Accessing Library E-resources

IT recently updated how you log into their systems so that you now use a combination of your IT username and email address, i.e. ab123456@student.reading.ac.uk as your username. This change affects how many of you log in to a variety of University systems such as your University email accounts and Blackboard.Open laptop

However, this change does NOT affect how you access Library E-resources, which include Talis. If you are accessing an E-resource via our Single Sign On page, you just need your IT username (ab123456) and password to access.

If you are having any issues accessing E-resources, you can contact us via eresourceshelp@reading.ac.uk or by submitting an e-resources problem report form.

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

 

COVID-19 update: Your Library this summer

Refurbished Library building with extensive glass front and silvered cladding, behind young, llight green trees

You can borrow print items from the Library building with our ‘Click & Collect’ service.

Library services online

All of our existing support and electronic resources will continue to be available and delivered to you online over the summer. This means that you can still:

Loans and returns

Return loans in the Book Drop flap to the right of the Library front doors

We will renew all books for the entire summer vacation so do not worry as you will not have anything overdue or running up fines! All items will be due on 30 September 2020. If you have already returned items via our Book Drop (right of Library entrance) be assured they will be removed from your Library account as soon as we are able to get back in the building to process them.

We are investigating whether we can accept postal returns of books over the summer and will provide more information if we are able to do so.

Click & Collect service for print items. For those of you writing dissertations, we understand accessing materials is very important. We are providing a service for you to request items (from 13 July 2020). You can still ask your Academic Liaison Librarians whether they can source an alternative option for you.

Further information

Any updates on access to the books or changes to any services will be publicised on our website and Library blog so keep an eye out for news.

Stuart Hunt, Director

COVID-19: Focus on study with digital tools

Staying focused when studying and revising can be challenging at the best of times, and likely to be more so under the current conditions. If the home environment is proving distracting, why not investigate apps designed to keep you focused and working productively? Alternatively, you could save time by checking out the Study Advisers’ favourite digital tools and selected guides:

Tomato Timer

Based on the Pomodoro technique (working for short, focused periods, followed by brief rest-breaks), tomato timers aim to promote productivity while maintaining mental alertness. A multitude of these apps are available – for simplicity try Tomato Timer and, for extra features, try Pomello.

Flora and Forest

Apps like Flora and Forest help you resist distractions from your phone while you study. Simply ‘plant a seed’ in the app, and watch it grow from sapling to tree – if and only if, you don’t touch your phone. Yield to the temptation of using your phone and the sapling dies! Successful repetition results in a forest, which, if you are using the Forest app, can earn you points towards planting a real tree with the ‘Trees for the Future Scheme’.

Written? Kitten! and Focus Writer

Overcome writers block with Written? Kitten! Write 100, 200, 500 or 1000 words and get rewarded for your efforts with a picture of a cute kitty. Alternatively, try Focus Writer, which enables you to set a daily target for the number of words you write on a blank screen; you can then measure your progress against this target.

Online planners

While there are no real substitutes for having a clear time-management strategy (see our Time managment guide for help with this), some apps can help you manage your workload more efficiently. Try  Microsoft to-do, for organising tasks and managing deadlines, and Trello for monitoring your progress.  Trello can be synched with Pomello, enabling you to see how much time you’ve spent on individual tasks.

Turn off notifications and pop-ups

Minimise interruption and distraction from unwanted notifications and pop-ups by disabling them on your devices – temporarily or permanently. Do this for android and iPhone via the ‘Settings’ function on your phone, and see this brief guide on how to disable web notifications.

Blocking social media sites

Manage social media sites that vie for your attention, with the help of social media blocking apps. Specific websites can be blocked at set times of day, or the entire internet switched-off while you work. See 10 best apps to help you stay focused for a quick guide to help you decide on a blocking app that’s right for you. That said, if you’re a fan of social media, use it as a motivational aim by saving it for a reward at the end of the day.

Study Advice

Linda Schroeder, Study Adviser

Library refurbishment update

Room of empty circular and hexagonal desks with chairs

Next session, the Library’s 1st Floor will become a PC area for individual and group study, with PC teaching rooms and the IT Service Desk. PCs will be installed over the summer, arriving soon.

Library refurbishment continues to progress well across all remaining areas.

Outside, you will have noticed the change of access to the Library, with both doors at the main entrance now open. Access will change again as external works progress. Hard and soft landscaping will continue as well as planting of shrubs. Steel work is also being delivered for the new bike shelters, which will be installed shortly.

On the inside the PCs from Library@URS will be move back to the Library building in the next few weeks.

As works continue there may sometimes be noise and disruption. Alternative study spaces are available in the Library@URS building for the time being, as well as a variety of alternative study space options across campus.

This refurbishment forms part of the University’s ambitious 2026: Transform capital investment programme, which focuses on improving campus facilities and supporting the student experience by the University’s 100th anniversary of its charter.

Further information

To keep up to date with the latest Library refurbishment news, please visit the Library refurbishment webpage and look out for posts on this Library blog.

Rachel Redrup for University Communications

Enterprise upgrade 26-27 July: some services disrupted

Fire extinguisher hung on wall behind grinning, enigmatic but cheeky blighter.

Systems Team Manager Sam is ready to fire-fight any possible blips after the Library systems upgrade, over-night on Wednesday 26 July.

Following on from our recent upgrade to Enterprise, our Library Catalogue, we need to do a bit more work to give us a robust, reliable system and take advantage of some new features. Whilst we do this Enterprise may be unavailable on Wednesday 26 July, between 15:00 and midnight.

You will still be able to …

  • Search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access book locations and some E-resources.  Or try Summon for some other E-resources.
  • Pop into the Library until 17:00 or ask at the URS Information Desk about your account, pay fines etc.

But you won’t be able to …

  • access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.

This work should have finished by Thursday 27 July, but the catalogue will still be ‘at risk’ on that day as the Systems Team test the upgrade.  We will be sure to inform you if there are any other changes to the service that may occur.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

Enterprise upgrade 17-18 July: some services disrupted

Fire extinguisher hung on wall behind grinning, enigmatic but cheeky blighter.

Systems Team Manager Sam is ready to fire-fight any possible blips after the Library systems upgrade, over-night on Monday 17 July.

This summer we are upgrading Enterprise, our Library Catalogue, to give us a more robust, reliable system and take advantage of some new features. During the upgrade, on Monday 17 July, between 15:00 and midnight, some services will unavailable.

You will still be able to …

  • search the old Library catalogue, Unicorn to access book locations and some E-resources.  Or try Summon for some other E-resources.
  • pop into the Library until 17:00 or ask at the URS Information Desk about your account, pay fines etc.

But you won’t be able to …

  • access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines.

The upgrade is planned to have finished by Tuesday 18 July, but we will still designate the system as ‘at risk’ on that day as the Systems Team test the upgrade.  We will be sure to inform you if there are any other changes to the service that may occur.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator for
Sam Tyler, Library Systems Manager

 

1st Floor rooms closed during refurbishment

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

Revised impression of the refurbished University Library. The new entrance and café looks out onto pleasant landscaping. Silver-grey cladding, with regency-gold coloured highlights, increases energy efficiency, weather proofing, and reduces solar glare to the front study spaces

From today, some rooms on the Library’s 1st Floor will be closed to users during the current phase of our Refurbishment Project. This includes two group study rooms (111 and 110) and two PC rooms (109 and 105). However, there are many other group study rooms available on the Ground, 2nd and 4th Floors and other PC rooms elsewhere on the 1st Floor.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator
for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager

Pay your fines online!

Staff and students with campus cards! You, (but only you) can pay Library fines online! If you haven’t tried this before, here’s a guide on how to do it.

Step 1: Logging in 

Go to the University of Reading Campus Card Portal at cardfinance.reading.ac.uk and login with your University username and password.

Step 2:

Click on the ‘Library Fines’ link on the left side of the page.

1Step 3:

This page will display how many fines/bills you have to pay and what available funds you have. Before you tick the box, the text below will be orange. Tick the box to select your fines.

Step 4:

Now the box is ticked and your fines are selected, the text will turn green. Beside the ‘Pay Now’ button, you will see the total amount you are about to pay. Click the ‘Pay Now’ button to confirm the transaction. The total amount will be deducted from your available funds.

3

Step 5:

Once the transaction is complete, red text will tell you how much in total you have paid. Your fines should now be clear.

5Other Library members

You can pay fines at either the Ground Floor Information Desk or Self-Service Point fines payment machines; or by payment card over the telephone (0118 378 8770) for amounts over £5.00.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator