Paying Library fines – Campus Card portal upgraded

It is now possible to pay Library fines using the upgraded Campus Card portal.

Following the upgrade some users may need to delete their internet cache before they can access the new mobile friendly site.  So remember clear your cache to pay your cash!

Fines can also be paid:

  • at the Library building Self-Service Point fines payment machine (up to £12)
  • at the URS building Information Desk
  • by ringing us on 0118 378 8770 with a credit/debit card.

Rebecca Ashley, Library User Services
for Nathan Harvey, Campus Card Systems Manager

We can help you keep your New Year resolutions – info tip

Ahhh, it’s New Year, when so many of us wake up and resolve never to do *that* again… But it’s also a chance to look back over the year, and think about what we could be doing differently. If you’re resolving to change your ways this year, the Library and Study Advice can help!

Making this year the year you meet new people?

Maybe you’ve decided you really ought to meet some actual real life people and not just their avatars? You could start with your friendly, professional Liaison Librarians. They can help you with finding resources, using referencing software, e-resources and any other library queries. Find their details on the Liaison Librarians page, and maybe book a meeting. Get to know the experts and what they can do to help you study more successfully and more effectively.

Resolving to spend less time studying?

If you feel like you’re spending all your time studying, you may need to think about how you can make sure you’re using your time most efficiently. Study Advice have a guide to managing your time with suggestions and strategies to make more hours in your day. Two things that often eat up your time are reading and note-taking – see if our strategies can help you conquer these time-eating monsters! Finally, we have some new video tutorials on various time management topics, including overcoming procrastination – and they’ll only take up a few minutes of your precious time.

pile of booksWant to get on top of your references?

Making sure your referencing is correct can be confusing, so if you’ve resolved to get on top of this have a look at our comprehensive guide on citing references. It has all the information you need to understand what to do and when to do it. It might also be a good time to set up a reference management program to keep track of all of your references in the future. We offer support, guides and training on EndNote, but do be aware that there are other programs you can use.

Or make sure you prepare for exams in good time?

Resolved to be more prepared for exams this year? Start by looking at the tips in the Study Advice Preparing for Exams guide on planning your revision. Get started now, and you could be the most relaxed person in the exam room! It’s also a good time to sit back and watch our brief video showing you how to place a hold on a Library book. Be the person who knows how to get their hands on the revision reading they need when they need it…

Do you want to boost your marks this year?

If 2018 is the year you’re going to get that 2.1, or that First, or another First (but this time knowing why you got it), you’ll probably find it helpful to book a one-to-one chat with a Study Adviser. We can look at how you’re studying and suggest ways to develop your skills, or go through your feedback with you to see what you might need to focus on. Or you could have a look at the Study Advice guides and video tutorials – 24/7 advice for successful studying! And while you’re getting to know us, check out how to find the Liaison Librarian for your subject; they can help you find the best resources for studying in your subject area.

And finally, if you want to make sure you stay well-informed?

Did you miss our study seminar on writing an excellent essay? Wondering why people are talking about Hodor the Duck? A good way to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the Library and Study Advice is to follow us on social media. You can find Study Advice on Twitter at @UniRdg_Study, and the Library at @UniRdg_Library. The Library is also on Facebook at /universityofreadinglibrary and Instagram at @unirdg_library.

happynewyearSo, no excuses to miss all the good things coming your way in 2018. Happy New Year from all of us to all of you!


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 Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian.


Problems downloading on Sage journals platform

Open laptop with notepadWe are currently experiencing intermittent problems when downloading PDF files from the Sage journals platform.

When attempting to download an article you may be presented with a ‘Failed to load PDF document error’.


This problem is intermittent, so even if you use the Sage journals platform regularly you may not come across this error. However, if you do, please follow the below steps:

-If you are on-campus, please use the databases a-z on-campus link to Sage journals. Then make a search for the article you require, and you should be able to download it with no issues.

-If you are off-campus, please use this link to Sage journals then click ‘Institution’ then ‘Shibboleth’ in the top right corner.

Then select ‘United Kingdom – UK Federation’ and then ‘University of Reading’ from the list. You should then be prompted to login with your University username and password.

If you have any problems with the workaround above, or any other problems with electronic resources, please submit an e-resources problem report form for help.

Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Lucy Ardill, E-resources Team

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – info tip

‘Tis the season to be jolly and with over 600 festive-themed items the Library has lots of great resources on hand to add a bit of Christmas cheer to your holiday.  So take a break from the text-books and journal articles and see what else the Library has to offer!


Christmas favourites (for kids of all ages!)

classics xmas

The Night Before Christmas – C. C. Moore (1985); A Christmas Carol – C. Dickens (1983); The Snowman –R. Briggs(1987)

Why not enjoy a little bit of festive nostalgia or introduce these Christmas classics to a new generation? If you’d rather try something new, there are many fun and beautifully illustrated options in our Teaching Practice collection too.

These books are designed for Education students to use in schools, but can be borrowed by all to enjoy over the break!






crafts xmas

The Christmas Craft Book – T. Berger(1990) and Christmas Crafts – H. Devonshire, J. Lancaster, L. Wright (1990)

Getting crafty!

If you enjoy being creative or need a last minute gift, you might get some fun ideas from our Christmas crafts books!  There are some lovely ideas for lanterns, candle holders and of course, that perfect accessory for any student or bookworm, bookmarks!







A (not quite) silent night

cds for xmas

CDs: Christmas Music (2003) and Christmas Around Europe (2002)

If your eyes are weary from all of your course reading, maybe some peaceful seasonal music will help your holiday spirit.  The Library has classical Christmas CDs that are perfect for relaxing after a busy day of festive fun.






Christmas adaptations

The Highway Rat – J. Donaldson/A. Scheffler (2011), A Christmas Carol – C. Dickens (1983), Little Women – L.M. Alcott (1953), Ratburger and Grandpa’s Great Escape – both D. Walliams (2012, 2015).


From classics such as A Christmas Carol and Little Women to new children’s books like the Highway Rat and Grandpa’s Great Escape, this year’s Christmas TV schedule is crammed full of book adaptations. If you fancy getting a headstart on them they’re all here – and you’ll be able to answer the immortal question: which is better – the book or the adaptation? (We’re definitely not biased…)




DVD delights

xmas dvds

DVDs: Shrek (2001); Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) and Gladiator (2005)

If all else fails, pick out some classic films from our DVD collection to enjoy with some turkey sandwiches and the last of the mince pies!

Any problems?

All the items in this post can be found on the Library Catalogue. Remember to keep renewing your loans whilst you are away, as loan periods remain the same all year.



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

This tip was written by Bethan Davies, Caitlin McCulloch and Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarians.

Keep renewing your loans over Christmas!

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 (Friday 22 December to Monday 1 January – see our Opening hours page for more information), so we’ve made special allowances. Any journals, 7-day loans or Course Collection items borrowed from Saturday 16 December until the Christmas University Closure will be due back on Tuesday 2 January (by 10:00 for Course Collection items). No items will be due back between Saturday 16 December and Monday 1 January.

Happy holidays!

Holly Thomas, Library User Services



Help over the Christmas closure period

If you have a library-related query during the Christmas closure period (Friday 22 December to Monday 1 January) you can still get help. Chat online via the blue ‘Virtual Enquiry Service’ box on the Library webpage.

The Virtual Enquiry Service is staffed by professional librarians working remotely to answer your queries from our website and other information we’ve supplied.  You can keep an email transcript of the chat. If they can’t resolve a particular issue they’ll refer you back to us during our staffed hours.

During staffed Library service hours, please do continue to contact UoR Library staff to help with your enquiries!

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

Get your Store and Closed Access requests in soon!

Pine tree covered in snowLast 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 08:30 on Thursday 21 December.
  • Closed Access items will need to be requested before 10:30 on Thursday 21 December.

Normal service will resume on Tuesday 2 January with the first Closed Access collection on that day and the first Store collection on Thursday 4 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.

Holly Thomas, Library User Services

Library/URS buildings open additional weekends in vacation

Christmas presentsThe University is pleased to confirm that, following student feedback, we have made arrangements for the Library and URS buildings to be open for two additional weekends during the forthcoming Christmas vacation period as follows:

  • Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December (09:00-17:00)
  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December (09:00-17:00)

The Library will be open for access to printed books with self-service borrowing and returns.

The URS Building will be open for study (including use of PCS) and self-service borrowing and returns from Course Collection.

Both buildings will be supervised by our Security team. For any Library-related queries, students can seek advice from qualified staff using our online chat service, accessible from the Library homepage.

Full details of Library and URS Building opening hours, including vacation times, are available online.

We are currently working on finalising our opening hours for the Easter vacation period and will confirm details nearer the time.

Full details of the Library refurbishment, including FAQ, project summary, latest news and study space links, are available on our dedicated project website:

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
University Communications

Problems accessing Nature

Computer keyboard
We are currently experiencing access problems with Nature.

If you are trying to link to a Nature article via Summon, or to a journal on this platform you have found via the E-journals Finder, you may find that you are unable to gain access even after you have logged in.

Access is still available

This problem affects off-campus access only – on-campus access is unaffected. We are working to fix the problem as quickly as possible, but in the meantime you can still access the content you need on Nature from off-campus.

Please locate articles in the usual way, either by using Summon or the E-Journals Finder. You will see an option to subscribe to the journal you are accessing underneath the abstract of the article. Please click the ‘Login via Shibboleth’ link underneath this, and search for ‘University of Reading’. Once you have clicked on our institution, you should be able to login with your usual username and password and gain access.

We are working with our supplier to fix this, and will post an update once access is working normally.

If you have tried the method above and are still unable to gain access to content, please submit an E-resources problem report form and we will investigate the issue for you.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

IEEE Xplore subscription ending

Open laptop with notepadThe Library has recently taken the difficult decision to cancel our subscription to IEEE Xplore. Since April 2017 we have been in discussions with IEEE and their UK agents over a new 3-year deal for IEEE Xplore Digital Library. In spite of the fact that the University no longer has a School of Systems Engineering, and usage of the resource has been reducing for several years, the proposed pricing from IEEE was unacceptable, and indeed represented an increase on what we had previously paid. There is no transparent pricing system for this resource, and no significant reductions in price were offered. We would have liked to continue the subscription, but unfortunately had reached a point where a resource represents such poor value for money that cancelling it becomes necessary.

We understand that this may cause some difficulties for staff and students, however we will be taking out a number of individual subscriptions to key IEEE journals, which will be hosted on the IEEE Xplore Digital Library platform. These will be available from 1st January 2018, when the subscription year starts.

If you would like any more information, including help on locating specific articles via alternative routes (such as Open Access copies or inter-library loan), please contact your Liaison Librarian

Paul Johnson
Associate Director (Collections Research & Space)

E-books: access key texts wherever you are! – info tip

Are all the print copies of the book you need to read out on loan? Have you reached the limit on the number of books you can borrow at any one time from the Library but you still need to read more? Is it cold and raining and you just don’t want to leave your room? No problem – the Library may have an e-book! E-books are available to you 24/7 from any device which is connected to the internet so are great when you’re off-campus. If you haven’t used e-books before, or want to make sure you’re getting the best experience, have a look at our LibGuide on e-books.

Finding e-books

You can find e-books using either Enterprise or Summon. Enter your search terms into the search box, then refine your results. On Enterprise you will need to choose the Online and Book filters on the left-hand side; on Summon you can select the Publication Type E-book from the filters on the left-hand side. See the Library’s guide on Summon for tips on how to make your results even more specific to what you need.

Accessing e-books

It’s important to know that our e-books are not all available on the same platform. Take a look at the Library’s page on e-books for a list of the different available platforms and more information on what they will let you do.

Woman using laptopAlthough all our e-books can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, most e-book platforms do not automatically re-format the size of the text to fit your device. For the best viewing experience we would recommend accessing our e-books from a PC or laptop computer.

Most of our e-books use online e-reader software which is integrated into the platform, so you should not need to download any additional software. For some e-books you will need to download the relevant chapters in PDF format to view them. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read these.

Some of our e-books can be downloaded in full, but you may be prompted to install Adobe Digital Editions software to view them on your device. This software is different to Adobe Acrobat.

How can e-books help you to study smarter?

E-books have features which you can use to help you in your studies. For instance, you can search the text electronically to find key words or phrases. You can easily print off specific pages from most e-books, saving you the trouble of photocopying (though remember that rules about Copyright and the amount you can copy still apply). You can also annotate the e-book, writing your own notes which you can print or export. Don’t try doing this on a paper Library book!

If you’re using reference management software like EndNote, you may be able to directly export the details you will need for your citations. Do remember to use details for the e-book version, as page numbers may not be the same as in the print version. For more information on referencing, see our Citing References guide, or the Academic Integrity Toolkit.

ebookWhy can’t I access this e-book?

Some platforms, such as MyiLibrary and EBSCOhost only allow an e-book to be viewed by one or sometimes three people at a time. If you get a message saying the e-book is already in use, take a quick break and try accessing it again after a few minutes.

Any problems?

If you’d like more help on how to find and use e-books effectively, get in touch with your Liaison Librarian. If you’re experiencing technical difficulties accessing e-books, please contact the E-resources Team via the Problem Report Form.


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

This tip was written by Rachael Scott, Content Manager and Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser.

Finding the most useful resources in your subject – info tip

If you’ve ever felt a little overwhelmed by the range of resources that the library has on offer then you might like to take a look at your very own subject guide! Every subject has a liaison librarian, and they have put together a guide for each subject with lots of helpful information and advice.

subject resources link on library webpageWhere do I find my subject guide?

To access the guide for your subject just click on the “Explore your subject guide” button in the Subject Resources section of the Library homepage.

What will I find there?Fine art subject guide

Each guide is set up in a similar way. It will show you how to find books, reference materials, journal articles, electronic resources and other helpful websites that relate specifically to your subject.
You can find out the latest new books that have been bought, which databases will be the most helpful in your research, and also who your liaison librarian is and how to contact them, so you know who to come to for more help! There’s also our useful guide on citing references in your work.

How do I find the type of information I need?subject guide tabs

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page.
The Dictionaries and Encyclopedias tab gives links to online dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as highlighting key print titles that are in the reference section in the Library. There are links to general resources such as Credo Reference or Oxford Reference and more specific resources for your subject. It is far more reliable to use these sources than to use Wikipedia for your work.

The Books tab gives you tips on finding books using Enterprise and lists Call Numbers for particular topics within your subject area as well as telling you about new books that have been purchased for your subject.

The Journal articles tab gives you tips on finding journal articles on Summon and gives links to the key databases in your subject.

The E-resources tab will point you toward the key databases, but also suggests other useful resources, such as image databases or company financial databases that may be relevant to your subject.

The Websites tab gives you a list of websites that have been checked by subject specialists and could be useful for your work. There are also hints about how to evaluate a website, so if you run an internet search you can be more confident you are using reliable information.

The Citing references tab points you in the right direction for getting help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. It also links to our information on using EndNote, bibliographic software which can take the hassle out of referencing.

Your librariansContact us!

We want to help you find the information you need. Please contact your subject liaison librarian if you are stuck.
The subject guide has links to their email address and office hours. You can also check out the Help tab for more advice.

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

This tip was written by Karen Drury and Ruth Ng, Liaison Librarians.