Come for a Tour of The Sir Duncan Rice Library – No booking required

Following on from our already fully-booked Library Tours, which will take place on September 4 and 5, we will be running open tours of The Sir Duncan Rice Library over the rest of that week and the following two weeks for all students, new and old. This is to make sure that as many people as possible get the chance to learn about the Library.

small library tours sign cropped

Starting on Wednesday September 6 and running until Friday September 22, come and meet staff on the ground floor of the library at 10am or 2pm. There is no need to book a place and each tour group will contain a maximum of ten people.

There will be more than one tour taking place at a time, lasting approximately 30 minutes. The tours by our friendly staff will introduce you to not only the beautiful building, but also the services available from the library. We will also tell you:

  • How materials are organised in the building
  • How to begin borrowing the library books on your reading lists
  • How library staff can help you during your time at The University of Aberdeen

Please note that there will be no tours taking place at the weekends, but staff working then will still be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Library Service.

Please speak with staff in the Taylor and Medical Libraries for help in finding your way round their collections and spaces.

We look forward to showing you around, and also take this opportunity to wish you all good luck with the year ahead.​​

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PhD students – Library Induction Sessions now available for booking

Library induction sessions for new PhD students are now available for booking on the University’s course booking system. Held in The Sir Duncan Rice Library, these sessions introduce how to get the best out of the Library here at the University of Aberdeen and are highly recommended for those postgraduate researchers who are new to the institution.

There will be three opportunities to attend one of these sessions over the next three months, with the first taking place next Wednesday, October 26. The dates and times for al three sessions are:

  • October 26: 10.00 – 11.00
  • November 1: 10.00 – 11.00
  • December 14: 10.00 – 11.00

During the hour-long introduction to the Library service we will cover:

  • The basics of how to search our catalogue, Primo
  • How to borrow and return items in our libraries
  • How to locate high-quality online scholarly materials
  • How the Library can help you as you progress with your research
  • Tour of The Sir Duncan Library

As every university is different in how they operate their library service it has proved useful to new arrivals to attend these sessions, to learn exactly how we do things here at the University of Aberdeen.

These induction sessions complement more detailed Library Information Skills Workshops which we offer to PhD students. The next series of these are to take place next month, in November. Click here for further details on these workshops.

We look forward to meeting with any new PhD students, to help you get the best out of our extensive resources while you carry out your research.

The Library launches induction sessions for PhD Students

The Library Service has recently introduced new and regular induction sessions to our services and resources for new PhD students and they are proving popular. Complementing the Information Skills Workshops which we have been delivering to them for a number of years, these induction sessions introduce the fundamentals of how to get the best out of the Library, while the workshops go into much greater detail on the research cycle they will be undertaking during their time here in Aberdeen and the role that the Library can play in that.

The second of these definitions is what we aim for in the induction sessions, and we hope for them to be regular, not rare.

The need for these regular sessions was identified due to the fact that PhD students now arrive at the University of Aberdeen throughout the academic year and, more importantly, from all around the world. The culture of libraries and how they operate differ greatly throughout the world, and also vary between each academic institution, with the systems of one library being designed for the specifics of the particular University of which they are a part. We recognised, therefore, that many of these PhD students needed more basic guidance in terms of how to use our services.

The induction sessions begin with the basics of library opening hours, how many books they can borrow and how to search for them with Primo, and even how they can find them on the shelves. In some countries, for example, students themselves do not go and get the books from the shelves as that would be the work of a librarian. That is not something we normally do here in Aberdeen, unless, of course, someone is struggling to find it themselves. We also cover how to borrow and return them using our self-issue and returns machines.

We then move on to introduce the vast range of online resources we offer, such as e-book collections and academic databases, and their importance to doing great research. We also outline how to access them easily when away from our campuses – important when much research is done in the field and all around the world. The Information Skills Workshops we run are also introduced to let them know that further detailed help is available to help them get the best out of these online materials and our paper resources, and make it clear that Library staff and subject-specific Information Consultants are here to help throughout the time they are working to achieve their Doctorates.

After introducing these services they are given a tour of the impressive Sir Duncan Rice Library to begin to turn the theory of the library which we have just introduced into reality. This also gives them the opportunity to ask any questions about any aspect of the library which we have not already covered.

These inductions sessions are a great opportunity for us to begin to build the relationship with the Library Service that these early career researchers will need over the next few years. It is an exciting time as they set out on the start of their research, but can also be a daunting time with so much to take in and learn in a very short space of time and often in a new country and culture, and our aim with these sessions is to simplify and clarify the Library Service as much as possible for them and make it clear that we are here to support them in their information needs, so that they can focus on the fundamental research questions they are here in Aberdeen to investigate and answer.

To book on one of these induction sessions, or any of the workshops offered by the Library Service visit the University’s Course Booking System and search for Library Information Skills. There are two sessions on offer this week and another on May 12, but do keep an eye on the Course Booking site for details of our next Workshops (not yet confirmed) as well as other excellent classes delivered by other areas of the University.

 

Do you need help finding books in The Sir Duncan Rice Library?

The Sir Duncan Rice Library has an enormous collection of books, with over 400,000 items on the shelves. Have you, though, checked Primo, the portal to all our resources, and not been sure where to go next to find the particular book you want on the shelves? Well, read on to learn how to locate the titles you want to read on our miles of shelving.

The Shelf Mark (sometimes called the Call Number) is the information you need from Primo to locate titles on the shelves and for any book this will be a number between 0 and 999, followed by 3 letters which are usually the first three letters of the author’s surname. The letters are included so that books on the same subject can then be arranged alphabetically.

Take this book for example: Introduction to logic by Irving M. Copi. It has the shelf mark, or call number, of 160 Cop, where 160 is the number for the subject of Logic and Cop is the first three letters of the author’s surname. Quite a simple system really.

The book sequence starts with 000 (computer science, knowledge and systems) on floor 7 and the numbers increase as you descend down the floors, with the last book shelved at 999 (history of miscellaneous countries) on floor 3. Here is a general indication of the shelf marks for each of our subject floors:

  • Floor 3 – Shelf Marks between 900 and 999
  • Floor 4 – Shelf Marks between 700 and 899
  • Floor 5 – Shelf Marks between 400 and 699
  • Floor 6 – Shelf Marks between 300 and 399
  • Floor 7 – Shelf Marks between 000 and 299

In addition to the main borrowable collections each floor contains Reference collections and Folio Collections. Reference books are located at the start of each floor’s sequence and Folios, or oversized books, are shelved separately at the end of the sequence on each floor. Between the Reference and Folio Collections are the main books available for borrowing. Some floors also contain other materials available for borrowing. See below for further details of each floors’ items and the sequence in which they are arranged:

Floor 3                                                                                                                               Reference Items: Ref 900 – Ref 999                                                                                       Main Collection: 900 – 999                                                                                                         Folios: f900 – f999

Floor 4                                                                                                                                     Reference Items: Ref 700 – Ref 899                                                                                   CD-ROMs
Main collection: 700 – 779
Collections of Scores
Miniatures Scores
Full Scores
Vocal Scores
Music Scores                                                                                                                     Main Collection: 780 – 899
Folios: f700 – f899

Floor 5                                                                                                                                   Reference items: Ref 400 – Ref 699
Sc Collection*: Shelf Marks Sc 001 – Sc 999
Main Collection: Shelf marks 400-699
Folios – Sc Collection: f Sc 001- f Sc 999
Folios – Main Collection: f400 – f699

* The Sc Collection is the History and Philosophy of Science Collection

Floor 6                                                                                                                                 Reference Items: Ref 300 – Ref 399                                                                                       Main Collection: 300 – 399                                                                                                     Folios: f300 – f399                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Teaching Resource Collection (TRC) is also on Floor 6 and is shelved in a separate room in the south-east corner of the floor.

Floor 7                                                                                                                                 Reference items: Ref 001 – Ref 299
Main collection: 001-299)
Folios: f001 – f299

To help you get your bearings on our subject floors keep in mind that the sequence on each floor starts with the first set of shelves (or bays) on the far left as you exit the lifts. This is the side of the library nearest to the sea. This first bay will contain the Reference items for that particular floor, and the main borrowable collection will follow directly after. The bays will continue in sequence, row by row towards the opposite side of the floor. This is repeated for each set of bays as they cross the floor, to the side furthest from the sea. See the image below for the general idea of the direction in which books are shelved in The Sir Duncan Rice Library. Each floor is slightly different but the same principle applies on each of the floors.

General floor layout in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

General floor layout in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

The shelf marks for each bay are indicated with a notice on the end of each of them i.e 650.01 Cow – 658.049 Tro. All shelf marks between these numbers will be found in that bay. The sequence starts on the top-left-hand shelf and the numbers will read from left to right across each shelf and down onto the next. They then move to the next set of shelves and continue in this way until you reach the end of that bay.

Hopefully the information above will make things clearer for you as you look for books in The Sir Duncan Rice Library, and remember that if you are ever having difficulty locating any books on our shelves our staff are here to help you. Happy searching but also don’t forget that being lost in the shelves can often lead to you discovering a wonderful book you didn’t even know you wanted to read: serendipity can be a wonderful thing.

Further details on where books are shelved can be found in this Library Guide:

 

Vivien Logan (v.logan@abdn.ac.uk) and Eleni Papadakou (e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk)

Welcome to The Library Service – We are here to help You

As the new academic year begins and the campuses fill with new and returning students Library staff would like to wish everyone all the very best for the coming year at the University of Aberdeen.

While you may have been away enjoying the summer months we have been here, busy enjoying ourselves getting ready to welcome you all through the doors of our three libraries, ready to help you find the books, journal articles, in fact any type of information you need to help you broaden your learning and complete your assignments, dissertations or theses.

Read on to learn (or remind yourself) of some of the ways in which the Library is here to help you.

 

Library Tours

small library tours sign croppedOver the rest of this week and next we are running short tours of The Sir Duncan Rice Library (TSDRL) for all students, new and old. Come and meet staff on the ground floor of the library at 10am or 2pm, there is no need to book. There will be no tours taking place at the weekends, but staff working then will still be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Library Service. Further information on the tours is available here.

Speak with staff in the Taylor and Medical Libraries for help in finding your way round their collections and spaces.

 

Getting help in our libraries

Library staff are here to help you locate the materials you need or answer any questions you may have about our service. That is our job. And we can do that for you in person or online.

Face to Face

Staff are available Monday-Friday, 09.00-17.00, in each of our three libraries to help in person. There is a reduced service at all three sites outwith these hours but staff are still available to help.

For general enquiries within The Sir Duncan Rice Library about our services please speak with staff at the Information Centre on Floor 1.

For more subject-specific assistance in The Sir Duncan Rice Library you will find staff with knowledge of the collections on each of the subject floors (floors 3-6). They will either be based at the clearly marked Information Points, or they will be available to help in the Enquiry Offices which are located right beside them. More details on staff help available here. At evenings and weekends please take any subject questions to the main Information Centre on Floor 1 of the building.

The Taylor Library and the Medical Library also have very knowledgeable staff happy to field any enquiries you may have about their collections. Come and speak to them.

Online Help

chatboxWe are also able to take questions about our collections and services via a Quick Query Chat-Box available on the library homepage. The service is available weekdays during term-time from 09:00 to 17:00. You will find the chat-box on the centre of the Library homepage.

Outside of these hours you can send an email to library@abdn.ac.uk with your enquiry and it will be passed on to the most appropriate member of Library staff to get back to you.

There is an extensive list on our website with contact details for most Library staff.

We are also on Twitter and Facebook and will be happy to take any questions and comments you may have that way too. They are not generally staffed in the evenings and at the weekends but it is another way in which you can contact us for any help you might need.

We are here to help you find the library materials you need throughout your time here at the University of Aberdeen and are ready and waiting for your questions. And don’t ever be embarrassed to ask us a question because you think it might be a silly question. There are no silly questions, only questions, and we love to hear them all.

 

Ewan Grant, Information Adviser

Video-style guide to Taylor Library published on YouTube

trained_librarian_poster

Poster by Sarah McIntyre 2012

Staff here have been very busy recording a short introduction to the Taylor Library in preparation for the new academic year. So… if you are a prospective student, a new student, a visitor, or perhaps someone who wants to conjure up happy memories, you may want to take a look at our PowToon video and slideshow, or even sit back and listen to Ross’s dulcet tones.

Learn more about the Taylor Library and European Documentation Centre on our website.

Elaine Shallcross
Information Consultant, Law and Business
e.shallcross@abdn.ac.uk