Published: 4 September 2013

Researcher Reading Room in Sydney Jones Library

Sydney Jones Library

You told us:

In the 2012 library survey you told us that more quiet study space was needed for research postgraduates.

What we did:

A Researcher Reading Room has been established in the Sydney Jones Library to provide dedicated quiet study space for postgraduate researchers.

The room has:

  • Study space for at least 50 people.
  • 11 PCs with fully adjustable chairs and individually controlled lighting.
  • 24 seats and desk space for laptop users, each space with network points, mains sockets and individually controlled lighting.
  • 12 seats at reading tables and three tables with informal seating.
  • 18 lockers for daily or longer term use.

Opening hours are the same as the library and the room can be accessed using your University ID card.

To avoid reducing the general study space provision for library users, the Reading Room has been placed in an area previously taken up by book storage.

Have your say:

Have you used the new Researcher Reading Room? Tell us what you think about the facilities.

5.00 avg. rating (95% score) - 3 votes

12 thoughts on “Researcher Reading Room in Sydney Jones Library

  1. Arron

    The room is always empty. I have never seen more than a handful of researchers using its facilities. While the library does offer a small room upstairs for taught postgraduates, which is always busy, this area is not. It would be great if taught postgraduate students had access to these facilities, especially given that most students are paying in excess of £3500 per year and often cannot find a pc or a free work-station.If the facilities are being under-used then surely there is scope for other postgraduate students to use them.

    1. Joanna (administrator) Post author

      Thanks for your comments Arron. Usage of the room has been steadily growing since its launch, and we do expect it to continue to grow as postgraduate research students go through their time at Liverpool. That said, your feedback is very useful, and we’d like to reassure you that we will continue to monitor and review use of the space as we review every aspect of the library service. If you would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the library contacts page:

  2. BLR

    I am immensely grateful for the existence of the RRR and use it a lot. It is however rather cold? Also, is there any chance of there being a printer installed in the room? Thanks.

    1. Joanna (administrator) Post author

      Sorry to hear that you find the temperature of the Researcher Reading Room on the cold side. We have had issues with the temperature in the Grove Wing previously and are working with Facilities Management to both monitor and improve the situation. With regards to the printer, we are keen to maintain a silent study space in the Researcher Reading Room and feel that a printer would detract from this. However, there is a printer very close by, adjacent to Special Collections and Archives. Thank you for taking the time to pass on your comments.

  3. Janice Mayer

    I was so happy when I saw this room on the induction day, only to find that my Student Card did not gain me access when I wanted to use it! I had to fill in a paper form (yes, after all that on-line registration process) and don’t know if it will let me oin next time. Researchers – ensure that your card works before you make a long journey to this to find you can only gain access by asking a member of library to staff to admit you. It’s not library staff at fault btw, but it’s very frustrating to journey down to the library hoping to get some reading and research done and you can’t get in!!

    1. Joanna (administrator) Post author

      It’s great to hear that you are keen to use the Researcher Reading Room and we would like to apologise that you found the registration process to gain entry rather laborious. There were some issues with loading the registration numbers into the access control system which meant that some students needed to be added individually. I hope that your card is now working and that you are enjoying the space. We appreciate your comments and would like to assure you that we are working towards a more effective solution to the entry issues.

  4. Katie

    I am really grateful to have a space in the library dedicated to researchers- especially whilst my department is in the process of moving buildings and there is not a lot of free space.
    I have noticed it is getting a lot busier now term has begun again, and I have made the trip there a few times in the last couple of weeks to find no spare computer. I rely on these, rather than bringing a laptop with me on the bus. I don’t know if there would be any option of installing more PC’s?

    1. Joanna (administrator) Post author

      Thanks for your feedback Katie – the popularity of the room has certainly increased since it first opened. As with all our services we’ll continue to monitor use of the space to make sure we are providing appropriate resources. In the meantime, if you find there are no available computers when you arrive you could try using the laptop loan scheme We are shortly intending to double the number of loan laptops to 40 in each library to widen this provision. I hope that helps.

  5. Arron

    A full year has passed and I am approaching the end of my MA. Yet, still, as highlighted at the beginning of the academic year, the research room is under utilised, often empty.

    I understand that there is an arrangement in place with the sponsorship for the research room, but it is ludicrous that taught PG’s, who pay excessive amounts of money, do great amounts of research, too, should have to fight for seats when there is an often unused empty room. This is serious annoyance during revision periods when no seats are available. Other RG universities offer research rooms for taught postgraduates, perhaps Liverpool should follow suit.

    1. Joanna (Administrator) on behalf of Andrew Barker, Head of Academic Liaison, Special Collections & Archives Post author

      Thanks for your comment Arron. We have been keeping an eye on the Researcher Reading Room and utilisation has gone up this year. The room isn’t sponsored and we are conscious that we need to cater to all our users which is why we constantly monitor all library study space.

      Over the summer we will be creating 200 additional study and PC spaces in the Sydney Jones and an additional 220 spaces in the Harold Cohen Library to respond to demand in those areas. Don’t forget you can also use the PC Finder tool to identify where free PC seats are available. It uses GPS location service on the mobile or tablet to locate where you are before displaying the PC availability in centres close to you:

      If you would like to discuss further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the library contacts page:

      1. Cate

        I’m just commenting to point out that a year after you stated you were making 200more seat In the SJ library it was still difficult to find a seat at busy times. I am just bout to begin a taught PG course myself and my biggest worry is having to fight for seats in the SJ with first years who spend more time checking Facebook and chatting than working. Space for taught PG students should be provided.

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