Wednesday, 30 April 2014

You said… we respond to your feedback

“More study spaces in the library – at times it can get very full and is difficult to find a place.”

We have increased the number of study spaces in the Library. As well as the additional desks installed on Level 4, study chairs have been placed in a range of locations around the Library. We have also acquired a system that identifies empty study spaces, which displays vacancies in real time at (also displayed on screens by the Library entrance). In addition, we make special provision during the exam period when an extra workstation room becomes temporarily accessible from the Library, to allow as many students as possible the best available revision environment. Although space in the Library is under pressure, the provision of seating is a priority for us.

Academic Writing Day for Postgraduates 10th May 2014

There will be a day of seminars and workshops for taught and research postgraduates on 10th May. The Library is contributing two workshops – one is an introduction to the UK Data Service and the other is on improving your search skills. The full programme is here

This all-day event will help you to develop your academic writing at postgraduate level. You have an opportunity to learn how to develop your writing and referencing skills, understand how to deal with data more effectively and learn what is involved in writing a postgraduate dissertation. Enrollment on the sessions is limited to postgraduate and research students.

For more Library workshops this term see

Monday, 28 April 2014

Please Do!

2014 Library Etiquette Campaign

The Summer Term is here and so are the exams. That means that the Library will be very busy, you will be busy and everyone around you will be busy. Let's all ensure that the Library remains a clean and pleasant study environment for everyone. Study space will be at a premium, so please do think of others.

Please Do:
  • Bring in bottled water with you but all other drinks and any food should be consumed outside the Library.
  • Switch mobile phones to silent before coming into the Library and use our Phone Zone on Level 1 (near the photocopiers) before making or taking your call.
  • Use your study space for as long as you wish to continue with your studies or coursework - for advice on effective study habits, visit our Study Skills webpage.
  • Feel free to take a break when you need to but if you'll be gone longer than half an hour, please vacate the space so that someone else can use it - for real-time information on the study spaces we currently have available, visit our dedicated page.
  • Play safe by always keeping your possessions under supervision and not leaving them unattended, even for a short while.

Good Luck with your exams!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Today’s the Day

Anniversaries & Events in Academia & Elsewhere

April 25

Not a bad day at all for happenings worldwide in history. It was on this very day back in 1507 that geographer Martin Waldseemuller first used the name America (Matthias Ringmann is sometimes also credited with him) in honour of the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, when making a large twelve-panel wall world map, Cosmographia Universalis, based on the travels of Columbus and Vespucci.
 It seems that Waldseemuller later became racked with doubts about Vespucci’s actual involvement in discovering America, seeing he afterwards labelled it as Terra Incognita, or Unknown Land.

On April 25 1684, a patent was granted for the humble thimble, though the identity of the person that took it out has proved incredibly difficult to discover. Still, there can’t be many people sadder than someone who applies for a patent for a thimble, can there? With the sole exception, perhaps, of the fellow who spends his time trying to find out who this thimble-patenter might have been. Daniel Defoe must have thought April 25 a lucky day, seeing he chose it for publishing Robinson Crusoe, a little something he drummed up when he wasn’t busy spying. His name was actually Foe but he added the De later, claiming descent from the family of De Beau Faux. That means “of Good False,” don’t it?

Nicolas Pelletier didn’t think it quite such a lucky day from his particular angle, which happened to be underneath the rapidly descending blade of Madame Guillotine as it claimed its first victim, who was so unbourgeois as to be a common highwayman. In readiness for the event, the authorities had thoughtfully painted the contraption red …

Moving on to 1850, Paul Julius Reuter (that name rings a bell) used forty pigeons to carry stock market prices. He was originally a Jewish German and called Israel Beer Josafat, by which stroke of changing it thus deprived us of the chance today to be talking about the Beer News Agency. Pity. Over in Vienna, in 1886, Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7 (it means 7 Town Hall Street) but it is not true that in the early days he used to write the appointments of his patients on small pieces of paper, later to become known in the trade as Freudian Slips. April 25 1915 saw the landing of 78,000 ANZAC troops at Gallipoli, though by January 9, having lost some 50,000 of them, it was high time to go. The Australians and New Zealanders shot all their horses and mules first but we considered that most awfully unBritish behaviour, so we simply left ours there to starve instead.

It was a better kind of day for Boris Yeltsin in 1993, when Russia elected him their new President, though not such a good one in 2007 as it was when his funeral was held. He was the first head of state to have been buried in a church service in one hundred and thirteen years. Well, being the original Pickled Gherkin, they weren’t going to risk cremating him, now were they?

This day 1990, the Hubble space telescope was put into orbit, which is when they discovered it had one tiny flaw … it couldn’t focus on anything far away. They managed to fix it in the end. Edwin Hubble, after whom the telescope is named, spent much time trying to get astronomy to be considered as a branch of physics rather than a field in its own right, though this was mainly so that astronomers might get the Nobel Prize (for Physics), a move which the Committee stoutly resisted. Right up until 1953, shortly after Hubble’s sudden death. The prize cannot be awarded posthumously …

Oh, yes, and this day in 1953 some scientists published an article announcing the discovery of the structure of something called DNA.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A reminder of our Easter opening hours

Just a quick reminder of our Easter opening hours:
  • Thursday 17th April ... 10.00 - 20.00
  • Friday 18th April ... 10.00 - 20.00 Self-service
  • Saturday 19th April ... 10.00 - 20.00 Self-service
  • Sunday 20th April ... 10.00 - 20.00 Self-service
  • Monday 21st  April ... 10.00 - 20.00 Self-service
  • Tuesday 22nd April ... 10.00 - 20.00
On the self-service days you can use the self-service machines to issue and return books, pay fines, etc.

From Wednesday 23rd April we are back to our usual opening hours

Some Easter reading ...

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wednesday 16th April - maintenance work on the Library catalogue

Wednesday 16th April - service disruption
We will be carrying out essential maintenance on the library system on Wednesday 16th April from around 09.30. We expect the work to take about 30 minutes. It will not be posssible to place requests or renew items during this time and VuFind will not show item availability. Self-service will also be affected.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Dawsonera Ebook platform downtime

Some of our ebooks will be unavailable on Sunday morning (13th April) between 7am and 10am due to maintenance on the Dawsonera platform.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) promotional video now available

The British Library have created a short video about EThOS with researchers from the universities of Glasgow, Plymouth and Manchester talking about how they have used it. 

EThOS is a free research tool which gives access to the best of the UK’s doctoral research. Search over 350,000 theses covering every subject area, and download over 100,000 straight away.
•             Search and read theses on your topic;
•             Find examples of how to structure and approach your thesis;
•             Research the work of specific institutions or academics.

Watch the video:

If you want to find out more about finding electronic theses from EThOS and other resources, come to our Saturday workshop on the 7th June:

Friday, 4 April 2014

Computer Room 109 accessible via the Library

Computer Room 109 will be accessible from inside the Library again from Monday 7 April to Sunday 22 June. The entrance is on level 1 of the Library to your right through the yellow arches. The usual door to 109 will be locked during this time.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Our Summer term workshop programme is now out

Our Summer term Library workshop programme is now out. The workshops this term are mainly aimed at postgraduates but all are welcome. We have a new workshop on using archives, and also some of our regular ones on popular topics such as EndNote and Web Of Science. For the full programme and to book a place, see our News and Events page

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Last day to make your views known - Library and ITS survey

It's the last day to make your views known in the Library and ITS survey, and your last chance to win £100 in John Lewis vouchers!