Using the Library over summer vacation

With the end of term and the beginning of summer vacation, there are a few changes taking place in the Library.  

Library building on a clear sunny day with hedge in the foreground.Opening hours  

Summer term ended on Friday 7 June, which means our opening hours have now changed too. Between 8 June – 22 September, we’ll be open between 08:30 – 17:00 during weekdays. The Library will be closed at the weekends except for our three Summer Saturdays on 13 July, 17 August and 21 September. If you’re returning Library materials outside of these hours, the external Book Drop is always open and can be found to the right of the main entrance.  


Vacation loans  

If you’re an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student, you can borrow items for the whole summer without needing to renew, as long as your course doesn’t end before 24 September 2024 

Borrowing for staff, research postgraduates, Associate and external users will not change, so please continue to keep an eye on your University email account and Library account to ensure you return or renew items on time and avoid fines. 

If you’re unsure about your due dates, check your Library account or get in touch with us. 


SCONUL access 

If you’re heading home for the summer period, but would still like to access a local university library, why not consider the SCONUL access scheme? As long as you’re still a current student, you can apply to join and access university libraries throughout the UK and Ireland. More information can be found on the Library website or you could ask staff at the Welcome Desk in the Library.  


Continued support from your Academic Liaison Librarian and the Study Advice Team  

Although the Library opening hours may have changed, your Academic Liaison librarians and Study advisors are still here to support you over the summer. Why not book a 1-2-1 appointment or check out their range of resources on our website?  


If you have any questions during the summer vacation, you can contact us at or call on 0118 378 8770.   

Enjoy the summer!  

Your Library Team 


System upgrade 10 June – some services disrupted

Tonight, we are upgrading our Library Management System. During the upgrade on Monday 10 June, between 20:00 and midnight, (after the Library buildings are closed) some services will be unavailable.


Open laptop


You will still be able to …

  • Search the Library catalogue, Enterprise.
  • Access all our E-resources – so any e-books or e-journals you find on the catalogue will still be available via the ‘Click here to access’ links.
  • Use Summon for online access to journal articles, book chapters, and much more!

But you won’t be able to …

The upgrade is planned to be finished by Tuesday 11 June, but the system will be ‘at risk’ for the rest of the week whilst our Systems Team make sure everything is working correctly. We will let you know if Enterprise will be unavailable for longer than initially planned. 

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


Starting your dissertation? Follow our top 5 study tips

Student in a library working at her laptop with books in the background

So, you may have just finished your exams but now you have to turn your attention to your dissertation. Where do you begin and how can you ensure you stay on track? Below are our Study Advice and Library tips to help you get started and stay focused.  

Tip #1: Have a plan 

Having a plan not only helps you to stay on track but weekly goals keep you motivated. Work backwards from your hand in date and remember to build in extra time for proof reading and final touches. Our videos on managing your time offer some tips to get you started.  

Tip #2: Start with something small 

To help you get going, start with a task that you can get done easily. This might be something simple, like setting up a word template or printing off a couple of key articles. Being able to complete one task can give you a sense of achievement and motivate you to tackle more challenging ones. 

Tip #3: Think about the information that you need… 

….and how to access it! If you are carrying out a literature review, or analysing documents or literature, make sure that you are familiar with the key online resources in your subject area. You can find out more about what’s available to you, as well as contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian, on your Library subject guide 

Tip #4: Think more, read less 

It’s important that you think critically about you’re reading. This requires you to see the links between various theories and consider what they mean for your research question. So, when taking notes remember to not only record a summary of your reading but more importantly note what you think about what you have read. This will help you when you come to write up. Our guides on critical analysis offers some advice on this. 

Tip #5: Attend a webinar or workshop

The Library and Study Advice teams are running a series of webinars and workshops for Masters students working on their dissertations. The Masters Dissertation Fair is back for another year, covering a range of topics from selecting a reference management tool, to structuring your literature review.   

Webinars will run online every day from Monday 3rd - Monday 10th June. On Monday 10th June we will be running an in person writing retreat so you progress your writing, and on Friday 7th June a hands-on literature searching session. These friendly and helpful sessions are open to all Masters students, and you can book a place online here  

Disposing of vapes/e-cigarettes at the Library

The Library now has a bin for disposing of vapes/e-cigarettes at the Library entrance, which will allow the University to dispose of vapes in a safe and sustainable manner.

Where can I vape on campus?

Vaping and smoking are not permitted inside any building, including the Library premises (which includes the café), nor within 10m of the building. If outside the Library 10m is the benches beside the lawn.

Changes to Library study space during exams

In preparation for the University revision and exams period we will be making some changes to Library study space in the Library from Wednesday 3 April 2024. We know that this time can be stressful and it’s more important than ever to ensure that you find the right study space for you. 


To help you make the most of this time, the Library has partnered with Reading Students Union to provide increased, quiet, individual study space. As part of this collaboration, the 4th Floor group study area will become a quiet study area. This will allow you to access more study spaces at a crucial time of the year. 


Still need a group study area? 

There are still plenty of areas for group study throughout the Library and on Campus. Why not check out our bookable study rooms on the 1st Floor or explore one of the many alternative study areas on campus? Whether you are looking for access to a PC lab or an individual study space, you can find a place that suits your needs. 


Keep an eye out for more ways the Library can help you during your exams. 


Best of luck! 

Your Library Team 



Getting ready for Easter vacation

Artificial chick on grass, surrounded by colourful eggs with ribbons

Before hatching plans for Easter vacation, make sure you’re prepared. Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

The Easter vacation is fast approaching, and so are changes to our opening hours.


When are we open?

Between Monday 25 March – Wednesday 27 March, we’ll be open at the following times:

  • Monday 25  March: Open until 19:00
  • Tuesday 26 March: 08:30 – 19:00
  • Wednesday 27 March: 08:30 – 17:00

We’ll be closed between Thursday 28 March – Tuesday 2 April for the University Easter closure period.


Term time Library opening hours will resume from 08:30 Wednesday 3 April.

Please see our opening hours page for details on opening times and information about our Summer term hours.


When do you need to return your loans?

Loan periods and due dates will not change, so make sure you regularly check your Library account for individual return dates on your books.

Recall notices will be sent to your University email address so keep track, return your materials on time and avoid fines.

Library closed? You can return books 24/7 via the external Book Drop. If you do receive a recall notice and you can’t return the item in person, you can always return them by post.


What are the last collection dates for Off-site Store and Closed Access?

Screenshot of the ‘Request from Closed Access’ button

You’ll find the request button on the right of your screen on your PC. For mobile, select from the vertical dots.

Off-site Store and Closed Access collections will not take place during the University closure period, so please submit your requests on time.

  • Closed Access items need to be requested before 13:30 Tuesday 26 March.
  • Off-site Store items need to be requested before 08:30 Wednesday 27 March.


What if you’re not on campus?

If you’re away from campus but still want access to a library space, you may be able to do so via the SCONUL access scheme. See Using other libraries for more information about other libraries you may be available to visit.


If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Your Library Team

Discover Recycle UoR Reading

Recycle UoR Reading bookshelves

Explore the collection, or consider donating something yourself.

Are you ever in the Library and wish you could read something that wasn’t part of a reading list? Have you seen something about ‘Recycle UoR Reading’ and wondered what it was about? 

Look no further! 

‘Recycle UoR Reading’ is a relatively new scheme that was launched in September 2023 to help repurpose surplus Library stock and book donations, making them available to you. The display can be found in the Quiet Study and Holds area on the Ground Floor of the Library and all items are available to our users to take away free of charge. This is a great way to find potential leisure reading, or maybe to help supplement your study material at no cost to you. 


Got some items that you would like to donate?

A book donation box can be found near the display where you can deposit any unwanted items. These will be assessed and hopefully added to the display for someone else to enjoy.   

Recycle UoR reading donations box

Come to the Ground Floor Quiet Study and Holds area and find out more.

Since the launch of the scheme, 440 books have already found new homes, and 90 items have been donated. The selection is refreshed regularly so there will always be some new material on display, so why not drop into the Library and see what’s on offer? 

For more information or for any questions about the scheme, please contact Kate Devaney (Collections Services Manager) at

Wellbeing Collection

Photograph of a shelf of books relating to wellbeing, with a small crochet succulent plant.

If you are feeling blue on Blue Monday, why not get together with friends and colleagues over a cuppa for ‘Brew Monday’? You can take advantage of a free regular tea or coffee and a space to talk in the Trilobite (in the Health and Life Sciences building) and Breakfast Box (in Edith Morley) cafes 14:00-15:00 on Monday 15 January.

You can also discover the Library’s collection of books and e-books relating to wellbeing. Starting from a generous donation from the Alumni and Supporter Engagement Team, the collection has been growing ever since.  The books can be found in our Wellbeing Collection, on the Ground Floor of the Library in the Quiet Study and Holds area.

We also have a list of the items available, including the e-books that can be borrowed.

The books cover lots of different topics including mindfulness, change, relationships, diet, gardening, emotions, anxiety and student life. A selection of 4 books from the Wellbeing Collection, spread out on a desk.

Students and staff are able to come and borrow any books they’d like to read using their campus cards, or just access the e-books using their University username and password.

If you are a Reading student and you need to talk to someone there’s lots of help and guidance available from the Counselling and Wellbeing Team, whilst staff can access support through the Health and Wellbeing Resources.


Ruth Ng & Karen Drury, Academic Liaison Librarians

Removing IP access from our online resources

images of a search engine

We are working to make access to our e-resources as secure as possible. You may start to notice that, if you are on-campus and you go to a resource directly, rather than using a link from one of our catalogues, you’ll no longer be granted automatic access. Instead, you will need to find the institutional login option that appears on most platforms, usually in the top right-hand corner, and follow the steps. This is exactly the same process you use when you are accessing the resource off-campus. If no institutional login option exists, we recommend searching on one of the following, and using the link you’ll find there, which will authenticate you: 

If you have any questions or need any help, please contact 

 Anne Taylor, E-resources Team

Our visitor policy is changing

Our visitor policy is changing from the 1 October 2023.

An image of the outside of the Library building

Members of the public who wish to consult printed Library materials which are not available elsewhere, can arrange up to 5 visits to the Library per academic year. All visits must be arranged at least 2 working days in advance (longer notice periods may be required for items held at our Off-site Store or in Closed Access).

If you wish to visit the Library please email with details of the item(s) that you require, and the dates you would like to consult them.

Further information on our visitor policy, and how to join as an External member, can be found on our website.

If you are looking for access to a study space, then you can join Reading Borough Libraries for free.

New student? Take our Study Smart course and get a head start

Computer and lamp with Study Smart written on itAre you a new undergraduate or foundation year student? Then make sure you take our Study Smart online course, which has been specifically designed to help you with the transition to Uni. Join over 1000 UoR students who are already online and getting ahead of their studies.


Why should I bother?

Study Smart is a free online course which you are expected to take before you arrive. It offers essential insights as to what will be expected of you as a student and you can start your studies with confidence. It can be completed in a few short sessions and has videos, animations and resources covering 3 main areas:

  • Academic integrity
  • Communication at university
  • Independent learning

The course will help you to understand how these concepts apply to you and your studies. It also contains vital information on how you’ll be studying, including advice on engaging in seminars, getting the most out of course material and using our digital tools.

You’ll also be able to connect with other students, through the discussion boards. So, join over 1000 students who have already started the course.


How to access the course

If you are a new first year undergraduate student, you should have received an email with a link to the course on 29 August 2023.


If you have any queries or issues accessing Study Smart, please email:

You will need to enrol in the coming weeks, after which the course will close. Once you have enrolled you will get access to the resources for your entire time with us.

Don’t forget to download your certificate

Some courses and many academic tutors will ask to see your Study Smart certificate in your first term. You will find this in one of the last Steps of the course, so don’t forget to download it – you may need it for your portfolios.

Good luck!

Library Welcome Week Events

Photograph showing a line of rainbow coloured pots, each with a single letter, spelling out the word welcome.We’d like to wish you a warm 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, and information to help you settle in:

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 Monday – Thursday, every 30 minutes from 10:00 – 15:00. 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.  We’ll be in the Palmer building room 102 at 15:00 – 15:45 on Tuesday, no need to book.

Special Collections

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

Mystery Books

On Tuesday and Wednesday we will have a selection of Mystery Books you can borrow. Library staff have recommended some great reads from our collection. We’ve mixed them up and hidden them in bags, pick one and relax with a book!

The Legendary Library Escape Box Challenge

On Thursday 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/X, Instagram and YouTube.

Your Library Team