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

Summer Library refurbishment and study arrangements

Artists impression og refurbished libraryHere’s how the University plans to support you during Library refurbishment works, which – dependent upon the formal appointment of a contractor – should take place over summer 2016.

At times there will be noise and access to some areas will be restricted in the Library between early July and the start of the autumn term 2016, as several large-scale construction tasks are planned. Works include removing stairs, punching holes in the basement for new lifts, refurbishing offices, constructing a small café extension and undertaking roof work.

Whilst the majority of undergraduate students will be away from Reading at this time, we are very aware of the possible impact of this on staff, taught postgraduates completing dissertations, PhD and other researchers, and any undergraduates working on dissertations.

Library business as usual

Be assured that the Library will maintain its usual summer vacation opening hours and all printed books/journals on Floors 2-4 will remain accessible. Library staff will still be on hand to help, including your Liaison Librarians, as will the Study Advice and Maths Support teams.

Alternative University study space

The University and the Library will continue to provide as much information as possible on proposed works and alternative arrangements during this time. We are currently exploring providing alternative study spaces, including some with PCs, and will update you as soon as any plan is complete.

In the meantime, check out University PC areas beyond the Library. Extra study space is also available at RUSU’s The Study, and unreserved teaching spaces can be booked via Room Bookings (rooms@reading.ac.uk).

Further information

The Library Refurbishment 2016-2019 webpage gives further information, including a proposed work schedule, frequently asked questions and links to the latest refurbishment news on the University Library News blog (where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users).

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Further Library refurbishment 2016-2019 approved

Architect's impression of Library building and landscaping

Architect’s impression showing the refurbished Library west front with enlarged café, new cladding and landscaping

A £40 million redevelopment and refurbishment of The University Library starting this June, has been approved by the University Council. This second phase of the complete modernisation and revamp of the Library will increase space for individual and group study, and will make better use of the space currently available on the Ground and 1st Floors. Work is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2019.

Significant improvements

Specific key areas of improvement will include 200 more study places and increased toilet capacity with toilets available on all floors, including disabled and gender neutral provision. Café space will be expanded, including opening glazed doors onto external al fresco areas. New lifts will be installed, and an improved system for borrowing and returning books will be put into place.

The redevelopment will provide better access and security as well as improving its energy efficiency, through improved insulation and ventilation. The exterior of the building will be totally re-clad and will have replacement windows fitted throughout, providing a striking focal point at the heart of the Whiteknights campus.

University investment rates Library highly

The University Council approved the £25 million building costs, with an additional £15 million costs of keeping the Library fully operational, contingency funding, VAT and project management. This comes after the first £4.4m phase revamped the study spaces and furniture on the 2nd to 5th Floors in 2013 and 2014. Planning permission was granted by Reading Borough Council last December.

Our Vice-Chancellor’s view

“The Library has always played a central role in our life and work, with its location at the very heart of the University’s Whiteknights campus,” says Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell. “We have invested £4.4m in the top four floors of the Library as a first phase of redevelopment and this major new investment of £40m will complete the project. We will combine traditional and crucial functions such as book and journal collections with group study facilities, great digital access and multi-purpose spaces. Our Library has never been a static, sepulchral space. It has continued to evolve over its 50 year history and as these excellent new facilities become available to students and staff.”

Keep calm, we’ll carry on!

The Library will remain fully operational to students across the entirety of the redevelopment. No building work will take place at all during exams. To minimise disruption for Library users, books held on floors being refurbished will be relocated elsewhere in the Library. Print journals will move off site, but as the majority of Library users access journal content online via the Library website, this should cause minimal inconvenience.

In addition, the University will provide alternative study space across the centre of the campus during exam and periods of high-demand – with details being confirmed in due course.

Further information

The Library Refurbishment 2016-2019 webpage gives further information, including a proposed work schedule, frequently asked questions and links to the latest refurbishment news on the University Library News blog (where day-to-day advice will be given to Library users).

A wider Campus Projects website is also in development, in which the Library redevelopment will be featured. Many other communication channels will also be used to help provide as much information as possible across the development of the project.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator