Library drop-in session: tips for exam revision

On Thursday 11th May 2017 our Library Peer Mentor is hosting a drop-in session to talk about revising for your exams. Come and visit us in Curzon Atrium, 11am-12pm.

We will be asking students for their own top tip when they are revising and we are going to be compiling them in a poster which will be displayed in the library as well as on the Library’s blog. The aim of this is to promote better revision/study practices among students in a collaborative way. As always, we will also be promoting many of the library’s services that aid revision and assignment writing such as LibAnswers, LibGuides and Inter-Library Loans.

Library Peer Mentor May Drop-In Session Poster

^Posted on behalf of Isaac Paul

SCONUL Access during exam period

Please note that access to the Libraries at Birmingham City University will be restricted during our revision and examination period from Monday 8th May until Friday 2nd June 2017 inclusive.
Due to increased pressure on the buildings with regard to study space, we will not be admitting any Band R SCONUL card holders and will not be registering any new SCONUL Band R applicants during this period. 
Band A, B or C SCONUL members will not be affected by the restriction to access.

“Wave Goodbye” – Conservatoire Library Stories Part 6

The Birmingham Conservatoire Library closes its doors for the last time on Friday 9th June 2017.

Today we finish our look at the history of the library.

1990s – Present Day

In 1993, the former Birmingham Polytechnic, renamed University of Central England in Birmingham (UCE) acquired Birmingham Central Library’s Exhibition Hall, which the music library moved into. It gave the library a third more space. Writing in Fanfare II, librarian Robert Allan said:

The overall shape of the space allows almost the whole layout to be visible on entry into the library, with study areas dividing up the separate shelving for scores and parts, journals, books and recordings. It has been possible to provide almost double the amount of seating in the old library, and to bring together for the first time items previously split between the library and the two library stacks.

There is now also more space to set aside the ever-increasing number of orchestral/band parts and vocal scores for use in forthcoming Conservatoire performances.

A new feature of this Information Services’ Library is that two rooms at one end of the space have been created to allow separate listening and computing facilities. Going by previous experience, I anticipate that these will be heavily used as information technology becomes ever more established generally

A new library catalogue was also installed in 1993, allowing library users to more easily search for music, and for the first time allowed unusual combinations of instruments to be searched for.

In 2000, the library opened on a Sunday for the first time.

In 2005, the library secured £14,000 to restore a collection of printed music from the 18th and 19th Centuries. In the same year, £600,000 was awarded to refurbish the library, which had not seen many changes since 1994. As part of this refurbishment, the following features were installed:

  • Seminar room
  • Mezzanine level – quiet seating area
  • Staff office
  • New furniture, equipment and computers
  • Upgraded AV room
  • Rolling shelving to accommodate more stock

The new library was officially opened by Jeffrey Skidmore in 2007, as remembered by Robert Allan.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our history of the library, and whilst it will be sad to move from its current home, a whole new world of possibilities opens up with its merger into the almost-new Curzon Library, and a brand new, world class facility for the faculty itself.

Our thanks to John Smith who provided the above information via extracts from the School of Music Committee notes and Fanfare Magazine.

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We need you… Part 2

Graduate PlusLLR

We need students to take part in some focus groups to help us understand your perspective on navigating around our systems to access library resources.

You would be required to attend two sessions, one in May this academic year, and one next academic year in the Spring term.

Each session lasts 2 hours and involves

  1. Scenario based activities to enable us to detail your experiences of accessing library resources. We will assess your customer journey in terms of ease, quality and emotional response.
  2. Focus group discussion

We value your input because understanding your perspectives and hearing ‘your’ voice are essential to the development of our processes and services.

The dates for Session 1 are:

Tuesday 2nd May 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Thursday 4th May 10am – 12noon

Tuesday 9th May 1pm – 3pm

If you are interested in participating please email 

Participation counts towards your Silver award.

^This was posted on behalf of BCU Graduate+ and Library and Learning Resources.

We need you… Part 1

Graduate PlusLLR

We are looking for as many 1st and 2nd year BCU students as possible to take part in our online survey.

The survey involves completing a scenario based question around finding library resources via our library systems.

We value your input because understanding your perspectives and hearing ‘your’ voice are essential to the development of our processes and services.

If you are interested in participating please email

Participation counts towards your Bronze award.


^This was posted on behalf of BCU Graduate+ and Library and Learning Resources.