Bookable Group Study Spaces in our Libraries

Did you know that there are bookable group study spaces across all three of our libraries?

There are three Group Study Rooms in The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Floor 7: Two rooms on the West side of Floor 7 (turn right out of the lifts). Each has a PC and plasma screen and can accommodate up to 8. Remember to collect the key at the Floor 1 Information Centre before going upstairs!

Floor 1: One basic room with a large table and chairs but no screen, which can accommodate up to 12. It is near the SE corner of Floor 1 (turn left out of the lifts and head across the floor).

How to book:

Bookings are for 1-hour slots and each group can book up to 2 hours per day.

6 Group Study Pods/Desks

These new spaces in The Sir Duncan Rice Library are in a large room in the SW corner of Floor 1 (turn right out of the lifts and go past the Heavy Demand section).

group study pods

Book your slot online here: www.abdn.ac.uk/studenthub/login. You can book for up to 2 hours per day.

Each of these spaces has a plasma screen, power sockets and USB charging points. As there’s no in-built PC, you’ll need to connect one of your devices to the screen using the cables provided.

Taylor and Medical Libraries

There are also bookable group study spaces in these two libraries. Please speak with staff at their issue desks for details on booking these spaces.

Elaine Fitzgerald, e.fitzgerald@abdn.ac.uk

 

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Remote access to Library resources and personal filespace

Accessing Library Resources when off-campus

Did you know that if you are off campus you are still able to read all of the Library’s online books, journals and other resources, so that wherever you are in the world you can be studying this rich, varied and growing part of our collections?

To ensure that you can always access these materials when not on campus you need to be aware of the correct way to do so, as there are two different ways to read these electronic materials, depending on where they are located online. Read below to learn how to tell which online route you need to take.

The two routes to Library Resources when off-campus

Shibboleth/Institutional Login

The vast majority of our digital collections are accessed in the same way, whether or not you are sitting in one of our campuses or anywhere else in the world. This route is called Shibboleth, or sometimes Institutional Login. The only thing you need to take this route is your University of Aberdeen computer username and password.

Upon accessing the website of a digital collection you may be asked to use this information to show that you have permission to read the materials. If you are not asked, have a look for the Shibboleth or Institutional Login option somewhere on the page.

When you take this route you are normally asked three very simple questions:

  1. In which country is the University you are studying at located?
  2. At which University in that country are you a student?
  3. What is your computer username and password at that University?

shib steps img (002)

Having answered these questions you will be able to read any of the materials that the university has subscribed to on that site. Unfortunately, though, we do not have access to everything on the sites that you will visit, so even though you have taken the correct route it may still not be possible to read something you have located.

Access via IP Address – Using the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Some digital collections do not use the Shibboleth route and only permit access according to the physical location of the computer being used to read the material. These can often be niche and well-focused digital collections that have chosen not to use the Shibboleth route mentioned above. The University of Aberdeen has no control over whether a website chooses to not use the Shibboleth route.

These digital collections only give access to computers that are located on one of our campuses and the website can tell if you are on campus by viewing the IP Address of the machine. But there is a way of legitimately “fooling” them into thinking you are on campus when in fact you can be anywhere in the world that has access to the internet. This route is called the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. (VDI). Further details on using the VDI are given below.

How to tell which route to take?

If you know the name of the site on which you are trying to read some online materials you can use Primo to determine the correct route to take when off campus. Follow the steps below to learn how.

  1. Within Primo select the Find Databases option near the top of the page.
  2. To locate connection details about that collection you can search by name or browse through an alphabetical list
  3. Click on Show Info for that collection
  4. Locate Authentication Route details:
    • If it states “Shibboleth/UK Federation and IP” you will only need your computer username and password to access it
    • If it states “IP” you will need to use the VDI option when off campus

Guides to using each of these routes when off campus

Shibboleth/Institutional Login

Consult the Library Guide Accessing Electronic Information

Using the VDI

Consult the guidance available on the IT Service Toolkit:

Video briefly explaining the operation of the VDI

Online Guide detailing the steps needed to use the VDI

Once you have set up VDI access you will be able to navigate to Primo from within it and then conduct your searching and linking to digital materials as if you are on campus.

If you have located resources when using the VDI that you want to save for use later you will need to save them to your own personal file space on the servers at University of Aberdeen, your H Drive. The VDI restricts you to saving materials there. So, if you want to access them later from off campus you will need to use another route which is very simple to operate, the University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN). Read on below to learn and about using the VPN.


Access your personal network filespace from off-campus – Remote the VPN

The H: drive is your personal area of file storage on the University network. It provides you with 10GB of secure filespace and is the most secure location to store your course work and files. It appears as HOME on any classroom PC you sign into and is backed up by IT services on a daily basis.  

To access your saved work, simply sign into any networked PC and click on the desktop icon This PC, then select HOME.  

But did you know that Remote VPN provides you with remote access to your H: drive? It also provides access to web-based resources via your personal device, whether on campus, at home or in a wireless hotspot. All you need is an internet connection and a valid University of Aberdeen username and password. 

How do I access it? 

Read on, to find out how to access important files saved to your H: drive, when working from home.  

  • Open your browser and navigate to https://sma.abdn.ac.uk/  
  • You will be asked to read and accept the security guidelines outline in the VPN disclaimer – click Accept  
  • Log in using your username and password (if you are presented with a security warning click ‘Allow’) 

Using the VPN 

  • Staff will see a Home button and a User Apps button, providing links to network shared drives and also a link to their Home filespace (H: drive). Students will see a link to their Home filespace (H: drive) 
  • Click on the Home filespace button. A new window will open, displaying your Home filespace and file structure 
  • Click on a folder in the pane on the left of the window to view its contents. It is recommended that you copy any files from your H: drive, to your computer before editing them.  
  • Select a file and click Download from the top menu bar. Depending on the browser, the file may automatically download to your Downloads folder or, a pop-up may appear with the option to save the file where you want, in which case navigate to the area on your local hard drive (in your computer) that you want to save your file to. 
  • Work on the document as normal.  
  • When you are done, save your changes, close the file and return to the VPN to upload the document there. You can do this by dragging and dropping the file from your computer’s local drive onto VPN’s DROP FILES HERE area or by selecting Upload from the top menu bar. 

Remember to log out of the Home filespace and the VPN home page itself.  

Note: Before you begin, make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus software and that your Windows or Mac updates are current. 

For more information and help, contact the IT service desk by emailing servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk, phoning 01224 273636 or dropping in at The Sir Duncan Rice Library (Floor 1).  

Eleni Borompoka, eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk

Ewan Grant, e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

Did you know about the Library’s collection of past exam papers?

With just a week until the start of the exam period, we would like to help you prepare for your exams by reminding you about the Library’s large online collection of past exam papers. 

classroom

You can search for past papers on Primo [http://primo.abdn.ac.uk/] or directly via DigiTool [https://digitool.abdn.ac.uk/R?RN=744382543], our digital materials database.  As access to papers is restricted to University of Aberdeen members, you will be asked for your computer username and password. There are over 3,000 past exam papers in Word or PDF format covering undergraduate and postgraduate courses from across the University.

We do not have every past exam paper available, so if you cannot find an exam paper for a particular course, check with the School that delivers that course to see if they can provide copies of past exams.

For information on how to locate past papers in Primo, see the relevant library guide: www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/qgdbs007.pdf

A further guide to using DigiTool is available here: www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/qgdbs006.pdf

Don’t forget that library staff are always happy to help you locate any resources you may need in preparation for your exams. Please ask a member of staff if you need help!

Revision Strategies and Exam Techniques: come to a session

Are you making the best use of your time? What’s good to do in an exam? How do you make the most of your knowledge?

The Student Learning Service offers sessions to help you with your revision and to discuss tips and hints for sitting exams.

To find out more about these sessions and book a place today, visit: www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking  and change the category to ‘Student Learning Service’.

Please note that these sessions are not held in the Library.

 

Bookable Group Study Spaces in our Libraries

Did you know that there are bookable group study spaces across all three of our libraries?

There are three Group Study Rooms in The Sir Duncan Rice Library.  

Floor 7: Two rooms on the West side of Floor 7 (turn right out of the lifts). Each has a PC and plasma screen and can accommodate up to 8. Remember to collect the key at the Floor 1 Information Centre before going upstairs! 

Floor 1: One basic room with a large table and chairs but no screen, which can accommodate up to 12. It is near the SE corner of Floor 1 (turn left out of the lifts and head across the floor).  

How to book: 

Bookings are for 1-hour slots and each group can book up to 2 hours per day.  

6 Group Study Pods/Desks

These new spaces in The Sir Duncan Rice Library are in a large room in the SW corner of Floor 1 (turn right out of the lifts and go past the Heavy Demand section).  

group study pods

Book your slot online here: www.abdn.ac.uk/studenthub/login. You can book for up to 2 hours per day.  

Each of these spaces has a plasma screen, power sockets and USB charging points. As there’s no in-built PC, you’ll need to connect one of your devices to the screen using the cables provided.  

Taylor and Medical Libraries

There are also bookable group study spaces in these two libraries. Please speak with staff at their issue desks for details on booking these spaces.

 

Elaine Fitzgerald, e.fitzgerald@abdn.ac.uk

Borrowing Library books – how many and for how long?

Are you unsure about how many books you can borrow from our Libraries at any one time? Are you a little confused about how long you can keep them to study, use for research, or read for pleasure? Please read on to learn more about borrowing from the hundreds of thousands of high-quality books available on our miles and miles of Library shelves.

How many books can I borrow?

The table below shows you how many books you are able to borrow from our Libraries at any one time, depending on the type of Library Account you have.

Type of Library AccountNumber of books you can borrow
Undergraduate Student20
Taught Postgraduate Student20
Research Postgraduate Student30
University Staff50
NHS Grampian Staff10
External Members10
SCONUL Access Students5

How long can I borrow the books for?

The hundreds of thousands of books available in all of our Libraries can be borrowed for different lengths of time, depending on how much they are expected to be used for teaching or research. See below for an explanation of the different loan types available and how you can easily identify them on the shelves.

 

Heavy Demand

How can I tell if a book is Heavy Demand?

There will be Blue tape on the book’s spine, as well as the shelfmark. These books are core reading materials across all courses and therefore have the shortest loan periods in our collection.

How long for?

1 day, due back 10.30am the next day – or Monday if borrowed on a Friday or over the weekend.

If borrowing before 10.30am please check the due date and time carefully – if the item is booked it will be due back at 10.30am that day. Check the screen and your receipt for the due date and time.

A few items are on 3 hour reference. You may borrow the item using the self-service kiosks in Heavy Demand but must return it within 3 hours.

Can I renew the loan?

No phone renewals are allowed. Renewals must be done in person, with the item present. This is because items must be returned by a specific time during the day and very often the item has already been reserved for another reader.

Fines, if late back?

Please note: there is a steep scale of fines for late returns of Heavy Demand books! 

75 pence per hour if returned after 10.30am. The fine increases hourly every hour the library is open

Three Day Loan

How can I tell if a book is Three Day Loan?

There will be yellow tape on the book’s spine, as well as the shelfmark. These books have been recommended for reading on different courses.

How Long for?

Return within 3 days, weekends included e.g. borrowed Wednesday, due back on Saturday. Holds may be placed to reserve these.

Can I renew the loan?

Items may be renewed as long as no-one else has placed a hold on the item.

Items will be renewed automatically for you if not requested by another reader.

You can renew 4 Week Loan items yourself via MyAccount in Primo, or in person at one of our libraries up to 9 times.

Fines, if late back?

£1.00 per day for recalled items.

See also Annual Return of books in May. Contact library staff for details.

Four Week Loan

How can I tell if a book is Four Week Loan?

There will be white tape on the book’s spine, as well as the shelfmark.

How Long for? 

Four weeks from date of borrowing, but they can always be recalled at any time by another user of the library, including over holidays.

If the book is recalled an email will be sent to your University account telling you when to return it.

Can I renew the loan?

Items may be renewed unless recalled or on hold by another reader.

Items will be renewed automatically for you if not requested by another reader (Aberdeen University students and staff).

You can renew 4 Week Loan items yourself via MyAccount in Primo, or in person at one of our libraries up to 9 times.

Fines, if late back?

20p per day, for items that have not been requested by another reader. Overdue recalled or on hold 4 Week Loan items are fined at the normal £1 per day rate.

Long Loan

How can I tell if a book is Long Loan?

There will be no coloured tape on the book’s spine, only the shelfmark.

How long for?

Until the end of the Summer term, but they can always be recalled at any time by another user of the library, including over holidays. If the book is recalled an email will be sent to your University account telling you when to return it.

Can I renew the loan?

Recalled items cannot be renewed. Before the annual return of books in May items can be renewed via MyAccount in Primo or in person at one of our libraries.

Fines, if late back?

£1.00 per day for recalled items. See also Annual Return of books in May. Contact library staff for details.

24-hour Restricted Loan 

How can I tell if a book is 24-hour Restricted Loan ?

There will be a 24 Hour Loan label on the first page of the book. There will be no coloured tape on the book’s spine, only the shelfmark. Very few books have 24 hour loan periods.

How long for?

Return within 24 hours from the time of issue, weekends included, e.g. issued 4.45pm Tuesday, due back by 4.45pm Wednesday.

Can I renew the loan?

Restricted loans may be renewed as long as no-one else has placed a hold on the item.

You can renew 24-Hour Loan items on loan to yourself via MyAccount in Primo or in person at one of our libraries.

Fines, if late back?

50p for the first hour overdue. 5p per hour thereafter for every hour the Library is open.

Ewan Grant, e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

Set your PIN to borrow books with our self-issue machines

Set up your PIN now to access and use the self-issue machines in our libraries.

self-issue machine

Did you know that there is an automated system for issuing and returning books in The Sir Duncan Rice Library? There is also a self-issue machine in the Taylor (Law) Library. Once you have set up your PIN you will be able to use your student ID card and issue books to your library account without requiring the assistance of a staff member! 

 

How to set up your PIN: 

You can either follow the instructions and the link sent to you by email shortly after you’ve registered, or you can visit any of our libraries (The Sir Duncan Rice, Taylor or Medical) and ask a member of staff to do that for you at one of the Information Points or Help Desks – don’t worry, it only takes a few seconds! 

Check here for opening hours and borrowing entitlement. 

Happy borrowing! 

Eleni Papadakou, e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk