observing how the space and services were being used. Although Library Refurbishment plans were already established, we felt observational techniques could inform whether plans were on the right track and give us practice on evaluating use of the new spaces for after refurbishment.

Results confirm refurbishment plans

You told us that you liked the Course Collection’s quiet, warm environment, conveniently close to the main entrance, toilets and café (for that all important caffeine fix!) Our observation exercise confirmed this, showing many users chose the space to work quietly – something we weren’t expecting! The planned Library refurbishment includes new toilets and refreshment areas throughout the building, so should bring this convenience to several study areas.

You also told us you’d like more study spaces in the Course Collection, and more sockets. Observation showed that the most Course Collection popular seats had plug sockets for laptops etc and/or were by a wall or divider, suggesting you can concentrate better when you can’t see anyone working opposite. Library refurbishment will deliver more Course Collection study spaces, all with sockets. There will also be individual comfy study carrels to accommodate that desire to study undisturbed.

Hold shelf improvements

A surprise to us was that a third of those went up to the Hold Shelf didn’t collect a book. It was really useful for us to discover where we could improve your experience of finding your hold and understanding what to do. We have now displayed flow-chart posters beside the Hold Shelf to indicate what to do if you do not initially find your hold, and added more labelling to the Enterprise Library catalogue where books are on hold.

Map of Course Collection annotated with coloured lines and arrows

UX technique employs coloured lines on a map to indicate how different people use an area

Our experience of ‘User Experience (UX)’

Observing how library spaces are used has been both fascinating and incredibly useful. We’re reassured our refurbishment plans will improve your experience of using the new Course Collection space and we’ve gained insight into where we can make service and system design more straightforward for you. We’re hoping to use observational techniques in the future to continue to improve library services and spaces. If you’d like to know more about User Experience (UX) techniques at University of Reading Library, please contact Natalie Guest: n.guest@reading.ac.uk.

Natalie Guest, Library user Services and
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Library refurbishment: extra study space and update on works

Whiteknights map

Download the new Study Space Maps now from www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb

Here is an update on new study spaces available later this month and works taking place inside the Library.

New study spaces around campus

The Library@URS offers around 600 study spaces during term time. While the space is convenient for studying, we do recognise that it can be difficult to find space during peak times (occupancy rates suggest this is typically 10:00– 16:00).

Following student feedback, the University will be able to offer additional study space beyond the Library@URS from Monday 15 January 2018:

  • Study space at Eat at the Square: Eat at the Square will be open after lunch 15:00-18:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. It will provide approximately 280 spaces, with refreshments available to purchase from The Grumpy Mule.
  • Extended Chancellor’s Building opening hours: Opening hours for the Chancellor’s Building have been extended to offer additional space 18:00–21:00 every Monday to Friday during term time. (This is in addition to opening Chancellor’s at weekends if URS becomes full – see below).
  • New study spaces to be created in Halls: In case you missed our announcement last November, more than 100 new study spaces will be available across our Halls of Residence. We are aiming for these to be ready by the end of February.
  • AVAILABLE NOW – Study Space Map: We have also produced a Study Space Map highlighting spaces across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses. Download the map today at our Library refurbishment page (top link in ‘FIND STUDY SPACE BEYOND THE LIBRARY’ box).

The above new services join our existing Library@URS arrangements and space-finding tools. To recap, these are:

  • Library@URS arrangements
    • Library@URS anti-desk-hogging service: Does that jacket really need its own space? Please speak to staff at the Reception or ground floor Information Desk if you see unattended spaces ‘booked’ with belongings.
    • Chancellor’s Building as overflow space: The Chancellor’s Building can be opened as relief space if URS becomes full at weekends – please speak to staff at the URS ground floor Information Desk for more information.
    • Extra URS space over weekends and vacations: Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be available when the Large Lecture Theatre is not in use over weekends and vacations (due to fire regulations). In term time, the rooms are available from 18;00 Friday until 08:00 Monday. The rooms will be immediately available during vacations and summer terms, ensuring the maximum study space capacity can be used at exam revision time.
  • Digital space-finding tools can be easily accessed through the Library refurbishment page:

Noisy works within the Library

As ever, the Library building remains open for borrowing books and learning materials while refurbishment work takes place.

Please note there may be noisy works over the next few weeks as the next phase of work includes the cutting of concrete slab on the Ground and Basement Floors.

Where to find out more

Don’t forget that Library staff are on hand to answer your questions and help you out –  please speak to staff at the Library@URS Reception or Ground Floor Information Desk if you need assistance or have any queries.

Please visit the Library refurbishment webpage for further information on the project, including the latest news, links to space-finding tools and FAQs.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for UoR Communications

 

Noisy chat in Library@URS? Text us!

Lower part of face with forefinger placed to lipsAre others chatting too noisily in the Library’s URS building? Alert us by text, without identifying yourself to others or leaving your seat!

First check your URS study area really is designated as ‘quiet’ or ‘silent’, or that noise in a ‘group study area’ is excessive. If it is, text:

  • NOISYCHAT‘ and your location to 07796 300114 
  • eg NOISYCHAT 2n19 Silent Study.

We’ll come and investigate. We support your right to to work quietly, as protected by Library Rule 13.

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

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

Help make the most of Library@URS space

Students studying in the URS Building

Group study space in the URS Building

Looking for a space when URS is busy? Help us to help you make the most of our study space.

Weekend and vacation study space

Students can access extra study space in the URS building over the weekend and during vacation time. Rooms 2s14, 2s21, 2s25, 2s26 and 2s27 will be open for use from 18:00 on Fridays until 08:00 on Mondays during term time, as well as all throughout the vacation. The rooms are closed during term time weekdays as the Large Lecture Theatre is in use in the URS Building.

The Library has also made arrangements to open the Chancellor’s Building to provide more space on Saturdays and Sundays between 10:00 and 18:00 if the URS Building reaches capacity. Users are requested to talk to Library staff at the URS Ground Floor Information Desk if they are having difficulty in finding a space.

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAnti-desk hogging service!

Please help us share study space in the URS building fairly. While it’s fine to pop over to the Library building for a book and return to your desk within a short time, we think it unfair for students to reserve desks with their belongings for long periods when other students want to use that space.

If you find unattended study places apparently ‘booked’ with clothes, stationery and the like, please ask Library staff for support at either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor. We will give you a timed warning card you can place on the abandoned stuff. Put the belongings to one side and sit down. If the owner returns within the hour, they are entitled to the space back. If not, you can sit there. Also ask staff to help explain, should anyone return after an hour to complain.

Where unattended stuff hasn’t been moved overnight, staff will remove it to URS Reception. If it is not claimed by the next morning, it will be taken to Palmer Reception, the centre for all lost property in the University.

Noisy chatLower part of face with forefinger placed to lips

Are others chatting too noisily in the Library’s URS building? Alert us by text, without identifying yourself to others or leaving your seat!

First check your URS study area really is designated as ‘quiet’ or ‘silent’, or that noise in a ‘group study area’ is excessive. If it is, text:

  • NOISYCHAT‘ and your location to 07796 300114 
  • eg NOISYCHAT 2n19 Silent Study.

We’ll come and investigate. We support your right to to work quietly, as protected by Library Rule 13.

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

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian