Milestones in Linguistics – trial

We currently have trial access to the Linguistics and Semiotics Collection of the De Gruyter Book Archive until 30 April 2022.  This collection is part of tens of thousands of digitised books from De Gruyter’s entire backlist, covering 270 years of academic publishing.  The Linguistics and Semiotics Collection includes works by Roman Jakobson, Noam Chomsky, Edward Sapir, William Labov, Anne Cutler, Ronald Langacker and Joseph H. Greenberg and will be of interest to anyone researching linguistics and related disciplines.

Access to the Linguistics and Semiotics Collection is now available on- and off-campus. To view the e-books included in the trial, and those which are freely available via Open Access, filter to ‘Linguistics & Semiotics’ (under ‘Subject’) and ‘Open access and free access’ (under ‘Access’).  You may further refine your search by ‘Document type’, ‘Date’, ‘Publisher’ and ‘Language’ to suit your needs.

Help us to decide

Please send any feedback about this resource to Charlie Carpenter, Academic Liaison Librarian for Humanities:

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

Friday 21 January emergency closure

Closed sign

Apologies for the short notice closure of the Library today, Friday 21 January. This was due to an issue with water supplies on campus, which meant that several buildings were affected, including the Library. Email and telephone enquiry services will be available until 17:00 and we will re-open and resume normal services on Saturday 22 January at 8:30.
Your Library Team

Library staff recommend some diverse reads!

The long, wintry days provide an ideal opportunity for some recreational reading so Library staff have provided some personal recommendations for some of the books purchased recently using the Library’s Diversity fund:

Rainbow Milk, by Paul Mendez

Cover of "Rainbow Milk"

Chosen by Sharon Hill, Collections Services

The story of Jesse McCarthy; a young, black Jehovah’s Witness from Wolverhampton.  Jesse is also gay; a total no-no in his religion.  After being cast out from his faith and a pariah in his family home, he travels to London in search of a new life, a new community and a new purpose.

Sharon says: I was very moved by this book. Despite his conflicting feelings, Jesse’s irrepressible spirit shines through and he finds self-acceptance and joy against the odds.




A Room Called Earth, by Madeline RyaCover of "A Room Called Earth"                        

Chosen by Sue Crawford, Library User Services

A neurodiverse young woman’s experience of a party.  Minutely attuned to those around her, she alternates between profound connection, alienation and being overwhelmed.

Sue says:  “Touchingly written insight into the highs and lows of compulsive attention as the main character gets ready for a party and the experience of it when she gets there. Her back story is revealed along the way.”



In Black and White, by Alexandra Wilson

Cover of "In Black and White"

Chosen by Tim Chapman, Academic Liaison Librarian

Alexandra Wilson, a newly qualified barrister, gives a real and personal perspective on what it’s like being a mixed-race woman at the bar. It’s a fascinating read – compelling, worrying and surprising. Not all is right with our Criminal Justice System, but somehow Alexandra strikes the right note in making us understand that people like her can make a difference.

Tim says:  “Compelling writing that doesn’t get bogged down in legal jargon. If you want to know what life is really like for a young, mixed-race woman working in the law, go no further. I couldn’t put it down.”

Want to recommend a title to diversify our collections? Find the link under the Books tab of any of our Diversity LibGuides or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

New year, new habits – making the most of your Library

Happy New Year and welcome to the Spring term. Our Library teams look forward to continuing to support you with your studies.  

If you’re a January starter, we recommend that you look at our top recommendations in the Information for new students LibGuide. If you’re returning to Campus, we’d like to share the following reminders on how to make the most of the services, resources and facilities. 


Support with your studies 

Do you need help with an aspect of your studies? Your Academic Liaison Librarian and the Study Advisors will be happy to assist. Take a look at the Training and workshops webpage for more information, links to guides, training materials and more!  


Study areas  

Study space is available on all floors of the Library, including individual silent study on the 5th Floor. If you are using this study area, please remember that it is entirely silent so you may prefer to use the individual quiet study areas, located on all other floors, or the range of group study spaces.  

‘Want to know more? 

  • Watch our YouTube video about study areas in the Library or see our Instagram tour to find your favourite space.
  • Find out about additional study space on campus. Visit the Essentials webpages to discover more and, if you’re a postgraduate student, you can also enquire with your department to find out if they can advise on other suitable locations.  


Please note: you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with other locations as, at peak times, you may need to find alternative study space. We are currently operating at a slightly reduced study space capacity due to the increased need for ventilation within the building. This provision is aligned with University health and safety guidance. 


Stay safe 

If you are using study space in the Library, help us to keep open and stay safe by: 

  • Not moving furniture – study areas have been specifically configured to comply with capacity allowances in relation to ventilation requirements. 
  • Keeping windows open, on ventilation mode, if studying in a space next to a window.  
  • Wearing a face covering (unless you are exempt) when using the Library.  

Masks and other face coverings should cover the nose and the mouth and should remain in place at all times. 

  • Following the one-way systems, using the sanitisation stations and not using the lifts in groups.  

Single occupancy of lifts and other measures are all still in place so please refresh your knowledge of our Covid-19 safety information. Look out for our signage and notices displayed throughout the building to assist you.  

  • Not eating in the Library.  

Help us to keep the building clean, safe and tidy by eating in the Library Café or other suitable spaces on campus. Please do not bring hot food into the Library at any time as this creates unpleasant smells, and is disruptive for other Library users.  

  • Using lidded containers, when bringing drinks into the Library.  

Non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks are permitted – we have recycling facilities for single use cups and plastic bottles.  


Visiting the Library between midnight and 8:00? Remember to bring your campus card for entry via the keypad next to the right hand side entry door.  


Recalled items 

The Library is a shared resource, so please look out for our recall emails and courtesy reminders. If someone places a hold on an item that you have out, a recall notice will be sent to your University email account. Recalled items must be returned so that other users needing a particular book can gain access. If you still need the item, simply place a request once it has been returned so that the next available copy can be held for you. Further information on recalls can be found here.


Opening hours 

24/6+ opening hours resumed on Sunday 9 January – full details of the opening hours may be found here. 


Do you follow us on social media? If not, this may be the perfect time to begin so that you can stay up to date and make the most of your Library! 

 Social media icons


Your Library Team

Welcome to new and returning students – getting ready for Spring Term

Happy New Year from the University of Reading Library

Welcome – or Welcome Back – to the University of Reading Library!

Your Academic Liaison Librarians wish you a Happy New Year. Now that you are preparing for Spring Term, here’s a reminder of some of the support we can provide to help you with your assignments and research this term. If you’re new to the Library building, you can take an online tour.

How to find books and academic journal articles

If you found it tricky to find the right materials last term, you can remind yourself of the Library’s search tools Enterprise and Summon via our playlists. Our playlists are all available on the University of Reading Library YouTube and will show you

  • how to search for books, journals and other materials
  • how to locate print books
  • how to borrow print books

Manage your references

When you’re planning assignments, keeping track of the books and articles that you read is really important and saves a lot of time when you’re writing your bibliography at the end of an essay. Making good notes about your references now can help you later on, so it’s a good habit to get into.

Look at the Referencing tab on your Subject Guide for guidance specific to your programme, or visit our Citing References Guide for information on when to reference, how to structure a reference and a bibliography. You’ll also find lots of helpful advice on reference management tools.

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian

At the University, there is a Librarian for each subject. They can help you with finding information and referencing. You can email any queries to your Librarian, or arrange a 1-1 appointment to discuss a specific question.

Find out who your Librarian is here:

If you are a new student, you’ll find all the information you need on our New Students Guide.

Kim Coles,
Academic Liaison Team Manager


New Year: have a plan

File, calendar, notebook with pencil and laptop graphic

A term in, it’s time to reflect on what has worked and what new strategies we need to try to keep on top of our studies. Study Advice have some videos to help you, a new webinar series and some top tips to starting the New Year on the right track.


Tip #1: Reflect on the last term
Regular reflective practice is an important part of doing well at university. It involves looking back on a recent period of study, evaluating your approaches, and setting yourself targets for further development. Before you start planning for the coming term, think back on how the term just gone went:
• What did you enjoy the most? Can you think of why you enjoyed it so much? Equally, what did you enjoy the least, and why?
• Was there anything you did particularly well at? What did you do that worked so well?
• Was there anything you could have done better? If you had to do something similar this term, how might you approach it differently?
• Did you get the support you needed last term? If not, do you know where to find it?
Tip #2: Make a plan
If you don’t have a study timetable, now’s the time to make one. Follow these 5 steps to make a workable weekly plan and ensure you keep on top of your studies this term:
1. Note down everything you need to complete each week. For instance: watching videos, attending seminars, working on assignments, and reading around your subject.
2. Allocate time. Work out how much time you have for each task each week. You should see studying as a full-time job, so aim to allocate 35-40 hours a week to studying.
3. Schedule in time. Using a weekly planner, add in your fixed appointments, then begin slotting in your other study activities. Use the times that you are motivated for study and mix up reading, writing, and listening tasks within a day.
4. Making it easy to stick to. Try to have a set routine, starting study at the same time each day, plan in regular breaks and move things around if your plan is not working for you.
5. Plan backwards from assignments. Give yourself weekly targets to work towards. Try using a termly planner and put it up near to where you study.
Tip #3: Read actively
It’s called ‘reading for a degree’ for a reason: no doubt you’ll be asked to read lots of articles, book chapters and other material to support your learning. But if you find that you read without knowing why you’re reading, you don’t think about what you’re reading or you fail to make connections along the way, then you’ve fallen into the trap of passive reading. Instead, consider why you’re reading, what question might it answer? And consider if you agree with what’s been said. How does it fit in with your course material and other ideas you have come across? In short: think more and read less.
Tip #4: Be more proactive
• Start working on your assignments sooner, even if it’s just setting up a way of organising your lecture notes according to which assignment they’ll be useful for.
• Make sure you’ve done enough preparation before going to your lectures. Give yourself enough time to engage with the required reading, screencasts, or other materials. Take active notes where you are not just summarising the content, but also processing your own thoughts, identifying key terms you don’t understand, and noting down your questions. Using your notes this way will help you participate in class more actively!
• Look for support sooner: don’t ever think you will be penalised or judged for needing support. Students succeed because they use the support available to them, not because they are ‘naturally’ good students.
For more
Watch our new short videos on Organising your studies and Reading academic texts; and see our Time Management Guide
Visit our Study Advice website for more resources, to book a 1-2-1 or attend a webinar this spring term. Our webinar on the 12th January is: ‘work smarter not harder’ and is essential if you want to use your study time more effectively.

Study Advice

Enterprise maintenance – Tuesday 14 December

There will be essential maintenance to Enterprise, the Library catalogue, taking place on Tuesday 14 December.  Some disruption to Off-site Store and Closed Access requests is possible throughout the morning.

We hope that the work will be completed by midday. If you experience any issues submitting your Off-site Store & Closed Access requests please try later in the day.

If you need an item from our Closed Access or Off-site Store Collections before the Christmas vacation please ensure that any requests are made by the times listed below:

  • Off-site Store –  Requests should be submitted no later than 8:30 on Thursday 16 December
  • Closed Access –  Requests must be submitted before 13:45 on Wednesday 22 December

Kind Regards,

Your Library Team

Disability and inclusion resource guide for UK Disability History Month

This UK Disability History Month, check out the Library’s guide to disability and inclusion-related topics.

Black text on a yellow blackground saying Disability history month, University of Reading.

The guide takes the same format as our other subject guides but focuses on materials from across our Library and Special Collections, as well as pointing you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.


Suggest more diverse library resources


Screen shot of our disability & inclusion resource guide

You can help us diversify Library collections further by suggesting books, DVDs, topics or authors for purchase in an area you feel is currently underrepresented. We’ll do the rest! Just complete our Diversify our collections suggestion form.

You can see Diversity fund titles purchased in current and previous academic years on our dedicated Library Diversity fund reading lists.

(If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.)

Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

Christmas Vacation – Library loans, opening hours and more

Close up image of the word Library as mounted on the library building cladding.









It’s been a busy Autumn term!  

The final week of term begins on Monday! We thought this would be a good time to share the Library vacation information with you, to help you get the most out of your Library through the break. 


Online help 

All our expert staff are available online to help and advise you through the vacation before, and after, the University closure period. Through this time, the following services will be available 

  • For advice on resources for all your course needs, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian, they can assist by helping you to make the most of the Library resources.  
  • Study Advice can help you develop your study skills through the online tutorials and bookable sessions on offer.   
  • The Research Engagement team are available to help support your research needs. If you require help with Open Access, research data management and other research related matters, visit their webpages for further support. 

Once we enter the University closure period, you will still be able to gain help and support through the range of training guides and videos that the teams have produced. 


Store and Closed Access requests 

If you need materials from the off-site Store or from our Closed Access shelves, please make sure you place your request in good time. The final dates of collection are as follows 

  • Store collections – Thursday 16 December. Requests for items should be submitted by 8:00, that morning so that they can be processed for retrieval.  
  • Closed Access collections – Wednesday 22 December. Please submit your request before 13:45 if you wish to consult a closed access item in advance of the closure period. 

We will resume Closed Access collections on Tuesday 4 January and from Store on Thursday 6 January. For more information, see Requesting items from Store and Closed Access. 


Vacation loans  

To ensure you have good access to resources over the break, vacation loan periods will apply as follows 

  • Items from our Short Loan/overnight loan collection borrowed on Friday 17 December will not need to be returned until Tuesday 4 January 2022, but they must be returned by 11:00 to avoid any charges.  
  • 7-day loans borrowed from Monday 20 December will not need to be returned until the end of the closure period (Tuesday 4 January 2022).  
  • Standard loans (3-week loans) will naturally issue over the break from Friday 3 December. Term loans will update on 2 December so that any items issued then will not be due until Tuesday 22 March 2022.  

Recalls will still apply until the University closure begins so, please remember to check your University email and return any recalls in good time.  


Vacation opening hours 

The Library will be open 24/6+ until Friday 10 December, when we will be closing at Midnight. This also signals the start of the weekend closure, and the start of vacation hours as follows 


From  To  Opening hours 
Saturday 11 December  Sunday 12 December  CLOSED 
Monday 13 December  Thursday 16 December  Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Friday 17 December    Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Saturday 18 December  Sunday 19 December   CLOSED 
Monday 20 December  Wednesday 22 December  Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Thursday 23 December    Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Friday 24 December  Monday 4 January  CLOSED 


Much of the University will be closed between Friday 24 December and Tuesday 4 January. On Tuesday 4 January, the Library will reopen as follows  


Tuesday 4 January                        Thursday 6 January                              Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Friday 7 January      Open 8:30 – 17:00 
Saturday 8 January      Open 8:30 – 19:00 
Sunday 9 January    Open 8:30 24/6+ resume. 


Further information on the Library opening hours, including the IT Service Desk can be found on the Opening hours webpage.  

If you have a general enquiry, please contact us ahead of the University closure dates by emailing or phone 0118 378 8770. 

Best wishes, 

Your Library Team 


Find information for your studies using your Library subject guide

Image of Students in the library cafe

Don’t forget that you can use your Library subject guide to find useful information in the Library and online. Now that you’re beginning to prepare or receive feedback on assignments, you might find that you need to find more information relevant to your subject – you’ve got access to loads of interesting books and journals through the University Library, and your subject guide can help you to find the most relevant places to start.

What is a subject guide?

Your Academic Liaison Librarian has created an online guide for your subject to show you how to access books, reference materials, journal articles, electronic resources (including e-journals, databases and multimedia resources) and other useful websites relating to your area of study.

To access the guide for your subject just click on the “Explore key resources in your subject” in the ‘Help for your subject’ section of the Library website homepage, or go directly to our list of subject guides.

A screenshot of the Library homepage, displaying the 'Explore key resources in your subject'

How do I use my subject guide?

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page:

A screenshot of the tabs at the top of a Library Subject Guide

  • Reading Lists – how to get started with your online reading list (if your course/module has one) and how to effectively manage your academic reading.
  • Dictionaries & encyclopedias – online dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as highlighting key print titles in the Library. It also links to e-resources such as Credo Reference, Oxford Reference and specific dictionaries for your subject. It is far more reliable to use these than to use Wikipedia for your work.
  • Books – tips on finding books using Enterprise and lists of Call Numbers for particular topics within your subject area. This section also showcases new books that have been purchased for your subject.
  • Journal articles – tips on finding journal articles on Summon and links to the key databases databases for finding journal articles in your subject area.
  • E-resources – lists key databases for your subject, as well as other useful resources such as multimedia resources, company financial databases, and online tutorials and guides to e-resources related to your subject.
  • Websites – a list of relevant websites that could be useful for your work. There are also hints on how to evaluate a website, so if you conduct an internet search you can be more confident you are using reliable information.
  • Citing references – points you in the right direction for getting help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. You’ll also find information on reference management software which can save you time collecting references and writing your bibliography.
  • Further sources – information on Special Collections which may be relevant to your subject, and obtaining other materials such as conference papers, theses, maps and newspapers.
  • Help – links to study guides, videos and help from the Study Advice Team, your Academic Liaison Librarian, and Digital Technology Services.

What if I need help using a database on my subject guide?

You can always contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for help selecting or using a database – from Enterprise and Summon to company information searches. You can email your Librarian to ask a question, or request an in-person or online appointment to discuss a question in depth. Every weekday between 1-2pm one of the team is available on the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library so you can drop in to ask a quick question too. We’re here to help, so if you’ve any question – big or small – get in touch!

Kim Coles,
Academic Liaison Team Manager

Reopening memberships for alumni, past staff and others

Good news! We are reopening memberships for the following groups:

  • Friends of the University
  • STC and Reading Enterprise Centre
  • Reading graduates
  • Retired University staff
  • Lord Zuckerman Research Centre & RSSL
  • Teachers at partnership schools.

The annual rate for membership for users with a connection to the University is £45 per year. For further information, visit our memberships page.

Membership includes:

  • full access during all building open hours
  • ability to borrow five Standard (3 week) loan items
  • up to five renewals (unless the item is recalled)
  • 24/7 access to your Library account.

If you come under one of the categories listed above and would like to become a Library member, visit us between 9:00 – 17:00 Monday to Thursday, or 10:00 – 17:00 on Friday. To get started, please visit the membership webpage for further information, including the application form and remember to bring a valid proof of your status when you come to complete your application.

We aren’t able to provide general external membership to others yet, but we are keeping this under review so please keep an eye on our website for more information.

If you need further information, get in touch with us in advance of your visit via email at


Your Library Team

Brush up your referencing with our enhanced guide

Someone studying at a desk with a laptop, book and notepageAre you unsure how or when to cite a reference? Don’t know which style to use? Or have you been marked down for your references?

Then take a look at our enhanced Citing references guide for help!

It includes:

  • Using quotes and paraphrases
  • How to write citations
  • An enhanced list of examples showing how to reference different types of publication. The examples are now in the widely used Harvard style detailed in ‘Cite Them Right’ book.
  • Info on different styles of referencing, including a new page listing the styles used in each School/Department and links to more specific guidance for each one.
  • Guidance on avoiding plagiarism
  • Using Turnitin to develop your referencing
  • An overview of tools you can use to manage references such as EndNote and Mendeley

Further support on referencing

Our Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisers can support you with referencing.

  • Librarians can help with writing references in the correct style and citing specific publications.
  • Study Advisers can support you with using references in your work including: using quotes and paraphrases; working with sources to support your arguments; and developing good academic practice to avoid plagiarism.

If you have a quick query then drop in to the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library Mon-Fri 1-2pm (term-time only).

For more in depth support make an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian or a Study Adviser.

Academic Liaison Librarians & Study Advice