Summer reading, had me a blast – info tip

So the long vacation has finally arrived! If you want to take a break from studying, why not discover what else the Library has to offer over the summer?

Going exploring?

Pictures of maps pinned to a grey background

Whether you are venturing near or far you may find our collection of print and digital maps helpful. We have Ordnance Survey and road maps for much of the UK, as well as some tourist maps for Europe. The Maps Collection can be found of the 2nd Floor of the Library – for any help in finding or using the Maps Collection, have a look at our Maps guide.

a selection of language study books in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

If you are going abroad on holiday, why not have a look at our Language resources on the 3rd Floor to pick up some key phrases before you go. We have books on Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin and many other languages.


Holiday reading

Books standing on a bookshelf

Take a break from course reading and explore our selection of fiction – great for lazy days or long journeys. We have modern and classic novels waiting to be discovered on our catalogue. Or if you’d prefer to browse literature can be found on the 3rd floor at the following shelf-marks:

English fiction: 823; American fiction: 813; French fiction: 843; Spanish fiction: 863; Italian fiction: 853; German fiction: 833


A stack of CDsRoad Trip!

Explore our selection of CDs to get that perfect summer playlist. From Bach to The Beatles and Puccini to Public Enemy our collection has something for everyone. You can find music you love or discover something new on the 3rd Floor.



Learn something new…

Pictures of three books, one about learning acoustic guitar, one on film editing and the one about art.

The long vacation is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or develop a new interest. Have a look at our books on art, designfilm or music for inspiration.


Don’t forget that Library staff are around all summer for any questions or advice. You can contact us via email, phone or social media.


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

This tip was written by Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and MLES.

Preparing for refurbishment and landscaping

Revised silver & gold refurbished Library front

Revised impression of the refurbished University Library. The new entrance and café looks out onto pleasant landscaping.  Silver-grey cladding, with regency-gold coloured highlights, increases energy efficiency, weather proofing, and reduces solar glare to the front study spaces

In advance of the latest stage of the Library Refurbishment project later this summer, you may notice some small-scale preparatory work.

  • This week we tested the best method for replacing old windows in a small area of the 2nd Floor.
  • During the week beginning Monday 20 June,  external grounds works will remove trees and hedges in advance of construction. The area around the University Library will be re-landscaped once the project is nearing completion. Take a look at the latest architect’s drawing of how it will look then!

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator for 
Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager


We’ve gone red!

Our website has been transformed to a Reading red and now matches the rest of the University. There will be further changes later on in the summer when Study Advice and Maths Support are added to our website, so you can find all the study support information you need in one place.

library website


Our subject guides have also been updated following student feedback so that they should be easier to use. They now include information about online reading lists as well as finding books, journal articles, e-resources and websites relevant to your subject.

Biology libguide

We hope you like these changes, you can get in touch with us on Twitter if you have any feedback.


Rosie Higman, Library Web Assistant

Reading wherever you are: using Library resources from further afield – info tip

Are you away from Reading and the UK this summer? Maybe…

  • Spending a year abroad?
  • Going on industrial placement?

Don’t worry! You will still be able to access thousands of University of Reading Library resources from anywhere in the world – all you need is your University username and password and an internet connection. We have hundreds of thousands of e-books and e-journals for you to choose from.

Resources you can access wherever you are

You can still access most of the e-resources provided by the Library including…

  • The Library catalogue, Enterprise – search to find e-books. Simply conduct your search and then use the limit options on the left of the screen to select ‘Book’, followed by ‘Online’ to find e-books.


  • Search Summon, the Library’s discovery service, to find full-text journal articles, e-book chapters, online encyclopedia and dictionary entries and newspaper articles.
  • If you wish to widen your search to materials held elsewhere, you can search for journal articles and other materials using a database. Some databases contain the full-text of the item, while others provide a reference and maybe an abstract only. If only a reference is provided, you are usually able to check for full-text access via the Item Finder – just click on the blue “Search for item at Reading” link to find out if the Library has online access.
  • Online dictionaries and encyclopedias – these are a good place to start your research and are much more reliable sources of information than Wikipedia. They can be searched individually or through Summon.
  • Google Scholar – finds scholarly literature in all areas of research. Don’t forget to set it up so that it links to the University of Reading Library’s electronic journal holdings as this will increase the number of articles you can access!

How to access electronic resources from off-campus


If you follow links from the Library website, Enterprise, or Summon you will be given the easiest route to logging in when you are off-campus. Usually you will just be prompted to login with your University username and password. Occasionally, if you access an e-resource via a search engine, you may need to select ‘University of Reading’ from a list of institutions before you can login. To find out more, see Accessing e-resources.

Please note: These resources are for your personal use only (you should not use them on behalf of your placement company or your friends); for more details, see our terms and conditions of use for Library e-resources. A few databases are only accessible from the UK; consult your liaison librarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Studying a language abroad as part of your degree?

Find the Useful Websites page for the language you study. It will give you lists of, and links to, selected resources in your country of destination, such as library catalogues, listings of journals, access to the media, links to organisations and other useful tips.

Going on industrial placement in the UK?

If you go on an industrial placement in the UK as part of your course and there is another university library nearby, you may be able to borrow from there by registering via SCONUL Access.

Help in your subject

If you require further guidance about the e-resources available in your subject, remember to look at the relevant Library subject guide. You are also welcome to contact your subject liaison librarian for advice on locating resources; they are always happy to answer your email enquiries.

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 (History, GCMS and International Study and Language Institute).

Library website changes this summer

At the start of the summer vacation on Monday 13 June we will be making a number of changes to our website and systems.

We’re turning red!

The most obvious change will be in colour, our website and some of our systems will be going red to match the rest of the University.

New, improved online guides

New look LibGuide for agricultureYou will also notice a significant change in the colour and style of our guides hosted on the LibGuides service, as we move to a new version of the software.

At the same time all our subject guides have been revised to make them more attractive, easy to use, and focused on the information you need. Our popular citing references guide has been given a new layout to make it easier for you to find the guidance you require, whether it’s how to cite a specific type of publication, or general advice on avoiding plagiarism.

Over the course of the summer we’ll also be adding new guides, such as a general one on bibliographic management systems, and a suite of guides from our Study Advice Team.

The switch to the new software may mean that our guides will be unavailable for a few hours from late on the afternoon of Monday 13 June.

Study Advice and Maths Support integration

Later on this summer the Study Advice and Maths Support websites will become part of the Library website. This move will give them an up-to-date look, making it easier for you to find the skills guidance you need, and integrating them further with Library services.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Cafélibro summer opening 2016

CafeLibro logo reversed on window, red tree behindUntil the end of the Summer Term on Friday 10 June, CaféLibro is open:
Monday–Friday          08:00–23:00
Saturday 4 June         11:00–18:00
Sunday    5 June        11:00–18:00

During the Summer Vacation, hours will be:
Monday–Friday         08:30–16:00
Saturday & Sunday   Closed

See the Library website for general Library opening hours.

Alternative catering options

At CaféLibro, there are also self-service machines for snacks, and hot and cold drinks, and you can eat your own cold food here. (Hot food, including takeaways, are specifically excluded from the Library by Library rule 14).

Alternatively, check out University Catering’s other campus outlets.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator, for Martin Batt, Catering

15-19 August upgrade for Library systems server

Sam Tyler grins whilst holding travel mug up to the camera

Systems Manager, Sam Tyler, will be celebrating with a bevy in a branded Library travel mug once the new Library systems server is installed in August.

This summer the Library moves its Library Management System to a new server in order to gain a more robust system and less down time. However, please be aware that during our change-over week, 15-19 August, there may be some disruption to Library services.

If you plan to use the Library during this week, either in person or online, please check our University Library News blog nearer the time to see how the server upgrade could affect you. The Library will remain open throughout, as will most of our systems’ functionality.

We hope that you have a great summer and are looking forward to the new server as much as we are!

Rachel Redrup for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Secure Electronic Delivery from Inter-Library Loans is changing…

If you order articles via the Inter-Library Loans service you need to know that Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) is changing!

SEDs emailed to you direct from the British Library Document Supply service will be in a new, more flexible, format for requests submitted from 31 May 2016. The new format means:

  • You can download your article to multiple devices
  • Once downloaded you can save your article in multiple locations
  • There is no need to install additional plug ins to open your article – all you need is Adobe Reader!

student using e-resources

What do I need to do?

To access SEDs in the new format you must create an account with BL On Demandregister on their website. When you download your SED you’ll be prompted for your BL On Demand username and password, then the article is locked to your account. See the Inter-Library Loans webpages for more information.

If you placed your request before 31 May 2016 your SED will be delivered in the Fileopen format – see our instructions on how to download it

If you have any questions please contact the Inter-Library Loans team, either at the Ground Floor Information Desk or at

Getting help with your dissertation – info tip

NResearch materialso matter how many essays you’ve written, working on a dissertation or research project can be overwhelming. They can involve lots of new skills from deciding on research questions through to those tricky final citations.

Whatever stage you are at there is lots of help available from the Library and Study Advice team!

Starting out: Search strategies and finding information

It can be a little daunting starting such a big project so you might want to start with the Study Advice guide on planning your dissertation or their video on defining your research question.

Once you have sorted your research questions you will need to start researching your topic. Look at the Library subject guide for your department to find key databases in your area. There is also a guide to doing a literature search, the LibLearn course on Blackboard, or you could watch our videos if you would like a break from reading!

If you are struggling to find the information that you need then you can contact the Liaison Librarian for your subject.

railroad tracksStaying on track

Once you have started your research the Study Advice team have some resources to help you keep going. If you are trying to tackle the literature you have found it might be a good idea to watch their videos on reading academic texts and critical notetaking.

With large projects like dissertations it is easy to feel like you have lots of time left only to find the deadline creeping up on you. When you are trying to balance your dissertation with lectures, other coursework and revision it is easy to fall behind so take a look at the Study Advice video on managing your time to get some tips.

Dissertations and research projects can also be harder to structure than a normal essay due to their size, this Study Advice video on structuring your dissertation has some helpful suggestions to get you started.

Writing up and referencing

When you have a structure in place you will be ready to start writing up, if this seems a little overwhelming take a look at the Study Advice guide to writing up your dissertation.

Woman using MacBook


As it is a longer piece of writing than you are likely to have written before it is a good idea not to leave your referencing until the last minute, you do not want to lose precious marks because you ran out of time to format your bibliography! Luckily there is a way you can speed this process up; EndNote Web is a reference manager which can store details of what you have read, insert references into Word and automatically format your bibliography. There is a detailed guide on the Library website to get you started.

If you choose to insert your citations manually and are not sure how to reference a particular resource or would like a refresher there is lots of guidance on the Citing References guide.

Further Help

If you would like more information you can contact your Liaison Librarian or the Study Advice team.

Good luck with your research!

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

This tip was written by Rosie Higman, Liaison Librarian for Chemistry and Pharmacy.

Summer vacation loans! Get them while they’re hot!

University Library in summerFrom Thursday 2 June to Monday 5 September the standard loan period for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students is extended until Tuesday 27 September or the end of your course, whichever is earlier.

All other loan periods and fines for late return remain the same! So please take care when borrowing 7-day loans, Course Collection items and journals! Standard loan periods for other Library borrowers remain unchanged.


  • Standard loans – yours all summer if you are an undergraduate or Masters student!
  • 7-day loans –  keep renewing. If it cannot be renewed, be prepared to post it back to us.
  • Fines on your account – pay online or call us, there is no minimum amount to a credit card payment now!

Joe Veale, Library User Services