The £40 million refurbishment of the University Library continues this year, and we’re edging ever-closer to our expected completion date of autumn 2019!

As the project moves into its final phases, we’re looking forward to the benefits that the upgrades will bring. Our aim has been to create a more comfortable and sustainable study environment, with additional study space, improved accessibility and security, new heating and ventilation, and more toilet provision being key elements of this.

Some aspects, however, have been completed over the last twelve months.

What’s new this year?

  • A larger café is now open and proving very popular
  • Significant work has been completed on the Ground and First floors of the Library, which, excitingly, means that 400 study spaces are now open in these newly refurbished areas. Construction work will still need to continue on these and other floors, however, particularly to install fully accessible and more reliable lifts. This may sometimes be noisy or disruptive

Given this, we’ve ensured that the study space and services arrangements in Library@URS will remain in place for the whole of the 2018/2019 academic year. These URS-based arrangements include study space and most library services, Course Collection, Study Advice, Liaison Librarians, Maths Support, and the IT Service Desk. Books, other than Course Collection, remain available for borrowing in the Library Building, as before.

Investment in these core University facilities is important, but we do recognise that the process has been disruptive for current students. We understand that there is no ideal time to undertake a project of such scale, and so have worked hard, in consultation with RUSU, to provide the best alternative arrangements possible while the works take place.

We’ve listened to student feedback over the past year, and taken the following actions in response:

  • We’ve installed new study space facilities in the Edith Morley building and Palmer, to increase the overall number of spaces available (open until 10pm Mon-Fri during term-time)
  • We’ve made additional study space available in the Carrington Building and in Chemistry
  • The Library is proactively implementing an ‘anti-desk hogging’ system. If personal belongings are left unattended on a desk, please alert staff who will give you a timed warning card to place on the space whilst you use it. If the owner of the belongings returns within the hour they are entitled to the space, but if not it’s yours. This means you may leave your belongings (but don’t leave any valuables) while you visit the Library to borrow a book, or grab some refreshments in one of our cafes, while ensuring the spaces are not reserved for more than an hour when other students are looking for desks
  • Following the positive feedback on the Study Space map, we’ve published an updated version online and will be installing it at various prominent locations around campus. It is an easy way to see where study space is located across the University

Other key resources, in addition to the Study Space map, are also available to make it easier to find a suitable space to study:

Opening hours

During term-time, Library@URS is open:

Mon-Fri: 24 hours

Sat: Open until 21.00

Sun: Open from 08.30

The Library Building is open as follows during term-time:

Mon-Sun: 09.00-22.00

We want to thank you for your patience during this process and we hope you find the improvements this year useful. For more information on any of the above, please visit www.reading.ac.uk/study-space.