Restricted entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom Thursday 31 March until Friday 10 June, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders overnight and all weekend (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00).  This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

We operate a ‘no card, no access policy’ and reserve the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

HOW TO GET IN – CARD-HOLDERS

University of Reading Campus Card-holders and Library Card holders are welcome at all times. However, during restricted times, the revolving door will be locked, so please enter by the right-hand Library door.

  • University members gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Library Card holders must show their card to staff to gain entry. Please knock for attention if staff are not right beside the door.

RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS

Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekdays 08:00–17:00, 31 March -10 June 2016. Regrettably, they may not use study spaces here as these are required by our own students revising for exams. Visitors are encouraged to look to their own school, college or public library for study space.

As always, our policy is that children in the Library must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We apologise to visitors unable to use CaféLibro during restricted periods. Please try another outlet on campus or at Christchurch Green.

CAMPUS CARD FAULTY?

Should your University Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader, please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email cardfinance@reading.ac.uk.

Alternative UoR Study space

Remember that UoR students can also use alternative study space provided by the University during exam-revision time across campus.

 Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

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

Develop your research skills – info tip

Research materialsIf you are a postgraduate student carrying out research there are a variety of resources and services available from the Library to help you.

In addition to the suggestions below, don’t forget that your Department or School has a designated subject liaison librarian, who is happy to offer you further advice about locating information for your research.

Suggested resources

Subject databases

The best way to find articles published on your dissertation or thesis topic is to search subject databases in your subject area. These will give you references to journal articles and other published materials.

Online journals

Use Enterprise, the Library catalogue, to see what online journals we have access to. Remember to search for the journal title, not the article title. Enterprise lists the online versions of journals separately from the print versions, so look for the words [electronic resource] after the journal title. Limit your search results to e-journals by selecting “Online” access and “Journal” format.

If you are using subject databases that display the Search for item at Reading button button, use this to see if we have access to the journal in question. If conference papers are commonly used in your field then you might like to look at our finding conference papers guide.

Theses

Use Enterprise to find Reading PhD and MPhil theses related to your subject. Theses are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store (see below). To locate relevant theses written at other institutions use the sources recommended in our Finding theses guide. The British Library’s EThOS service is free and enables you to download digital theses held on their system and order paper theses for digitisation.

Closed Access and Off-site store

Material which is rarely used and University of Reading theses are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store. These items have a note in Enterprise saying ‘In Closed Access – available on request’ or ‘Off-site Store – available on request’. To request these items use the ‘Request Item from Closed Access / Off-site Store’ link in its Enterprise record and complete the online form. Your items will be collected for you by Library staff and you will receive an email notification when the items are ready for collection. For more information see Requesting items from closed access collections using Enterprise.

Keep up-to-date

You can keep up-to-date with published information in your subject by setting up current awareness alerts from major databases. For help setting these up see the keeping up-to-date guide.

For items not held at Reading…

The Inter-library loans service enables you to access journal articles and borrow books that we don’t have in our library stock.

Other libraries

If you wish to use another library, University staff and students can access most Higher Education libraries in the UK and Ireland via the SCONUL Access scheme. This free scheme allows all students reference only access. Taught postgraduates and research postgraduates may also be able to borrow items. To use the scheme, register on the SCONUL Access website.

Further help

Our dedicated page for researchers gives links to many of the most important sources of information. Alternatively contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help advise you about sources for your research.

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.
This tip was written by Melvin Morbey, Research Support Co-ordinator and Liaison Librarian.

Count on Statistics! – info tip

You’ve come up with a great argument for your essay, but how do you prove it one way or the other? Well one way is by using statistical evidence to support your position, and it might just get you a few extra marks as well.

What statistical sources are available?

Pie chart showing energy sourcesThe Library can provide you with access to a wealth of statistics covering a wide range of countries and subjects.

The best sources of current statistics are online. For help on where to start looking go to the detailed guide to finding statistics.

A host of British statistics, covering agriculture, the environment, business, economic indicators, law, health, population and education, are freely available via the Office for National Statistics or as part of the Census data.

European statistics covering many of the same areas as the British statistics are available via the Eurostat service.

Comparative international statistics are produced by a number of bodies, the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank amongst others, and many of these are available via the UK Data Service (don’t let the name fool you). You do have to register separately with this provider but it is free.

If statistics are particularly relevant to your subject area, your liaison librarian may have written a guide to statistical sources in your subject – check for one for your subject.

Some historical statistics are available online but you may also find what you are looking for amongst our books and periodicals. Search the Enterprise catalogue and include the words ‘statistics’ with the subject of your choice. Try not to be too specific – a more general search will produce better results.

Need further help?

If you need further help contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help!

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

This tip was written by Gordon Connell, Liaison Team Managers for Business & Social Sciences.

Easter borrowing is business as usual!

Easter chicksRevising this Easter vacation? Well, it’s not all bad! The Library has made getting those crucial textbooks even easier for you. To ensure Library stock is shared equally over the Easter vacation, all loan periods will remain exactly the same. If you need a book that’s on loan, place a hold and we’ll email you when it’s ready to collect.

It’s easy to keep your loans for longer too – renew your items online or contact us at the Library. Your loans may be recalled and if that happens we’ll email you… so keep checking your University account! If you need to return an item but are away on vacation, you can post your items back to us.

Want to visit the Library?  The Library will close for the Easter vacation at midnight on Thursday 24th March and will re-open at 08:30 on Thursday 31st March. Check out our opening hours page for more information.

Happy holidays!

Joe Veale, Library User Services

 

 

 

 

 

No minimum spend for card payments

CreditCardFrom now on there is no minimum amount when paying by Credit/Debit card at the Library – you can pay for your inter-library loans, fines and book sale items no matter the cost. Minimum fuss, maximum convenience!

Natalie Guest, Document Delivery Coordinator

Our recycling’s rubbish at exam-time!

Grey display boards with posters, black sacks and post-box with big eyes on it advertising how to improve recycling efforts.Recently we held an exhibition to show how Library users can help fix an environmental problem in the Library. Statistics show that during busy periods, including exam-time, waste tonnage collected in the Library goes up but the percentage of recycling goes down. This is most obvious in the Group Study Areas of the 2nd and 4th Floors.

Graph showing recycling levels dip and waste rise at exam time

What can we do?

  1. Please take a moment to be more environmentally friendly by:
    • putting used coffee cups in the waste bin! If our recycling company sees bin bags contaminated with used cups or drink dregs, they won’t take it – and the whole bag goes to landfill. Many people are unaware of this and would help if they understood.
    • put recycling in the right bin. (The exhibition tells you more about which paper,  metal and plastics we recycle here).
  2. Look out soon for our ‘roving slop bin‘, on test for University Estates & Facilities, coming to various parts of the Library soon. Is this bin type the solution to the problem of where to dispose of unfinished drinks before we bin the container? Let us know what you think below, or post your comments in the Sustainability Team Green Box(check out those googlie eyes!) beside the exhibition.

More information

For more news about this project, please contact the Library’s Environmental Champion, Sam Tyler.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

 

 

Planning your revision – info tip

Easter’s coming up fast, and you’re probably still completing assignments for the end of term. Exams might still seem a long way off now but they’ll be here before you know it. It’s a good time to start thinking about your revision – and the Library and Study Advice are here to help.

 

Working out a schedulefree year planners
It’s important to have a plan, to make sure you have time to cover all the topics you need to. Avoid making your revision plan too detailed and prescriptive though – you will need to build in time for relaxation, exercise – and the unexpected!

See our Study Guide on Planning your revision for more on how to work out your schedule. And why not pick up a free year planner from the Study Advice office – perfect for making your revision plan!

 

Finding materials for revision
You will probably start by reading through your lecture notes, and then looking at texts on your reading list. The Library has guidance on finding different types of publication as well as videos that will help you to get the most out of the Library.

You should also check the subject resources and guidance for information resources in your topic – much more reliable than ‘just Googling it’. And remember that, whether you’re revising on or off campus, our ebooks and ejournals are accessible 24/7.

 

Where will you revise?
The Library is many students’ first choice of location for revision. We have dedicated group, quiet and silent study areas so whether you want to work alone or with a group of friends, there will be a suitable place for you. However, the Library can get busy in exam period. So for alternative places to revise on campus, check the list of study spaces.sleeping student

Wherever you revise, remember to take breaks. We may be open 24 hours but that doesn’t mean you have to work through the night – your brain needs rest and time for processing information.

 

Making your revision effective
If you can find six minutes in your busy schedule, you can watch our video tutorial on Effective revision – and save yourself a lot of wasted time. We also have a Study Guide on revision and memory techniques. If you’re taking exams in the UK for the first time, have a look at our information on assessment by examination in UK higher education to give you a clearer idea of how they may differ from what you have done in the past.

Remember that the purpose of revision is not to memorise everything you can find about the subject, but to prepare yourself to answer exam questions. Check the Past Paper archive on the Exams Office website to find examples of questions for your modules which you can use to write practice answers – to time and by hand, ideally. And have a look at our video tutorials on exams for guidance on the best way to prepare for different kinds of exams.

 

Where to get more help
If you have any questions about revising or taking exams at university, make an appointment to meet with a Study Adviser – they can give you friendly, expert advice.

 

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Michelle Reid and Sonia Hood (Study Advice team).

Restored! Off-campus access to Web of Science and EndNote Web

We are pleased to say that the problems with off-campus access to Web of Science and EndNote Web have been resolved and you should be able to login to both as normal. If you experience difficulties accessing any of our resources please fill in the E-resources problem report form.

Apologies for the inconvenience this has caused.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager