Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Only two places left!

There are just two places left on this week's Saturday Library workshop - Understanding your reading list and using the Library catalogue. Learn to identify the different types of references on your reading list and learn how to find them by using the Library catalogue.

Book now at to secure your place.

Industrial action Thursday 31st October - Library closed

Due to industrial action on Thursday 31st October, the Library will be closed on that day. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our users.

There's more information on how the strike is affecting other parts of Birkbeck at the link below.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Possible service disruption to JISC Historic Books - 29 Oct 2013


We have received the following message regarding the JISC Historic Books service:

Due to planned maintenance work, JISC Historic Books may experience some disruption on Tuesday 29th October 2013.

Maintenance/upgrade to Web Of Knowledge/Web Of Science - Sunday 27th

Maintenance and upgrade to the Web Of Knowledge/Web Of Science platform. This affects the Science, Social Science and Arts & Humanities Citation Indexes and Medline.

We have received the following message about possible downtime this Sunday (27th) while the platform is upgraded.

This is a reminder that there is scheduled maintenance and upgrade for Web of Knowledge beginning on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at 1400 GMT and ending by Monday, October 28, 2013 at 0200 GMT. Web of Knowledge may be unavailable intermittently during this period. Thomson Reuters apologise for any interruption this may cause.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Open Access Week - Birkbeck and OA

Happy Open Access Week!

You can find out about events taking place in the UK and worldwide at the Open Access Week web page.

The last 12-18 months have seen quite a few upheavals to the Open Access landscape, not least of which are the changes to funders’ OA requirements for researchers.

With obligations towards Open Access increasing, and HEFCE consulting on a possible OA component to the next REF exercise (projected for 2020), the Library has developed a guide and FAQs which help outline the OA obligations for both Wellcome Trust and RCUK funding.

Rather than reproducing the funders’ official (and sometimes very long) publications in full, the pages are designed to summarise key points and link back to the official sites; they also contain easy to follow decision trees, and provide contact details for authors to ask questions about OA and research funding.

The guides are part of our expanding open-access content, including pages on how researchers can comply with the Birkbeck’s own OA mandate and how to deposit in Birkbeck’s Institutional Repository, BIROn.
Paul Rigg,
Senior Assistant Librarian: Repository (BIROn) and Digital Media Management

Friday, 18 October 2013

Last chance to come on a Library tour today!

Last chance to come on a Library tour today! Just come along to the Library entrance on the ground floor at 5.30pm - no need to book.

If you've missed out on the tours, try our Library video at or, if you have a QR code scanner on your smartphone or tablet, look out for the QR codes in the Library which will take you on a guided tour. 

For a more in-depth introduction to the Library try our Library Moodle module at

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Problems with accessing readings on Moodle today

There is currently a problem with accessing digitised readings and other password protected resources on Moodle.

IT Services are aware of this and are working to resolve the problem:
Please see for updates.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Last week of Library tours

Our 5.30pm Library tours finish this week on Friday, so if you'd like to be shown round the Library, please come along soon. There's no need to book, just come to the Library entrance on the ground floor at 5.30pm. Tours will last about 20 minutes, so there will be time to get to your lecture at 6pm.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Doctoral Open Days at the British Library

Have you just started your PhD? You might be interested in going along to a British Library Doctoral Open Day. Here's what they offer:

"Our Doctoral Open Days are a chance for new PhD students to discover the British Library’s unique research materials. From newspapers to maps, datasets to manuscripts, ships' logs to websites, our collections cover every format and language and span the last 3,000 years.
You will learn about our collections, find out how to access them, and meet our expert staff and other researchers in your field. The events are aimed at first year PhD students who are new to the Library."

More details here

Disruption to some ebooks this afternoon

The ebooks we subscribe to via the Dawsonera platform may be subject to some disruption this afternoon. We have received the following message from them:

"Essential maintenance needs to be carried out on dawsonera this evening between 17:00-18:00 (BST). During this time the service will stay online but may be subject to minor disruption.

Users may find that they get logged off the system. If this occurs they should log back in again where they will be able to access the service as normal. Please also note during this time it will not be possible to download books but users can continue to read online.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Have you noticed ... ?

If you're a returning student, have you noticed that the Library has had a bit of a makeover during the summer?

We have a smart new carpet on level 1, new chairs on Levels 1, 2 and 3 and a selection of new kicksteps and ladders for getting to those hard to reach books.
Work has also been carried out to install sockets on all the study desks, so that you can use your laptop in more areas of the Library.

You may have also noticed some screens being installed on the ground floor near the Library entrance - once these are fully operational they will show how many free study spaces are available in the Library and in which areas they are. More on this in a later post.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Only 5 places left!

There are only five places left on our first Saturday workshop of the year - Understanding your reading list and using the Library catalogue - on Saturday 26th October at 2pm.

Grab a place and learn to identify the different types of references on your reading list and learn how to find them by using the Library catalogue.

If you miss out on this one, don't worry, we are runing a repeat session on Saturday 2nd November at 12 noon.

Book your place now

Thursday, 3 October 2013

EndNote down for maintenance this Saturday

We have received the following notification about EndNote downtime this Saturday:
EndNote (online version) and ResearcherID will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 1300 GMT. EndNote and ResearcherID are expected to be unavailable for approximately 4 hours. Thomson Reuters apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Drama Online

We now have access to a new database called Drama Online: .

“Drama Online introduces new writers alongside the most iconic names in playwriting history, providing contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides.

It is a digital library of the world’s most studied and critically-acclaimed plays, accompanied by a wealth of innovative teaching and performance tools, including: overviews of major concepts and topics, biographical entries on key performers, playwrights, directors, designers, choreographers and composers and critical works on major playwrights.

As well as covering past and present drama from the English-speaking world, Drama Online also provides works from key European playwrights in translation.”

Extra JSTOR workshop added

By popular demand, we have added a second Getting the most from JSTOR and Periodicals Archive Online workshop on 30th November. There is now a session at 2pm, as well as at 11.30am.
Book your place here

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Library & Information Skills Moodle module

The Library has created a Moodle module to help you with the information skills you need throughout your course. There are sections on :
  • Finding out what the Library offers
  • Understanding your reading list and finding the items on it
  • Finding material for an essay or assignment
  • Carrying out a literature search for a long essay/project/dissertation
  • Citing your references correctly, avoiding plagiarism and understanding copyright
  • Using software to manage your references
  • Brushing up your IT skills
  • Getting more help
Try it out now and let us know what you think