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.
February is LGBT History Month: a national event that celebrates and brings to light the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is marked nationwide and provides an opportunity to start conversations, raise awareness and learn about history that has previously been denied, unacknowledged or erased. This year’s theme is “Religion, belief and philosophy”, a topic which aims to open up much-needed dialogue between LGBT and faith communities and raise awareness of the ways in which they intersect.
The Library has plenty of resources to help you celebrate, raise awareness or learn something new this February, including book displays in each Library. On our website we’ve put together a selection of books, ebooks, journal articles and online resources, including a playlist of films and TV programmes that you can watch from home with Box of Broadcasts. You can also check out our LGBT History Month Pinterest page for even more inspiration or find out about the research our staff have done in this area.
And to celebrate being in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index for the second year running our Rainbow Rose LGBT staff & student network were asked to chose their favourite tracks for inclusion on a specially prepared Spotify playlist. Follow the list ‘Rainbow over the Library’ – we’ll update it later in History Month with your requests of your favourite LGBT tune/artist/icon too if you let us know what you’d like to hear!
A programme of events is running throughout the month at the University, launched by “In conversation with Stephanie Hirst”, a chance to hear the BBC Radio Manchester DJ talk about her experiences as a trans woman. Other events an after-work drinks meetup for staff and students hosted by the Rainbow Rose forum and an LGBT lunchtime walk, uncovering the hidden LGBT histories of sites around Leeds city centre.
There are lots of events taking place around the city and events are also taking place around the country as part of the National Festival of LGBT History. Our local hub is York, which is hosting a day of talks about LGBT history on Saturday 6th February, as well as over 40 other events throughout the month. Check out their full programme if you fancy a day trip!
National Libraries Day celebrates why libraries matter. Saturday 6th February 2016 saw the fifth National Libraries Day, primarily highlighting the vital role of public libraries in supporting people, families and communities across the UK but giving all libraries a chance to love and be loved!
So we thought we’d take the opportunity to explore some of the reasons to love Leeds Beckett Library. And, as it’s a leap year and that means an extra day of 24/7 opening we’re highlighting just a few of the things you can do any time of day or night:
- Come into the Library to study – but don’t forget your Campus Card to enter
- Access over 140,000 electronic books, journals, databases and newspapers – from on or off-campus
- Borrow a book, renew it or pay your fine if it’s overdue!
- Chat with Us or phone us on 0113 812 1000 for IT help
- Access your resource list, modules, timetable, submit your assignment and much more via MyBeckett
- Download software such as SPSS and Microsoft Advantage 365 to support your studies
- Get help from our website or from the tutorials on our YouTube channel
- Borrow a laptop
- Book a Student Meeting Room or an appointment with your Academic Librarian
- Use the Skills for Learning website to find out how to reference, manage your time and develop a wide range of academic and professional skills
So whether you use the Library at 2pm or 2am on National Libraries Day (or any other day!) we hope you’ll join with us in celebrating what a fantastic resource and service it is.