Welcome to new and returning students – getting ready for Spring Term

Happy New Year from the University of Reading Library

Welcome – or Welcome Back – to the University of Reading Library!

Your Academic Liaison Librarians wish you a Happy New Year. Now that you are preparing for Spring Term, here’s a reminder of some of the support we can provide to help you with your assignments and research this term. If you’re new to the Library building, you can take an online tour.

How to find books and academic journal articles

If you found it tricky to find the right materials last term, you can remind yourself of the Library’s search tools Enterprise and Summon via our playlists. Our playlists are all available on the University of Reading Library YouTube and will show you

  • how to search for books, journals and other materials
  • how to locate print books
  • how to borrow print books

Manage your references

When you’re planning assignments, keeping track of the books and articles that you read is really important and saves a lot of time when you’re writing your bibliography at the end of an essay. Making good notes about your references now can help you later on, so it’s a good habit to get into.

Look at the Referencing tab on your Subject Guide for guidance specific to your programme, or visit our Citing References Guide for information on when to reference, how to structure a reference and a bibliography. You’ll also find lots of helpful advice on reference management tools.

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian

At the University, there is a Librarian for each subject. They can help you with finding information and referencing. You can email any queries to your Librarian, or arrange a 1-1 appointment to discuss a specific question.

Find out who your Librarian is here: www.reading.ac.uk/library/liaison

If you are a new student, you’ll find all the information you need on our New Students Guide.

Kim Coles,
Academic Liaison Team Manager


Find information for your studies using your Library subject guide

Image of Students in the library cafe

Don’t forget that you can use your Library subject guide to find useful information in the Library and online. Now that you’re beginning to prepare or receive feedback on assignments, you might find that you need to find more information relevant to your subject – you’ve got access to loads of interesting books and journals through the University Library, and your subject guide can help you to find the most relevant places to start.

What is a subject guide?

Your Academic Liaison Librarian has created an online guide for your subject to show you how to access books, reference materials, journal articles, electronic resources (including e-journals, databases and multimedia resources) and other useful websites relating to your area of study.

To access the guide for your subject just click on the “Explore key resources in your subject” in the ‘Help for your subject’ section of the Library website homepage, or go directly to our list of subject guides.

A screenshot of the Library homepage, displaying the 'Explore key resources in your subject'

How do I use my subject guide?

The subject guides are divided into several sections, each with its own tab at the top of the page:

A screenshot of the tabs at the top of a Library Subject Guide

  • Reading Lists – how to get started with your online reading list (if your course/module has one) and how to effectively manage your academic reading.
  • Dictionaries & encyclopedias – online dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as highlighting key print titles in the Library. It also links to e-resources such as Credo Reference, Oxford Reference and specific dictionaries for your subject. It is far more reliable to use these than to use Wikipedia for your work.
  • Books – tips on finding books using Enterprise and lists of Call Numbers for particular topics within your subject area. This section also showcases new books that have been purchased for your subject.
  • Journal articles – tips on finding journal articles on Summon and links to the key databases databases for finding journal articles in your subject area.
  • E-resources – lists key databases for your subject, as well as other useful resources such as multimedia resources, company financial databases, and online tutorials and guides to e-resources related to your subject.
  • Websites – a list of relevant websites that could be useful for your work. There are also hints on how to evaluate a website, so if you conduct an internet search you can be more confident you are using reliable information.
  • Citing references – points you in the right direction for getting help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism. You’ll also find information on reference management software which can save you time collecting references and writing your bibliography.
  • Further sources – information on Special Collections which may be relevant to your subject, and obtaining other materials such as conference papers, theses, maps and newspapers.
  • Help – links to study guides, videos and help from the Study Advice Team, your Academic Liaison Librarian, and Digital Technology Services.

What if I need help using a database on my subject guide?

You can always contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for help selecting or using a database – from Enterprise and Summon to company information searches. You can email your Librarian to ask a question, or request an in-person or online appointment to discuss a question in depth. Every weekday between 1-2pm one of the team is available on the Study Advice and Maths Support Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library so you can drop in to ask a quick question too. We’re here to help, so if you’ve any question – big or small – get in touch!

Kim Coles,
Academic Liaison Team Manager

Book your Master’s dissertation webinars this week!

Put your studies on track for success with a series of webinars for Master’s students working on their dissertations! The Master’s Dissertation Fayre, run by the Library’s Study Advice and Liaison teams, is back after the success of last year.  Students loved our range of topics covering all elements of dissertation planning and writing, from choosing a research methodology to writing your literature review.  This year, we’re offering all that and more!

Webinars are running online at 11am and 2pm each day from Monday 7 – Friday 11 June. These friendly and helpful sessions are open to all Master’s students, and you can book a place online.

Topics include:

  • Critical writing
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Systematic literature searching
  • Finalising your research question
  • Using company information databases
  • Writing your literature review
  • Literature searching tips
  • Reference management tools comparison – Endnote vs Mendeley
  • Writing your discussion
  • Using primary sources/archives online
  • Finding statistical sources

We’re looking forward to seeing you virtually, and hearing your feedback.

Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisors

Safe studying

Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the Library a safe place to study by following the procedures we’ve put in place. Now that we’re getting used to a second lockdown it’s even more important to take extra care and carry on following all the guidance to stay safe.

The Department for Education guidance for using libraries and study spaces underpins our hygiene measures and asks that you:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands frequently, or use our sanitiser
  • Clean your work area with our wipes
  • Study independently

We’ll get through this together!

Your Library Team

Online reading lists update: report broken links

There’s a new online reading lists feature – you can now report a broken link to an e-book or online journal article directly to the Library from your reading list. A report is sent to the Library E-resources Team who will investigate the issue.

How to report a broken link 

If the link fails when you click the ‘View Online’ button on an online resource included on your reading list, return to the reading list and click the menu option on the right to see the ‘Report broken link’ option. 

You can choose to provide more information about the error message and, if you want the E-resources Team get back to you to let you know the resolution, leave your contact details. If you prefer, you can click ‘Report’ without leaving your email address.

Further information

You will find your online reading list in your module information in Blackboard.

Please be aware that not all items on online reading lists are available as e-resources.

Kim Coles, Academic Liaison Team Manager

What have you watched? Kanopy in 2018/19

This term the Library purchased access to the Kanopy Video Streaming service – it’s a huge collection of online videos including documentaries, films, and instructional videos. You can watch Kanopy videos online, on- and off-campus, and they’re all accessible through the Library here: https://www.reading.ac.uk/library/eresources/image-sound/lib-kanopy.aspx

What have you been watching?

Since the start of Spring Term, 874 of you have watched a total of 247 hours of content – mostly on Sunday or Monday nights… we won’t ask why!

Most Popular Films

These are the top 5 films that you’ve been watching, and their summary from Kanopy.

  1. Tongues Untied
    Marlon Riggs’ essay film TONGUES UNTIED gives voice to communities of black gay men, presenting their cultures and perspectives on the world as they confront racism, homophobia, and marginalization.
  2. L’avventura
    An iconic piece of challenging 1960’s cinema and a gripping narrative on its own terms, L’AVVENTURA concerns the enigmatic disappearance of a young woman during a yachting trip off the coast of Sicily.
  3. Stars
    Stationed in a secluded Bulgarian village in 1943, Walter, an artist and sergeant in the Wehrmacht, lives an almost idyllic life far away from the war. Then one day a transit camp is set up for Jews arriving from Greece.
  4. Definite Articles and Nouns
    Learn the gender of Spanish nouns by practicing each new noun with its masculine or feminine definite article.
  5. Type Hunters
    This film plunges us into the “typographic cauldron” of the great modern metropolis.

What else will you discover?

There’s a wide range of films available, as you can see from the list above. Take a look for yourself! You can browse by subject or topic, or search for a filmmaker or subject area to see what Kanopy has to offer.

Kim Coles, Liaison Team Manager