System maintenance 24 January – some services disrupted

Next week our Library Management System is undergoing scheduled maintenance. During the maintenance window on Tuesday 24 January 23:00 to Wednesday 25 January 00:30 some services will be at risk.Open laptop

You will still be able to …

But at times you won’t be able to …

If you have trouble accessing e-resources you can contact the E-resources Team at or you can fill in a Problem Report Form. 

If you want to talk to someone about your account you can contact the Library at 

Lewis Mills – Library Systems Team

Spring into a new term

Image of Library exterior in sunlight

Find out how the Library can support you in your studies


Happy New Year! Are you gearing up for success this term?  Your Library team looks forward to continuing to support you with your studies so bookmark these pages to really get going. 

Whether you need advice or simply want to improve your chances of getting excellent results, our Academic Liaison Librarians and the Study Advisers will be happy to help. Visit our training and workshops webpage for details of the sessions that you can sign up for this term. 

How are you finding our study areas? Study space is available on all floors of the Library, including individual silent study on the 5th Floor. If you’re concerned about noise levels, please use our NOISYCHAT service and help us keep our dedicated silent area silent.   

Want to know more about booking a group study room? Watch our YouTube video (or watch on Yuja) and also see our Instagram tour to discover your favourite space.  

We have over 1,500 study spaces in the Library. This term we’ll be getting much busier so at peak times, you might want to know where else you can find study space. Visit Student essentials to find out about other spaces on campus.  

Last term, we saw a significant increase in littering. We’d really appreciate your help with keeping the building clean and tidy this term. You can do this by eating in the Library Café or other suitable areas on campus. Eating is not allowed in the Library and hot food should not be brought in at any time as it creates unpleasant smells and disrupts other Library users. Please continue to use lidded containers when bringing in drinks and take care to avoid spills. We have fantastic recycling facilities for single use cups, plastic bottles and other items so if you aren’t already an avid recycler, our handy facilities can help you begin.  

Remember to bring your Campus Card with you and keep it with you when visiting the Library. It’s really important that we know who is in the building for health and safety purposes; scanning your card in and out helps us to keep you, your peers and other Library users safe.  

More information about the Library rules and policies can be found here.  


Your Library Team 

Christmas vacation and the Library

Whether you’re on-campus or heading home this Christmas, make sure you know about the upcoming changes to our opening hours and plan ahead! 

When will the Library be open? 

Image of hanging gold and white baubles

Getting ready for the Christmas holidays? Make sure you plan ahead!

The Library will be operating on reduced opening hours after term ends on Friday 9 December.  

  • From Saturday 10 December to Wednesday 21 December, the Library will be open from 08.30 to 19.00 on Monday – Thursday and 08.30 – 17.00 on Friday 16 December and Thursday 22 December. We won’t be open during the weekends. 
  • The Library will be closed Friday 23 December to Monday 2 January for the University Christmas closure. 
  • From Tuesday 3 January to Sunday 8 January, we re-open with reduced opening hours. Term-time service will resume from Monday 9 January. 


When do I need to return my books? 

You can borrow right up until the University Christmas closure. Standard loans can be borrowed for up to 6 weeks, but items may still be recalled until Friday 16 December. Please keep an eye on your University email account (and your Junk folder) for any recalls notices so that you can avoid fines.  


Last collections before Christmas closure  

If you want items which are not on the open shelves before Christmas, make sure that you get your requests in on time! 

  • Off-site Store items need to be requested before 08.30 Thursday 15 December.
  • Closed Access items need to be requested  before 13.30 Wednesday 21 December. 
Screenshot of the ‘Request from Closed Access’ button

Find the request button on the right of your screen on your PC. For mobile, select from the vertical dots.

Normal service will resume on Tuesday 3 January with our first Closed Access collection happening on Wednesday 4 January. Our first Off-site Store collection will occur on Thursday 5 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. 


Accessing online information 

If you’re very keen to continue your studies during the University closure don’t worry, our Subject guides and Study Advice guides are always available online. Or why not get a head start by: 

  • …discovering how to create your reference lists using Endnote or Mendeley  
  • …checking out our Databases by subject guide and examining a new electronic resource 
  • …exploring some of the ‘further’ or ‘suggested readings’ on your reading list.
Image of Christmas parcel on white background.

Give yourself the gift of time to recharge. Photo by tijana drndarsk


Keep on top of your studies but don’t forget to enjoy a well-deserved break!  

Happy Holidays to you all.  



Your Library team 

Celebrating Movember with the Great Moustaches of Literature

Every November, thousands of men grow moustaches for charity. The annual event Movember aims to ‘change the face of men’s health’ by raising awareness and funds, particularly in the three key areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health, including suicide prevention. Through November we’ve been been posting on social media to provide a round up of some of the best moustaches of literature and scholarship! Which of these writers would you award the Mo Throne?

The enormous beard and moustache combination has been a popular look going back centuries. Symbolic of age and wisdom, it’s been sported by figures as illustrious as Tolstoy and Tagore, Verne and Darwin, Gandalf and Dumbledore.

Two sepia-toned portraits of men: on the left, wearing a black suit and bow-tie and with a short spade-shaped beard, Jules Verne. On the right, gazing fiercely into the distance to the left, Lev Tolstoy, whose long straggling beard and moustache occupy most of the portrait and extend out of frame below.

But then, could a beard and a moustache be considered cheating? It isn’t Novembeard. Can the beard be permitted to overshadow the moustache in its month of triumph? Twain wrote, in an essay called ‘The lowest animal’ or sometimes ‘Man’s place in the animal world’: “What is his beard for? It performs no useful function; it is a nuisance and a discomfort; all nations hate it; all nations persecute it with the razor. And because it is a nuisance and a discomfort, Nature never allows the supply of it to fall short, in any man’s case, between puberty and the grave. You never see a man bald-headed on his chin.”

The moustache without beard, fortunately, is also a popular look among the literary greats! The beard without moustache is… let’s say it’s a more risky fashion choice. At the other end of the scale, many authors have favoured the perhaps more modern approach of the understated, yet often distinguished, chevron or pencil moustache. In George Orwell’s six rules for writing, listed in his 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’, he advises would-be authors to “Never use a long word where a short one will do”, and he evidently applied the same rule to his upper lip. Shakespeare in his sole inarguable portrait in the First Folio wears a thin pencil moustache, and can you have a better examplar than Shakespeare?

On the left, Ralph Ellison, a black man seated in front of a row of bookshelves. He wears a suit and tie and has a thin pencil moustache with a pronounced gap under the nose. On the right, George Orwell, a white man in a coat and jumper, seated in front of a BBC microphone; he has a thin moustache running right along his upper lip.

As Poirot, possessor of possibly the most famous moustache in literature and certainly the one most cherished by its host, advises his good friend Hastings in ‘Peril at End House’, “If you must have a moustache, let it be a real moustache – a thing of beauty such as mine.” Poirot’s definition of a ‘real moustache’ is as idiosyncratic as he is himself, of course, but many writers would agree with him.

On the left, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wearing a dark suit and a large moustache with upturned corners. On the right, Mark Twain, wearing a white suit and a bushy white horseshoe moustache.

Which writer would you award the ‘Best Moustache Ever’ prize to? Let us know via Twitter or Instagram!

You can find out more about Movember at their website, and you can find information on the library and university’s mental health resources in this blog post:

Introducing the University’s Wellbeing book collection

Disability and inclusion resource guide for UK Disability History Month

This UK Disability History Month, check out the Library’s guide to disability and inclusion-related topics.

Black text on a yellow blackground saying Disability history month, University of Reading.

The guide takes the same format as our other subject guides but focuses on materials from across our Library and Special Collections, as well as pointing you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.


Suggest more diverse library resources

Homepage for the University of Reading disability and inclusion guide

Bookmark our guide for a wealth of information

Visit our dedicated Library Diversity fund reading lists to see Diversity fund titles purchased in current and previous academic years and help us to build this important collection.

Can you help us diversify Library collections further by suggesting books, DVDs, topics or authors for purchase? We’re keen to hear from you if you notice an area you feel is currently underrepresented. Just complete our Diversify our collections suggestion form and we’ll do the rest!

Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

Wondering how you can get the most out of your lectures? Follow our quick tips:

students in a lecture theatre image

So, we’re now a few weeks into the term and students have been asking us how to ensure they get the most out of their lectures without spending hours refining their notes or worrying that they may have missed some vital information. Here’s some tips from your friendly Study Advice team:

1. Before the lecture

To get the most out of lectures you should prepare beforehand.

  • Do some pre reading – if you have been given some reading for the lecture, read it beforehand. You might also want to look at the outline of the lecture and get an overview of the topic from the web or a core textbook. If you have subject terminology to get your head around, putting together a glossary of terms will help you follow the lecture. The more knowledge you have when you attend the lecture, the more you will get out of it.
  • Check out the slides – you should be given access to the slides before the lecture. Do have a quick look through so you know what will be covered. You can use this in conjunction with your reading to identify any sections you particularly want to listen out for.
  • Prepare for your note taking – decide whether you want to take notes online or on paper. You should use the slides to help you. Either printing them off with 3 slides and notes on a page, or consider saving them in a folder, if you wish to take notes electronically.

During the lecture

In the lecture be prepared to listen and engage.

  • Have the slides ready for you to take notes on and be prepared to listen, actively engage and think. This will all help to develop your understanding.
  • Take a note of your thoughts. You don’t need to take notes of everything that is said – instead, add your thinking to the slides and examples that have helped your understanding. What questions have been raised? And what are your thoughts? Many lectures give the opportunity for you to ask these questions and they’ll also be useful for the seminars that follow.

After the lecture

Allocate time to do some thinking and filing

  • Review your notes. As soon as possible after the lecture, spend a bit of time thinking about what you learnt. Skim over your notes and fill in any gaps with the recommended reading.
  • Create a summary. You might want to create a summary note which you can attach (or file) alongside the lecture slides. You could use a spider diagram or something like the Cornell approach.
  • File away your notes -either using carefully labelled online folders or a lever arch file and dividers – so you can find them easily when you need them for assessments.

To find out more about making the most out of lectures and seminars, check out our guide and attend our weekly webinars, including on managing your reading and notetaking on 19th October.

EndNote and Mendeley workshops this term

Take the pain out of referencing by learning to use a reference management system. We are offering workshops on using EndNote and Mendeley at the following times.Seated person with a large stack of books on the desk directly in front

Click on the links below to book your place.


Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. Use the Word plugin to insert in-text citations and watch the bibliography grow automatically. Select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. Download it free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal.

See our EndNote guide to find out more.

Mendeley Reference Manager

Mendeley Reference Manager is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. You can drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer to capture details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you.

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Book your place

Sign up to the workshops here. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions but would like to know more, take a look at our reference management guide or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Karen Drury
Academic Liaison Librarian

Upcoming University of Reading Open Days

Image of Library exterior in sunlight

Come and visit the centrepiece of the campus

The Library will be welcoming visitors for Open Days on Saturday 8 and Saturday 15 October 2022. Have you registered yet?

Make the most of visiting the Library, get to know our spaces and learn more about whats available. Our teams of friendly, knowledgeable staff and University Student Ambassadors will be on hand throughout the day to answer questions, provide in-person tours and help you take full advantage of your Open Day visit. 

Check out our:

  • Study spaces: Whether you are collaborating on a group project or prefer to study alone, we have a range of spaces to suit your needs. From bookable group study rooms to silent study spaces, you can be sure of finding your new favourite spot.
  • Wide range of print resources: Explore our vast selection of print books and journals spanning across three floors.
  • Study Advice desk: Learn about our Study Advisers and how they can help you get better results and discover how our Academic Liaison Librarians can help with your subject-specific queries.

Or, if you need to refuel, why not stop at the Library Café before exploring the rest of the campus?

Out of time but still want to see the Library? Watch one of our self-paced tours to learn more about the Library in your own time.

No matter what you choose to study, the Library is ready to welcome you. Come and visit, and find out how we can support you..

We look forward to seeing you.


Your Library team

Introducing the University’s Wellbeing book collection

Letters on a board spelling 'Don't panic' in white capital letters on a pink background.

Our wellbeing collection may be able to help

Thanks to a generous donation from the Alumni and Supporter Engagement Team, the University Library has been developing a collection of books and e-books that fall under the general wellbeing category. We hope this will be of benefit to as many students and staff as possible – and be used in conjunction with all the other support services available at the University.

A stack of brightly coloured books

We have a wide range of books about wellbeing to choose from

Students and staff have been providing recommendations for this collection throughout 2022, helping us to make it as broad as possible. We have bought 100s of items on topics from mindfulness and mental health to student life and resilience. From stress and anxiety to autism and ADHD.

Take a look at the list of everything we’ve purchased so far –  Wellbeing books 2022.


It is a living and growing collection so if you spot an area that you think is missing, or can recommend a book that has helped you, it’s not too late to add to the collection. Simply fill in the book details on this suggestion form.


You may find a useful gem that could inspire you or help you get back on track. There are so many fantastic books that can provide all sorts of help, but don’t forget our brilliant Counselling and Wellbeing service based in the Carrington building on Whiteknights campus. They work throughout the year to help with a wide range of issues. The service offers support including one-to-one (either face to face, on the phone or over Teams), groups, workshops, online guidance and onward referrals to other support services, and is open to all registered students (undergraduate or postgraduate) at the University, free of charge.

Counselling and Wellbeing service – A guide to accessing the service.


Tim Chapman

Diversity and Inclusion Lead

University of Reading Library, September 2022.

Opening hours back to 24/6+  

Welcome back to all of our new and continuing students! It’s a fresh new academic year, and we are returning to our regularly-scheduled 24/6+ opening hours.

Monday 26 September – Friday 9 December       
Mon – Fri* 24 hours
Sat Open until 21:00
Sun Open from 08:30
*Friday 9 December: Library open until midnight.


The Library Café generally closes at 18:00 Monday – Thursday and at 16:00 Friday – Sunday; for the most up-to-date opening hours, please see their webpage. IT Service Desk hours can be found on the DTS website. 

Welcome Week Library events 2022

Image shows a sign that says Welcome, please come in.We’d like to wish you a great big welcome from all the staff at the University of Reading Library!

Wondering about how to use the Library and what’s available?  We have a variety of events planned for you all week.

Here’s a rundown of what’s going on:

New student Libguide

An online guide telling you about the library including useful videos, answers to questions, where to get help and all our welcome week events.

Introducing your library

We are running tours on Tuesday and Thursday, every 30 minutes from 10:00 – 15:30. No need to book, just meet in the Library foyer.

Self-paced tours

We know there’s a lot going on right now!  So if you want to just take things slowly, at a time that suits you, we’ve created a self-paced tour for you to go through online.  Or you can pick up one of our handy expandable maps in the Library, to take a look around the building yourself. Or check out our Instagram tour.

Library talk

Come along to find out how the Library can support your studies.  Just come along to the Palmer building room 102 at 15:00 – 16:00 on Wednesday.

Special Collections

Find out about the University’s Special Collections and make a badge. In the Library foyer 11:00 – 14:00 on Wednesday.

Escape Game

On Friday between 10:00 – 14:00 we will be running a library themed escape game. Come along in a team, or drop by and we will put you into a team. Meet in the Library foyer.

If you join in with anything, don’t forget to let us know on social media!  You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Your Library Team

Library open Saturday 17 September

Stay ahead of the term time rush and come and make the most of our final summer vacation Saturday opening.

On Saturday 17 September, we’re open 8:30 – 17:00 and our friendly staff will be on hand all day to answer your questions.

Student looking at laptop in study booth

Time to focus in one of our many study spaces

So, if you’d like to enjoy some quality study time, or maybe just browse and explore our resources before the busy autumn term kicks off, this is a date to put in your diary.

Looking for more specific help from a Library professional within your subject area? Visit our online guidance or make an appointment as we won’t be able to deal with specific one-to-one subject enquiries on the day.

Keen to stay hydrated? Although the Library Café won’t be open, water fountains are available on most floors. You’re also welcome to bring your own lidded drink.

Please be aware that the IT Service Desk will be working on Registration – further information about their service hours can be found on their webpages.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Your Library team