Welcome to LGBT History Month!

Rainbow flagSorry this wasn’t posted last week, but better late than never!

There’s lots of exciting things going on this LGBT+ History Month.  Check out what appeals most to you from the choice below.  We’re just putting together our traditional book and poster display on the first floor of the Library and will be sharing photos of it when its done.

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Landed with the law?

Gold plated statue of Justice, blindfolded and carrying aloft sword and scales.Are you one of those lucky students (usually studying Business) who has just been landed with a law unit and are now discovering they are expected to learn about legal information sources, the law, and a referencing system called OSCOLA?  If not yet, if you are in your second year, it might happen soon.  Don’t panic!  Your library is here to help.

Finding legal information

When it comes to finding legal information, Westlaw is your friend.  It presents cases in a standard form ready to copy and paste into your OSCOLA referencing footnotes (OSCOLA has footnotes, it’s that different from APA).  Lexis Library has also become almost as student friendly recently.  They search largely the same thing and are both very reliable sources.  Westlaw makes it more obvious whether related cases have upheld, overturned, or just mentioned other cases, and so is probably the easier of the two for you to use.

When it comes to OSCOLA referencing

We can walk you through OSCOLA, help you solve any referencing challenges you might face.  We produce library guides for OSCOLA referencing: visit the Library guides library webpage and search the library guides for “oscola”.  Each of the guides can be downloaded as a pdf document and saved and/or printed.  It might be easiest to print these off so you can have them beside you to refer to while you work.

Further help and advice is available from the Law Librarian.

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Enjoy real action replays of lectures (and parties!)

Blurred, extended exposure photograph showing people movingLectures can sometimes pass in a blur, and so you might find it useful to record what you hear and augment it with photos of whiteboard notes and so on as the lecture progresses.  The same thing probably goes for parties, although then most people are happy to have the night before forgotten.  There are some handy apps for that!

Cogi allows you to record an audio soundtrack from up to 45 seconds before you hit the record button with a single touch and annotate the playback with photos you take in real time – so now you can (with your lecturer’s permission) record lectures, capture the whiteboard, lecture slides, photos of images in books and add images notes later as you play it back or record and annotate your own thoughts.

Audio Class Notes (iOS) and Audio Notes 3D (Android) allow you to record and tag the important bits of lectures, so you can jump between them when you come to listen to the lecture again to study or revise.

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Our top 4 library collections: how many can you name?

You might well have noticed the sweeping arc of glass cabinets flanking the book sorter in the Atrium, where our Glass Cupboard Collection of fragile and pop-up books are housed.  Did you know that you can borrow these items (including the card set that helps you to design games?The Glass Cupboard Collection is one of our “special collections”.  Often more delicate or hard to replace, they are shelved apart from the books on the open shelves to keep them safe for you when you need them.  They include:

  • the Rare Books Collection, which includes some beautifully illustrated art, design and architecture books as well as some interesting local history books;
  • the Bolton Collection of architecture-related rare books.  Arthur T. Bolton (1864-1945) was a renowned architect and architectural historian who donated his books to the University.
You are welcome to consult items from any of these collections and may borrow any of the Glass Cupboard Collection books.  Please ask at the Library Help Desk in the atrium during staffed hours.
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Watch your concentration grow with this innovative app

SaplingAre you continually distracted by your mobile phone?  Do constant social media and messaging updates keep you from really getting stuck into your work?  Try Forest, an app that rewards you for leaving your phone alone by growing a big beautiful tree from a tiny sapling.  If you give in and use your phone before the phone-free time you set yourself at the beginning, you have to watch your little digital tree die.  Perhaps a tad dramatic but it is certainly an incentive, and the tree you kill is only a digital image.  No actual trees are harmed by running this app, not at least so far as we are aware.
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How close is too close?

Individual Silent Study“I really liked the library and the services available. It is comfortable and easy to use. The only thing is that it gets too crowded during peak times.”

~ past student feedback

This year we restructured the Individual Silent Study zone, grouping several areas together into the side of the building that is naturally quieter.  You might have noticed the striking new purple banners flanking the entrance to each zone. By replacing shelving with study spaces, we are able to offer more space to study in silence now than ever before, and we have made sure that all the seating in the individual silent zones encourages individual study without talking.  

Having more restricted individual silent study zones has allowed us to patrol these spaces more frequently.  We have reviewed our procedures and retrained our security staff. We even introduced offer free earplugs for anyone those times when you want to blot out the world completely and work anywhere without risk of interruption – we find they are useful anywhere, not just in the silent zone!

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Gold plating Chrome

Chrome browser iconChrome has for years been by far the most popular browser (W3 Schools, 2015) and it now has some really useful extensions and plug-ins available on the Chrome Web Store to make it even more useful.  Here are a few of our favourites…

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Solve equations in a snap with an app

graphical calculator photoWhile networked software probably offers the best options for creating mathematical formulae, there are free apps that can help you visualise, solve and play with equations, including PhotoMath, My Script Calculator and Desmos.

PhotoMath – photographs a typed (not handwritten) mathematical equation, solves it, and provides you with the answer and shows its working.  This app is reportedly improving all the time, and can handle an increasing number of equation types.  Great for helping you understand how an equation is solved.  Not so great for solving all your practice problems because you won’t have it in exams!

My Script Calculator – converts equations you write on the screen into a typed equation and then solves it and gives you the answer and the results can be copied and exported to other apps.

Desmos – Engage visually with mathematical concepts with this graphical calculator app (also available as a website).  Visually engage with mathematics, plot functions, create tables, add sliders,  animate graphs and solve equations.

Click here to read more and watch videos of these apps in use.

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Don’t ask, don’t get! (or why you really should be reserving more books)

Reservation shelves in the library atriumIf you want a book that is on loan to someone else, you really want to reserve it!  All books that you, or anyone else, borrow are renewed automatically until someone else reserves them.
As soon as you reserve a copy on the Library Catalogue or Discovery Service, we will email the person with the book due back soonest and ask them to bring it back within one week.  Once they bring it back, we will email you to let you know it is on the reservation shelves in the Atrium, waiting for you to collect.  If there are a lot of reservations, you might find you can borrow the book for only one week before it has to be brought back.  It’s always worth checking to see whether there is an ebook version that you could read instead.  These are available 24/7 online and you can always download and print a chapter and sometimes and entire ebook for a short time (1-2 weeks, depending on the supplier) to read offline.
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Space to breathe

3rd Space

3rd Space – escape your home from home

If the Library is fast becoming your home from home, don’t forget that you can also escape to 3rd Space on the first floor of the Students’ Union next door.  The diverse seating available supports relaxed groupwork and quiet study equally well.  Designed as a less formal study space, 3rd Space offers a varied extension to the Library experience.  Take a look and see if it suits you!


Student reading at a deskThe TARDIS like Library

Students have been telling us for years that competition for study spaces and computers at peak times of year makes study uncomfortable at a time when you most want to concentrate.

We have worked hard to create comfortable study spaces within the limitations of the Library building footprint. We have increased the number of study spaces every year and now offer more desktop computers and loanable laptops than ever before.  Last year alone we created 30 new study spaces, varying from comfy seating to individual study tables and installed lockers for another 100 loanable laptops, and we’re not stopping the search for extra study space any time soon! This brings us to a total of 410 fast, modern, full-sized laptop computers for you to use anywhere in the Library.  With fast and regularly upgraded wifi support to keep all your mobile devices working smoothly, you can study how and where you want without interruption.

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