National Libraries Week – Your Virtual Library

With so much available electronically, the virtual space occupied by library resources is huge! Today’s blog is going to focus on the gateway to these resources: our new library website.

We launched this new site in September 2018, and it is a hub for you to find all of your library resources, your library account, and information about borrowing and visiting the library. We also highlight services for disabled users, researchers, and those studying away from campus.

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Searching for books, journals and other resources

We’ve tried to make it easier for you to find resources.

The basic search on the homepage does what it says on the tin! Enter your search term and select an option.

If you’re confident with searching, or want some more advanced options, the ‘more ways to search’ section underneath gives you access to our A-Z lists of Databases, eJournals and the Digital Library, as well as a direct link to Advanced Search via Summon.

Use the ‘Find Resources’ menu to find out more about these resources, as well as some of the specialist ones, such as printed music.

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Managing your account

On the home page you’ll find quick links to your library account and paying charges.

Under ‘services and support’ you’ll find information about borrowing, including how to reset your PIN.

Supporting you using the library

On the home page you’ll find a link to our referencing guides, including the full Harvard guide which you can use online or download. We’ve also supplied one for screen readers.

There’s also links where you can book a tutorial with a subject specialist librarian, as well as a link to book a study room in Curzon Library.

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We hope you enjoy the new site!

^Laura

Golden Ticket Hunt 2018

Welcome to the new academic year. It’s time to go on a Golden Ticket hunt!

Starting Monday 17th September for 3 weeks, Golden Tickets will be hidden in our BCU Libraries. Each Golden Ticket found wins a prize!

Each day check for any photo clues posted on our social media sites, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to help you find out where each Golden Ticket is hidden!

The competition runs from Monday 17th September to Friday 5th October.

You’ve got to be in it to win it…so follow our social media sites today to be ready to get hunting from the 17th!

Good luck.

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Jewellery Quarter Festival 2018: Unearthing BCU’s gem!

The wonderful annual JQFestival is fast approaching, celebrating all that is great about Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Well, did you know Birmingham City University, (BCU) has a School of Jewellery right in the heart of this area? It is located on Vittoria Street, No’s 82-86, not too far from the Golden Square. A recent visit to the School’s library, to become more familiar with the service and its stock, enabled me to unearth some gems of information on the rich educational history of the building.

During the late 19th century Birmingham’s jewellery trade grew. Consequently there was a demand for technical education in craft skills. In response, in 1888, the Birmingham Jewellers’ and Silversmiths’ Association and the Municipal School of Art began delivery of classes at the Ellen Street School to the west of the Quarter. It proved so popular that in 1890 oversubscription meant a move to the current Vittoria Street premises. Built in c 1865, on the former rear garden of No. 30 Frederick Street, the Venetian Gothic building had been acquired by William Randle for his goldsmith’s manufactory. Over time the building has been extended to meet need, most notably in 1911/12 and 1992/3.

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LIKE event Spring 2018

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Back in April we held another of our LIKE events, aimed at library staff who would like to share experiences of events or courses they have attended, or projects they are working on. Staff at all levels are invited, including those who are there just to listen and learn.

Highlights included:

Visits to Coventry and Wolverhampton University Libraries, where a number of staff from the Customer Services team were interested to see similarities and differences in opening hours, roving and use of portable devices, and rotas/staffing. We really enjoyed these visits and are keen to continue exploring other university libraries, not just to see where we think we are doing well, or where we could do better, but also to steal their brilliant ideas learn some new things! Our doors are always open for a reciprocal visit as well, and we’ve even been known to bring out the posh biscuits for the occasion…

A colleague demonstrated a new dashboard that he has been working on which will collect together a number of library metrics that are of interest to staff. This was fascinating stuff and we were all really impressed with how the data is displayed in a way that we can use to improve services (the rumours are true – library nerds like us love spreadsheets, statistics and fancy ways of visualising data). We’re currently undertaking space usage research which will feed into this project as well.

We also had a good discussion about promotion of resources, which is something else many of us are passionate about! We want to make sure that everyone is aware of the huge amount of resources that are available to them via Library & Learning Resources – we say it time and again, but there’s SO MUCH STUFF available, that you maybe didn’t even know you wanted! Did you know that you can view the entire Vogue US archive and check out those 1892 fashions? Watch loads of plays being performed on stage via Drama Online or Digital Theatre Plus? Read popular music journalism since the 60s via Rock’s Back Pages? You can see all of these and more via our A-Z of Resources.

We’ll be organising the next LIKE event shortly.

 

^Laura

How to… get started at Seacole Library

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You may have seen that Kenrick Library at City North Campus is closing it’s doors for good Friday 1st June and students from the School of Education are moving to City South Campus.

To welcome and help familiarise School of Education students with Seacole Library, Customer Services staff are running three drop in sessions. These are planned for the week commencing 4th June.

Pop along to find out:

  • what services we offer at Seacole Library
  • find out where things are
  • meet the staff who are on hand to help you

Drop ins are scheduled for:

Monday 4th June 11am – 12noon

Wednesday 6th June 11am – 12noon

Friday 8th June 11am – 12 noon

Meet staff opposite the library helpdesk.

Hope to see you there!

^Posted on behalf of Huizhe Jin and Janet Fox, Customer Services.