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:

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.