Tag Archives: study spaces

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 .

The Sanctuary closing early on 9th October

Do you like to work in The Sanctuary?

A view of The Sanctuary

Centrally located just underneath the Great Hall, this colourful, inspiring study space is regularly open 08.00 – 20.00, 7 days a week. However please be aware that on Wednesday 9th October The Sanctuary will be closing at 19.30, half an hour earlier than usual so the space can be decorated in preparation for the Fresher’s Ball.

If you need to study later that evening why not move to The Amory Study Centre (open daily until 21.30), or The Forum Library (open 24/7 with swipe card access for current Exeter students and staff).

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about our Library Study Spaces please do : good or bad, your feedback matters to us, and really has an impact on the changes we make and the services we provide.


St Luke’s Library quiz

Fancy being in with the chance of winning some great prizes? Why not have a go at the Explore St Luke’s Library orientation quiz? The competition involves matching views of the Library to nearby book titles and is open to all students – you don’t need to be registered on a Luke’s based course to take part. Find out more about St Luke’s Library, the great facilities on offer, and how to get there on our webpages.

The quiz is a great, fun way to get to know the scenic St Luke’s Library and the valuable study spaces and resources we have on offer there, plus you could win some great prizes from local businesses in the characterful Magdalen Road area of Exeter, just next to St Luke’s campus.

A view of St Luke’s Library – come and explore it for yourselves!

Prizes include:

A Barista experience from Darkhorse Espresso

A voucher from Leaf Street

A fruit box voucher from E.M Hills greengrocers

A voucher from Cafe Magdalen

So what are you waiting for? Pick up an entry form from St Luke’s Library and hand it back to us before the closing date of 4th October to be in with the chance to win. Good luck!

St Luke’s Library: new opening hours

St Luke’s Campus Library

Located just a short walk from Exeter city centre, St Luke’s Library is a great place to study, and you don’t need to be on a course based on St Luke’s Campus to use our facilities. Here’s some information about our opening hours at St Luke’s Library for the 2013-14 academic year.

St Luke’s Library offers our usual extended term time opening hours to cover 36 weeks per year, including the weeks before exams and the additional weeks in June to support our PGCE students.  We have also extended our opening hours to include Saturday and Sunday mornings, now increasing our weekend opening hours to 10.00 – 18.00 all year round.

From Monday 16th September, term time hours resume at St Luke’s. From this date the library’s staffed opening hours will be 08.00 -20.00 on weekdays and  10.00 – 18.00 at weekends so that Library staff will always be on hand to offer support during busy times. Library users are welcome to move to the 24/7 study room after 8 PM (6PM at weekends) but access to collections is not possible after this time.  Our 24/7 provision at St Luke’s includes up to 30 study seats and 28 computers (with colour and black and white print facilities), available all year round.

For more information on new our opening hours please talk to library staff  or why not visit our web pages for full details?

Coming Soon – Even More Study Spaces!

We are pleased to announce that, in response to student requests, we are installing an additional 164 study spaces in the Forum Library.  This will bring the number of study seats in the Library to more than 1000, expanding to a massive 1300 during the exam revision periods!

We are conscious of the need to minimise disruption during term, so work is underway now to prepare areas of the Library for the new study spaces.  Some temporary desks will be in place shortly, with installation of the permanent furniture planned for mid-October.  We are grateful for your patience while work is ongoing.

We’ll let you know as soon as possible when the new study spaces are in place and we’ll also update you about the new locations of any items we move.

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.


Extended Sunday Opening Hours for St Luke’s!

You Asked….. For St Luke’s Library to be open longer at the weekends

We Did…. From this Sunday and for the duration of the exam period  St Luke’s Library will opening on a Sunday at the new earlier time of 10.00 AM!

Students in St Luke’s Library


St Luke’s extended weekend opening hours (from 28th April on a trial basis) are:

Saturdays: 10.00 – 18.00 

Sundays: 10.00 – 18.00

And don’t forget the out of hours study room and computer cluster are available by swipe access 24/7 all year round. If you’ve not studied at St Luke’s before why not make a visit during the exam period: the Library offers, a designated Quiet study room, perfect for revision, as well as drop-in group pods and a larger group room bookable via the central student room bookings system.

For more information on St Luke’s Library and how to get there please see our webpages.

This change was made as a direct result of feedback from our users. We always do our best to act on the requests you make, so if you have a comment or suggestion for us please do let us know. Comments cards boxes can be found in all our Libraries, or why not email or speak to any member of staff directly. We’re always keen to hear your views!


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.

Amory Study Centre – extended opening hours!

During the January exam period the Library arranged extended opening hours for the Amory Study Centre. You told us this was an extremely welcome move, so we listened and we’ve done it again…

We are pleased to announce that this popular study space will be staying open later during the Summer exam period.

From Sunday 21st April – Sunday 2nd June the Amory Study Centre will be open daily from 8am to the new later time of midnight!

Please note this space is swipe access only so please always bring your University card with you.

Quiet room in the Amory Study Centre

If you are planning to study late at night do keep safety in mind when you leave our Libraries or study spaces. Why not check out our revision tips blog post for more ideas on working smart and looking after yourself during the revision period.