Off-site Store collection cancelled this week

We are unable to fetch items from our Off-site Store this week due to staffing issues so with regret there will be no collection on Thursday 22 October.

We hope to resume Off-site Store collections next week, so any items Shelves with boxes of documentsrequested will be fetched on Thursday 29 October. If you have requested an item you will receive an email when it is available to collect.


Natalie Guest
Document Delivery Coordinator / Academic Liaison Librarian

UoR Library Welcome Week Events

We’d like to wish you a great big welcome from all the staff at the University of Reading Library!  Although we’re doing things a little differently this year, we still have a great variety of events planned for you for Welcome Week and beyond.  Here’s a rundown of what’s going on:

Image welcoming new students to the library with a photo of a mug of coffee that has hello written on it and a mobile phone next to the mug.


New student Libguide

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

Introducing your library

We are running online workshops to guide you through some basics about using the Library, and how we can help you in your studies at UoR.

Self-paced tours

We know there’s a lot happening during Welcome Week, so if you want to just take things at your own pace we’ve created a self-paced tour for you to go through online.

Virtual Escape Game

An online time travel escape game that you can play solo or with friends to introduce you to some slightly usual events in the Library!  Time yourself as you play and let us know how speedy you are on social media!Image shows lots of clocks to advertise the Library's time travel virtual escape game

UoR Library reading challenge

A month by month reading challenge including both e-books and hard copy books.  Why not take some downtime from your studies and try something you might not have otherwise read?  Share your reading finds with us on our social media channels.

UoR Library virtual crafts

Take a quick 3 minute break to learn how to make an easy origami bookmark!


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

Library study space bookings open

From today you can make bookings for Library study spaces for Monday 14 September and going forwards. We hope that being able to book your slot will help you organise your time, and help us ensure that our study space can be shared as safely as possible.

Image of a study desk

One of the available study spaces.

We’ve tried to label all the zones and types of furniture in the Library as descriptively as possible so you can choose to book the space that suits you best. We’ve created a document with a list of the labels and pictures of the furniture to help you make your choice. Once you’ve chosen the type of space you want you can opt for a one, two, or three hour slot within the restrictions of the building’s opening hours. You can make a booking up to 7 days in advance.

To make a booking you can use the widget in the ‘booking a study space’ section of our Current Library Services LibGuide or you can use a booking form via this direct link.

Please make sure you make the booking in the same name that is printed on your Campus Card and bring your card and booking confirmation email with you when you come to the Library. You will need both to access the building. Please note that from Monday 14 September you’ll need to have made a booking in advance of coming to the Library and we will not be able to give you access without one.

Please observe the following points of etiquette when visiting us:

  • Bring your booking confirmation email and your Campus Card.
  • Observe the one-way routing around the building by following signage and checking out the floorplans. (You may move freely in the bookstacks when fetching books, please maintain social distance when doing so).
  • Use the stairs if possible. Lifts are for individual use only.
  • Sanitise yourself and your workspace using the hand gel and wipes provided on every floor.
  • Sit where chairs are sited. They’ve been laid out to ensure everyone can study 2m apart.
  • Eat elsewhere to help us keep your study space hygienic and clean for everyone.
  • Stick to your booking slot, someone else will have booked the space after you.
  • Maintain your social distance from other Library users.
  • Be kind and patient with other Library users and staff as we navigate these unusual circumstances

If you have any questions please email and we will do our best to help you.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems and User Services)

Library opening for study space

The main entrance of the Library, now featuring a bright yellow One Way sticker on the floor, pointing inside the Library to indicate that Library users should enter only at the main entrance.

The Library’s one-way system is signposted throughout the building

Exciting news! The Library will be opening for access to study spaces from 08:30 on Monday 7 September. The building will be open for our normal summer vacation hours of 08:30 – 17:00 Monday to Friday. As usual, opening hours will increase during Welcome Week and return to 24/6+ in term time. Keep an eye on our opening hours page for details of our opening hours over the coming weeks.

It will be no surprise that there are fewer study spaces available in the Library due to social distancing requirements. To help manage these spaces we’ll be implementing a booking system. This is being worked on now and we’ll share information about it as soon as we can. In the meantime we’ll operate a first-come-first-served access to the spaces followed by a one-in-one-out policy. You can browse and borrow the books whilst you’re in the building for your study session. We’ve moved the self-issue machines to the print hubs on floors 2, 3, and 4 so you can borrow where you are and more easily stay within the one-way system.

Help us keep the Library Covid-safe by:

  • Following the one-way system in place
  • Using the sanitiser and wipes we make available
  • Putting aside books you have used but not borrowed (look out for the trolleys set aside for this)
  • Keeping your social distance from fellow Library users and staff
  • Being patient and mindful with each other and with requests made by staff

Click & Collect is accessible from the side of the Library facing the Palmer Quad

Click & Collect is still running. You’re still welcome to ‘order’ your books online and we’ll collect them and make them ready for you. This service will remain operating from the Palmer Quad side of the building so that the main entrance and foyer can be used to provide access to the study spaces. This will help us manage any queues.

For more information on the one-way system, booking study spaces, Click & Collect, and how to get help (amongst other changes) bookmark our new Current Library Services LibGuide. We’ll be keeping this and our website up-to-date as we head into Autumn Term.

Thank you for all your support over the summer and welcome back to campus!

Your Library Team

Upcoming changes to Click & Collect service

From Monday 24 August Click & Collect is moving!

Your Library Team have been working hard planning and rearranging the Library services and spaces for Autumn Term so that we can continue providing you with the resources you need under socially distanced circumstances. To help with this we’re going to continue the Click & Collect service during the Autumn Term. As the service will be much busier in term time we needed to find it a new home where we could accommodate all the items you’ll be collecting. From Monday 24 August the Click & Collect service will be available from the Short Loan Collection area on the Ground Floor. This is the area that faces the Palmer Quad, opposite the Palmer Building.

You won’t have to come into the main entrance to access the Click & Collect service. You can enter (and exit) the area via doors from the path along the Library side of the quad. We’ll temporarily convert the existing fire doors there to accommodate this.

You’ll also be able to borrow your books yourself via the Self-Issue machines again. We’ve moved the machines in the Short Loan Collection so that you can use them after we’ve handed your books to you and before you leave the building. We will have sanitiser and wipes available for you to use.

The Click & Collect system itself remains the same so you can still place your holds in the same way. For more information on how to place holds, visit the Library website.

Moving the service allows us to adapt our queuing system in the foyer so we can provide one route to access the Café and another to access study space and the IT Service Desk. We are aiming to open for access to study spaces from Monday 7 September. More details about this will be available soon.

Library User Services

Face coverings now mandatory for Click & Collect

From Monday 10 August, following a recent update to government guidelines, face coverings must be worn in the Library when using our Click & Collect services unless you are exempt under government guidelines.

Thank you for helping to keep our Library space as safe as possible.

For more information on how to use the Click & Collect service or place holds for collection, visit our previous blog post.

Tara Healy, Library User Services

Library Click & Collect service

Your Library team is excited to announce that from Monday 13 July Library members will be able to borrow some print books via a new ‘Click & Collect’ style service.

Yellow tape on door mat marks social distancing queue points

Please enter the front door and queue two metres apart

We’ve rearranged things so you’ll be able to place holds via Enterprise (the Library catalogue) on items that are ‘on the shelf’, just like you do with items on loan. We’ll fetch requested books from the shelves each day and you’ll get an email from us when your items are ready for you to collect.

You’ll be able to place holds from Thursday 9 July and the Library will be open for collections only 11:00 – 14:00 Monday to Friday from 13 July. We’ll keep your items available for up to five days as usual.

Barrier tape marks route to collection point

There’s a one-way route to your collection point

We’ve worked hard to put procedures in place that will keep you and our staff safe whilst participating with this service. When you arrive at the Library you’ll find a queuing system in place providing a one-way contactless route in and out of the building, and signs showing you where to stand to maintain your social distance from others.

You’ll be able to engage with staff at a collection point in the foyer, one at a time. We’ll ask you to put your Campus Card down and then step back so we can step forward to read your name and card number. Once we’ve issued your books to you we’ll put them down and step back so you can come forward to collect your books and card.

Barrier tape marks route to exit

Exit by the side door

We’ll wipe the collection point in between each person. We’ll also be wearing gloves when we handle your books.

This service is take-away only and the Library building remains closed for general use. For full details of all aspects of this service visit our Click & Collect FAQs webpage.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems & User Services)

EndNote and Mendeley workshops

Open laptopFollowing on from our successful Masters Dissertation Fair we are offering extra EndNote and Mendeley workshops to support students wanting to learn how to use these reference management tools. These will take place online via Blackboard Collaborate at the following times:

  • EndNote Online workshop – Mon 15 June 11:00-12:00
  • Mendeley workshop – Tue 16 June 11:00-12:00
  • Desktop EndNote workshop – Wed 17 June 11:00-12:00

Book your place through the Actions tab on RISIS.

Which one should I use?

For a standard literature review, or literature-based dissertation, consider either EndNote Online or Mendeley. Both are suitable for storing references and working with Word to insert citations and build a bibliography. If you like working with PDFs then Mendeley is probably the tool for you, as it can automatically populate reference details directly from PDFs. EndNote Online works well with databases such as Web of Science for downloading accurate references. It also has automatic access to key referencing styles, including a customised Harvard style which matches the requirements for many departments.

If you are doing a systematic review, or considering going on to further research, then Desktop EndNote is the most appropriate tool for you. It allows you to easily download references from most databases and automatically attach PDFs with its Find Full-text feature. You can also access hundreds of referencing styles and even create your own!

Read on for more info about each one…

EndNote Online

EndNote Online is free to use and can be accessed from anywhere. Register for an enhanced version via the Web of Science to access our specially-created ‘Harvard for Reading’ style, which matches the reference format requirements for many departments. Collect accurate reference details from many databases as you search. It works particularly well with Web of Science as both products are owned by the same company. Once a reference is downloaded use the ‘Search for item at Reading’ button to find PDFs and then attach them to your references, keeping everything stored in one place.

See our EndNote guide for more information.


Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. It has a nifty ‘watched folder’ feature – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also 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. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word.

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

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 for more information.

Book your place

Sign up to any of these workshops through the Actions tab on RISIS. Before the session you will be sent a link to the Collaborate session. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions take a look at the links above for guides and videos, or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

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

5 tips for starting your dissertation

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. Look at the COVID-19 page in the guide for top tips on how to access resources when off-campus.

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 video on critical note taking offers some advice on this.

Tip #5: Attend our webinars

In Week 7, the Study Advice and Library teams are offering a series of webinars just for Master’s students. These will help you to get to grips with:

  • developing your research question,
  • planning your literature review,
  • finding information, and
  • managing your references.

Our short webinars run at 11:00 and 14:00 each day, Monday 1 June – Friday 5 June. To find out more and join the webinar check out our Master’s Dissertation Fair guide.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

Online Master’s Dissertation Fair: 1-5 June

Web page screen shotWondering how to start researching and writing your dissertation? Why not drop into the Master’s Dissertation Fair, run online by the Academic Liaison and Study Advice Teams!

Choose from a selection of different webinars at 11:00 and 14:00, Monday 1 to Friday 5 June offering advice on all elements of your dissertation planning, searching for literature, and writing. From choosing a research methodology to using reference management tools, these friendly webinars provide tips from the experts to put your dissertation on track for success.

​No need to book, just follow the links in the Master’s Dissertation Fair guide. Please connect 5-10 minutes prior to the session to ensure your access is working correctly.

More help available

Alternatively, you can also book a 1-2-1 session with a Study Adviser or Academic Liaison Librarian.

If you prefer self-paced online resources from Study Advice, try their suite of guides and video tutorials on literature searching, dissertations and major projects,

Discover key resources in your subject area in the liaison team’s guides: note the new COVID-19 tab showing additional relevant resources made available online during the lockdown period.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

‘Library recommends’ … fun productions and healthy walks

Feet in trainers and grey trousers walk on grey wooden path

Fancy treading the boards inside or out this Bank Holiday with Library online access?

Need something enjoyable to relax with this weekend? Why not take up these suggestions from Library staff, who point out that you can also use Library resources to enhance your wellbeing, not only for serious research!

Entertainment for staying in

We can all access some excellent film, theatre and television resources with our University username and passwords to take our minds away from worry. Particularly good are Box of broadcasts and Drama Online, the latter also giving us COVID-time access to National Theatre productions. Below, Sarah and Kim review their favourite productions.

One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre)

In this play by Richard Bean, recorded by National Theatre Live, 15 September, 2011, Tony Award-winning James Corden plays Francis Henshall in the hilarious West End and Broadway hit. I recommend this play as one of the funniest things I have watched in ages. James Corden gives the role 110% as the play descends into a chaotic, high energy farce. With various members of the audience on stage, James’s character, Francis, tries to serve dinner to his two guvnors without either catching sight of the other and with the ‘help’ of the waiting staff, who keep falling down stairs, popping up at the wrong time and generally providing a perfect spectacle of mishaps! If you enjoyed ‘The Goes Wrong Show’, you’ll love this.

Go to: Select ‘Log In’ at the top right of the page, then ‘Log in via your institution’, search for ‘University of Reading’ and log in with your University or Reading username and password.

Sarah Hatcher, Library User Services

Good Omens (BBC Radio adaptation 2014)

Good Omens is a surreal and insightful story about the end of the world, written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and with a host of supernatural and incredibly human characters. You may already be aware of the recent Amazon Prime-BBC television adaptation which aired last year (and can still be streamed online). But BBC Radio 4’s radio dramatisation starring Mark Heap and Peter Serafinowicz as Aziraphale and Crowley was broadcast a few years earlier, and is a really great adaptation – including not only some excellent performances (Heap is brilliant) and cameos (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, notably), but some great scenes from the book which didn’t make it to the television adaptation.

You can listen to the radio adaptation (and find the BBC television broadcasts too) on Box of Broadcasts – a TV and radio archive service, that includes a whole host of fantastic programmes, great for researchers and those of us wanting to catch up on favourites alike. I find listening to the radio while working from home really helps my concentration, as I’m not a fan of silence, and so I’m enjoying discovering and re-discovering programmes using Box of Broadcasts. For the next few weeks, you can also enjoy the service from across the EU, so if you’re not based in the UK at the moment, you can still listen and enjoy!

Go to: Box of Broadcasts. If you’re a new user you may need to register using your University username and password. Good Omens Episode 1 is here.

Kim Coles, Academic Liaison Librarian

Guidance for going out

A valid reason for going outside during lock-down is for health-giving exercise. Judith and Jackie advocate making use of online map resources to search out a new local experience.


Getting bored walking the same old route every day? We all know how important it is to get regular exercise, but after a while you want a change from the routine. Jackie was fed up with her usual local walks so decided to see if she could find some alternative routes with Digimap to explore more widely without getting lost! Digimap is an online collection of maps of Great Britain, including current and old Ordnance survey maps, geology and aerial photographs.

You too can use Digimap Ordnance Survey to create and print a map of your local area – take it on your daily walk to discover new routes, whether you’re in an urban area or the countryside. If you’re feeling adventurous, print out a map from Digimap Historic to discover the area as it was in the past! Using the Roam service, search for your town or village, then zoom in. You will need to register the first time you use it but then the (lockdown) world is your oyster! Enjoy exploring!

Judith Fox, Academic Liaison Librarian/Map Librarian;
Jackie Skinner, Academic Liaison Librarian

More about Library resources

Look out for further Library information on the Library website, University Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Kim Coles and Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarians