Come and learn about the Library on a tour

New student? Current student who has just realised that it would be useful to find out more about library and information services? Come along to a tour and discover what is available to you from The Sir Duncan Rice Library and beyond….

WHEN: Monday 15 – Friday 19 January, 10.00 and 14.00

WHERE: Welcome Desk on ground floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library

WHAT: Short tour of the library lasting around 30 minutes, introducing you to the building, services and facilities, to help you make the most of the resources available to you from the library.

No booking necessary – just come along on the day and time that suits you best.

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PhD Literature Searching workshops open for booking

As you begin, or continue, your PhD it is important that you feel confident that you are locating and managing all the literature and information you require to achieve your research aims. For researchers like yourself the University’s Library Service is here to support you.

We are running a short series of Information Skills Workshops in July 2016 which will help you understand the library resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them. Read on for further information on the workshops. To book workshops visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3: Managing your references using RefWorks

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and E-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

Feedback from those who have previously attended these sessions have been positive and they highlight how after attending they felt better equipped to find and manage the materials they need for research. One quote from a previous attendee nicely sums up what we are aiming for with these sessions:

“I will definitely be searching smarter than before”

Our aim is that after you attend you will also leave feeling this way.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The sessions focusing on the management of references is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Information Skills classes. We look forward to seeing you at the workshops.

In the meantime, do not forget that Library staff are always here to help with any information needs that you may have. Visit our website for further information on our services.

‘Ask A Librarian’ chat service currently unavailable

chatboxWe are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our live chat help service. Users trying to access the service via the library homepage will see a message explaining that we are offline. Efforts are underway with the service provider to fix the problem and we hope to resume normal operation as soon as possible.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. In the meantime, if you are on campus then please feel free to speak to our friendly library staff in person if you have any queries or need some help. Alternatively, you can contact the library via email: library@abdn.ac.uk

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.

 

Extended hours in The Sir Duncan Rice Library – 24/7 opening before and during Exams

(c) Copyright Tom Magliery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LIcense

(c) Copyright Tom Magliery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LIcense

In the lead up to the fast approaching exam period The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be extending its opening hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are just under two weeks until this happens but we want to let you know just now so that you can properly plan your revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday April 24, and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday May 20, 2016.

Over this period it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • Swipe access only after 22.00 – please ensure you have your ID card, as access will not be permitted without it.
  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. This will happen at 04.00, and you will be given an option to delay this for 2 hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the Library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible. Please read our other post on student safety and security.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Hot and cold drinks in covered containers can be consumed in designated areas of the Library (everywhere except the silent study areas, study rooms, project rooms and areas with equipment).
  2. Cold food can be consumed in the same locations – but not if it is has a strong smell or is noisy! (remember – no hot food allowed).
  3. Tidy up after yourself – use the bins which are available on each of the floors.
  4. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Also check out the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

Posted on behalf of Marion Blacklaw, Circulation Manager

MAINTENANCE: Web of Science – Sunday April 10

The Web of Science database may be intermittently unavailable this coming Sunday, April 10 due to systems maintenance. The maintenance window is 13:00 to 16:00 BST.

There may be occasional outages to Web of Science throughout this time and it is expected that there will be two instances of downtime, each 15 minutes in length.

They apologise to users for any disruption and inconvenience that may be due as a result of the required maintenance work.

Please contact Web of Science Service for UK Education Support by emailing webofscience@jisc.ac.uk should you have any queries or require assistance.

 

Finding the perfect spot for revision in The Sir Duncan Rice Library as exams approach

With exams for the majority of students here at the University of Aberdeen due to begin at the end of this month we thought it would be timely to remind you of the range of different types of study spaces available to you in The Sir Duncan Rice Library, as everyone likes to study in different ways and this library certainly offers spaces to accommodate all types of revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library has been designed with the needs of 21st century learners in mind, with lots of different sorts of space for the activities that visitors told us they needed most. Essentially the design of the building locates more social areas close to the atrium, so as a useful rule of thumb, the further you are from the hole in the middle, the more we encourage quiet.

So where’s best for you?

Silent study

Our building is not a traditional, completely silent library. It’s built for collaborations and conversations to reflect more modern education needs, but also provides for traditionalists who like to hear themselves think in peace in old-school classic study style. We have silent study rooms on floors 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

There are two types of silent study space: one with spaces to plug in laptops and one without, so if your ideal space for revision is for no internet distractions or clicking of keyboards use these rooms. If you are in a silent study room with no plug sockets please do not use a laptop of tablet. See our web page on silent study rooms for more information.

Co-Labs

Spaces for collaborative study

Spaces for collaborative study

Need collaboration for inspiration? Then our co-labs could be the place for you. These are specifically designed for group and project work, such as presentations, with spaces for 4-7 people; useful for group revision and idea-sharing. These are especially recommended if you are a more multimedia learner, as they offer built-in information technology facilities to allow you to use a range of digital devices. Co-labs include a PC, a plasma screen for viewing DVDs or online content, and multiple ports for headphones so you can listen and learn with others. These spaces are partitioned, so offer a little privacy, but please do be mindful of noise levels to respect other visitors.

Group study rooms

For those of you who like to plan ahead and study with company, there are two bookable Group Study Rooms on Floor 7. These rooms have space for up to 8 people, and have a PC and plasma screen. To book a Group Study Room for 1-2 hours, speak with staff at the Information Centre on Floor 1. Find full details in our Group Study Room Library Guide.

All sorts of seats

soft_seating_areas

Comfortable soft seating is available on Floors 1 to 5. These areas are ideal for individual reading, personal laptop use, reading newspapers on Floor 1, and for short and quiet conversation.

Round Study Tables are near the lift/lobby area on Floors 3 to 6, and are intended for quiet conversation or collaborative work in pairs or small groups.

for quiet, individual study

for quiet, individual study

The study desks by the windows around each side of the building and on the open floor areas on Floors 1 to 7 are intended for quiet, individual study, perfect if you want to enjoy your own little study-bubble, with or without your headphones, and look out at the Silver City in stunning eagle-view panorama.

From all staff at the Library Service, we wish you the best of success with your studies and exams!