Students using a computerUndergraduates! Here’s a chance to meet representatives of the University’s own Student Wellbeing Project survey on the Library’s Ground Floor, 12:00-14:00, Friday 30 January and ask questions or complete the survey.

What is Reading’s Student Wellbeing Survey?

Each term, the Student Wellbeing Project asks undergraduates of all years to anonymously complete a five-minute (mainly tick box) questionnaire. Your input could help shape University policy. First, second and non-final third years: don’t wait until your final year to fill in the National Student Survey. Tell us now about anything which may enhance or constrain your academic ability, like finances or housing arrangements. This spring’s survey will be live from Monday 19 January to Friday 20 February.

Where can I find out more?

Find the Student Wellbeing survey on the RISIS Web Portal or contact administrator Max James,

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Catalogue search boxes on the new homepageDo you need to find information for an assignment? Let our Summon discovery service take the pain out of finding reliable academic sources to use in your work.

Searching Summon

Just go to the Library homepage and enter your search words in the Summon search box – the second box on our homepage.

Everything you find should be available to read, as the results are limited to articles and books covered by the Library’s online subscriptions. You will also find definitions from reliable encyclopedias and dictionaries, and other online publications, such as Standards and Government publications.

Just click on the title of the reference to access the full-text, entering your University username and password when prompted.

Results from a Summon searchRefine and save

Use the Refine options on the left of the screen to limit your results by…

  • type of publication
  • date
  • language
  • discipline.

You can also save details of the useful results you find in a specific citation style, making it easy to cite them in your work.

For more tips on using Summon, including advanced search techniques, see our Help using Summon webpage.

Need help finding information?

For additional useful resources and guidance see your subject guide, or contact your subject liaison librarian for 1-1 advice.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Coloured pens and notebooksIf your resolution this term is to be more efficient when studying, a good area to focus on is your reading and note-making. Independent reading and taking notes are likely to make up a large part of your study time – it’s not surprising that they used to call it ‘reading for a degree’! – so a few small adaptations to your reading strategies could potentially save you a lot of time over the term.

Reading with a purpose

The Study Advice team has a guide on Managing academic reading which includes ideas on how to select material, deciding how much to read, and reading techniques. We also have a brief video tutorial on Reading academic texts that introduces the kind of reading needed for academic work and appropriate strategies.

To get started, use this simple three-step plan to make your reading more active and targeted:

  • Understand the purpose for your reading:

Are you reading to develop your basic subject knowledge in preparation for lectures or seminars?

Are you reading for a specific assignment like an essay or report?

Are you researching a topic for a literature review or longer project or dissertation?

Are you reading around your subject to enhance your overall understanding?


  • Think about what you need to find out:

Ask yourself what you already know about the topic, from previous lectures, seminars or wider knowledge. Use this to identify your gaps and what you need to find out – it can be useful to phrase this as a series of questions so you can then search for answers to those questions.


  • Identify where you can find this information out:

Your reading list is often a helpful place to start – the Library has a guide to Understanding your reading list . But to get the best marks you will most likely need to go beyond your reading list – see the Library guide on Doing your literature search for information on where to look, effective search tips, finding the items you need. For targeted resources and more advice on finding information in your subject, take a look at your Subject resources pages or contact your Subject liaison librarian.


Male students reading booksNote this!

Efficient reading goes hand-in-hand with good note-making, so if you feel you are being slowed down by taking too many, or too few notes, have a look at our guide to Effective note-taking .

The secret is not trying to capture everything you’ve read (or you’ll just end up with more notes than there are pages in the book itself!) but to keep good records so you know where to find the information again when you need it. Watch this short video tutorial on Finding bibliographical details you need for note-making and referencing. If you find it hard to keep track of your references, consider using some reference management software, such as Endnote .


Spending too long reading?

Reading is a potentially open-ended task – there is always one more book or journal article in the Library that you could read. If you feel your reading is taking too long, have a look at the Study Advice guides on Managing your time including advice on getting organised, making more time in the day, and avoiding distractions. Putting limits around your reading time and stopping it from becoming an endless task can improve your efficiency and your motivation!


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

This tip was written by Michelle Reid, Study Adviser.

Students learning languagesNew year, new language? If so, the Library holds a variety of resources to help you learn a language no matter what your level or preferred mode of study may be.

Choose your language

The Library’s language learning holdings cover the three main languages taught to degree level: French, German and Italian; and the additional languages taught within the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP): Spanish, Portuguese, Modern Greek, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. Some basic textbooks or dictionaries for learning other languages are also in stock.

Choose how to study

There is a range of materials 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, 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 and its society and culture. The Library holds numerous books encompassing the history of many different countries, as well as French, German and Italian 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.

The holiday season is upon us and the upside down Christmas tree is gracing the Library once again, but there is much more you can do! You may be used to borrowing the latest academic textbook or browsing an e-journal, but what else can the Library offer for the Christmas break


Kids at ChristmasChristmas books

We have almost 700 items relating to Christmas in the Library and most of the fun stuff is in our Teaching Practice collection.  These books are designed for Education students to use in schools, but that won’t stop you enjoying some classic Christmas stories.

Jingle Bells!

If borrowing books for little ones is not your Santa’s Sack, how about some peaceful music to while away the cold Yuletide nights?  The Library has classical Christmas CDs that are full of odes to joy.

 Christmas CDs in the Library catalogue

Getting ready for Film 2015

Perhaps you are a bit of a Scrooge and want to escape from the festivities by using the time off to watch some films?  Did you know that the Library has over 1000 DVDs in its collection?  Admittedly many of these are quite academic and may sit a little uncomfortably next to a slice of turkey, but we do have some classics available:

The Third Man (1949)Pile of DVDs

Untouchable (2011)

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2002-5)

Roald Dahl’s Matilda (2004)

Oliver Twist (1968)

Sense and Sensibility (2003)

Ben-Hur (1959)

O brother, where art thou? (2000)

The Truman Show (1998)


But all we really want for Christmas is the Snowman

Snowman toy

You can take your Christmas books, music and classic films as there is really only one object that we want to borrow over Christmas.  He is found at TEACHING PRACTICE FOLIO–649.55-SNO in his own little box.  Our original Snowman Soft Toy from Raymond Briggs’ book and animation.  If you can find him, why not hold his hand and see if he will take you flying!


Any problems?

All the items in this post can be found on the Library Catalogue.  Please be aware that some of the items will be 7 Day loans even over the Christmas period so make sure you check the return date of the item once you have borrowed it.


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

This tip was written by Samuel Tyler, Library Systems Administrator, and Rosie Higman, Liaison Librarian for Chemistry and Pharmacy.

After borrowing items from the Library you can check on Enterprise to see when they are due back, but in certain web browsers the return date can be in the American format, rather than the UK.  This can make it seem as if a book is due back on 1/5/2015, when it is actually due back 5/1/2015.

This is all down to the language settings that your browser is using.

Changing language settings

At present the Language Settings for Internet Explorer and Opera are automatically set to the UK but this is not always the case with other web browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. To get the UK version of the return date to appear in Enterprise, you will need to update the language files for these browsers.

In Chrome

Language settings can be found under Settings > Advanced Settings (click on the Customize Google Chrome button in the top right-hand corner of your screen, then Settings followed by Show advanced settings at the bottom of the screen).

OChrome language settingsnce here click on the grey Language and input settings button:



Chrome language settingsMake sure that English and not English (United States) is at the top of the list:





Firefox options menuIn Firefox

Language settings can be found under Options > Content (click on the Open menu button in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then Options, then Content) :


Under Languages click on Choose… and place English [en] at the top.

Any problems?

If you’d like more help on language settings, please contact the Systems Team at

Samual Tyler, Library Systems Administrator

If you’ve ever felt a little o11327verwhelmed 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.



Picture of subject guides button from Library website.Where do I find my subject guide?

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


What will I find there?

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.


Fine art subject guide

How do I find the type of information I need?

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page.
Dictionaries and encyclopedias tab in the subject guide

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 Eresources 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, the bibliographic management software.

Subject Librarian contact information.Contact us!

We want to help you find the information you need. Please contact you subject Liaison librarian if you are stuck.
The subject guide has links to their email address and office hours. Also check out the Help tab for more sources of 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

Student working at a computerWe are pleased to let you know that the Full-Text@Reading links in Google Scholar have been reinstated. These links indicate which articles in your results are covered by our subscriptions.

Just follow these steps to set them up, if they aren’t appearing automatically for you:

  1. Click on the ‘Settings’ option at the top of the screen in Google Scholar.
  2. Select ‘Library Links’ on the left of the screen.
  3. In the search box type ‘Reading’ and select the ‘Reading University Library – Full-Text @ Reading’ option.
  4. Save your settings.

As an alternative to Google Scholar why not try our Summon discovery service to find full-text online journal articles and book chapters? Everything you find there should be available for you to read, as the contents are based on Library subscriptions.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Student studying outside with laptopAre 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 or 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.

Finding e-books

e-book search filterThe Library has purchased thousands of e-books, all of which can be found using the Library catalogue Enterprise. Enter your search terms into the search box and once you’ve received your results list, limit your results using the
Online and Book filters on the left-hand side. Your results should now only include e-books. To read the e-book, follow the Click here for online access link and enter your university username and password.


e-book search filter SummonMost of our e-books can now also be found in Summon, the Library’s discovery service. Using Summon will give you more results, as it is often able to search for your search terms at chapter-level. To only see e-books in your results list, select the Publication Type E-book from the limits on the left-hand side. You will need to refine your search even further to get results which are most relevant to you and the topic you are searching for. Look at the Library’s guide on Summon for search tips, including how to limit your results.


Accessing e-books

Although all our e-books can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, most e-book platforms have not been optimised for viewing on mobile phones and tablets as they do not automatically re-format the size of the text to fit your device. For the best viewing experience we would therefore recommend accessing our e-books from a PC or laptop computer. For very popular e-books you may see a message telling you that the e-book is already in use. If this happens don’t panic – the e-book will become available for you to read. Some platforms, such as MyiLibrary and EBSCOhost only allow an e-book to be viewed by one or sometimes three people at a time. Take a quick break and try accessing the e-book again after a few minutes.

Using e-books

E-books the Library has purchased, and e-book collections the Library has subscribed to, are available on several different e-book platforms, such as MyiLibrary, EBSCOhost, EBL, Oxford Scholarship Online, Cambridge Books Online. Take a look at the Library’s page on e-books for a list of the different available platforms and more information. Each e-book platform will let you do different things but these basic principles apply to all.

  • Reading e-books: Most of our e-books can only be read online using the online e-reader software which is integrated into the platform. For some e-books you will need to download the relevant chapters in PDF format to view them.
  • Downloading e-books: Where an e-book is available for download you will usually be able to download individual chapters as PDF files, and in some case, the full e-book. To download e-books available on the EBL platform you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions (or the Bluefire Reader app to download to your mobile). However, please note that not all our e-books are available to download and some must be read online.
  • Printing, copying and saving pages from e-books: You can print, copy or save a limited number of pages from most e-books. For e-books on the MyiLibrary, EBSCOhost and EBL platforms the exact number of pages which can be printed or saved is unique to each e-book. Within each e-book a message will appear telling you how many pages you are able to print, copy or save. For all other e-books please remember to comply with Copyright which allows you to copy up to 5% or 1 chapter of an e-book.
  • Searching within e-books: Once you’ve found the relevant e-book to read, you can search the full-text of the e-book to guide you to the most relevant sections.
  • Taking notes: You don’t always need a pen and paper when studying from e-books, on many of our e-book platforms you can take notes electronically. These notes will refer back to the page you were reading and include the title of the e-book, which can be a useful way to organise your notes. You may need to create a personal account (unrelated to your university username and password) to store and/or export your notes but you should usually be able to create and print your notes without such an account.
  • Referencing: Many of our e-book platforms will let you directly export your references to a reference management software, such as Endnote. For more information take a look at the Library’s pages on how to export your references to EndNote. When referencing please remember to reference the e-book, not the print book as the page numbers won’t always correspond. For advice on how to reference, read these pages on referencing written by the Study Advice Team.

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, Electronic Acquisitions Co-ordinator.

Finding items on your readinGirl readingg lists

Most lecturers issue students with a reading list containing references to books, journal articles and other useful materials to help with assignments. There’s lots of help available to ensure you find what is on your reading list in order to successfully complete your work.

How to search the catalogue for what you need

Start with our advice on understanding your reading list. This guide explains how to identify the different kinds of references and how to translate these into a successful search on Enterprise, the Library’s catalogue.


  • You might have mistyped your search – check the spelling of your search.
  • There might be a mistake, or typing error on the reading list – try searching for a few key words from the title.

If you need further help working out how to search Enterprise for a reading list item, ask at a Library information desk, or get in touch with you Liaison Librarian.

Getting hold of the books you need

When books are in high demand there are several ways you can ensure you get hold of the books you need by:

  • Placing a hold on a book
  • Booking an item in Course Collection
  • Accessing e-books

Placing a hold on a book

If a book you want is out on loan to someone else you can place a hold on the book using Enterprise.

Watch our video introduction to placing holds

You can place a hold on (reserve) books that are on loan to other people using Enterprise. You can see your place in the queue, if there is one, and can cancel your hold by logging into your account on Enterprise.

You will receive an email when your hold is available. You can then collect your hold from the Holds area within the Course Collection on the ground floor of the Library. There are more detailed instructions on the Library website.

Booking an item in Course Collection

If a book you need is in the Course Collection, you can book it to ensure that you can use it at a time convenient to you.

Watch our video introduction to booking Course Collection items

You can book up to two Course Collection items for the 10:00, 16:00, and weekend slots (16:00 on Friday). You can book up to seven days ahead. When your booking time arrives just collect the book from the shelves and issue it on the Self-Service Point. Make sure you keep a note of the Call Number so that you can find the item on the shelves. You will have one hour to collect the item from the start time of your booking – no one else can borrow the item during that time.

More detailed instructions on how to book a Course Collection item are available on the Library website.

Ye-book search filterou don’t always have to borrow a print copy: accessing e-books

The Library provides access to many e-books and these can be found through Enterprise, in the same way as print books. You can filter your search results to only show e-books by selecting the ‘Online’ access and ‘Book’ format options from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.

To read the e-book click on “Click here for online access to this book” and then just log in with your University username and password.


What if something on my list isn’t in the Library?

The Library contacts all departments to request reading lists before the start of each course. When lists are sent to us, we try to ensure we have all the items on the lists. A lecturer may recommend you buy your own copy of a book, or it may be readily available to you elsewhere, such as in a departmental resource centre.

Please tell us if an item on your list is not held in the Library and your list does not indicate it is available elsewhere.

If the item you need is in the Library, but there is high demand for it and you feel there are not enough copies, contact your liaison librarian, who can arrange for copies to be placed in the Course Collection. Your liaison librarian may also purchase extra copies, if appropriate, or an e-book version, if available.

Alternatively, consider going beyond your reading list by searching Enterprise for a particular topic or looking on the shelves for books with similar call numbers.

Some reading lists are very long. Check the Study Advice guide on managing academic reading for help in reading in a focused and selective way.


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

This tip was written by Kerry Webb, Course Support Co-ordinator and Anna Richards, Liaison Librarian


Scenes Of Outback Queensland, AustraliaWant to make sure you get the best possible marks by working smarter not harder? Enhancement week is the perfect time to review and develop the skills you need to succeed and work effectively in your studies. The Library and Study Advice have guides and training sessions that will help you achieve just this. And why not take one of our challenges and learn a new skill that will enhance your studying and help you to find excellent resources?

What do you need to develop?

Everyone starts from a different place and progresses through their studies at a different pace, so you will need to consider what your own needs are and how they are best met, but the suggestions below should have something for you.

Ten challenges to try something new

– Pick up a free year planner from Study Advice and get control over your deadlines.

– Learn how to access and use an e-book.

– Sign up to Evernote or Remember the Milk to keep yourself organised.

– Use Summon to find online journal articles and more on your topic – or try the advanced search function if you’ve already used it.

– Try a new learning technique – video or record yourself talking for three minutes on a topic from your course.

– Set up an EndNote Web account to store your references.

– Start a reading diary to record your reflections on what you’ve read (use a paper notebook or set up a private blog).

DSC_2918Find a map that will help with your subject – they’re not just for Geographers!

– Watch a video tutorial on an aspect of study that you need to develop.

– Use Enterprise to find and borrow a film on DVD – we’ve lots to choose from.

What else could you do?

You might consider attending some training sessions:

Or have a look at our online guides:

  • The Library have guides on most asstudy guides screencap 2pects of finding and using resources, including understanding your reading list, using ebooks, journals and databases, evaluating websites and citing references.
  • Library videos take you through essential skills including finding books and articles, placing holds, using our new Summon search and ordering inter-library loans.
  • Study Advice have a comprehensive set of Study Guides on academic skills, including essay, report and dissertation writing, time management, preparing for exams, reading and note-taking and presentations.
  • They also offer brief video tutorials on aspects of essay writing, exams, referencing and dissertations.

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

This tip was written by Helen Hathaway, Head of Academic Liaison and Support, Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Sally Smith, Liaison Librarian.

University of Reading Library at nightPlease carry your Campus Card in the Library to prove you are a University member and entitled to access. This is especially important overnight during term-time 24-hour opening.

During the day, do use both the Library’s central revolving and side doors. However, from 19:00 to 08:00 please enter by the right-hand Library door – the revolving door is locked.

  • University members can gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Visitors and University members without their Campus/Library Cards will be asked to show ID and sign our Visitors’ Book.

The Library reserves the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.

Campus Card faulty?

Did your Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader overnight 19:00-08:00? Please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email

Summer exam-time exclusive access

Please note that during the April-June examination period, we operate a ‘no card, no access’ policy 17:00-08:00 in order to preserve our fantastic University Library facilities for University members only.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

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