Last call for Store and Closed Access requests!

Last collections before Christmas closure 

If you want items kept in areas not accessible to Library users or members of the public before Christmas make sure that you get your requests in on time!

  • Off-Site Store will need to be requested before 08:15 on Thursday 20 December.
  • Closed Access items will need to be requested before 10:30 on Friday 21 December.

Normal service will resume on Wednesday 2 January with the first Closed Access collection on that day and the first Store collection on Thursday 3 January.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to make Closed Access and Store requests, check out the ‘Requesting items from Store and Closed Access‘ information page.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Use other libraries with SCONUL Access scheme

Are you going home for the holidays but still want to get some research done? Or are you someone thinking of visiting our Library and want your own access card to make your visits here that much easier?

Then follow the instructions below to see if you could join the SCONUL scheme!

What is SCONUL?sconul logo

The SCONUL Access scheme is a reciprocal relationship between many university libraries across the UK and Ireland allowing members of the different institutions to make use of each other’s libraries.

What access can I get?

Depending on whether you are a full or part-time student, an undergraduate, postgraduate or staff member, you could be eligible for borrowing books or reference access to other SCONUL Access member libraries.

How do I apply?

Go to the SCONUL Access participating libraries page and select your status and home institution.  You will then see a list of all the libraries that you are eligible to use. Select the library that you wish to use and click on the ‘apply for access’ button and complete the online form.

You will receive an email authorizing your registration at all the libraries you are eligible to join.  Simply take your email and University Campus Card along to the Library you wish to access and you will be issued with your own access or library card.

Remember you only need to apply once – you can use the same email to join as many libraries as you want!

Note: Not all libraries are members of the scheme, and not all members of the scheme accept all types of users. Each library participating in SCONUL Access chooses which types of users to accept under the scheme. The SCONUL Access participating libraries page will only the display the ones you can use. If you are unsure please contact the Library.

Further information

If you are a current University of Reading student or staff member looking to use another institutions library please follow the link here.

If you are a member of another institution looking to use the University of Readings Library resources please follow the link here

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

Keep borrowing over the Christmas holidays!

University Library in snow with fir tree in foreground

The end of the Autumn term is rapidly approaching! Have you checked what our opening hours are over the Christmas vacation? Or do you know when your items have to be returned by over the University closure period?

Opening hours

Autumn term will end on Friday 14 December as the Christmas vacation begins the following day, Saturday 15 December. This means that the opening hours of both University Library buildings will change.

Please note that both Library buildings will be open on the weekends of 15/16 December, 22/23 December and 5/6 January but as self-service only.

The Library buildings will also be closed over the University Christmas closure between Monday 24 December and Tuesday 1 January.

Please see our opening hours page on our website for more information.


With textbooks in increasingly high demand even after the end of term, we’ve made sure our policy ensures fair access to all. It will be ‘business as usual’ with all loan periods remaining the same in vacation as all term. This means that items will not be issued to cover the whole Christmas vacation.

Just keep renewing your loans unless or until someone else recalls them … so keep checking your University account! You can even return loans by post if you prefer. If your account is blocked please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

This means you can place holds on books on loan in vacations. The threat of fines on non-returned books should help Library users return them for you!

What about Christmas holidays and Uni Closure?

We know the short Christmas break also spans public holidays and the Christmas University Closure period, so we’ve made special allowances. Any journals, 7-day loans or Course Collection items borrowed from Friday 14 December until the Christmas University Closure will be due back on Wednesday 2 January (by 11:00 for Course Collection items).  No items will be due back between Friday 21 December and Monday 1 January.

Happy holidays!

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services

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 to install a dedicated Library staff book lift beside the site of a new automated returned-book sorter. Find out more about the project on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator
and University Communications

Book Desktop EndNote training for easy referencing

There are spaces still available on the next beginner’s Desktop EndNote workshop for postgraduate students, researchers and staff.Student studying

Come along to learn how to use EndNote to…

  • store details of the books and articles you read
  • download references from databases such as the Web of Science
  • insert citations in your Word documents
  • build a bibliography in a style of your choosing at the click of a button

Workshop time

Wednesday 14 November, 14:00 – 16:00

Book your place

Book your place via the ‘Library course bookings’ link on the RISISweb portal. The bookings link is located in the ‘Actions’ tab if you’re a student.   If you’re a member of staff click on ‘Specialist Actions’ in the ‘Specialist Actions’ tab.

This workshop is part of the Student Training and Experience Programme (STEP) and counts towards the RED Award.

Unable to make this date?

Check the EndNote training webpage for other dates for this workshop and sources of help with using EndNote.

Sally Smith, Learning Support Co-ordinator

New resources from Digimap

We now have two new Digimap services available to University members: Marine Digimap and Global Digimap. These are in addition to Ordnance Survey, Historic, Geology, Environment and Aerial.

Marine Digimap

Marine Digimap is of two types: nautical charts derived from UK Hydrographic Office paper charts and chart panels; and Marine Themes data, which is a feature rich dataset derived from authoritative material obtained from the UK Hydrographic Office.  Both are available to download for use in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) or to produce printed maps.

Marine Roam

Marine Roam© British Crown and OceanWise, 2018.

Marine Roam can be customised and includes layers for:

  • Elevation
  • Shipwrecks and Obstructions
  • Industrial Facilities
  • Transport
  • Administrative and Management Units
  • Geographical Regions

Chart Roam enables you to view and print maps using Raster Charts at one of 11 predefined scales. Marine data is extensively used in offshore engineering projects, management of marine and coastal environments, marine ecology studies, environmental impact assessments and tourism.

Global Digimap

As its name suggests, Global Digimap goes beyond Great Britain, with world coverage derived primarily from OpenStreetMap data, and smaller scales from Natural Earth datasets.  The service is currently in Beta, and Edina would appreciate any feedback or ideas for new datasets.

Global Digimap

Global Digimap © OpenStreetMap contributors

OpenStreetMap data is created by volunteers surveying features on the ground or adding them from Aerial and Satellite imagery.  OpenStreetMap is open data and you are free to use it for any purpose as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors. However this does mean that the quality of data in OpenStreetMap is very variable, with some features and whole cities being present in very high levels of detail and accuracy and other features are not present at all.

Natural Earth data is created by a group of volunteers around the globe and is supported by the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). Natural Earth is open data and you are free to use it for any purpose.

There is more information about OSM and Natural Earth on Digimap’s help pages.

Global Digimap is available as both data download and Roam.

Judith Fox
Map Librarian/Digimap Site Representative

Library refurbishment: ground floor toilets.

From Monday 22 October 2018 the ground floor toilets in the Library will be fully open to the public.

Ground Floor

The toilets previously assigned as gender neutral will now be male only with a new set of female only toilets placed alongside.

A new gender neutral toilet will  be available for use with a planned baby change table to be installed at a later date. Finally, a new accessible toilet will be opened alongside the rest of our new facilities.

These facilities are located to the right as you enter the building.

Other Floors

Don’t forget that the existing gender neutral and accessible toilets on the 1st and 3rd floors of the Library are still available for use. Check floor plans in the Library or ask a member of staff to point you in the right direction.

More information

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

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services.


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 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

Longer borrowing on loans from Course Collection

man in foreground. Course Collection sign in background.

Since the start of the Autumn term in October 2018, our Course Collection loans have changed following your feedback! By simplifying and streamlining our borrowing arrangements we aim to get students borrowing more items for longer to give students more access to the books they need!

What has changed:

  • Now you can take out Course Collection items OVERNIGHT. So every day of the week, including weekends, any item taken out before midnight is due back by 11:00 the next day. (This is simpler and provides a longer loan period than previously when items could only be borrowed for up to six hours during the day.)
  • Now you can take out three items at once (instead of two, as previously).
  • To encourage borrowers to return loans for fellow students to use, we still charge for late returns, but have one simple fine: £3 per day, up to a maximum of £25.

More information

For more information please see Course Collection webpage.

Matthew Pearson, Library User Services.

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)

Finding your way beyond Welcome Week

Our finding your way sessions have now ended but there is still plenty of support available, online and in person, to help you make the most of the Library.


We’ll be posting ‘Finding Your Way’ tips each week throughout the autumn term on all our social media channels. These tips will highlight ways to make the most of the Library and all the services we offer. We’ve already posted about finding a book and placing a hold – head to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more information. Watch out for our new tip next week!

Who can you ask for help?

Liaison librarians

There is a dedicated liaison librarian for every subject at the University. Your liaison librarian can support your studies by:

showing you how to use information resources effectively – your librarian can offer training sessions for your School/Department and online library guides for your subject
showing you how to save time by making the most of all our Library services
giving you individual help with research – your librarian can offer in depth one-to-one help in finding information, including identifying the most relevant e-resources for you to use

Contact your subject liaison librarian to arrange a meeting.

Other help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help at an Information Desk! Go to the URS Ground Floor Information Desk for general enquiries. Go to the Library Building, 2nd or 3rd Floor Desks for help finding books.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest Library news, visit this Library blog and our social media channels.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian

The hold shelf has changed

The Hold Shelf has changed to make it easier for you to find your items. Holds are now organised by Call Number. To find your hold, go to the Hold Shelf in the Course Collection area in Library@URS and look for the Call Number. You can disregard any prefix to the Call Number as all sizes of books will be shelved together.

For information on how to place a hold, watch our short video.

Tips for finding your hold!

  • Not sure of the Call Number? It will be included at the bottom of the email you will receive when an item is ready for collection.
  • If there are multiple copies of the same book on the shelf, you will need to locate the copy with your User ID (on the bottom right of your campus card).
  • All items must be borrowed using the self-service machine before leaving the Course Collection area.
  • Remember you have 5 days to collect your available holds

Requested an item from Store or Closed Access?

Loanable items requested from Store or Closed Access will also be easier to locate, these items will be shelved in Call Number order in the new ‘Requests’ section of the Hold Shelf.

Call Numbers of all Store and Closed Access requests are included in the notification email which is sent when an item is available.

If you have any questions or need help finding your hold please come and ask us for assistance at the Information Desk in Library@URS.

Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian