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Information for local schools – University of Reading

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Information for local schools

The Library and its staff support University of Reading students in their studies. They provide access to a world of information – whether in online, multimedia or printed form – and skills to make effective use of them. These transferable skills provide a firm foundation for students’ future academic or professional development. More about the Library...

University of Reading Library offers the following services to local schools.

School visits

We can accommodate school visits in the University vacation period. Please apply several weeks in advance, to allow time for necessary arrangements to be made.

Visits to the Library are often coordinated with a wider University visit to a specific University school or department. In these instances, the first point of contact is the departmental contact for schools liaison – obtain their details from Student Recruitment and Outreach (email, or by contacting Amy Wigham, Education Liaison Officer, by telephone on (0118) 378 5439 or email

If you are organising a visit with the sole purpose of using the Library, please contact Helen Hathaway, the Library’s Schools Liaison Representative to discuss your needs, or the relevant subject liaison librarian. Parking must be prearranged and teachers' cars will require a parking permit. Please consider using alternative modes of transport when visiting the University.

Annual information session for school teachers and librarians

The Library has been receiving an increasing number of requests from local schools to visit the Library and use its resources. Due to constraints on Library staff time this is not always possible and one of the ways the Library has decided to support local schools is by offering an annual session to school teachers and librarians about different resources that pupils can use at school or at home. The session also covers how students can plan their visit to the Library in advance e.g. using the catalogue and also the various sources of help and information on the Library website.

Please contact Helen Hathaway if you would like to find out more about the content of the briefing, or you would like attend the next session.

What can you expect from a visit?

For school visits in the vacation period, we may (subject to staff time and if agreed in advance), offer the following:

  • give a brief presentation to students which introduces the University Library and explains how to make the most of their visit i.e. how to use the Library catalogue, photocopying, and using the Library website;
  • assist students to locate useful information on their chosen topic;
  • set a quiz for students that enhances their knowledge of finding, evaluating and utilising information;
  • answer student enquiries at the Information Desk (depending on the availability of Library resources).

Making the most of your visit

  • Search the Enterprise catalogue to ensure there is information on the topic that the students wish to search for.
  • Please inform us if any students have identified themselves as 'disabled‘, so that we can advise on any necessary arrangements for them to enjoy their visit and gain as much from it as their colleagues.
  • Your Year 12 and 13 pupils may use University Library resources for reference, as our resources – encyclopaedias, books and journals – are often beyond those available in school or public libraries. Find out about resources and systems from the appropriate Subject help page. You can check for useful resources using the Enterprise catalogue.

What we expect
As a teacher, you must accompany your students throughout a visit and remain responsible for your pupils, and their actions. Where University of Reading lecturers are involved in a visit, we also ask them to be present and to assist students.

We admit school pupils on the understanding that our Code of Conduct will be followed. In particular, your attention is drawn to the following:

  • no eating in the Library, only drinks in lidded containers are allowed;
  • there is a café at the entrance to the Library where you can obtain refreshments, although school visits cannot be accommodated for lunch in this facility;
  • mobile phones must be in silent mode or turned off;
  • everyone should work quietly, so that they do not disturb other users.

Please let us know when you have recommended that your pupils visit the Library, so we can inform staff of a possible increase in enquiries.

What access will your students have after a visit?

If your pupils wish to return to use the Library, they must either be accompanied by a responsible adult, or attending an appointment with a member of Library staff. Therefore unaccompanied sixth formers should inform the Library of when they are visiting, (by emailing Helen Hathaway). They should not work in groups, even if they travel together. Pupils are only permitted to visit the Library at the weekend or after 5pm if accompanied by a responsible adult. However no visits can be made at any time during the University examination period which runs each year from April to early June. Priority is always given to our own students and disruptive sixth formers will be asked to leave.


The Library supports each University department by providing online links to resources, gateways and tutorials useful at that level. You can use these as a starting point for researching information on Education or individual secondary level subjects (using the equivalent subject guides, e.g. Chemistry). Please note that whilst many resources are free for you to access, some resources, including almost all online material, are only available to members of the University of Reading.

Useful links

Below are some suggested links to help you assist your students:

Work experience

School pupils may benefit from work experience at the Library.

Please contact Julia Munro, University Librarian in the first instance.

Library membership for local teachers

If you are a local teacher you can apply to borrow from the University Library for an annual fee - for more information see Members of the public: using the Library.

Teachers at schools where our teacher training students are on placement gain half-price membership. (School pupils are not eligible.) For further information, see Teachers at mentor schools: joining the Library.

Contact Nick Hollis, Library User Services Manager for more information.

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