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


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.

Come to a workshop

Like a tour but better! Our interactive workshops run throughout Welcome Week and Week 1. Find out how to search the catalogue, find books in the Library and borrow them. Each workshop lasts around 50 minutes, 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.

student using e-resourcesExplore your Library 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 ‘your’ subject floor to find resources for your subject – pick up a guide to your subject there; discover your favourite study areas (we’ve silent, quiet and group spaces); and pick-up a freebie from one of our information suppliers.
  • Tweet a Library selfie to @UniRdg_Library with the hashtag #UoRLib to tell us what you think. The best three will win a goodie bag prize.
  • Meet Study Advice and Maths Support on the 1st Floor – pick up a free planner to organise your new university life!

Visit us in the Marquee

On Tuesday 20 September, Library staff and the Study Advice Team will be in the Marquee for academic sucess 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 1-1 help with study skills contact the Study Advice Team.

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.

‘Explore your Library’ and win a selfie prize!

studentsongroundfloorNew to Reading? Why not explore your new University Library this Welcome Week – 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 ‘your’ subject floor to find resources for your subject – pick up a guide to your subject there; discover your favourite study areas (we’ve silent, quiet and group spaces); and pick-up a freebie from one of our information suppliers.
  • Tweet a Library selfie to @UniRdg_Library with the hashtag #UoRLib to tell us what you think. The best three will win a goodie bag prize.
  • Meet Study Advice and Maths Support on the 1st Floor – pick up a free planner to organise your new university life!
  • Use RISIS to book aFinding your way in the Library’ workshop in Welcome Week or Week 1 to learn how to use the catalogue to locate your books in this large library.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Adjusting to study in UK higher education: Info tip

international graduatesFor international students, preparing for success in UK study means more than just learning the language. You will have many questions about the culture and expectations of universities in the UK which can be quite different to what you have been used to. Even if you’ve been successful when studying in your home country, you will need to develop and adapt the way you study to succeed in the UK. We have plenty of suggestions that can help – and you can always get in touch with the Study Advice team or your subject Liaison Librarian if you have more questions.

Understanding university study in the UK

The University Study Advisers have developed a guide to help those moving up to higher education in the UK to understand what is expected through exercises and tips. This is one of a whole series of study guides and video tutorials to help you develop the skills you will need for study success, including dedicated advice on assessment by examination in UK Higher Education and guidance on academic writing. You may find the Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester) helpful when starting out with your academic writing.

Other useful guides include UKCISA’s study tips and the Prepare for Success website (University of Southampton).

Developing effective practices for UK study

There are various books in the Library written for students on developing your study skills. Many can be found on the 4th Floor with classification numbers beginning 378. Why not have a look on the shelves to see what is available? Or search the online Library catalogue, Enterprise for “study skills”.

You may find referencing and citation practices in the UK are quite different to those you have been used to. See our Citing References guide for tips on how and when to use references correctly in your writing.

To make the most of the Library, check out the following guides:

Building your cultural and language knowledge

student reading newspaperA good way to practise your language skills and, at the same time, learn something about UK culture is to read newspapers. The Library subscribes to a number of newspapers in print and online. Local newspapers for Reading are the Reading Post and the Reading Chronicle.

The Library has many resources that can help you to build your language skills, including books to help with IELTS (International English Language Test Score) and language dictionaries. These can be found on the 3rd Floor. While you’re there, you might also borrow a novel to practise your reading for pleasure, or a film on DVD to help your listening skills. Alternatively, you may prefer to improve your English language skills by using the Teaching Practice Collection on the 3rd Floor of the Library which includes an extensive collection of children’s literature in English, both fiction and non-fiction.

A useful online resource for developing your English language is Learn English (British Council). You may also find the English for Uni website helpful. This aims to make difficult grammar and academic writing concepts easier to understand.

There is also general information for International students at the University, including links to advice on visas, accommodation and budgeting.

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Charlie Carpenter, ISLI Liaison Librarian/International Student Support Coordinator.

Cambridge Core: new, central CUP online service

Computer keyboardCambridge University Press have now launched their new platform, Cambridge Core, the new, single location for users to access all CUP content – it replaces their previous books and journals platforms, including:

  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • Cambridge Books Online
  • Cambridge Companions Online
  • Cambridge Histories Online
  • Shakespeare Survey Online
  • University Publishing Online

Our database a-z list should also be updated to reflect the change from next week.

Use institutional login off-campus

Re-directs to the new site are working fine for on-campus users, but currently causing some problems for off-campus users, who will need to authenticate via the institutional login. We will let you know when we have further news.

  • After clicking a link to the title, enter your University login and password for the single sign on and you will be directed to the article/eBook record on Cambridge Core.
  • ‘Get access’ will be displayed to the right of the cover image – this indicates you are not yet recognised by the site as a University of Reading user.
  • Click ‘institutional login’ in top right-hand corner.

Screen shot of Cambridge Core e-resource showing access button at top right

  • Select ‘University of Reading’ from the list of institutions – using the keyword search at the bottom should help.
  • You should then be presented with your article/eBook webpage once more – this time showing a green tick and the word ‘access’ to the right of the cover image, and a pop-up box should confirm ‘you are successfully logged in via your institutional account’.

Cambridge Core screen shot showing green tick against word Acess

  • As long as you do not close your browser and end your user session, you should be able to browse the site and access any content subscribed to by the Library, or make a new Enterprise/Summon search and access the site without needing to authenticate again.

Any problems, please contact us via our E-resources Problem Report Form or email

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Library Refurbishment: works over next two weeks

We’re approaching the halfway point for early works now, continuing to build towards the demolition of the glass-fronted staircase. Work over the next two weeks will largely focus on finishing off the internal hoardings and continued activity around the glass-fronted staircase.

Main works proposed up to Sunday 18 September 2016:

  • Internal hoardings on the Ground, 1st, 3rd and 5th Floors should be completed, with doors added for construction workers to access work areas. It goes without saying that these areas are strictly off limits to Library users, so please keep out!
  • Work around the glass-fronted staircase will continue from the Basement all the way up to the 2nd Floor.
  • The 2nd Floor is expected to reopen for full use during the week beginning Monday 12 September (date subject to change), including the group study area.
  • Once the 2nd Floor has reopened the 4th Floor will undergo the same programme of works that were recently carried out on the 2nd floor. As a result the 4th Floor will be closed temporarily. If you were looking to use the group study area on the 4th Floor, please use the space available on the 2nd Floor instead.
  • Outside, hoarding will be set up around the bike shed area so that ground works can begin.

Additional details can be found in a floor-by-floor plan. In addition, our contractors ISG have prepared a helpful news bulletin tracking progress over the past month.

As usual, the noisiest sections of work will be carried out up until 10:00am.

Please contact Robin Hunter if you have any queries. Additional information about the Library refurbishment can be found at

Library open this Saturday 10 September

The Library is open this Saturday 10 September!Girl reading

Working on your dissertation? Busy in the week? Make use of the Library this Saturday – it will be the last of our three Summer Vacation Saturdays. Our Autumn Term opening hours begin on Saturday 24 September when we will be open 08:30-21:00.

Check full Library opening hours for more details.

Natalie Guest, Document Delivery Co-ordinator

Broaden your horizons: learn a language – info tip

Students learning languagesWhether you’re a new or an existing student, why not learn a language in the new academic year? The Library holds a variety of resources to help you learn languages, no matter what your level or preferred mode of study may be.

Choose your language

The Library’s language learning resources cover the six languages taught to degree level: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek; and the additional languages taught within the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP): Portuguese, Modern Greek, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. Some textbooks or dictionaries for learning other languages, including English as a foreign language, are also in stock.

Choose how to study

There is a range of material in each language to choose from:

If you want to learn a language by yourself, there are various resources for self-instruction, such as workbooks, CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs.

If you are attending language classes, perhaps with the IWLP, then there are textbooks, grammars, dictionaries and easy readers which may be a helpful supplement to your course textbook.

Male student reading italian textBeyond the language

Of course, learning a new language also involves finding out about a different country, its society and culture. The Library holds numerous books encompassing the history of many different countries, as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish literature in the original language.

If reading the history and literature of a particular country is a bit too much like hard-work, then why not watch a film from that country? The Library holds many films on DVD, with a large number in languages other than English.

Where in the Library?

The language learning resources in the Library are located on the 3rd Floor (Arts and Humanities) in the 400 call-number book sections. Remember to look in both the normal size and folio size sections. You may find some language learning resources in the Teaching Practice Collection, which is also on the 3rd Floor. Although primarily aimed at trainee teachers, this collection includes children’s literature in English, which may be used to improve English language skills.

For literature and films on DVD, the 3rd Floor is your destination once again – films at call-number 791.437, while literature is located in the 800 call-numbers. Books on the history of various countries are located on the 4th Floor.

Other language learning resources in the University

The Self-Access Centre for Language Learning (SACLL), located in HumSS 230, is a specialist language learning facility, open to international students and the wider University community. The centre includes a wide range of materials for students learning English and foreign languages, including books and DVDs. There are also computers available for students to use, some with useful online language materials.

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

This tip was written by Charlie Carpenter, Liaison Librarian for the International Study and Language Institute.

Digimap access fixed!

Recent problems logging into the Screenshot from Geology DigimapDigimap service have now been fixed. However, changes made to the way your Digimap account is managed mean that unfortunately any saved maps or annotations you created between the 26th July and the 23rd August 2016 will have been removed from your account.  Any maps or saved annotations from before the 26th of July will have been reinstated to your account.

If you require access to any saved maps or annotations that you made in the last month that are not now in your account and that you cannot easily recreate, please get in touch with Digimap support at Edina as soon as possible.

Judith Fox, Map Librarian

Summon – new and improved!

Our Summon Discovery Service has been upgraded, resulting in an improved interface and some new features. Summon allows you to search across the Library’s online collections of journal articles, book chapters, and other publication types. Search it via the Summon search box on the Library homepage.

Summon search results

Results display

  • To see a summary of each item click on the ‘Preview’ link. This will display the abstract, subject keywords and other details of the item in the body of your results, instead of in the right-hand panel.
  • You can cite, email or export details of individual items. This is in addition to being able to add items to your ‘Saved items’ folder to cite, email or export details for multiple references.
  • Definitions from reliable sources, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, will appear in the right-hand pane. Along with suggested searches you might wish to try.
  • Displays of citation counts from the Web of Science/Scopus and social media interaction indicators from Altmetric have been improved. Use these to help you judge the impact of an item.

Refine options improved

  • It is now possible to exclude items using the refine options on the left of the screen. Just hover over one of the refine options and click on the red cross that appears. This will exclude items in that category from your results. This is in addition to being able to click on an option, to just look at items in that category.
  • Publication date limits have also been improved. Some pre-set options are available, enabling you to easily limit your results to items published in the last 12 months, 3 years, or 5 years. Alernatively, you can use the date slider to select your own custom date range.


We hope you find these new features useful. If you have any comments about Summon, please contact Jackie Skinner.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Library Refurbishment: late August / early September

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

Construction work at the Library will continue over the next few weeks, with major tasks focusing on the completion of hoardings and preparations for the demolition of the glassed-in staircase near CaféLibro. Main works proposed up to Sunday 11 September 2016 are:

  • Works will continue in the entrance hall on the Ground Floor, producing a noticeable difference in layout, as hoarding will continue to be erected around some of the pillars and the glass enclosed stairs. The aim is to substantially complete the temporary walls by the 2 September. The IT and Library catalogue PCs have relocated under the main stairs opposite.
  • The set-up of internal hoarding-walls on upper floors (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Floors) will be completed and decorated.
  • On the 2nd Floor, a steel frame will hold a temporary wall by the tall columns near the Information Desk in the group study area. We hope to reopen the 2nd Floor Group Study Area by Friday 2 September. If you wish to use a group study space in the meantime, please use the 4th or Ground Floors instead.
  • Once the 2nd Floor reopens, the 4th Floor Group Study area will be taken out of action and works carried out as on the 2nd Floor. During the 4th Floor closure, please use the reopened Group Study Areas on the 2nd and Ground Floors.
  • Outside the Library, hoardings will be set-up around the new cycle shed area so that ground works can begin. Foundations and ground works will continue around the grass area behind the Library to allow for site offices to be delivered. In addition, a new bin store will be built near to the Chaplaincy.
  • Don’t forget that CaféLibro will remain open for business as usual!

Find more detail in the late August / Early September floor-by-floor outline of works.  Progress over the past month is tracked in our contractor ISG’s helpful August news bulletin, University of Reading Library Refurbishment.

We remind both students and staff not to enter areas cordoned off for work, such as the 2nd Floor group study area for their own safety.

The noisiest phases of work will be carried out each morning up until 10:00.

If you have any queries about the works taking place, please contact Robin Hunter. Additional information about the Library refurbishment can be found at

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
with UoR Communications

Systems upgrade – just online inter-library loan requests to fix

Computer keyboardWe’ve made more progress with fixing the few remaining issues with the systems upgrade, and it is now possible to login to your online account to view your loans, renew them and place holds.

However, we are still experiencing problems with online inter-library loan requests. If you are a member of staff or a research postgraduate, and you would usually complete an online form to place your request, please print and complete this form and drop it into the Ground Floor Information Desk in the Library. There’s no need to attach a voucher, as we will arrange for payment to be taken from your Department’s inter-library loan account.

Apologies for the inconvenience this will cause.

Jackie Skinner, for Sam Tyler, Systems Manager