Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Free online training session: Using doctoral theses in your research: a guide to EThOS

Are you interested in looking at PhD theses from across the UK? If so you may be interested in a free online training session we have seen advertised by the British Library on the on 10 December 2013, 11.00am GMT.

For more information and to sign up, please go to this webpage:

EThOS can also be accessed through the eLibrary page:

If you cannot join this online training session, look out for a Saturday session focussing on finding electronic theses in the summer term.

Library service on strike day - Tuesday 3rd December

Due to industrial action the Library will be open from 10.00 to 18.00, self-service only, on Tuesday 3rd December.
Self-service during this period covers:
  • Use of the self-service machines to issue, return and renew items
  • Payment of fines via the self-service machines
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the library and its services - use the green Ask Us button on the Library catalogue to carry out a keyword search for answers
  • Subject specific queries - see the Subject Guides section of the Library's website (fuller range of subjects) or the printed guides near the Help Desk
  • Photocopying/printing queries - see the laminated guides near the copiers in the Library (first floor near the Seminar Room) or consult the web page on Printing and Photocopying.
Please remember to bring your Birkbeck ID card with you as no day passes or affiliate applications will be processed on that day.

Friday, 22 November 2013

British Library Newspaper Library closes

If you've done newspaper research in the past, you may well have been to The British Library's newspaper library at Colindale. This has now closed and the whole collection is moving. See this nice BBC news item with video:

There's more information from the British Library on where and when you can use the newspaper colection again here:

Friday, 15 November 2013

Network disruption - Tuesday 19th November

Network disruption - Tuesday 19th November

IT Services will be carrying out some essential work on the part of the network that serves the library on the morning of Tuesday 19th November. During this work there will be a short break in service while cables are unplugged and relocated.

The work will take place between 8.00 and 9.00 in the morning and will affect access to the catalogues and access to e-resources via EZproxy, along with our self-service units and our library staff PCs. It is anticipated that the break will be for only a few minutes at most, but all services will be at risk until we get the all clear from our colleagues in ITS.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Two places available on our Saturday workshop

We have had some cancellations for our workshop this Saturday (16th), Introduction to Ejournals. There are currently two places available, so book now!

Book your place

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Library Services For Distance Learners

It's National Distance Learning Week this week, so it's a good opportunity to tell you about the services the Library has for distance learners:

LAMP (LibrAry Materials by Post)
Students enrolled on official distance learning courses are entitled to postal loans of books held by Birkbeck Library free of charge. Photocopies of articles and loans of material not held at Birkbeck can be supplied at a cost of £1 per request. Click here for more details.

Proxy Borrower service
If you cannot visit the Library in person, and don't wish to use the LAMP service,  you may wish to use our proxy borrower service. This enables someone else to pick up your books for you. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please contact User Support on 020 7631 6369,

The eLibrary
The Library makes available over 30,000 full text electronic journals in all subject areas and these can be searched from outside Birkbeck. See our eLibrary pages for more information and to search for ejournals.
Searching for articles on  a topic? The majority of the 90 databases we subscribe to can be searched from outside Birkbeck. For a listing of what we have, see Databases and online resources, or see your Subject Guide if you're not sure which one to use. You will usually need your ITS username and password in order to access ejournals and databases remotely.

Enquiries and help
We have an email and telephone enquiry service. You can contact our help desk on 020 7631 6063 or You can also try our searchable FAQs and our Library and Information Skills Moodle module. Your subject librarian can provide specialist subject help. See a list of subject librarians here.

For queries about the books you have on loan etc., please check the my account section in the Library catalogue or ring the Library issue desk on 020 7631 6239. You will need the barcode from your Birkbeck ID card.

Other libraries
As a member of Birkbeck, you are entitled to use the libraries of many other University of London colleges for reference. You can also borrow from other libraries via the SCONUL Access Scheme. This is a national scheme with over 170 member libraries throughout the country. See our Other Libraries web pages for more information on this and other access arrangements.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Happy Birthday to us!

190 years ago today Dr George Birkbeck held a meeting in the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand and despite a few ups and downs along the way here we are, still providing an education to the Mechanics of London.

Through the Library's e-resources you can find out what the reaction to that meeting was from what the papers said on the next and subsequent days. We trust that Dr Birkbeck would be pleased to hear that we are still here, and probably astounded that within a few seconds our current students can have access to so much information.

If you want to read about the events of 11th November 1823 then follow the links below. Birkbeck students and staff will need to log in using their Birkbeck usernames.

The Morning Chronicle

The Morning Post

The Ipswich Journal seems to have been less than impressed!

Thursday, 7 November 2013