Important update: Study space in URS Building

Students outside the URS Building

The University of Reading’s capital investment programme, 2026: TRANSFORM, is well under way to improve further our campus facilities. The University Library is undergoing a major transformation – we are investing over £40 million into making it a modern and comfortable place to study, with the very best facilities and learning resources. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Study space relocation to the URS Building

In April 2017, much of the study furniture from the Library was relocated to the URS Building. Several key services from the Library Building have also been relocated to the URS Building – the Library Information Desk, Study Advice and Maths Support, the Course Collection, the IT Service Desk and Café Libro. The Library Building remains open for borrowing books.

By moving study space and other services to URS, we can provide a quieter environment for study, enquiries and support. It also means less disruption through noise or dust from the building project, with URS still being close enough to borrow and use Library materials.

It is expected that these arrangements will be in place until August 2018, when study space and other facilities are currently planned to move back into the Library.

What’s changing?

Closed pink double doors to large lecture theatreThe URS lecture theatres have been out of use since the relocation to allow us to accommodate the maximum permitted number of study spaces in this building (there’s a restriction on the total number of people allowed in the building at any one time for fire safety). The University has recently taken the decision to re-open the URS large lecture theatre for teaching in the 2017/18 academic year.

Due to the fire safety restrictions in place, this will mean that the number of term-time study spaces available in the URS building will be reduced from around 800 to around 600. This will be disappointing news for some, as the total number of study spaces available to students during term-time will necessarily be reduced. However, please be assured that the University explored every possible alternative option before reaching this decision, but feel it is important that it offers students the best available teaching space for their classes.

We will work to re-instate the study spaces during the Christmas and Easter vacations, and in the summer term for the exam period.

Café Libro will remain open as usual.

Naturally, we will closely monitor the usage of the URS study spaces and the alternative study spaces provided across our campuses (see below for more information) to ensure all spaces are accessible, available and well-used. Feedback from students on these spaces is very much welcome as it will help us to plan study space availability in the future.

Alternative study spaces

Taking into account the reduction of study spaces in the URS Building, there are still over 1,500 study spaces available across the Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

We have provided some helpful resources to make it easier to find a suitable space to study. These include;

All of these resources can easily be found through the Library Refurbishment Project page. Do bookmark this page on your laptop or mobile to find it easily later.

We are also working with RUSU to create a new study space map which we will share with you as soon as it is ready.

Do not forget too that rooms located in teaching buildings will be subject to departmental use – and as always, please treat all spaces with respect.

Library project; progress to date

 We have made good progress since work started last summer. In summary;

  • all floors have been prepared for works to be carried out – you will notice that several areas have been sectioned off for work, especially on the Ground and 1st Floors;
  • work to improve the exterior of the Library is well under way and internal weatherproofing is largely complete;
  • work is underway for the creation of a brand new café; and
  • we are nearing the end of the demolition of a staircase on the south side of the building – a major phase of work that makes room for new, bigger lifts and a replacement staircase.

We are, of course, taking measures to reduce the risk of noise wherever possible, but please do remember that this is a live construction project – noise will be unavoidable from time to time. As a way of reducing disruption throughout the day, noisy work will cease after 10:00 during term time.

Stay up-to-date

The latest project news is shared through the Library blog – keep checking for updates. Major news will also be shared through the Me@Reading student portal and more.

We also share regular updates through our social media channels – we’re on:

Facebook: /theuniversityofreading and /universityofreadinglibrary

Twitter: @UniofReading, @UniRdg_Student and @UniRdg_Library

Instagram: uniofreading and unirdg_library

Please contact library@reading.ac.uk in the first instance if you have any queries.

Full details of the refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated Library Refurbishment Project website.

University of Reading Communications Team

New student? Make the most of your Library – info tip

Students studying in the URS Building

Group study space in the URS Building

Welcome!

We are here to support your studies, providing you with access to information – online, multimedia or printed – and the skills to make the most of it.

For a general intro…

Learning how to use the Library

A large academic library can be confusing and hard to find your way around. This year Library services are also operating from two buildings: study space and services are located in the URS Building, whilst printed materials are still available to borrow from the adjacent Library building.

Come to a ‘Finding your way in the Library’ session

Our interactive sessions run throughout Welcome Week and Week 1. Discover how to find books in the Library and borrow them, and have a tour of the services and facilities in the URS Building. Each session lasts around one hour, but could save you a lot more time in the long run!

To find out more and book your place see – Finding your way workshops.

Students outside the URS Building

The URS Building

Explore your Library & the URS Building in Welcome Week

We are open through Welcome Week, so why not explore before all the other students return? Between 09:00 and 17:00 you can:

  • Collect a self-guided Library tour leaflet to follow – stop off at whatever is relevant to you.
  • Visit the Library to find resources for your subject – pick up a guide to your subject there and pick-up a freebie from one of our information suppliers.
  • Pop in to the URS Building next door to discover your favourite study areas on the 2nd Floor (we’ve got silent, quiet and group spaces) and the largest PC facility in the University on the Ground Floor (along with IT help from the Service Desk).
  • Also meet Study Advice and Maths Support on the Ground Floor of the URS Building and pick up a free planner to organise your new University life!

Visit us in the Marquee

On Tuesday 19 September, Library staff and the Study Advice Team will be in the Marquee for ‘Academic success and module selection day’. Please pop in and have a chat with us about how we can support your studies.

Explore our online help

We’ve got lots of resources on our website to support your studies and develop your skills.

  • Try one of our LibLearn Tutorials to find out how to use the Library, search the catalogue, and more. Available 24/7 on Blackboard, the University’s online learning system.
  • Watch our videos – these cover a variety of topics ranging from placing holds on books, to doing your literature search.
  • Take a look at your subject guide, to discover key resources relevant to your studies.
  • Develop your study skills by exploring the wide range of guides and videos provided by our in-house Study Advice Team.

Our friendly subject liaison librariansGet individual help

Your friendly subject liaison librarian will be happy to give you individual help with any subject-related enquiries, or questions about the Library. You might also see yours as part of a Library session organised by your Department.

For one-to-one help with study skills contact the Study Advice Team.

Prepare yourself for life at University

Have you completed the Study Smart online course? This short course has been designed to help you make a smooth transition to University learning. It covers academic integrity, communicating at University and being an independent learner. Why not find time in Welcome Week to complete the course if you haven’t already done so?

For more information…

For extra guidance see Information for new Library users on our website.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Learning Support Co-ordinator Sally Smith and Library Web Manager Jackie Skinner.

Using Library books around refurb work

Here’s an update on accessing Library resources within the Library Building, even though many other areas are closed for Library Refurbishment Project construction work.

Using Library resources

Tall man holds small book, small lady holds large book outside UoR Library

Large size arts & hums books have moved up to our 4th Floor; normal sized items down to the 2nd Floor.

The 2nd and 4th Floors of the Library are open, containing all your books. This includes arts and humanities material, relocated from the now-closed 3rd Floor: normal size material went to the 2nd Floor; larger size and Teaching Practice Collection items to the 4th Floor. If you need any help finding anything, just ask Library staff at 2nd or 4th Floor Information Desks.

A few unique print journals are retained on the 4th Floor, but as most print journals are unavailable until after refurbishment, we encourage you to use our online journals or request an inter-library loan.

Man uses Library Self-Service Point machines of right, computers on left.Although much of the Ground Floor is now out-of bounds, we created a small area at the bottom of the main stairs for you to borrow, return or renew your loans at Self-Service Points or use PCs and catalogues. Just ask at the Help Point by the entrance if you need assistance. Ground Floor toilets are also still available.

Library construction work

White cloth over doors to 3rd Floor from stairsYou may have heard construction work in progress from areas closed-off for your safety (Ground Floor, 1st, 3rd and 5th Floors). Our contractors are demolishing internal walls in advance of refurbishing our 1st and Ground Floors; removing staircase 2 before installing new accessible lifts; and preparing to install new heating, ventilation and toilets on our 3rd Floor; besides installing new windows. Find out more about our plans on our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or visit our URS Building display (2nd Floor landing by Café Libro) for images of future development and previously refurbished floors, which will be reinstated.

URS Building facilities

Lego construction figures arranged around book and large single black Lego brick

Remember! Library Building = books + builders; URS (Lego) Building = study space + services.

Remember to visit the URS Building for Library services and study space, next door at the other end of the orange brick road, further away from potential construction noise. This is also where you will find Cafe Libro, Course Collection material and can collect ‘holds’.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Help stop desk hogging in Library@URS

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyAlthough your study space has moved into the URS Building, we all still think it unfair for students to try to reserve desks by leaving their belongings behind.

If this affects you, please go to either the URS Reception desk by the main entrance or the URS Information Desk next to the Course Collection on the ground floor and ask Library staff for support. We have warning cards you can place on unattended 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 instead. Also ask staff to help explain if anyone returning after an hour complains.

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  (open in exam-time Monday to Friday, 13:00-14:00 only).

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

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

 

Library study space now located in URS Building

blue sofas and tables and chairs

One of the new group study rooms relocated to the URS Building.

Much of the study furniture from the Library has relocated to the URS Building. It now provides students with a contemporary and versatile space to work and study – including around 800 spaces (145 computers), work areas for collaborative, quiet and silent study, and several key facilities from the Library Building.

Including URS, students can now access over 1,700 study spaces across our Whiteknights and London Road campuses.

URS Building key features

  • Library Information Desk: For general and registration enquiries, located on the Ground Floor.
  • Study space: A variety of study areas – group, quiet and silent – are available on the Ground and 2nd Floors.
  • Study Advice and Maths Support: Get help with study skills and maths on the Ground Floor.
  • Course Collection: Find key texts for your modules in the Course Collection on the Ground Floor.  Holds are also available to collect here.
  • IT Service Desk and facilities: PCs and printing facilities are available on the Ground Floor.  If you need help, just ask at the IT Service Desk there.
  • Café Libro: The Library’s popular café is located on the 2nd Floor of the URS Building.
  • Opening Hours: The URS Building will adopt the 24 hour opening during term (except closing 21:00 Saturday to 08:30 Sunday) as is currently the case in the Library.

Take a look at the map and floor directory to see what’s been moved where.

Preparation of space

Furniture being moved form outside the Library, passing hoardings

Vitra staff moved and reassembled our modern study furniture in URS

The relocation was carried out over the Easter vacation – during this time, several new improvements were made to the URS Building in order to make its study environment as welcoming as possible:

  • Rooms have been configured to meet a wide range of study needs – you’ll find individual study booths, group areas, quiet study spaces and more.
  • We have improved several of the building’s existing features in order to make it a better place to study – new lights have been fitted to make studying easier, and south-facing windows on the Second Floor have been tinted to deflect heat.
  • We have balanced creating a maximum number of spaces with ensuring that students can study in comfort and safety. Health & Safety guidelines recommend that URS holds a maximum capacity of 800 students.
  • Our job as a University is to provide students with comfortable spaces to study, and we believe that URS will prove to be a popular home to Library study space until summer 2018, when facilities will move back into the Library Building.

Why has the space moved?

Relocating study space and facilities from one to building to another posed several benefits.

Moving study space from the Library into URS will provide a quieter environment for study while still being close enough to borrow and use materials. It also means we can carry out more work inside the Library than previously planned, and so will complete the refurbishment around six months earlier.

With URS in such close proximity to the Library, you won’t have far to take the materials you’ve just borrowed from the original Library building for studying.

Library Building key features

The Library remains open for use – inside you will still find:

  • Printed materials: All printed material (other than Course Collection) will remain inside the Library for borrowing or reference.
  • Library staff: Although Library staff are now based in URS, they will still offer a Help Point by the Library entrance and Information Desks on the 2nd and 4th Floors.
  • Opening Hours: The Library Building will open 09:00-22:00 seven days per week during term time. URS will be open 24/6+ during term time (closed Saturday nights).

Construction work will continue in the Library Building whilst we strive to complete the project as soon as possible, so you may experience considerable noise whilst using this building.

Alternative study space across campus

Including URS, there are approximately 1,700 spaces to study on campus (subject to teaching timetabling and departmental use).

Keep in touch

While we have taken great care to ensure that URS meets your needs, we appreciate that there may be more to improve over the coming weeks. Please pass on any feedback or comments to library@reading.ac.uk.

Further information

A dedicated URS Building page has been created to help clarify exactly what has moved from the Library. It will be kept updated by our Library team, who will also share regular news and updates via the Library blog. The Library opening hours page lists opening times for both the Library and URS buildings.

Further details of the Library’s major £40 million refurbishment can be found on our Library Refurbishment Project webpage: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for University Communications

Restricted Library/URS entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom Monday 3 April until Friday 9 June, overnight and all weekend Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders only. This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

Restrictions apply to both our buildings:

  • Library Building (Monday to Sunday 17:00 – 22:00)
  • URS Building (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00)

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

University of Reading Campus Card-holders and Library Card-holders are welcome at all times. However, during restricted times, when other doors are locked, please enter by the right-hand doors of both the Library and URS Buildings.

  • 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

3 April – 9 June 2017  Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekday daytimes:

  • Library Building (Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00)
  • URS Building (Monday to Friday 08:00 – 17:00)

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 Café Libro during restricted periods. Please try another outlet on campus or at Christchurch Green.

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

UoR students can also use additional study space listed on the Library Refurbishment Project page.

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

Library refurbishment works: up to 10 April

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Until 10 April the following construction/internal work is expected to be carried out on the Library Building:

  • Re-cladding the outside: Work around the outside of the Library continues as our contractors focus on re-cladding the Library’s exterior. These works involve drilling and so may be noisy – details of alternative study space are available on the Library Refurbishment Project page.
  • Ground works: Ground works continue around the perimeter of the Library.
  • Internal works:
    • Activity will continue around the staircase enclosed behind the white hoardings.
    • After the end of term, furniture will start moving into the URS Building. See our study furniture pack-up itinerary post for details.

For details of alternative spaces and the latest project news, please visit our Library Refurbishment Project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator for University Communications

Study furniture pack-up: remember alternative space

Please be aware that contractors are packing up study Library furniture from some floors in order to reassemble it in the URS Building, ready for opening on 18 April. As study spaces in the Library building gradually reduce over the Easter vacation, please remember you can find campus study space beyond the Library listed on the Library Refurbishment Project page. This includes a list of spaces, the Free Room Finder and information about RUSU’s The Study and The Study@TOB2.

Study space within Library

If you wish to study within the Library, please note reduced availability of study space UNTIL MIDNIGHT, 11 APRIL 2017.

At times the main stairs may be cordoned off for your safety, whilst removers carry down large pieces. They may also requisition one lift. Please take care. The lift lobby, other lifts and other stairs will remain available.

The Library – with the rest of the University – will be closed for the University Easter closure, 12-17 April. On 18 April, the Library reopens for access to resources at 09:00, the URS Building opens for study space and services at 08:30.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator

Help stop Library study desk hogging!

Library's 'Looking for study space?' card in red and greyIt is so unfair when students try to reserve study space by leaving their belongings behind. You think so and so do we. If this affects you, please ask Library staff to support you by placing warning cards on unattended stuff. If it is not moved after an hour, you will know you can sit there. Just ask us to help explain if anyone returns after this time and complains to you.

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  (open 10:00-14:00 or in exam-time Monday to Friday, 13:00-14:00 only).

For more information, see our ‘Help stop study-desk hogging’ post from when we initiated this service in exam-time 2016.

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

Library refurbishment works 6 – 27 March

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Between 6–27 March the following construction/internal work is expected to be carried out:

  • Re-cladding the outside: Work around the outside of the Library continues as our contractors focus on re-cladding the Library’s exterior. These works involve drilling and so may be noisy – details of alternative study space are available on the Library refurbishment project page.
  • Ground works: Ground works continue around the perimeter of the Library.
  • Internal works: Activity will resume around the glass-fronted staircase (behind the white hoardings). Later in this period furniture from the 2nd and 4th Floor group study areas will start moving into the URS Building – we’ll be sharing more details of the URS move very shortly.

For details of alternative spaces and the latest project news, please visit our Library refurbishment project page.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for University Communications

Library refurbishment works 20 February – 13 March

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.Between Monday 20 February and Monday 13 March the majority of refurbishment work will focus on re-cladding the Library’s exterior and will involve drilling – students may wish to use alternative study spaces if they are not comfortable with the noise around the Library.

The following construction work is expected to be carried out around the outside of the Library:

  • Re-cladding the outside: The majority of work will focus on re-cladding the Library’s exterior – these works will involve drilling and so may be noisy. The work will move around all sides of the Library. Students may wish to use alternative study spaces if they are not comfortable with the noise around the Library.
  • Ground works: Ground works will be evident around all sides of the Library.

For details of alternative spaces and the latest project news, please visit our Library refurbishment project page: www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator for University Communications