A wealth of primary sources – trial access to British Online Archives extended!

The Library’s trial access to all 95 collections from British Online Archives has been extended until 31 March.  The archive contains over 4 million records drawn from both private and public archives, which are organised thematically.

Collections include ‘The British Union of Fascists: Newspapers and Secret Files, 1933-1951’, ‘British Labour Party Papers, 1906-1969 and 1968-1994’, ‘Slavery: supporters and abolitionists, 1675-1865’, ‘Zimbabwe under colonial rule, in Government reports, 1897-1980’, ‘British officers’ diaries from World War I, 1914-1919’, ‘British women trade unionists on strike at Bryant & May, 1888’ and much more.Shelves with boxes of documents

Access to British Online Archives is available off-campus until 31 March.

Help us to decide

Feedback about any of the collections would be appreciated.  Please send this to Charlie Carpenter, Academic Liaison Librarian for History: c.a.carpenter@reading.ac.uk.

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

Library loan extensions

Good news from the library, which will hopefully alleviate any concerns you may have about library fines during the current lockdown period.

To help you stay at home and cut down on non-essential trips to the library, we extended the due date on all library books for the second time. This time, loans were extended until Sunday, 28 March and the extension applies to all loan types: standard, 7 day, and short loan. All new loans will go to this date too.

Return your items in the book drop, located to the right of the main entrance if recalled. The recall process is still in place for items that are in demand so do continue to place holds on anything you need and we will try to get the book back for you.Metal letter-box type flap (labelled Book drop) in glass and metal section of building

If you do get a recall notice for a book you have on loan, the due date will be brought forward as normal, and you’ll need to return it in the usual way via the external Book Drop. If you have any difficulty doing this, please get in touch with us on 0118 378 8770 or library@reading.ac.uk for advice and further information. If you have an inter-library loan and are not certain about the date that it is due for return, please contact us via the details above or check your library account via Enterprise.

Interested in Arts and Health? Take a look at our new guide

Paint brushes in a glass jarIf you are planning your Masters dissertation, or you are heading into your final year this Autumn and your thoughts are starting to turn to topics for your dissertation, you might be interested to take a look at our new guide covering Arts and Health. It draws together useful resources for undertaking research in this interdisciplinary area, which is the focus of the University’s Health and Arts Research Initiative.

The guide has been compiled by our Academic Liaison Librarian for Pharmacy in conjunction with Dr Ranjita Dhital, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Co-Chair of the Arts, Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group of the Royal Society for Public Health. It includes details of recently purchased books bought specifically to support research in this area, as well as relevant databases, and key websites.

So if you are studying Art, Architecture, Film, Theatre & Television, Food & Nutrition, Pharmacy, or Psychology, take a look at our new guide to whet your appetite for possible dissertation topics.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian for Pharmacy

 

Dissertation videos, guides and 1-2-1 support

It’s February which means if you’re a final year student, you’re probably frantically trying to complete your dissertation. Over the past few weeks, the Study Advice Team and your Academic Liaison Librarians have been running webinars to support you to find resources and write up your projects and dissertations. But don’t worry if you missed them, we have a plan….

Plan #1: watch our videos

We have recorded short videos on all aspects of dissertation research and writing which summarise what was discussed in the webinars. These short videos cover tips on critical thinking for dissertations, writing your literature review and discussion chapters, and managing the final stages. We also have a video on finding resources online, if you’re at this stage of your research.

Plan #2: check out our guides

We have a range of study guides that support you with various aspects of your dissertation:

  • Our Study Advice dissertation guide covers everything from planning your project to finishing off your dissertation. And our guide on literature reviews will support you to write this important chapter.
  • We also have a suite of Study Advice videos on major projects and dissertations, if you’d rather watch a video than read a guide.
  • Our Library guide on systematic reviews will be of interest to those of your conducting this type of research. We also have a guide to help you with searching databases.
  • Managing your references – whether you need help referencing a resource in a particular referencing style, or using reference management software, our online guides can help you with referencing and your dissertation bibliography.

Plan #3: book a 1-2-1

You can book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Study Adviser or your Academic Liaison Librarian to discuss your own specific questions. Remember we are not subject experts, but we can help you with the following:

  • If you need some support with managing your time for your dissertation, academic writing style, using evidence or overcoming writer’s block and procrastination, you could book a Study Advice appointment
  • If you’re struggling to find the resources you need, navigate the library databases or manage your references, book an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian. You can find your Librarian’s contact details and request an ALL appointment online.

Study Advice and Liaison Librarian Teams

Celebrate LGBT+ History month

Image shows the LGBT+ 2021 history month logo

Image kindly provided by https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/resources/lgbt-history-month/

This month is LGBT+ History month, an opportunity to learn about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and non-binary history, and we wanted to share some resources with you all…

LGBT+ Guide

LGBT+ is an area of research which can cover a wide range of academic disciplines so we would like to highlight the online guide to support research into LGBT+-related topics.

Taking the same format as our subject guides this guide focusses on the range of materials available from the Library and Special Collections relating to LGBT+ topics.

It is one of a series of cross-disciplinary research guides we have developed to support research in areas such as disability and inclusiongender, and race and ethnicity (forthcoming).

It has been created, in consultation with staff and student representatives, to help you find some of the key resources the Library can provide in this area, as well as point you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.

We’d love to hear your feedback on the guide, so let us know what you think!

Join in with our 2020/2021 reading challenge

We’ve taken LGBT+ history as our February topic for our reading challenge.  We have both e-books and ‘real’ books available to read on our reading challenge list here!  Tag us on social media if you try any, or use #UoRreads2021, we’d love to hear about anything you have read and enjoyed!

Suggest resources to help diversify our collections

You can also help us to continue to diversify the Library’s collections by putting forward your suggestions for Library materials to help support a more diverse curriculum.

If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.

You can see all the Diversity fund titles purchased in current and previous academic years on our dedicated Library Diversity fund reading lists.

Ruth Ng, Academic Liaison Librarian

Accessing dissertation resources remotely – workshops

Working from home? Need guidance on accessing the material you need for your dissertation? Then sign up for one of our sessions run by your Academic Liaison Librarians.

Given current circumstances these three identical sessions will focus on getting hold of material you need for your dissertation while away from the University and unable to visit libraries or archives in person. In these workshops we will…

  • Look at finding the books and journal articles you need for your research by locating any online content available (both via the University Library and beyond) and how the Library may be able to help if the item you need isn’t available online.
  • Outline strategies for finding alternative sources for your research.
  • Show how some primary source documents, such as archives, may be accessed online via the University and beyond, for those who need this type of material for their research.

The sessions are open to undergraduates and taught postgraduates from any School/Department who are submitting a dissertation this year and will be delivered live online via Microsoft Teams.

Book your place

To sign up, please click on the link to the session you’d like to attend and complete the booking form.

We look forward to helping you access the material you need for your dissertations during this difficult time!

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Team

Safer studying in the Library – remember to wear a face covering at all times

The Library continues to remain open for bookable study space and for Click & Collect for those of you here on campus.

Following the announcement of the national lockdown earlier this month, and the risk of increased transmissibility by the new strain of COVID-19, we’ve been reviewing current health and safety control measures.

We’ve updated our face covering guidance which includes a change about how they should be used in the Library. You’re now expected to wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) throughout the duration of your visit, even when sat at your assigned desk.

Remember hands, face, space to keep all Library members and staff safe

This is the only change we’ve made to our current safety measures in the Library so the rest of our previously published guidance remains the same.

The Library is designated as a ‘common area’ along with other spaces on campus as there is a relatively high number of different people using the space each day.

During the Autumn Term and the start of this year some people, understandably, were forgetting to replace their face covering when moving around the building.  Due to this, and as the current transmissibility of the virus is heightened, this additional safety measure will help minimise the risk for all Library users and staff.

Please comply with the new guidance and the existing measures to help us keep you and our staff safe so that we can continue to provide effective library services through this time.  Our staff have been working throughout the pandemic to provide a vital service to support you. Please show them the respect they deserve and comply with their instructions – they are there for your safety.

Breaches of our guidelines are being taken very seriously, and may result in fines and/or expulsion from Halls and/or the University, in accordance with our University disciplinary procedures

We will, of course, keep our policy under review and adjust it as necessary in the coming weeks and months, in line with the wider situation.

See our Current Library Services guide and the Library website for further information about all the services available to you on campus and online.

Your Library team

How to avoid screen fatigue

Girl with head in hands looking at laptop screenIf you find that your eyes feel tired, you feel headachy, struggle to concentrate or have neck and back pain, one possible explanation could be screen fatigue, say our Study Advisers.

Our devices help us to study and stay connected to each other but, unfortunately, they can also tire us out and limit our productivity. Screen fatigue can be avoided by putting some simple strategies in place, read on to find out more!

Tip #1: Take breaks

As with any kind of study, it is important to take regular breaks. To avoid screen fatigue, making clever use of your breaks can help. For example:

  • If you take a ten-minute study break from writing up an essay on your laptop, try to take that break away from screens. Avoid the temptation to look at your phone in your break and instead try to do something physical, even if it’s just emptying the dishwasher or making a cup of tea.
  • If you have time for longer breaks, try taking a walk or going for a run. This will give your brain and eyes a rest from the screen but can also relieve aches and pains from poor posture adopted while working on a screen.

Tip #2: Plan screen and non-screen time into your studying

Planning your studying with a timetable, to-do lists or planners is a useful practice and might be something you are already doing (see our advice on Organising your studies). However, have you considered planning your study with regards to screen time? For example, you could:

  • Mix and match your studying activities for the day to include some screen and some non-screen activities. For example, you could spend an hour searching for journal articles for an essay, take a break and then spend another half an hour sketching out an essay plan on a piece of paper.
  • Think about activities that you could switch from online to offline. Could you print out a paper to read instead of reading it from the screen? Could you make that meeting a telephone call instead of a video call?

Tip #3: Watch out for triggers

You will, of course, need screens every day to study and stay connected, but look out for situations where you end up online unnecessarily:

  • Turn off notifications. Do notifications on your email or phone pull you back to screen? Could you turn some of them off? Even just turning off notifications temporarily while you are working, off-screen can help.
  • Buy an alarm clock. If you use your phone as an alarm in the morning, it can be very easy to drift onto the internet after turning it off. Buy a simple alarm clock instead and remove the temptation.
  • Seek offline distractions. If boredom finds you picking up your phone or opening an internet browser, watch out for this, and try to replace these activities with something else – listening to the radio, calling a friend or even doing some colouring in a book will give you a break from the screen.

For more

Watch the Study Advisers’ new short videos on Organising your studies and Taking notes from videos and see our Covid-19 Guide.

Visit our Study Advice website for more resources, to book a 1-2-1 or attend a webinar this spring term.

Study Advisers

This article is also available on the Student Services News Blog as How to avoid screen fatigue.

Extended loans for library books

We have a little bit of good news which will hopefully alleviate any concerns you may have about library fines during the current lockdown period. To help you stay at home and cut down on non-essential trips to the Library we are extending the due date on all Library books until 28 February.

This will apply to all loan types: standard, 7 day, and short loan. We’ll extend everything already out on loan and from today all new loans will go to this date too.

Metal letter-box type flap (labelled Book drop) in glass and metal section of building

Return your items in the book drop, located to the right of the entrance.

We’ll still keep the recall process in place for items that are in demand. So do continue to place holds on anything you need and we will try to get the book back for you.

If you get a recall notice for a book you have on loan the due date will be brought forward as normal and you’ll need to return it to us in the usual way via the external Book Drop. If you have any difficulty doing this please get in touch with us on 0118 378 8770 or library@reading.ac.uk and we will do our best to help you.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director Systems & User Services

UoR Library welcomes new and returning students!

We’d like to wish all of you joining us for your first term a great big welcome, and welcome back to all our virtual & on-campus returning students, from all the staff at the University of Reading Library!  We have lots of online support available to help you get started with using the Library, or to refresh your memory if you’ve forgotten over the Christmas break, as well as staff in the Library building who can help if you are on campus.

Image shows a mug with hello written on it, and a mobile phone. Text reads Welcome! We have various virtual library activities going on this week and beyond for both our new and returning students. See our new student Libguide for more info!

 

New student Libguide

An online guide telling you about how everything is working in the library including useful videos, answers to questions, where to get help and all our virtual events.

Introducing your library

We have a recorded webinar, to guide you through some basics about using the Library, and how we can help you in your studies at UoR.

Self-paced online tours

We know there’s a lot happening at the moment, so for those of you on campus who want to just take things at your own pace we’ve created a self-paced online tour which will introduce you to the physical building.

Virtual Escape Game

An online time travel escape game that you can play solo or with friends to introduce you to some Library basics via some unusual events in the Library!  Time yourself as you play and let us know how speedy you are on social media!Image shows lots of clocks set to different times. Text reads Virtual time travel escape game! Play solo or with friends over an online chat. See the new student Libguide for how to play!

UoR Library reading challenge

A month by month reading challenge including both e-books and hard copy books.  Why not take some downtime from your studies and try something you might not have otherwise read?  Share your reading finds with us on our social media channels.

UoR Library virtual crafts

Take a quick 3 minute break to learn how to make an easy origami bookmark!

If you join in with anything don’t forget to let us know on social media!  You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Ruth Ng, Academic Liaison Librarian

Library open for study space and Click & Collect

Open sign in rainbow colours

The Library is open – stay safe!

During the new national lockdown the Library is open every day for bookable study space and to collect print materials via our Click & Collect service.

The Library will be open for study space; Monday – Thursday, 08:30 – 19:00 and Friday – Sunday, 08:30 – 17:00

Click & Collect is open; Monday – Thursday, 10:00 – 19:00 and Friday – Sunday, 10:00 – 17:00.

For more information about how the library is operating during the pandemic, please look at our Current Library Services guide

 

Natalie Guest, Document Delivery Co-ordinator / Academic Liaison Librarian

Off-site Store collections suspended

Due to the latest restrictions, there will be no collections from the Library’s Off-site Store until further notice.

If you require material that is held in the Store, please contact the Library at library@reading.ac.uk, or by phoning 0118 387 8770, and we can discuss the possibility of sourcing an alternative copy for you.

Closed Access collections will continue as normal.

Library User Services