The next phase of the refurbishment of the Sheila Silver Library, City Campus has started!
This year it is the first floor’s turn to have a full make over. When it is finished the floor will have a similar design to the already refurbished second and third floors, with another print hub, water fountain and additional Student Meeting Rooms. It will also have an additional flexible study room for students to use.
The floor is now closed to all staff, students and visitors and is due to open again at the end of October.
To keep up to date with all the changes take a look at our FAQs or follow @BeckettLibrary on Twitter.
I’m Ellie and I’ve been the library graduate trainee since August 2015. My position is exciting and unique: none of my days are the same, so it’s been difficult deciding what day is best to tell you about. I’ve tried to think of some of the things I do that contribute to our students’ experience using their library at Leeds Beckett…
I arrive on campus at 08:00 and have breakfast or just tea while I go over my emails. At 08:20 I begin clearing each floor of Headingley Campus Library of books that have been left overnight. At this time it’s still pretty quiet, but there are a few familiar student faces working in the study area on the ground floor. Today I pick up a trolley and a half of books as I go round, but at peak times this can be two full trolleys (thank goodness for the lifts)!
Just after 09:00 I’m joined by colleagues to help shelve the books I’ve cleared and the books that have been returned overnight – it’s a fantastic collaborative effort, and though it’s early there is a hum of energy. Maintaining order among the shelves is therapeutic – it’s soothing to start the day with the feeling that things are in order. Moreover, the morning shelving ritual is a chance for us to ensure that the available resources can be easily found and borrowed.
Staff change over shifts on the Help and Information Point at 11:00 and when it’s my turn, I sit in the Account and Borrower seat. I love this shift because there’s always a steady flow of students and queries vary from wanting to use our stapler to issuing and returning items, paying fines or finding resources to support students’ studies. Interacting with our student body is probably the best part of my role, our students at Leeds Beckett are a pleasure to talk to, I’m excited about encouraging people to get the best out of their library and I learn more and more every day from the varying queries.
After lunch in the staffroom (or outside on the benches if it’s sunny!) I work on building reading lists online. By providing instant access to resources, where students might find them, they offer a great platform from which we can help our students start with their studying and further research. It’s always an efficient way of reviewing the stock we have (does it need updating, do we have the latest editions, are we providing access to the teaching materials our academics recommend?). I like it because I get to see so many varying resources for different subjects – it really highlights the range of thought provoking, scholarly and diverting material (such as the Vogue archives since the first issue in 1982 to Sophie Coe’s America’s first cuisines) that we have access to.
The best part of my graduate traineeship is that I’m constantly learning, which probably is due to the traineeship being such diverse, fast paced and exciting programme. As result I end the day pretty excited for the next – it’s going to be completely different from today!
This week is Deaf Awareness Week 2016. The theme is about challenging assumptions and focusing on the things that people with hearing loss can do.
In the Library we offer many services to support students with hearing loss and other disabilities, removing barriers to their learning and achievement. The Library Disability Support team have recently launched an online chat service, making it easier to communicate without having to use the phone but getting a more immediate reply than emailing.
Our Learning Support Officer, Susan Smith, helps students with a range of disability related issues in the Libraries. These include assistive software, using Library services and equipment, information searching, obtaining information in accessible formats and other Library queries. Students can book one-to-one appointments or attend regular drop-in sessions with Susan. We were very proud when in 2014 Susan won the Hidden Hero category in the Students’ Union’s Golden Robes awards, which give students the chance to nominate staff who have made an impact on their student experience.
We offer a variety of study environments to suit different preferences. There is a Disability Resource Area (DRA) at each campus, open 24/7, offering a quiet and comfortable study space with PCs with assistive software, low level printers, adjustable height desks and ergonomic chairs, all of which are also available throughout the Library. The assistive software includes Texthelp Read & Write and ClaroRead, which have spelling, homophone and verb checking tools that can help with written work. The DRAs also have equipment and books relating to study skills and disability in higher education.
We subscribe to QuickScan (dyslexia screening tool), supporting students who don’t yet know they have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD).
There are also various systems in place to ensure students with disabilities are not disadvantaged when borrowing Library resources, including longer loan periods and the ability to place an increased number of holds on resources.
You can find out more about the Library support available for students with disabilities on our Disabled and Dyslexic Users web pages.
You can also contact Disability Advice for advice and guidance on any disability-related matter within our University. They encourage all applicants and current students who have a disability to contact them to discuss support and facilities available.