Tag Archives: Forum Library

Extra Library study spaces during revision time

We hope you’ve had an enjoyable Christmas! Now New Year is looming and unfortunately so too are the January exams. Here in the Library we recognise that the run up to exams is time when Library study spaces are in particularly high demand. This is why during revision periods we increase the number of study seats available in the Forum Library by making the seminar rooms on Level 0 and level +1 part of the Library.

A View of Forum Level +1. The Forum Seminar Rooms will be dedicated for silent study from  2nd January. Enter them through the Library.

What this means for you:

More quiet study spaces in the Forum Library with capacity increasing to over 1000!

From noon on Thursday 2nd January access routes to the Forum Seminar rooms will change. You’ll need to enter and exit these rooms through the Forum Library using the doors by the computer clusters which will then be open. There will be no access to these rooms from the Forum end by the Alumni Auditorium.

The seminar rooms will remain a part of the Library until 12 noon on Sunday 12th January.

Don’t forget there are plenty of other revision spaces available for you during this busy period. Why not take a look at the full list here?

Study smart by respecting fellow revisers

During times of high pressure study it’s more important than ever that you respect fellow Library users and help reduce stress for those working around you by following Library behaviour guidelines. If you are in a silent space please respect the rules and if you need to talk move to a designated group work room or to one of our breakout spaces.

Also, if you are taking break of up to 60 minutes don’t forget to fill in one of our “Taking a Break” cards, available from holders around the Forum Library. If you will be gone longer than 1 hour please clear the desk to allow others to use the space. Library staff will be roving throughout our spaces and are here to help, so if you are being disturbed by noise, need help finding a seat, or if there’s anything else we can do to help just ask!


Forum Locker Keys

Located by Costa and by the Guild rooms, The Forum lockers offer a range of storage and loan options: borrow a locker key from the Library’s  Express Collections area to use a locker either to store your bag while you are on campus, to safely store and charge your laptop or to borrow a netbook for use on campus – all for up to 24 hours at a time.

Issue your key in Express Collections first then access the locker

We’re pleased that our locker key service has proved so popular over the past 12 months, but whether you’re a locker key regular or a brand new user it’s worth taking a few minutes to remind yourself of how to use this facility and make sure you’re doing so correctly.

You can borrow Forum Locker Keys from our Express Collections area, please remember:

  • You may only borrow 1 key at a time
  • The Locker key must be correctly issued to your library record before using locker
  • The key is issued for 24 hours only and we expect the locker to be used on a daily basis only, and then the key returned

To use the Forum Netbook Locker Keys

  1. Choose a green key, for a locker with a netbook inside
  2. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt. The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  3. Find the correct locker number in the Forum and unlock, the netbook and charger will be inside
  4. Use the netbook for working (on campus only: remember the device will not work if taken off site)
  5. Return the netbook to the locker, plug charger into power supply and lock it inside
  6. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt

To use the storage locker (all have power supply), decide if what size locker you need

  • Choose a red key, for a medium/large storage locker big enough to store a backpack (or rucksack)
  • Choose a purple key, for a small storage locker big enough to store a laptop and notebook

and then you need to:

  1. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  2. Find the correct locker number in the Forum
  3. Use the locker, these all have power if you want to charge phone or other device
  4. Empty the locker when finished and lock it
  5. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt
Further information can be found on our webpages.

Don’t forget netbooks are also available from St Luke’s Library, please ask at the desk there if you wish to borrow one.

If you have any questions or require further support in relation to borrowing locker keys please speak to Library staff. If you would like to make a suggestion or offer further feedback on the locker key facilities please do .

Study space provision over the holiday period

Many of you may be leaving Exeter for the Christmas vacation; if you are then we hope you have fantastic festive season and a relaxing break! But here in the Library we also understand that some deadlines loom large in January and so we’re here to support those of you who are planning to stay and study during the festive period.

Facilities in the Forum Library are available 24/7 via swipe access throughout the whole vacation

The good news is that the Forum Library is open 24/7 for swipe card access throughout the break providing a warm, safe and bright environment for any Exeter university students or staff requiring study space or access to our resources. However during this time there will be some changes to the availability of other study areas that you may be used to using so please take note of the following information and plan your study schedules accordingly: 

Study space


Forum Library 24/7 Swipe access for registered university members available throughout the vacation. For access for external users and Library staff working hours see our website
St Luke’s Campus Library PC cluster and 24/7 room 24/7 swipe access for registered university members available throughout the vacation.
St Luke’s Campus Library Open daily except 25th& 26th of December and 1st January. See our website for full times.
Research Commons Open until 17.30 on December 24th then closed until 09.00 on 2nd January 2014.
Amory Study centre Open for study until 16.00 on 24th December then closed until 08.00 on 2nd January.
The Sanctuary Open for study until 24th December. Closed 24th December- 2nd January then in use for exams.


Taking a Break Scheme: the story so far

Our “Taking a Break” Scheme has been running in the Forum Library for several weeks now. Hopefully you’re all getting used to seeing cards like this around the Forum Library:

You can find these cards in yellow-backed holders all around the Library. They’re also available at the desk by the Library reception, so why not grab one as you enter so you’ll have it ready when you need a break?

What to do:

When taking a break of up to one hour: please always leave a card, fill in the time you left and be sure to return within 60 minutes. Don’t forget to take any valuable items with you or put them in a Forum Locker.

If you will be gone longer than an hour: please clear your desk so that others can use the space.


How did we develop the scheme?

Before we introduced the scheme , we did a lot of research about what other HE organisation were doing about the problems of people saving seats while they are away.  In libraries of a similar size to ours, it can be almost impossible to successfully enforce any “no saving seats at all” rules.  We needed to think around the problem in another way.

We met with the Student Guild and they were clear that we needed a student led scheme that increased awareness and allowed some flexibility.  They also feel very strongly that the library should increase the number of study seats available over time.  We were pleased to announce additional seats at the start of this academic year  – and don’t forget that during the revision period the number of available seats in the Forum Library will increase again as the Seminar wings on Level 0 and Level +1 switch to become library spaces.

We also met with individual students who had complained about the problem of saving seats and together (with all this input) we came up with the “Take a Break” idea, as promoted.

Feedback so far:

Thanks to everyone  who has taken the time to get in touch with Library staff and share your thoughts on this scheme. Your feedback is appreciated and we’ve been pleased by your support. Here’s a selection of youe comments so far, as well as  responses to some of your questions and concerns.

“Great Idea”
I think this ‘Take a Break’ Scheme is a fantastic idea!”
“Hopefully these new guidelines will be a good step”  
Having worked with the university on the “Taking a Break” initiative, I am pleased to see it introduced! – (comment from Alex Louch (Guild VP Academic Affairs) – quoted in Exepose

Your concerns:

“Good idea, but only if everyone uses it

Our response: Our front line team are working very hard to implement this new system and we think it may take at least a full academic year (or more) for the scheme to prove its worth.  The Student Guild are also behind the scheme.  It is a big change and needs sufficient time to become part of the culture.

“an hour is too long “

Our response: Both the Library and the Guild are keen to achieve the right sense of balance and to encourage healthy study habits. It is good practice to take breaks when working to get fresh air and to eat. Students need (at most) an hour to get lunch, especially if they have to buy food, queue or use the toilet.  Also, students can leave for shorter periods; one hour is the maximum permitted time away.  Library staff will do more work to promote this message.

“it isn’t fair for people to leave a desk at all; if students need a break then they should give other people the chance to use the desk.”

Our response: we appreciate this concern, especially at times of highest demand but there are a number of reasons why we feel it would be unhelpful not to allow breaks:

Our consultations revealed many reasons why students need to spend extended periods of time in the Library:

  • Some courses require students  to spend a large proportion of their time in individual study (as opposed to in contact hours with academic staff). Many of you have told us that you prefer to spend this in the library as here you feel most motivated to get on with the work.
  • Some students live off campus (or travel in on public transport) and it would not be practical for them to come in for short periods.  They may need to work for long periods, fewer days per week.
  • Many students explained that they need “library days” where they can work consistently on certain projects over extended periods.

All of these are reasons why we feel it’s important to support extended study periods in our spaces. But we’re keen to do so in a healthy way, which includes allowing our users to take short breaks.

We hope Library users will continue working with us to make this scheme a success.

If would like to share your thoughts on the “Taking a Break scheme” then please fill in one of the comments cards you’ll find around the Library or .

24/7 swipe access to The Forum Library available from 9th September

We are pleased to announce that…

The Forum Library will be available on a 24/7 basis from Monday 9th September

Library staff will be available to help daily from 08.00 – 20.00 Monday – Friday and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekend. During these times members of the public and visitors from other universities are also extremely welcome to use our facilities. Outside of these times, the building will remain open with self-service facilities available 24/7 but in the interests of security overnight entrance will be for registered university staff and students via swipe card access only.

Have you got your Unicard? Always remember it if you are coming to the Library and make sure you keep it with you at all times, including if you leave the Library for a break – you will need your card to get back in again!

We are proud to offer 24/7 facilities in the Forum Library and in the 24/7 study room at St Luke’s.  We understand that you need spaces to suit your individual study and research needs, however if you are working late into the night do make sure you stay safe and healthy. Here are some tips taken from our Library behaviour webpages:

  • Take regular breaks, move around or have a drink. Vending facilities are available in the Breakout area
  • Do not leave valuables unattended; locker keys are available to borrow from the Forum Library
  • If you are working through the night please be sensible and maintain a healthy attitude and working habits.
  • Short power naps are helpful but the Library is not a healthy or appropriate space to sleep; if you’re very tired please head home to rest properly.
  • Stay safe: if you leave the Library in the middle of the night try to walk with a friend or take a taxi
  • If you have any security concerns overnight call Estate patrol on 01392 263999.

Please note our Summer Opening Hours

Our Libraries are open daily throughout the summer period, with staff on hand and happy to help 7 days a week. But what about our after hours self-service facilities? If you’re planning to study late this summer then some spaces will be available but please note there will be a few restrictions on our 24/7 provision during August and early September. Here’s a little more information to help you plan ahead…

You told us you wanted more 24/7 facilities over the Summer. We listened and the good news is we have been able to extend the period of 24/7 opening at the Forum Library this summer.  Although the vacation period has already begun this year the Forum will remain accessible to current University staff and students 24 hours a day right up until August 2nd!

From 3rd August – 8th September there will be a short period when 24/7 access is not available with the Forum Library closing each day when staffed services end. This will be at 21.00 on week days and 18.00 on Saturdays, Sundays and on Bank Holiday Monday August 26th. Full details are available here.

On St Luke’s Campus the 24/7 study room and PC Cluster in St Luke’s Library will remain accessible via swipe card throughout the whole Summer, so this would be a good alternative if you need to study late during the short period when the Forum Library is not open over night. On Streatham Campus alternative 24/7 computer clusters will be available, for example in Queen’s Building and Amory: Library staff will be able to provide you with  full details of these alternative spaces nearer the time.

We are delighted to report that 24/7 access to the Forum Library will resume on a permanent basis from 9th September.

Full details of all our opening hours can be found on our website. If you are planning to visit and study late this summer please do keep in mind the period during which the Forum Library won’t be available 24 hours a day. For any advice on alternative study spaces during this short period please speak to Library staff who will be happy to advise.


Why not borrow a Forum Netbook?

Need to work on the go? Why not borrow a netbook (slimline laptop computer) via the Forum Library? If you haven’t discovered the Forum netbooks already here’s a quick guide to how to borrow one and what you can with it.

What can I access?

Netbooks can be used anywhere with a connection to the campus wifi (but they will not work off-site or via a cable connection). Log-in to the device with your university username and password and to access the following: your U: drive file space, internet, email, Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader and the Student Print service.

Did you say I can print from a netbook?

Yes!  So long as you have sufficient credit on your account you can send your documents from the netbook to either the  Xerox_Student_Monochrome (for black and white) or  the Xerox_Student_Colour (for colour printing) queue then swipe in at the relevant printer to release the documents for printing in the usual way.

So if you just need to print and the computer clusters are busy why not borrow a netbook and print from there instead? You can find more information about printing on campus on the Student Print Service webpages.

How do I borrow one?

These loan devices are available through the self-service locker keys system in the Forum Library Express Collections area on level 0 of the Forum Library, just to the left of our main reception desk.

The green keys are for the netbooks, and there are 3 easy steps to borrowing one:

 1. Pick up a green key from the hanging display on the right-hand wall.






2. Self-issue the key using the machine in Express Collections. Follow the instructions on screen or ask Library staff for help if you are not sure how to do this. You will need your University card to borrow. Your receipt will tell you the date and time the item is due for return, so always take note of this. Locker keys issue for 24 hours at a time but they can be renewed online via your library record, so long as nobody else has placed a booking on them.








3. Now take the key to the bank of lockers on the upper level of the Forum. Northside lockers (1-118) are located by the Guild Consultation Rooms. Southside lockers (119 – 236) are opposite Costa Coffee.  Unlock the correct numbered door and the netbook is ready to go! Don’t forget lock up the door again and take the key with you while you are using the netbook.


What do I do when I’ve finished?

When you’ve finished using the netbook you need to do the following:

1. First return the device to its locker. Make sure you plug it in using the socket in the back of the locker space to ensure it’s fully charged for the next user.

2. Ensure the locker is securely locked then return the key to Express Collections. Always make sure you return the key on the machine and get a check-in receipt as proof of return.

3. You can then hang up the key fob back on the correctly numbered hook.

Things to remember:

  • Further guidance on using the netbooks and troubleshooting basic problems can be found on a laminated instruction sheet contained within each locker of this type.
  • Battery life is approximately 4 hours. A warning will appear when the battery is at 20% capacity or lower, but it’s always a good idea to save your work regularly. If the device does switch off unexpectedly you will need to log back in within half an hour to recover any unsaved work from your last session.
  • Netbooks will only work on campus; they switch off automatically if they lose connection to the campus wifi, so don’t take them off site!
  • To ensure fair circulation of these popular items fines are charged if you are late returning or renewing them (£1 for the first hour then 50p per subsequent hour overdue). To manage your borrowing responsibly and avoid fines always check your receipts  and  and contact Library staff as soon as possible if toy have any problems using the online renewal system.


Longer hours, extra spaces: your Libraries during revision time

We know that the Summer exam period is one of the busiest times in the Library. Here’s a round up of what we’re doing to ensure you get the resources and the study spaces you need for your exam revision:

Level +1 Forum Library Study Room

  •  Extended late opening in the Amory Study Centre:

This popular space which provides a mix of quiet and group study is now available from 8AM – Midnight every day until 2nd June. Swipe your card to enter.

  • Forum Seminar Rooms becoming part of the Library:

From 28th April the  Seminar wings on level +1 and level 0 will become part of the Library, available 24/7 for quiet study and increasing our capacity to over 1000 study seats. Enter the seminar wings through the Library (entrance by the computer clusters) from 28th April.

  • Extra Quiet Revision Space in the Forum Library:

To prioritise quiet study the group room on Forum Library +1 has become a quiet revision space from for the duration of the exam period. Group work spaces are still available in the Neil Cross and Vale Rooms, or why not book online a group room in the Amory Study Centre or the Forum Student Services Centre?

  • Longer opening hours at St Luke’s: 

We are extending the opening hours of St Luke’s Library and for the first time the Library will be open on Sunday mornings! St Luke’s already offers a 24/7 computer cluster and study room but to further increase study space and access to our collections we will be opening the Library itself  from 10.00 on Sundays (rather than our regular time of 14.00) from  28th April on a trial basis.

The Sanctuary: Availability in April/May 2013

Please note there will be some restrictions on the availability of The Sanctuary as a quiet study space during the coming months. The Sanctuary  is also sometimes used for external events as well as being a key venue where exams take place, so if you are planning to come and study in this space please take into account the following:

Students working in the Sanctuary


  • Friday 12th – Wednesday 17th April (inclusive): the Sanctuary is closed
  • Thursday 18th April: The Sanctuary reopens and is available as a quiet study space
  • Wednesday 1st May: the Sanctuary is closed for study and will be used as an examination space


If you’d been hoping to work in the Sanctuary during the exam period, don’t worry because the Library has worked hard to ensure there are lots of other, additional study spaces available for you during the revision period including the Forum Seminar Rooms which become part of the Library and accessible 24/7 from Sunday 28th April.

More information on quiet study spaces during the forthcoming exam period, as well as our revision tips, will be published here on Sunday.

Temporary Additional Seating

We know it’s very busy in the Forum Library at the moment, that’s why we’ve added some temporary additional seating in the Balcony space on Level +1.

So please keep this area in mind if you’re looking for study space over the next few days.

If you’re still struggling to find a seat please ask Library staff for help, or why not try one of our other Library Study Spaces such as Research Commons, The Sanctuary, The Amory Study Centre or St Luke’s Library?