Getting ready for Christmas vacation

The end of term is approaching fast so now is a good time to make sure you know about the changes during the Christmas vacation.


Opening hours

Green ribbon Christmas Tree with gold star at the top

Plan ahead for the Christmas closure! Image by hmehr from Pixabay.

During Christmas vacation, opening hours are shorter, so check the Library opening hours on our website before visiting. These dates are worth putting in your diaries.

  • Starting from Friday 8 December, the Library will be closed during weekends. Weekend opening begins again on Saturday 6 January.
  • Monday 11 December – Wednesday 20 December, we’re open Monday – Thursday 08:30 – 19:00 and Friday 08:30 – 17:00.
  • Thursday 21 December, we open 08:30 – 17:00.
  • The library will be closed for the Christmas period from Friday 22 December 2023 – Monday 1 January 2024 inclusive.
  • We will re-open on Tuesday 2 January at 08:30


What if I need to borrow a book?

You can still borrow right up until the Christmas closure. As standard loans are 6-week loans, anything borrowed between now and the closure period will be due at the start of January when the Library re-opens. Items can still be recalled over the vacation period, but no recalled items will be due back until the Library re-opens on Tuesday 2 January.


Closed Access and Off-site Store collections before Christmas closure

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. 

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 Wednesday 13 December.
  • Closed Access items need to be requested  before 13.30 Thursday 21 December.

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.


Studying over the Christmas closure

If you’re keen to get ahead in your studies over the break, here are a few things that you might like to do:

  • Check out the LibGuide for your subject.
  • Look at our Databases by subject guide and try out a new electronic resource.
  • Catch up on some ‘further’ or ‘suggested readings’ for your course and get a head start on your reading for the spring term.

We hope these suggestions will help you get going with your learning over the vacation, but make sure that you also take time to enjoy the Christmas vacation!

Best wishes for a well-deserved and wonderfully restorative break.


Your Library team

Image of Christmas parcel on white background.

Happy holidays from UoR Library. Photo by tijana drndarsk

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

Disability History Month at Reading

This UK Disability History Month, check out the Library’s guide to disability and inclusion-related topics . There are also a host of events happening to mark Disability History Month at Reading, including comedy, dance and discussions. Check out the Disability History Month calendar to find out more about the events.


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

The Library 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

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. We are always happy to hear your suggestions for this collection.


Black History Month 2023 – Race & Ethnicity LibGuide

University of Reading Black History Month graphic, square box made up of black background with flashes of red, yellow and green, with white text. White clenched fist outline on yellow and black background.
Black History Month 2023 – there are lots of
activities on offer at the University of Reading

The Race and Ethnicity Libguide covers a wide range of academic disciplines such as sociology, culture, languages, heritage, and many other subjects too.  

This guide will introduce you to some of key resources the Library can provide and will point you towards other relevant online resources and libraries. 

We have lots of new books for you to explore. Many of these titles are relevant to UK Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) experiences but there is also a wide selection relating to International experiences. Look at the Books tab to see newly published and seminal resources that are available from the Library to help you build on your knowledge and understanding of BAME dialogues.  

Have you heard about our fund to help to Diversify the collections?

Books on shelves, purple pillar, grey carpet

What would you like to see on our shelves? 

The section on ‘Diversifying our collections’ will help build your understanding of this movement- why it matters and what you can do to help. 

If you want help finding out more about BAME academics here at the University of Reading, have a look at the Further Resources tab to see a list of some of the recent research outputs by BAME staff. You can also search for publications about race and ethnicity in the research repository, centAUR. 

If you have an idea for a resource you’d like to see listed, please get in touch. We hope that you will find this guide useful.

Your Library Team


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 is open Saturday 16 September

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

On Saturday 16 September, we’re open 08:30 – 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.

Please be aware that the Library Café will not be open and 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

Problems with off-campus access to Taylor & Francis eBook platform

There is currently an issue for some users when accessing the Taylor & Francis eBook platform off-campus. When using our links off-campus, the user may find the platform slow to load, and then aren’t authenticated when they reach it.

Open laptop

This problem does not appear to affect everyone. However, for those that are, OpenAthens (the company who manages our authentication system) have created a temporary solution. To access off-campus, affected users can use this link. 

You will be able to login as usual with this link, with your IT username and password. This link will take you to the Taylor & Francis eBook platform, from where you can search for the eBook you wish to access. There may be a slight delay in the search bar appearing.

On-campus access should still work, although it may be a little slower. So when on-campus please access Taylor & Francis eBooks via the usual routes. We have added this alternative link into the A-Z database entry for the platform.

If you affected by this issue, please do contact the E-team at or via our e-resources problem report form. We aren’t sure the cause of the issue currently, so having details of affected users will help us and Taylor and Francis to investigate.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team 

Your new, improved subject guide is coming soon

Homepage of the new style subject guideDuring July the Academic Liaison Team will be revamping our subject guides. These are designed to bring together key resources and support tailored for your subject.

To make it easier to find what you need we are moving key information to the homepage of the guide and reducing the number of pages. Each guide will include the following:

  • Homepage – guidance, links and search boxes for finding books and journal articles for your assignments quickly and easily
  • Key resources page – databases and websites you can use to find relevant academic sources for your subject
  • Citing references page – information and guidance on the referencing style used by your department

Additional pages may be added by your librarian to highlight other relevant resources and guidance. We’re also giving the guides a cosmetic tweak to make them more attractive and ensure they are more mobile friendly.

Students who have reviewed the new design have described it as “compact and clear” and “easier to navigate” and have loved the new big banner. We hope you will like it too!

Please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian if you have any feedback about your new guide.

Jackie Skinner, Academic Liaison Team

The summer deep clean

If you’re visiting the Library for access to study space, please be aware that deep cleaning works are underway.  

Member of staff filling up carpet cleaner with water from yellow bucket

The carpet cleaner is a vital part of the summer deep clean

During the summer vacation, Library Support Services work to clean and refresh the Library, ready for the upcoming Autumn term. As part of this essential maintenance, we go beyond the usual areas and reach into the spots which aren’t covered by the day-to-day clean. This includes relocating chewing gum to the bins and washing all the carpets.   

In order for this essential cleaning to be done as quickly as possible, some study areas will be temporarily closed off during the summer vacation. 

We apologise for the inconvenience. Please ask at the Welcome Desk if you need help finding an alternative study space. 


Your Library Team 

System upgrade 26 June – some services disrupted

Tonight, we are upgrading our Library Management System. During the upgrade on Monday 26 June, between 19:00 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 27 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


Lewis Mills – Library Systems Team


Wi-Fi work on 4th Floor

Image shows a deep blue sky with lit up silhouette buildings. Several buildings have wi-fi towers on the roof tops suggesting reliable broadband by the presence of consistent, concentric circles in the sky.

Our Wi-Fi is improving!

Contractors will be in the Library on Friday 23 to Tuesday 27 June to install extra Wi-Fi access points in the group study area on the 4th Floor of the Library. These extra access points will help to improve Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the building, making it easier and quicker for you to log on. 

Please bear with us through this short period of disruption.  

For your safety, this group study area will be closed but individual study spaces will still be available on this floor. There is also a range of alternative study space on the other floors and throughout campus to choose from, including group study spaces and PC labs.  

Visit Student essentials, Study space for more information about finding study spaces and booking a group study room.  



Your Library team 

University of Reading June Open Days

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

Make sure to drop by the Library during your Open Day visit!

The Library will be welcoming Open Day visitors on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June. Have you registered yet? If not, make sure to head over to our Open Days webpage to find out more.    

Throughout our Open Days, prospective students and their families are encouraged to visit the Library building. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff and Student Ambassadors will be on hand to answer questions and queries and provide in-person tours. Self-guided tours are also available for those who want to explore at their own pace. 

 While you’re here, make sure you check out: 

  • Study spaces: Whether you’re 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. 

If you need to refuel, don’t forget to stop at the Library Café before exploring the rest of our beautiful campus. 

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

No matter what you choose to study, the Library is ready to welcome you. Come and visit and find out how to make the most of your studies at the University of Reading. 

We look forward to seeing you. 



Your Library Team