Shelfmark fishing challenge – we have a winner!

After two days of determined angling, we have a confirmed winner with a formidable top score of 3948!  Congratulations to Daniel Kelly who managed to beat tremendously stiff competition to win the Amazon Echo Show 5. 

We hope you all had a good time at Freshers’ Fayre, are enjoying your almost equally exciting freebies from our generous eresource suppliers, and that we will see you in the library very soon.  Don’t forget to say “hi” if you want any advice on finding, using or referencing information for your course (or anything else!).  You can chat to us (or our out-of-hours team pretending to be us) 24/7 all year round.

Library shelfmark fishing challenge high scores board

Those final high scores in full

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At last – the café re-opens!

The café is open again this week!

Head past the Library Help Desk and round the bottom of the wooden staircase in the Library Atrium, and you will find the Library Coffee Shop.  Here you can buy a variety of hot and cold drinks and snacks for you to enjoy in the Library or take away.  The seating in this area is convivial and relaxed.  It is a great place to chill out, read the latest newspaper or catch up on recent journal issues, or just sit up at a table to eat.

When the cafe is closed, our high end vending machines are just around the corner to your right.  They are a little hidden from view, but if you follow the wall of journals and newspapers around the corner you will find them.  Here you can buy hot and cold drinks and cold snacks 24/7 and pay by card or cash, so you need never go without. 
Library vending machinesFor anyone watching their spending, drinking water fountains are available near the Library entrance, along the rear corridor on the ground floor near the Postgraduate Study Suite, and at one end of Area 2B on the second floor. 
This video explains more about the library café.

Where you can eat and drink

Hot food bought from the library coffee shop and all cold snacks are welcome in the Library.  Catering respectfully request that hot food not be brought in from outside and that only food and drink purchased from the coffee shop be consumed in the coffee shop area.  Alcohol may not be bought or consumed within the Library.

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How are we doing?

Work at Library Help DeskNew Library Service Standards

We have raised the bar for our already ambitious service standards to ensure we serve you more quickly and fully so that you can get the most from your library service.  Our new service standards are comprehensive and specify what you can expect from our building and spaces to resource availability, as well as maximum wait times for interlibrary and postal loans and at enquiry points.  You can find the new Library Service Standards on the Library website.

We will monitor the Library Service Standards as an ongoing process and post the results on the library blog and website at the end of each teaching block.

A new Library Charter

The Student Charter was launched last year outlining a shared set of principles which summarise what students and staff should expect from each other during their time at the University.  It inspired us to create a similar charter for the University Library, which incorporates the existing Library Regulations. You can find the new Library Charter on the Library website.

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Welcome to all our new global students!

A big Library welcome to everyone joining us from around the globe!  We have students arriving from as far afield as Canada and Sakhalin – an island(?) on the East coast of Russia, just North of Japan!

World map showing where our global students have arrived from (September 2019)

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We come up with New Year’s resolutions, why not for the new academic year, too?

Have you thought about the ‘new (academic) year – new you’ yet?

I was reading the Metro paper the other day and an article by Susan Griffin on productivity caught my eye. Here is the resolutions list she devised:

  1. Start the day right
  2. State your objectives
  3. Work in short bursts
  4. Take time out
  5. Cut out the noise
  6. Find a mentor
  7. Reflect on your experiences

Man with laptop on his lap“Productivity all the time is a myth,” she concludes. Yes, I thought, how true. Your overall aim is the enigmatic GTD – well, it just means “Getting things done”. I realised that this is also a technique, but I like it as just an acronym.  Seven resolutions, then for the new academic year. Too many to go into detail in this blog. So, while I value all of the above resolutions, let’s take a closer look at #5 – noise reduction.

Read more ›

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Introducing your Lexis Library (law eresource) student expert

We are excited to welcome a whole host of new Law students, as well as those lucky second-year Business Students about to start studying the law in their compulsory business law unit.  You will all be happy to hear that Lexis has appointed a new Student Associate, Joel Rogers (henceforth, the “Lexis Rep” because I’m already forgetting their full job title), who can help you learn how to get the most from one of our most powerful legal information resources, Lexis Library.  From the law itself to case law passed under it, you will find everything you need in Lexis Library and its competitor Westlaw.

We’ll be in touch soon to introduce Westlaw’s student rep, but first here is Joel, in his own words.

Read more ›

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A Narrative for Nora: from the smallest of clues to an international life story

It was small…only around 5cm by 3cm, a little wonky-looking, and greyscale. Hardly the most ostentatious of signals, tucked away from view on the inside cover of a slightly battered looking book written entirely in French. What it was that drew the eye, and suddenly revealed the previously unnoticed double layer of text was a coincidence entirely down to the shape of a familial name. But there it was, sitting there, mysterious and quiet. The bookplate. A single flower, hovering over a dark background. The neat, angular lettering. Nora Allatini. And then, in faded ink, hand-written over the top, Nora Robbins.

Who was this woman, Nora? And why had her book, obviously part of a collection valued enough to have been given bookplates, ended up here in the University Library? The catalogue gave away no clues. But librarians are not known for their acceptance of dead ends, or unanswered questions. With the interest of the team piqued, we decided to see what we could uncover. Read more ›

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Productivity at a distance

Everyone loves a good life hack, particularly business leaders.  Any new gadget or way of working that promises to make what we did yesterday easier and faster so that we can do more tomorrow than today attract attention.  The challenge comes when we realise that most tools and techniques are designed to work in a traditional office, when so much work nowadays takes place over distributed teams working at a distance.  

Here we welcome the return of David “Miz” Mizne from the 15Five blog with a series of remote productivity hacks to make any distributed team effort efficient…


Make your remote team more productive than ever

Productivity hacks help teams get work done more efficiently. However, productivity tips which apply in an office setting may not be relevant if you work with a remote team. It can be difficult to judge how effective a strategy has been if you’re not able to monitor your employees’ performance as vigilantly as you could in an office through an enterprise performance management strategy.

That’s why it’s important to modify your productivity hacks accordingly. The following tips will help managers ensure that their remote workers are getting work done with maximum efficiency. They’re designed specifically with leaders like you in mind.

Read more ›

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National Book Tokens £1000 (book token) giveaway

National Book Tokens gift bagHow does a free £1000 grab you?  Still interested if you can only spend it on books and ebooks (fun ones as well as books for study)?  What if you had to give it to a friend and then look at them appreciatively and hope they share it with you?

If this isn’t starting to sound all too worryingly like an introduction to game theory, National Book Tokens are giving away £1000 to a student nominated by their friends.  That’s £1000 of book-buying power for the lucky nominee to share, horde, or lord over their course mates like some kind of benevolent despot.

Click here to nominate (a carefully chosen) someone for this wonderful prize!


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Finding your books made simple

Small screen shot image showing the location of mass media communication books (302.222)

Screenshot showing reduced size ground floor plan with highlighted shelving unit

Shrinking the library

The library can feel like a rather big place when you first arrive. The most frequently asked questions include “Where are the toilets?” and “I need to find these…”, accompanied by the unfolding of a dizzyingly long list of books, all but one of which has been starred or highlighted.

The good news is that there are toilets, including accessible and gender-neutral toilets, on every floor.  The even better news is that however you find a book in the library, whether it is on an online reading list, through the library catalogue or if you are just given a title and a shelfmark and told to go hunting, you can always have a 3D floor plan on your phone that shows you where your book should be shelved.

Finding your books

Tap the “locate on shelf” button against a reading list or catalogue item to bring up a 3D plan showing where to find your book or visit the library website, look under Using the Library > Find your books, and enter the classmark (shelfmark) number you have been given in “Search by classmark”.  Simple!

If you do this on your phone, you can carry your map with you as you wander over to the shelf.  If you get stuck or lost, or if your books are not where you expect, all our staff will be more than happy to help you find what you are looking for.  Don’t forget that we have even more ebooks than we do books in print!

After just a few weeks, the cavernous library that now fills you with dread will feel like your second home.  It just all takes a little bit of getting used to.  If you are in any doubt, please ask.

Understanding everything else

For everything else, there are short, introductory bitesize slideshows with video clips introducing our other services and facilities.  You can find all the Introducing… slideshows here.

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