Data Protection Policy

It is likely that most of you will have been bombarded by emails over the last couple of days inviting (or begging) you to remain on a company’s mailing list, or at least to view their updated privacy statement.

Of course the Library is equally affected by changes to the Data Protection legislation, so here is our invitation to review our policies.

If you are a member of the University (staff or student), then there is no specific Library policy. All our use of personal data will be covered by the University policy.  If, however, you are an external reader or visitor this will not apply.

Hence we have produced a Data Protection Statement just for you.

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Disability in the Modern World

A database reminder

One person in seven experiences disability (World Bank, World Report on Disability, 2015, Washington, DC). Yet the story of this community and its contributions is largely absent from the scholarly record. Disability in the Modern World: History of a Social Movement is an online collection that fills the gap, with a comprehensive and international set of resources to enrich study in a wide range of disciplines from media studies to philosophy.

Read more ›

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Outstanding books for young people with disabilities

I’ve just taken delivery of a collection of books, nominated by the UK for IBBY’s List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, 2017.

Some of the books are intended for use by young people with disabilities and others depict young people with disabilities. You may recognise some authors, such as Jacqueline Wilson whose novel, Katyis a modern re-telling of the classic, What Katy Did. It is interesting to see that the popular publisher Dorling Kindersley has some braille books Counting and It Can’t be True in the collection too. Other books are multi-sensory or beautifully illustrated.

You can see the collection alongside some of the international entries, which we have purchased for the library collection, in the glass cabinet in the atrium near to the self-issue kiosks. Next Wednesday, 30th May from 13.00 – 16.00, we’ll open the cabinet so that you can come along and take a closer look at or, indeed, feel of the books!

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Euromonitor Passport: Spring 2018 update

Euromonitor have released a video announcing updates to Passport.  Find out what has changed in their video:


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Maths Cafe returns in September (but help is still available over the summer)

Maths Cafe returns in September 2018The Maths Café is done for this academic year but they will be back as usual from 17th September 2018.

In the meantime, if you have any mathematical or statistical quandries:

  • the Library offers a huge range of textbooks and monographs in the library, including many ebooks available online
  • Learning Support Tutors in your faculty may be able to help – the Technology Faculty has a Maths tutor available over the summer and the Science Faculty offers a tutor who can help with Statistics
  • the Maths Cafe Moodle site offers plenty of online resources and courses
  • you can still email throughout the summer months
  • if you are a postgraduate student you can also contact the Graduate School

Failing all of that, you can always approach your dissertation/research supervisor and ask who else might be able to assist you.

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Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day! 

The doorway to resourcesGlobal Accessibility Awareness Day celebrates all the improvements made to make resources and services available and useful to as many people as possible.  All the advances we make in Making resources available in more formats and supporting different ways of working and learning allows people with physical and cognitive challenges that prevent them from working effectively with printed materials.

There is really no distinction between tools that make resources accessible and those that help people personalise their learning and make resources work in better ways for them.  No two people are the same, and designing to support diversity means that everyone benefits from a wider choice in how they learn.

Read more ›

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Introducing RNIB Bookshare: electronic resources for widening accessibility

The University has been a member of Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Bookshare scheme for many years, including in its previous incarnation as Load2Learn.  The support of the RNIB is invaluable in providing students and staff with many of the accessible formats they need. Upon declaring a disability to the Library, we meet with individual students to discuss their needs, and those who qualify and wish to take advantage of accessible formats are signed up with RNIB Bookshare.  We try to purchase accessible e-books (which you can find in the Library catalogue) whenever they are available, so the sooner we know what units are being studied the sooner we can obtain resources. If the particular title needed cannot be purchased as an e-book, we then check RNIB’s list of publisher partners. If the publisher is working with RNIB, we can request the book through the Bookshare website.  

Many titles have already been requested for previous students both here and at other participating universities, so sometimes the results are instant!  Copyright restrictions mean we can only request electronic copies of titles we hold ourselves but these don’t restrict students from using their membership to make direct requests.  Anyone requesting an electronic version directly should be aware that publishers often send only a plain PDF file, while the Library would usually add navigation to the document before passing it on to students.  That said, some publishers provide their books in multiple formats, including DAISY, HTML, MP3 and EPUB, which offers students a fantastic choice. Bookshare even provide free software to play these formats, available to download from their website, as well as test apps and extensions for many common devices.

So who can use RNIB Bookshare?

This definition is taken from section 31F (2) of the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014.

“Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental impairment which prevents the person from enjoying a copyright work to the same degree as a person who does not have that impairment, and “disability” is to be construed accordingly.

Any individual who falls under the above definition may be eligible to access downloaded items from UK education collection.  This definition is broader in scope than the previous legislation and includes, but is not limited to:

  • Blind and partially sighted: persons who are blind or have a visual impairment that cannot be improved by corrective lenses.
  • Learning disability: persons who are unable to effectively read print due to dyslexia or other cognitive learning disabilities such as Autism or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
  • Physical disability-sons who are unable, through physical disability, to hold or manipulate a book, or who are unable to focus or move their eyes to the extent that would normally be acceptable for reading.

Non-qualifying disabilities

English as an additional language and low literacy levels are not classed as print-disabilities. These learners would need to have a print-disability as outlined above, to be able to benefit from the accessible resources on UK education collection.

If you think you have a qualifying disability and want to find out more about our alternative formats service or are currently registered with us and need your username and password to make individual requests via Bookshare, please email us at  Please don’t provide sensitive information at this stage.

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E-books are for everyone

Three people sat on a bench looking at a gallery of diverse human facesIt is important to us to make our resources equally easy to use for all our clients who might want them.  To this end, we have made sure that wherever possible our e-books are screen reader friendly so they can be searched and read aloud as plain text documents on request.

Accessibility on Ebook Central

All the ebooks on Ebook Central, our largest e-book platform, are in accessible formats.  If you have screen reader software installed, you should be prompted to switch on this function when you open any ProQuest e-book.  If you need the accessible format but have no screen reader software installed, please get in touch and we can arrange for it to be made available for you.

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Put your PhD on another open access pedestal


Polishing off your PhD?  As well as submitting your thesis to the University’s open access Research Portal and the British Library’s digitisation scheme EThOS, you can now archive your thesis online at the Thesis Commons, providing yet another platform indexed by Google Scholar and other services.  The visibility and ease of discovery of your work is important to encourage the citation of your work that will support your career in research.

For more help and advice on getting your work published and noticed visit our Research Support pages .

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Reading for Pleasure – Happy days are here again!

Southsea Beach anyone? Photo by aftab.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and at this time of year students and staff are particularly under strain busily preparing for exams, completing dissertations and finishing off final submissions. Our brains are crammed with ‘useful’ information, our bodies in tight knots from sitting hunched over our desks, we are reading the same boring piece of information over and over again….What we need is some down time and what better way to relax but with a book. I know.. I hear you, you’ve done nothing but read for the past few months but wait, I’m talking about putting the Civil Engineering texts away in a nice neat stable stack, artfully displaying the Architecture artefacts, and ensuring the medical books are not in any danger of tumbling and getting hurt and escaping away from here with a good book. Read more ›

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