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Library Collections Project 2009-2013 – University of Reading

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Library Collections Project 2009-2013

From 2009-2013 the Library undertook a project to review its collections in order to better meet the current and future needs of its users.


Our aim is to create a single, well-maintained and spacious Library on the Whiteknights campus which best serves the needs of all our users

  • Make sure the Library’s collections of books, journals, and electronic resources serve the needs of all students and researchers
  • Provide more study spaces 
  • Provide easy access to the most needed books and journals (and also to lesser-used material - from storage or through reciprocal networks) 
  • Improve the layout of the collections and the signs so that the Library is as easy to use as possible
  • Increase access to electronic sources of information when possible
  • Provide better long-term protection for stored books
  • Integrate the Bulmershe Collection


Student sitting at a desk by some shelvesFebruary 2009 - First set of lesser used books allocated from Bulmershe Library for future off-site store

November 2009 - University decides to rent Worton Grange warehouse as an off-campus store

January 2010 - Library joins UK Research reserve (UKRR)

June 2010 - Completion of de-duplication of stock at Bulmershe Library

October 2010 - Online requests for closed access items begin

May 2011 - Off-site Store becomes operational

July 2011 - Bulmershe collections move to Whiteknights

July 2011 - Bulmershe Library closes

August 2011 - Former Main Library becomes sole University Library

February 2012 - First journals transferred to British Library for UK Research Reserve

March 2012 - UK Research Reserve Collection of rare journals created at Reading

March 2013 - Completion of transfer of journals to British Library for UK Research Reserve

May 2013 - Completion of integration of Bulmershe stock on 2nd floor

June 2013 - All shelving and stock cleared from 2nd floor reading room

July 2013 - Final reviewing of collections takes place

Outcomes - Collections

  • The University now has one central Library located on the Whiteknights campus
  • The Library's collections of books, journals and electronic resources serve the needs of students and researchers
  • Easy access provided to the most needed collections of books and journals on open shelves
  • Lesser used material available via online request
    - 68,808 books moved to off-site Store so far
    - 1,887 items collected from Store for Library users in 2012-13



Bulmershe Library

Main Library 


Number of books reviewed 

 220,568 452,432  673,000 

Number of books kept on open shelves 

 63,545 274,877 338,422 

Number of books identified for closed access storage

20,380  119,769  140,149 

Number of books withdrawn 

136,643  57,786  194,429 


  • 13,127 titles reviewed 
  • 3041 titles (equivalent to 1691 metres) offered to UK Research Reserve (UKRR)
    - Approximately 61% withdrawn 
    - Approximately 17% given to British Library to fill in gaps in collections 
    - Approximately 22% kept at Reading in separate collection to form part of national reserve

Outcomes - Study Space

So far an extra 192 study spaces have been created overall as a result of the project (441 extra created at Whiteknights, 249 lost at Bulmershe)

Further study space will be created each summer in 2013 and 2014

Entire 2nd floor reading room cleared of all shelving and stock, in preparation for more and improved study space

Collections Project has enabled significant major Library refurbishment

Bulmershe Library

Main Library


2009 study spaces




2013 study spaces




Remainder of work to be done (as at 31st July 2013)

  • 121.73m of journals to be submitted to UK Research Reserve (UKRR)
  • 19,856 items from Bulmershe on 4th floor to be integrated into main collections on 3rd and 4th floors
  • 18,596 items from 4th floor to be relegated to Store
  • 18,280 items from 3rd floor to be relegated to Store
  • 5,832 items from 2nd floor to be relegated to Store
  • Approximately half of the total shelving and stock to be cleared from 4th floor reading room

Collections Project news

Collections Project – University Library news Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:12:44 +0000
  • Library visitor arrangements change after 18 April
    Arrangements will be different for non-UoR visitors to this Library from 18 April until at least August 2018 whilst we operate from two buildings: the Library Building (no 2 on the Whiteknights campus map) and the URS Building (no 33 ). SCONUL Access users Users of the SCONUL Access scheme for students and staff from other universities: SCONUL […]
  • It’s all change on the 4th Floor
    In preparation for refurbishment this summer we have moved most the books on the 4th Floor. So if you are used to going to the same spot for your books on your subject, you might have to go to a new section or check the shelf labels for their new location. We moved … 4th Floor normal size […]
  • Library Collections Project progress, Autumn 2012
    Reviewing all Library stock In 2009, the Library undertook an ambitious five-year Collections Project to review every resource we own and ensure relevance to University teaching and research. We are keeping well-used material on open shelves for immediate access; storing less frequently-used research material where it can be retrieved within the week; and responsibly disposing of other material. As of this Autumn, we’ve now reviewed 97.6% of all journals […]
  • 650 moves to 2nd Floor
    Do you use University Library business, marketing, accounting or typography material with 650 Call Numbers? Please be aware that these books and journals  moved from the 4th to the 2nd Floor over summer 2012! Completely integrated with the rest of the 600 sequence on the 2nd Floor, 650 items should be easier to find. However, please ask at Information Desks if you […]
  • What have we done for you lately?
    What has the University Library done for students lately? Here’s an update showing what we did over the last year. Library study space and technology Created more study spaces on the Ground, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Floors, including the new Group Study Pods. Added four plasma screens to Group Study areas – just plug in your laptop. Installed Smartboards to training rooms – try them […]
  • What has the Library done for you lately?
    What has the University Library done for students lately? Here’s how we enhanced your central hub for study and interaction this summer. Study space and technology enhancements We’ve created more study spaces on the 2nd, 3rd and 5th Floors, where we’ve refurbished yet another room. We’ve also reserved all 5th Floor areas for Silent Study, expanding the number of places […]

For older news items relating to the Collections Project please check our Library blog entries regarding the Collections Project.


For more information on the Collections Project contact Paul Johnson, Head of Collections and Space 

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