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Transform:2026: Study Space Update

Exterior view of library

The £40 million refurbishment of the University Library continues this year, as we approach our expected completion date in autumn 2019.

As the project moves into its final phases, we’re looking forward to the benefits that the upgrades will bring. Our aim has been to create a more comfortable and sustainable study environment, with additional study space, improved accessibility and security, new heating and ventilation, and more toilet provision being key elements of this.

Some aspects, however, have been completed over the last twelve months. Alongside the opening of the spacious new café, the work completed so far on the Ground and First floors of the Library has meant that 400 study spaces are now available in the building, in addition to those in the Library@URS. While this is immensely positive, construction work will still need to continue on these and other floors, which may sometimes be noisy or disruptive. Students have been appropriately notified of this, and we are working hard to ensure that they are made aware of other available study space.

We want to thank you for your patience during this process and we hope you find the improvements this year useful. While investment in core University facilities is vital, we do recognise that the process has been disruptive, and that there is no ideal time to undertake a project of such scale. With this in mind, we have worked hard, in consultation with RUSU, to provide the best alternative arrangements possible.

We are acting on feedback from students and staff wherever possible and there have been some developments this year as follows: 

  • We have installed new study space facilities in the Edith Morley building and Palmer, to increase the overall number of spaces available (open until 10pm Mon-Fri during term-time)
  • We have made additional study space available in the Carrington Building and in Chemistry

The Library continues to proactively implement an ‘anti-desk hogging’ system. If personal belongings are left unattended on a desk, students should alert staff who will give them a timed warning card to place on the space whilst they use it. If the owner of the belongings returns within the hour they are entitled to the space, if not the other student may stay there. This means a student may leave belongings (but they should not leave any valuables) while they visit the Library to borrow a book, or get some refreshments in one of the  cafes, while ensuring the spaces are not reserved for longer than an hour when other students are looking for desks

Given ongoing construction work in the Library, we have ensured that the study space and services arrangements in Library@URS will remain in place for the whole of the 2018/2019 academic year. These URS-based arrangements include study space and most library services, Course Collection, Study Advice, Liaison Librarians, Maths Support, and the IT Service Desk. Books, other than Course Collection, remain available for borrowing in the Library Building, as before.

A helpful tool – about which we received encouraging feedback last year – is our Study Space map.  We have an updated version for this term that has been published online, and we will be installing it in various prominent locations around campus shortly. It is an easy way to see where study space is located across the University, and a helpful place to direct students if they are unsure where to find available space.

Other key resources are also available to make it easier to find a suitable space to study, which you may find useful to point out to students:  

Opening hours

During term-time, Library@URS is open:

Mon-Fri: 24 hours

Sat: Open until 21.00

Sun: Open from 08.30

The Library Building is open as follows during term-time:

Mon-Sun: 09.00-22.00

For more information on any of the above, please visit


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