The value of embedded Library sessions

We hope you all enjoyed the Library Inductions that Library staff delivered in September (and if you didn’t attend one, please talk to your module leader to see if one can be arranged!) These induction sessions are very much intended as a welcome and there is so much more that the Library can help you with.Karen F and Catherine 2017

One very effective way that you can benefit from Library expertise is by attending “embedded sessions” delivered by Librarians at appropriate points throughout the year.  Students find these sessions very relevant as they are timed to take place when they will be most useful, and the content is carefully chosen to closely tie in with students’ assignments.  Academic Librarians delivered many of these sessions in 2016-17, including:

A 1 hour presentation to MSc Accounting and Finance students from Academic Librarians Jennie Winterburn and Catherine Parkin. This focused on using the FAME database to find and analyse data on company financial ratios, and how to compare companies within a peer group. This helped students when completing their Financial Reporting assignment as they learnt the importance of using subscription databases for the information they needed, rather than relying on information found on the web, to ensure the information was accurate and up to date. They also found out how to properly cite financial resources in their assignments, in the Harvard style.

Level 6 Law students rated the “finding journal articles” sessions delivered by the same Academic Librarians very highly. These students worked together in small groups to evaluate the literature they were using for their dissertations and learnt how to effectively search databases using search terms and subject headings, in order to find high quality journal articles.

Level 6 Dance students undertake a final year module called “Publishing Project” that is focused upon the development of the students’ academic skills in reading, writing and independent critical ability. The module is designed to enable students to develop their research skills in order to produce an extended piece of academic writing. Academic Librarians Alison Park and Karen Fisher deliver a session every year as part of this module, showing the students the research process, helping them to select an area of interest for their extended essay, and assisting them in conducting their own research and enquiries.


Level 5 Architecture students were set a short critical review assignment in Semester 2, which required them to research a building allocated to them. Students were asked to research their case study in books and architecture magazines, and submit their research in the form of printed and digital copies of plans, elevations, axonometrics, collages and other visual and technical information, as well as excerpts collected from relevant sources. The aim of the assignment was to develop independent research skills by using the Library and the main printed sources of architectural knowledge, and to familiarise and practice writing critical analysis and commentary on a project/building.

Every subject has an Academic Librarian, and sessions can be delivered for all subjects throughout the year. If you are unsure who your Librarian is, check the Library Guide for your Subject.

 Catherine Parkin, Academic Librarian for Law, Accounting & Finance, Economics, Analytics and International, Leadership, Governance and People Management.


Library behind the scenes – “Copyright” is not a dirty word!

Whether it’s Pharrell Williams getting into trouble for copying Marvin Gaye’s music, J.K. Rowling winning numerous law suits or wrangles over a monkey selfie,  something called ‘copyright’ can impact on culture and society in many ways.

Rachel Thornton, the University’s Copyright Clearance Officer, based within the Library, tells us more: “Copyright gives legal protection to the original, recorded expression of ideas and it is often argued that without copyright there would be little incentive to create and innovate. Copyright allows creators to control how their works are used, as well as gaining reward for their endeavours.”

The first copyright law came into force in England in 1710, its good intentions demonstrated by its title: “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning”. This early statute only applied to the copying of books. Since then, copyright law has spread across the world, been updated and amended and has needed to take into account new forms of delivery and expression (the internet, social media!!).

But copyright can also be seen as a barrier; too prohibitive and complicated to follow. My role is to advise staff and students on how to reuse another person’s work without infringing copyright or being in breach of a licence, and to seek ‘copyright clearance’ when permission from a rights holder is required. Details of the Copyright Clearance Service are available on the Library website.

This can lead to some interesting tasks: clearing cartoons for inclusion in a published textbook, investigating music licensing for a drama deap conference cakesproject, tracking down photographers for a history presentation and contacting rights holders across the world for permission to use their material. I also contacted Orcid  to ask permission to use their logo on promotional cup cakes!

A large part of my role is also managing the Digitisation Service, which supports staff and students by providing digitised readings for use in teaching. We create digital copies of book chapters and journal articles under the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) Licence. These are then accessed from module reading lists in MyBeckett. During the last academic year there were 446 modules using a total of 2,140 licensed digitised readings. That was a lot of activity for our book scanner (both person and machine)!

Another area I support is the Alternative Formats Service, obtaining accessible formats of library texts for students with a print impairment. This involves contacting publishers and requesting an electronic copy of a book on behalf of a student who would otherwise not be able to read it in print (or online, if an eBook is inaccessible). We also use RNIB Bookshare to request and download titles – 157 accessible books were downloaded from this site alone for our students last year.

I haven’t quite been in this role since the 1700’s and that first law, but over the 20 years I have been a Copyright Officer, I have seen many changes and faced the challenges of interpreting new exceptions and restrictions to enable the University to make the best use of all the research, information and resources potentially available to us”.

Copyright guidelines and full details of all the services offered can be found on the Library website.



The Wonderful World of Interlibrary Loans

We work hard with departments to ensure that we have the books, journals and other resources you need to complete your work. But what should you do if you need something that The Library doesn’t have it in stock? In times like these our Interlibrary Loans team is here to help you!



Sue and Karl are based in Sheila Silver Library at City Campus and (a different!) Sue and Tom are at Headingley.  They manage the service which provides access to resources which are not held by the Library or other local libraries. You can request whole books or chapters, journal articles, reports and many other types of materials. More information about the service can be found on the Library website.

Our 5 top Interlibrary Loan tips

  1. Check the Library catalogue and Discover to make sure we haven’t got it in stock before you request it.
  2. It is quicker and easier to request online via the Library tab on MyBeckett.
  3. Provide as much information on the Interlibrary loan form as possible.
  4. Where possible request a digital copy. In most cases we receive digital copies much quicker than hard copies as they do not have to go through the postal service.
  5. If in doubt, we’re here to help.

Library behind the scenes…meet one of our Academic Librarians

Hello, my name is Laurence Morris, and I am one of the two Academic Librarians for Health and Social Sciences, looking after the Library services for staff and students of Biomedical Sciences, Physiotherapy, Sports and Exercise Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Youth and Community Development, Social Work, Playwork, Mental Health, Art Therapy, other Psychological Therapies and Nursing.


Essentially, my job is to ensure that the students, researchers and academic staff of these subject areas have access to the library resources which they need. In practice this makes my role enjoyably varied – it involves lecturing large groups of students on how best to use the Library, one-to-one appointments to assist individuals with their specific work, maintaining subject-specific support pages on the Library website, providing referencing tuition, supporting researchers, advising on open access publishing, allocating the acquisition budget for the subject areas I support, and – most importantly – extensive liaison with staff and students, both to see what they want from the Library and to ensure that they are aware of everything that the Library can do for them.

In practice, cliché as it might be, this means that there’s no such thing as a typical day! Usually, though, I come to work expecting to teach for two or three hours (whether one-to-one or to large groups), attend one or two liaison meetings, and then spend the remainder of the time working on any ongoing tasks from the list above. In reality, my plan for the day rarely survives first contact with email or voicemail – there’s usually something happening to react to! If I find that I have six emails from students on one course, all asking for help with the same topic, then that’s a good sign that I should speak to their tutor and arrange to provide additional support to their whole class ASAP, rather than spending my free time ordering a couple more textbooks!

The variety is definitely what I like most about the job. The diversity of the Academic Librarian role enables me to use all of my past professional experience to help students – and there’s usually a real feel of doing something useful. At the end of the day, I can always go home thinking of something tangible I’ve done to assist someone with their studies.

On the basis of common questions I receive, there are two tips that I would pass on to any students reading this:

  • Your library subject pages can often be very helpful, providing a range of subject-specific advice and guidance. Rather than working in isolation, this is your chance to benefit from the accumulated wisdom of past students, academics and librarians!
  • If I’m ever not round, you can still contact the Library – and have your questions answered 24/7.

Finally… when not in the Library, I’m a keen hillwalker and mountaineer, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society earlier this year. Some of the photos from my outings to places like Lapland, Hong Kong and the Sierra Nevada are viewable online.

Library behind the scenes: Meet the Library holds team!

At the Sheila Silver Library we have:

Sheila loves Motorsport – NASCAR, Formula 1, touring Cars & MotoGP, travelling on planes and Game of Thrones & The Walking Dead – she’s been to a two day Walker Stalker Convention. She doesn’t like tea, jazz, or being on a ship in the middle of the ocean.

Laura likes knitting (badly), watching Hammer Horror films and books (I work in a library, so I MUST like books). She doesn’t like celery, washing dishes or people who push in to queues.

Joanna loves eating toast, walking in the rain and swimming in the sea. She doesn’t like travelling by bus, waking up early in the morning or spending all day inside.

At Headingley Library we have:

James likes all things football and appreciates a fine piece of knitwear.

Suzy likes watching quiz shows, ten pin bowling and holidays by the sea.

Clare likes painting, collecting tarot cards and is always on the look out for the perfect leopard print coat.


What happens when you place a hold?

The next morning at 8 o’clock a list is created with all the holds from the previous day. We print this off as early as we can and start searching.

Once we have found your hold, we process it and put it on the shelf in the High Demand Area (near the Help and Information Point). If you’ve requested to collect your book at another Leeds Beckett Library, we put it in a box ready to be delivered.

Once the book is processed, you will receive an email notification to your student email account to let you know that the book is ready to be collected!

Our 3 top holds tips:

  1. Make sure you choose which Library you want to pick up the hold from – City or Headingley.
  2. Wait till you receive an email before coming to collect your hold! Unfortunately, it won’t be ready immediately and sometimes it can take a while to track books down if they’re being used by others regularly.
  3. When you come to collect your hold, you need to look for it under the first letter of your surname and the last four numbers of your Library ID.

There is lots of handy information about holds on our website  It also includes two videos showing you how to place a hold and collect a hold if you haven’t done that before.

If you have any questions about holds, we’d be very happy to help you. Please email:


Library cats on World Cat Day!

Monday 8th August is World Cat Day and to celebrate we are embracing the stereotype that everyone who works in a Library must have a cat!

CatIt’s true to say that many Libraries do have resident cats – and not just so we can make endless bad cat / cataloguing puns.

We also have the World famous (probably) Carnegie Cat. He even has a namesake at Brazil Public Library (In Indiana, USA).


A quick poll of staff at Leeds Beckett Library showed that quite a few of us did have cats, but not as many as you might think! Here are just a few……



First up we have….Handsome devil Bailey, he is around 7 years old. A former tramp, he was plucked off the mean streets of Leeds and  now lives a luxurious life with hot & cold running cat biscuits.  He enjoys prowling around,  glaring at the dog over the road and chasing wheelie bins. He dislikes THE VETS! He can often be found posing on Instagram.




Next we have Pilchard who was adopted from the RSPCA 9 and a half years ago, when she climbed up the wire mesh of the pen and screamed loudly indicating that she was definitely going home with her new family. Her hobbies include bird watching, chasing spiders, and crime/murder mystery dramas.




Then we have Flossie aged 12 who is a haughty tortie.  Her favourite food is anything, and her favourite person is whoever is currently serving her.  She rules her household with an iron paw minus the velvet glove.  She is allowed to stay because she’s the best bit of the interior decoration. And she goes with the sitting room curtains.



Next up is Moglet, failing to understand how to sleep in a basket! She is the most non-destructive cat ever created – ‘clawing’ at furniture consists of gently rubbing her paws on the side of the sofa. She currently enjoys taking up most of her owner’s pillow when they are trying to sleep, looking adorable, and demanding food immediately by squeaking.




Keeping a watchful eye out on the world we have Ozzy, who is  7 years old.  He is lover not a fighter, especially if you have salmon.




Finally we have our “elder statescat” Pumpkin who is 20! She was adopted when she was 6 months old and has left her jumping and hunting days behind her. She finds life all a bit too much and likes to sleep, a lot!

To bind or not to bind? Library behind the scenes

During the summer we start a number of our behind the scenes projects that we don’t always have the time to do during busy term time. One of these jobs is journal binding……

Journal binding may sound like a simple job, put journals in box – send them to the binders. However there’s more to it than meets the eye.jn1

Firstly we have to decide what we need to get bound. To do this we consider a number of things:

  • Is the journal a very old edition?
  • Is the journal well used and prone to damage?
  • Is the journal on lots of reading lists?

jn3Once we have agreed on the journals to be bound they are collected from the rolling stacks. Notes are made of missing issues, either to make a search for later or to identify where volumes are incomplete. The issues are made into bundles identifying what can be bound into one book.
When a journal is being bound for the first time the team get to use their artistic licence, choosing what colour the fabric of the volume is going to be!jn2

When the journals return from our Leeds-based binders, Hollingworth and Moss, the team has to check that they have been bound correctly and the title details are accurate. Each individually bound volume gets a new barcode and security tags and then we add them to the catalogue, ready to be found by our users!


Library behind the scenes: Print Journals Teams

The print journals teams at the Sheila Silver and Headingley Libraries look after the 550 print titles to which we currently subscribe. These include a range of academic journals in subjects from advanced nursing to vacation marketing and also foreign language titles such as Stern and Le Point, trade journals such as The Grocer and Building, and magazines such as New Statesman and Prospect.

As well as the current subscriptions, we maintain back issues of hundreds of journals. A separate team, based at Headingley Library, sets up and maintains access to the thousands of electronic journals available via Discover and the ejournals A-Z list.

Current Journals Display closeDuring the summer we continue to record which new journal issues we receive, chase up any missing issues, and order new print and online journal subscriptions. We carry out an annual renewal process for all subscriptions and, carry out some of the most basic jobs – but arguably the most important! – sending titles off for binding, tidying and finding the “hidden” titles that have been secreted around the Library and making sure there is room for all new journals on the shelves.

Our oldest title is the January-June 1846 volume of the Illustrated London News, which includes coverage of Corn Law debates, Faraday’s Royal Institution lecture on “Magnetism and Light”, and a West Riding election in which “not the slightest excitement is manifested in any part of the Riding.”

Our more recent titles offer insight into upcoming fashion trends (Vogue, Collezioni Trends and Uomi Collezioni) and the technical side of the latest movies (International Cinematographers Guild Magazine and Cinefex).

So come and have a browse of our display shelf or colourful rolling stacks – you might be surprised at what you’ll find!

A day in the life of … our Library graduate trainee

ESI’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!

Remote (but not too remote) services…

Ever wondered who answers your calls, emails and chats when you get in touch with the Library?!?

Well, hopefully you already know that you can contact the Library 24/7 from wherever you are.  Our friendly team of Library staff work across both campuses answering your phone calls, emails and chatting live with you to help with all your Library and student IT queries.  We have a dedicated out of hours chat and phone service so whether you prefer to work at 10am or 10pm there will always be someone to reset your password or help you with your research enquiry.

Here is the remote services office at Headingley (we are a tad camera shy!)TES

Last month we dealt with over 800 phone calls, 700 emails and over 400 chats and pride ourselves on replying to your query as quick as possible (that’s within 3 hours Monday – Friday 08:30-18:30 or within 24 hours outside of these hours)

So, if you find yourself on or off-campus and would prefer to get in touch via chat/email or phone please get in touch, we will do our very best to help you.

And we’ve created a Spotify playlist to demonstrate the type of query we get!