Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

We would like to wish all Library users a happy Christmas and we hope you have a good break. The Library is open until 11.45pm until Thursday 20th and then we will close at 4pm on Friday 21st.

Over the Christmas and New Year period, Birkbeck is officially closed but there are study rooms available:
  • G15
  • G16
  • 251 
  • 252
  • 253
  • 254
These rooms will be available from 08.00 to 24.00 from 22nd December to 1st January. The Library re-opens at 8.30am on Wednesday 2nd January. Detailed opening hours are here http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/about/hours

We look forward to seeing you in 2013.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Last Saturday workshop of the term

Learn to use the Library's psychology and psychoanalytic resources

Our last Saturday workshop of the term is an introduction to PsycInfo, PsycArticles and PEPWeb, all of which are designed to help you find journal articles and books on your research topics in psychology and psychosocial studies. The workshop is on Saturday 8th December at 11.30am, and repeated at 2pm, and will last about 1.5hrs, with the chance for some hands-on practice.

To book, please use the online booking form here:

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas arrangements 2012

With only a couple of weeks to go before the end of term here is an early update on our services over Christmas and the New Year.

The Library will close at 16.00 on Friday 21 December 2012, and will re-open at 08.30 on Wednesday, 2 January 2013. The College is also closed during this time.

If you have borrowed or renewed a 3 week loan item recently you will have seen that these are not due for return until after the Christmas closure. We will be issuing 1 week loan items over the holiday from 15 December. Once again we have set up a rolling process of adjusting the due dates for items to avoid everything being due on the same date when we re-open after the holiday. Requested items returned in the week before we close will be kept until after the holiday.

Don't forget that you will be able to renew items throughout the holiday via the library catalogue. We don't charge fines for closed days but please try to keep your account up to date and remember to renew your items if you are going to be away on holiday and out of reach of an Internet connection. Our automated email notices will continue to run throughout the holiday but in general these will only be messages about items that have been requested so that you know to return them when due as they won't be renewable.

Whilst we do try to monitor our systems (e.g. library catalogues, proxy server etc) to make sure that they are available we do not monitor the library's email accounts, so if you email us you should not expect a reply until we re-open.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Have you got a (Frequently Asked) Question?

In order to provide a source of accurate information to our users 24/7 we have collated the top 50 most “frequently asked questions” that we get at the Library Help Desk via email, telephone and face-to-face and added them to a knowledge base with full responses.This can now be searched by using keywords.
So if you have a question, why not search the FAQs first? To have a go click here Frequently Asked Questions or on the Library web site under Quick Links.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Last chance to book!

Last chance to book for our Introduction to Ejournals workshops! There are two chances to come along this Saturday (24th) - 2pm and 3pm.

This workshop will explain what ejournals are and how to use Library resources to find articles that on your reading list. The session will also cover how to search for articles by subject for your essays and assignments.

If you would like to book a place, click on the link below.

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Make the most of ejournals

The Library provides access to over 30,000 ejournals. Find out how to make the most of this valuable resource by coming along to one of our Introduction to Ejournals Saturday workshops. The session will cover how to recognise journal references, how to find journal articles when you have been given a reference and also how to search for journal articles by subject using one of our ejournal packages.

This Saturday (17th) the sessions are 12-1pm and 2-3pm and on Saturday 24th, they are 2-3pm and 3-4pm. Book online now at the link below.   http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/global/workshop_timetable?orgunit=LIB  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Last chance to book!

Last chance to book for our Saturday workshop on "Understanding your reading list and using the Library catalogue". This Saturday, (10th), 12-1pm.

Learn to identify the different types of references on your reading list and find out how to find them in the Library by using the catalogue.

Book your place here:

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Library Web Site downtime - 7 November 2012

We have been advised by our colleagues in IT Services that the Birkbeck web sites, including the Library, will be down for a short time on the morning of Wednesday 7 November whilst urgent system work is carried out.
The Library catalogue will be unaffected and can be accessed here. http://vufind.lib.bbk.ac.uk/vufind/
If you need access to databases and ejournals during this time, try this link. http://ezproxy.lib.bbk.ac.uk/public/proxylist.html

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Saturday workshops filling up fast!

Our first Library Saturday workshop is now full and the others are filling up fast!
Learn to make the most of the Library and its resources at workshops covering how to understand your reading list, use the Library catalogue and ejournals, and search databases for journal articles.

Book your place now at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/news/infoskills
We look forward to seeing you at a workshop.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Changes to printing in the library

If you have tried printing in the library recently you will know that the service has not been all that we have wished for. In order to improve the service, and to simplify printing for users we are withdrawing the standalone printers in the Open Area and in the Seminar Room. The PCs in these areas will default to printing to the library black and white printer-copiers. The Seminar Room has already been changed over and the Open Area will follow soon. An additional advantage is that this will make managing the service simpler for Library and IT Services staff so we should be able to deal with any problems more quickly.

Library users will need to go to the copiers and login to release their print jobs. You can use your student card to do this rather than having to type your username and password. If you print something and realise that you don't want it you can leave it to expire - you won't be charged until you actually print a document. There are instructions by the copiers but if you need help please ask at the Help Desk.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Come on a Library tour

Are you a new student? There is still time to come on a Library tour. We are running tours every day (Mon-Fri) at 5.30pm, no booking required, until 26th October. Just come along to the Library entrance at 5.30pm and someone will be there to show you around. The tours last about 20 minutes, so you will be able to get to your lecture at 6pm.
There are also Library tours and talks during the Orientation Extra day being held tomorrow (13th October) - more details are here http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events-calendar/orientation-extra

Friday, 28 September 2012

Catalogue changes - introducing VuFind

We are introducing a new way of searching the library catalogue and are replacing AquaBrowser with a new system called VuFind. We hope that the change won't be too traumatic for our users, but there are a number of advantages to introducing VuFind both in terms of what it offers us now, and what we can do with it in the months to come. VuFind is an open source system so gives us a deal of flexibility in how we use it.

Without going into too much detail some of the things you might notice about it, especially if you are used to our existing systems are:
  • You can manage your library account through it if you wish. This means that you can see what you have on loan, see what you have requested and if you have any fines or messages on your record. You can also place requests without being taken back to our standard system. Note that you will need a PIN, but there are instructions.
  • We have introduced cover images where these are available and are also looking at Tables of Contents and other extended information.
  • VuFind has some social features so that users can add tags to records or even add comments about titles. Please keep these sensible and pertinent to an academic library! You can also create your own book lists attached to your account. 
  • You can have VuFind in a range of languages - but please note that we have not done any translating or customising of these! 
  • We have more or less got our formats displaying with their correct icons so it is clearer when an item is an e-book for instance. We are also better able to display journal holdings.
  • You can email searches and results to yourself, or a friend, and can also extract records for use in a range of reference tools including Zotero and EndNote. There is also a tool to give you a citation for the record in MLA and others, and we'll be adding Harvard shortly.
Our future plans include:
  • Having a mobile version. This exists but we need to customise it.
  • Having the contents of BIROn, the Birkbeck institutional repository, searchable through VuFind.
  • A few design tweaks and enhancements, but nothing that will detract from its operation.
  • Eventually linking it in to any future developments with regard to the searching of e-journals. 
Points to note:
  • The existing "standard catalogue" will remain and for the time being renewal links in our email notices will still point at that whilst VuFind is bedded in. 
  • If you log in to VuFind please make sure you log out - especially if you use a public catalogue in the library.
  • At the moment if you login and then change your barcode you will find that you get a new account and lose any favourites or other personal things like tags and comments. We will be putting a remedy for this in place.
  • To find our e-journals you will still need to search the eLibrary.
  • We are very keen to get your views and comments. There is a feedback link on the menu bar on VuFind leading to a short Google form. 
 You can find VuFind here - give it a go and let us know what you think.

Welcome (and welcome back)

Hello, and welcome to another year at Birkbeck. If you are new we hope that you enjoy your time at Birkbeck and that we are able to help you with your studies. Please have a look at our web site and find out what we can offer. We are running tours of the library every week day throughout October so please feel free to join one of these. You don't need to book, just turn up and wait by the library turnstile - we're to the left of Costa Coffee. Remember that you need to bring in your college ID card when you use the library - if you don't have your plastic card yet you can print off a temporary "card" via your MyBirkbeck profile. This will get you in and will allow you to borrow items. The library is open 08.30 - 23.45 every day from now until 20th December.

If you are returning you won't find too many changes this year (bar one, of which more shortly). Some of the books have moved around a little to try to get them on the shelves but there have been no major upheavals. Firtunately the scaffolding we had in place for a few weeks to enable repairs and decoration to take place has been taken down and we are assured that the roof no longer leaks!

Don't forget that you can follow us on Twitter (@BirkbeckLibrary) and we are also on Facebook.

Good luck with your studies - and please ask us if you need any help in using the library or its resources.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Filming taking place in Torrington Square next week

Barclaycard will be filming a new advert in Torrington Square next week.  This will involve a crowd of about 80 extras in one oversized photo booth, and two large screens to project the images. Hopefully there won't be too much disruption for those of you studying in the Library - we have been assured that there will be no gun shots or explosions as happened during the filming of an episode of Silent Witness in the square recently!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Building work in the Library

There will be some building work going on on the upper floors of the Library over the next two weeks to repair a section of the roof and prevent any further water leaks.

The Library will remain open and we hope to keep the main staircase open, however access to the 3rd and 4th floors via the stairs may be affected. It will still be possible to use the lift and the disabled platform to get to these floors.

We apologise for any noise and disruption this work may cause.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Library arrangements over the Olympics

The area around Russell Square will be used as the Media Transport Hub for the Games and you may already have seen some of the checkpoints that have been put up in Malet Street and the local area. Because of this and the possibility that our staff may face travel disruption during the Games, we are making some changes to normal Summer services from 23rd July.
The Library will be open its normal Summer vacation opening hours during the Olympic period but with some changes to services. Our opening hours will be 10am until 8pm (Monday-Friday) and 10am until 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays. More information on the changes to services at:
We may need to adjust our opening hours at short notice, so please check our website and follow us on Twitter (@birkbecklibrary) for any last minute changes before visiting the Library.

In view of the heightened security in the local area due the Media Transport Hub, Library users are reminded to bring their Birkbeck student/staff card or their Birkbeck Library card with them when visiting Birkbeck during this period. Please check for possible transport disruption to your journey at the Transport for London (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/) or Get Ahead of the Games (http://www.getaheadofthegames.com/)  websites.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Keep up to date with the latest research

There are still a few places left on this Saturday's workshop on Keeping up to date using Current Awareness services. This workshop will introduce you to services that can send you the details of new journal articles in your subject area as soon as they are published.

Book a place now at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/news/infoskills

Monday, 21 May 2012

Finding and accessing PhD theses

There are still places available on this Saturday's workshop on finding and accessing theses.

Useful for PhD students or anyone planning to do a PhD, this session will cover how to identify and obtain copies of PhD theses using the Library catalogue, the Index to Theses database and the Ethos service.

The session is on May 26th, in the Library Seminar Room, from 10.30a.m.- 12 noon. Book your place now at http://bit.ly/INDJhA

Friday, 11 May 2012

Improve Your Search Skills - workshop May 19th

Our first Saturday workshop this term will give you the chance to improve your database and internet search skills and help you make the most of the online resources that the Library provides.

This session will cover the general principles of preparing a search strategy and carrying out a literature search, together with useful hints and tips on how to get the best out of online databases.

There will be time for questions and hands-on practice, so come along and start gettting better results from your searching.

The session is on May 19th, in the Library Seminar Room, from 10.30a.m.- 12 noon. Book your place now at http://bit.ly/INDJhA

We look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Learn new skills - come to a Saturday workshop

The programme of Library Saturday workshops is now available on the Library web site at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/news/infoskills. This term our workshops are mainly aimed at postgraduates, but all are welcome. If you would like to:
  • Improve your search skills
  • Learn to make the most of the Citation Indexes
  • Find out more about EndNote
  • Keep up to date in your subject area
  • Find and access theses
  • use newspaper databases
book a place on a Saturday workshop. We look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bank Holidays 2012

Compared with last year Easter and the May bank holidays are coming at a rather more leisurely rate, but we do get another extra day this year for the Diamond Jubilee. The library will be open throughout the holidays but on May 7th and June 4th & 5th we will only be open 10.00-20.00. There will be library staff on duty. Access on these days will be restricted to Birkbeck students and staff, and to borrowing Affiliate members. We regret that reference only Affiliates will not have access. You are again reminded that you will need your ID cards to get into the building. As usual you can keep up to date with our arrangements via the library web site.

Looking further ahead into the summer there is some sort of sporting event taking place in London. We will be publishing information about our opening arrangements during the Olympics soon, but if you aren't aware already it might be useful to know that Russell Square is going to be very busy as this will be the media hub for the games. You can find out more about the impact on our area by looking at this letter and map from the London 2012 web site.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Easter vacation 2012

Another term done and we appear to have inherited the same end of term weather as last year. Spring is definitely in the air. As we enter the Easter vacation here is our usual reminder about our services over the next few weeks.

The library will be open for the whole of the vacation, including the Easter weekend itself when we will be open for the first time ever. This will be self-service and we are trusting our readers not to be conducting Easter egg hunts amongst the books whilst we are away! Maundy Thursday and the Tuesday after Easter will be staffed, but with reduced hours as this is during the college's closed period. Access over the Easter weekend is restricted and Affiliate members with Reference Only membership will not be able to use the Library. Full details are on the website at: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/about/hours.

As usual we are issuing items throughout the vacation so if you are going to be away please make sure that any items you have on loan are up to date before you go. You will not be able to renew items if they have been requested by another reader. If you have access to the Internet whilst you are away you can of course renew items online, just make sure that you have the barcode number on your college ID card to hand. We also include this in any emails we send you about items on loan. No items will be due back during the college closed period, and no fines will be charged for these days.

Searching other libraries

If you use other academic libraries in the London/M25 area you may have used Inform25 to search their catalogues before making a visit. This is being redesigned and we have been asked to publicise a survey where you can help influence how such a system will work in future. Details of the project and the survey follow:

SEARCH25 Survey

We want to find out your views on library catalogues and the existing InforM25 service; to help us design and evaluate the new SEARCH25 service with users' needs in mind. 

SEARCH25 aims to develop a system that will provide improved access to the library catalogues of 57 academic and research institutions in the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries. Our goal is to make it easier to discover and locate resources at any library in the consortium, enabling users to benefit from the wealth of materials available to them.

The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. If you wish to be entered into a prize draw to win a £30 Amazon voucher, please give your email address at the end of the survey.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Going mobile

A recent survey of Birkbeck students showed that access to the library was one of the most important features when it came to mobile use of Birkbeck's services. We are pleased to say that we have taken a small step towards meeting this demand by introducing BookMyne. This app, for both Android and Apple devices, allows you to search the catalogue and to manage your library account from your phone.

BookMyne is produced by SirsiDynix, the suppliers of our library management system. There are still a few areas where it needs some more development, but we are happy that it is ready for use. You can read more about it and see some basic instructions on the library website here. We would be happy to hear how you get on with it and will pass any useful feedback to SirsiDynix.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

IT and Library Services Student Survey 2012

Our 2012 student survey is now on line. As with last year's survey this is a joint venture with our colleagues in IT Services. Please tell us about your use of the library and our services/facilities, how important they are to you, and how satisfied you are with the existing provision. We will use the results to improve the service that we provide to you.

Further information is available at: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/survey_lib_it/survey.html

Once again completion of the survey grants you automatic entry into a prize draw. On offer this year are John Lewis vouchers. The first prize is a £100, second prize is £50, and there are two further prizes of £25.

The closing date is 14th March and the results of this survey will be published on the Birkbeck web site.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Extended Easter Opening Hours

In response to student feedback, this year the Library will be open throughout the Easter period for the first time.

From 5th to 10th April we will be open from 10am to 8pm.
On the 5th and 10th the Library will be staffed, and 6th-9th will be self-service only. 

As this is an official College closed period, access will be limited to Birkbeck staff amd students and Affiliates with full borrowing rights. We regret that Affiliates with Reference Only access will not be able to use the Library during this period.

See our opening hours page http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/about/hours

Friday, 17 February 2012

4th Floor journal move and CCTV installation

Over the next few weeks we will be moving some print journals from the 4th floor of the Library and putting them into our Basement Store in order to create more study spaces for your use.
We are also installing CCTV cameras on the first floor of the Library in order to prevent further thefts in the Library.
Inevitably there will be noise and disruption as a result, we will try to minimise this, but we believe that your experience of the Library will improve as a result of these measures.

These two projects will start week beginning Monday 20th of February

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Finding Newspaper articles

Do you need to find newspaper articles for your coursework or research? Did you know that the Library provides access to several online newspaper databases, covering both current and historic newspapers and magazines?

To find out more and learn how to use these effectively, come along to our Saturday workshop on March 25th. The workshop will last about 1.5hrs and there will be the chance for some hands-on practice. Choose either the 11.30am session or, if you're not an early riser at weekends, the 2pm session. To book go to the online booking form. We look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Last chance for tomorrow's workshop on JSTOR

Be quick if you want to book a place!

There are still a few places available on tomorrow's afternoon workshop (2 - 3.30pm) on using JSTOR and Periodicals Archive Online, two of our most popular multidisciplinary ejournal packages. If you want to come along and get some hands-on practice at using these resources, book today at the link below:

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Want to get better at using ejournals?

There are still places available on this Saturday's workshops on Using Ejournals. There is a choice of times - 1130am and 2pm and the sessions will last about 1.5 hours. To book your place go to http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/news/infoskills

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Learn something new in the New Year

Happy New Year to all our students. Welcome back to a new term, and to those starting your course in January, welcome to Birkbeck. Make it your New Year's resolution to learn how to make the most of what the Library offers by coming on a Library tour or coming along to a Saturday workshop this term.

We are running workshops on:
  • Understanding your reading list and using the Library catalogue
  • Introduction to using ejournals
  • Getting the most out of JSTOR and PAO
  • Searching the Psychology literature
  • Using Newspaper Databases
  • Introduction to EndNote Web (Reference management software)
More information and booking form 

If you can't get along to any of our organised events but need some extra help, you can make an appointment to see your subject librarian for help with using the databases and other resources in your subject area. Find out who your subject librarian is.