We’ll renew for you! Changes to renewals and fines for 2017

We’re always working hard to make it as easy as possible for you to get the resources you need and help make using the Library as easy as possible. For 2017 we’ve made some changes to the way resources are renewed and fines charged:

  • We’ll renew for you so you don’t need to (excluding Laptop Loans, Short Loans and automatic renewal of Interlibrary Loans).
  • We’ll keep renewing for up to 6 months unless someone else needs the item or you finish your course.
  • We’ll email your University email account to tell you if you need to return your items.
  • You’ll need to return requested items within 7 days.
  • Fines have increased to £2 per item per day but you’re only charged if someone else needs the resource and you don’t return it on time.
  • If you want to borrow something that is already on loan you’ll need to put a Hold on it so that it is recalled for you to use. Please ask staff if you need any help doing this.


A160627-1_Library profiles_100 cropWhy are you doing this?

We’ve talked to the Students’ Union about this and you’ve also told us that one of the things that really annoys you is when someone hangs onto a book when a hold is placed on it.

Lots of other University libraries have changed their loan and fines system and their experiences show that if the fine is higher on a requested item it’s more likely to be returned on time and that there are far fewer fines charged overall.

We hope this will make it fairer for everyone to get the resources they need and not having to pay unnecessary fines.

We’ve increased the fine rate to £2 per day but remember you’ll only need to pay this if you don’t return a book on time that is needed by someone else. For all your other loans you will no longer need to remember to renew.

As always, ask Library staff if you have any queries and please tell us what you think about this new system.




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.



Welcome to new students

Welcome to the Library to all our new students. We look forward to meeting you at your Library induction, Freshers’ Fairs, out and about around campus and, of course, in the Libraries!

We have two Libraries, open 24/7, every day of the year: Sheila Silver Library in the Leslie Silver Building at City Campus and Headingley Library in the James Graham Building at Headingley.

Both Libraries offer different types of study space so you can choose if you want to work in silence or in a group study area, or book a Student Meeting Room online.

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We’ve got lots of ways to help you Get Started with using the Library and studying at University:

  • The Get Started tab in MyBeckett enables you to learn how to use MyBeckett, access free Wi-Fi, access your email and timetable, download the apps you need, and prepare for your studies.
  • The Library’s YouTube channel has lots of quick videos showing you how to use our key services.
  • Become more confident about your academic work with support from an experienced student through our Skills for Learning mentoring scheme.
  • If you follow us on Twitter(@BeckettLibrary) we’ll be posting lots of #getstarted hints and tips.
  • And we know that getting all the passwords and PINs you need to access our systems can be a bit confusing at first but staff are on hand to get you through the early days. Although if you created a password for the Welcome System you may need to change this when you arrive on campus.

We also have over 140,000 electronic resources including eBooks and journals, available on and off-campus. And it’s really easy to find the books and journal articles recommended for your course. Just click on the Reading List link alongside your modules in MyBeckett.

As a Leeds Beckett University student you can install Microsoft Office 365  for free for the duration of your studies so you don’t need to buy it. This will also give you access to up to ITB of cloud storage on OneDrive and a University Microsoft email address and 50GB mailbox. And don’t worry if you don’t have your own device, we have over 900 PCs with a PC Availability service to make finding a free one easy or you can borrow a laptop to use in the Library.


Please don’t be afraid to ask Library staff if you need help in using the Library. The Library and Student IT Advice desks on the ground floor of each Library are open 08:30-19:00 Monday-Friday and 11:00-17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays during term. Staff will also be out and about in the first few weeks of term to help you with any questions you have.

You can also Phone Us or Chat with Us 24/7 – just see the Contact Us page on our website.

Test a chair at Sheila Silver Library!

We will soon be undertaking some reconfiguration and decoration of the ground floor of the Sheila Silver Library.

3 chairs

Before we start the work and buy new study chairs we need your help!

There are currently samples of the some of the new chairs clustered round one of the tables on the ground floor.

If you’re coming into the library why not have a sit on some of the chairs and tell us what you think?

All of the chairs have been labeled with their names so you know which chair is which. The names include; “Bethan”, “Joy”, “Flex”, “Hitch” and “Max”. There is a whiteboard next to the table awaiting your comments.

The board will stay on the ground floor for a couple of weeks, so please do tell us your views.

Thank you for all your feedback on the chairs! There were some definite favourites, with “Max”, “Flex”, “Bethan” and “Joy” topping the list. All of the suggestions, votes and comments have now been passed on to the development team.

If you have any further comments or ideas about the refurbishment please tweet us @BeckettLibrary #librefurb.





Library closure Sunday 27 August

Every year we have to implement Library closures in order to carry out essential electrical maintenance on some of our University buildings. This year the work is taking place over Sundays in August.

This essential work helps to ensure the smooth running of the Library and also help us to maintain our 24/7 opening. To help minimise disruption we never close both Libraries at the same time. This year we plan to close as follows:


Sunday 27 August

06:00 – 13:00 sheila Silver Library, City Campus closed. Headingley Library open

Don’t forget our Library website always gives you access to over 140,000 quality online resources!

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this closure may cause.

Change of date – MyBeckett upgrade


We recently publicised that we were due to carry out an upgrade to MyBeckett starting on Monday  31 July.  Unfortunately a technical issue with the new version has meant that we have decided to postpone the upgrade until early January 2018.

Even though we are unable to carry out the full upgrade we will still be making some changes to the system:

New / updated tabs for students


The new Jobs tab gives students access to Jobs, Placements and Opportunities resources and key contacts. It’s been redesigned and replaces the current Employability tab.


Replacing the current Help tab, the Support tab brings together Academic Support and ‘Student Life’ Support options and contacts e.g. Money, Accommodation, Wellbeing etc.

New / updated tabs for staff

Staff Home

Last year, we developed the Course tab for students – a personalised homepage on MyBeckett containing some key Course related information.

This year, staff will have access to a Staff Home tab, giving access to key information when you log in. This tab will replace the current Home and Groups tabs.


Staff will be given access to a new Research tab to complement a similar tab that is already available for Research Students. It will help you to get involved in Research, find information about resources, manage and update your information, and provide links to Library Research support.

Other changes

The scheduled Turnitin and PebblePad upgrades will still go ahead as planned, as part of this upgrade Turnitin will be unavailable on Saturday 5th August between 15:00 and 21:00.

The existing Blackboard App “Mobile Learn” will be unavailable from 1 August and will be replaced with a new updated App available on all iOS, Android and Windows devices.

Just Graduated? Some final things you need to know…

Congratulations on your recent graduation!

We’ve added a handy countdown to the Alumni tab in MyBeckett as a reminder of things you need to do now that you’re a Leeds Beckett Alumnus:


  • Your MyBeckett, student email account and associated apps and P:drive (webfiles) will remain active until 30 September 2017.  Back up any files you’ll need and transfer all emails and contacts to an alternative account before then.
  • You can use Google Takeout to transfer docs, calendars and YouTube videos.  See the Alumni tab in MyBeckett for more information.
  • Creating a free PebblePad Alumni Account will enable you to keep all of your work and store it in a new personal account. Our step-by-step guide shows you how to convert your account.
  • Our After Leeds Beckett web page directs you resources such as open access journals, websites and professional organisations that can help you in your professional practice or in securing that all important first job.
  • As a Leeds Beckett alumnus you can apply for Guest User Library membership at a reduced rate.

And remember you can still ask Library staff for help if you need to.

Good Luck from us all!

Library behind the scenes – more than just tidying the shelves!

“In the summer, do you just tidy the book shelves for a few weeks?”

This is a question I’ve been asked more than once. And to be fair, it’s not an unreasonable one.  Exams are over. The libraries and lecture theatres are largely empty. People go home. Many academic and support staff go on holiday –  it’s not surprising that there’s a perception of things slowing down, of taking it easy between the end of one academic year and the start of the next. For the Library Collections and Acquisitions (C&A) team however, summer is one of the busiest times of our year.20170608_150754 - Copy

It really begins in mid-May, when we start to think about two things in particular – the Financial Year End, and the “stock usage reports”.

The first involves a process of chasing-up with our various suppliers any unfilled or outstanding orders, in order to getting the materials into stock quickly, or cancelling orders that won’t be fulfilled, so we can free-up the money and invest it elsewhere before year-end. Ebooks are always a good option, as they are generally accessible within three days of the order being placed, and are always in high demand by both on-campus and distance learners. So year-end (actually July 31st, but in practice, for us, somewhat earlier) is heralded by a period of cancelling and ordering, of re-allocation of funds and of careful targeting of the remaining resources budget.

At the same time, we run the stock reports which show us which items in our Libraries are being used, and which are not. These usage statistics are cross-checked with Reading Lists and double-checked by Academic Librarians. We want a “hard working” Library collection, which reflects the courses and subjects being taught on each campus, and gives access to content in formats our users can engage with. Different subject areas have different needs and preferences – for example, a Law student might need up-to-the minute statutes available to consult on-line; whereas in Cultural Studies, a twenty-year-old classic edition might be the definitive text on a particular topic.

Materials no longer needed, unused works, or those superseded by newer texts and editions, are then withdrawn from stock. We don’t throw them away – the overwhelming majority are sold on to a charity called Better World Books, which in turn generates income for the Library whilst also supporting international literacy initiatives.

Meanwhile, we’re thinking about the new books, eBooks, CDs, DVDs, and so on that will fill these spaces and further enhance the usability, accessibility, and relevance of the Library collection. We place approximately 600 orders per month- averaging over 1,000 new items coming into the Library on a monthly basis all year round, with late August and early September the busiest times of all, just ahead of the start of the new Academic Year. We collect and input Reading Lists, identifying stock gaps and order new materials, with over 3000 Lists guiding individual users via their My Beckett page to the right materials they need for their studies. . Each year the module codes change, modules disappear or are added, new courses start…C&A are responsible for administrating this highly complex system.

The summer is also the time when we review our processes and workflow, and trial new approaches and working styles – things like faster, more efficient ways to order; more streamlined methods of receiving stock; new ways of accessing content; reviewing the performance of our suppliers; and looking to see what working practices and technologies are out there which could help us to improve the service we deliver.


And then, when we’ve done that, we tidy the shelves…

Eric Jackson, Collections and Acquisitions Manager




Team Photo:

Back l-r Eric Jackson, Phil Todd, Paul Scholes, Dawn Elson.

Front – Amy Campbell, Ellie Windle, Sarah Dacre, Donna Easton

Summer support from Skills for Learning

Skills for Learning workshops have finished for the summer but there’s still lots of help available from the team.

We recorded some of the workshops from last year so you can revisit key topics, or visit them for the first time, including critical thinking, literature reviews, presentation skills and reflective writing. Or why not listen on the go to one of the podcasts to develop your academic communication or research skills?

The Skills for Learning website has sflwebsitehundreds of pages of resources on topics as diverse as problem solving, fractions, sampling, and workplace learning. Plus the Little Books series which you can download or buy from the Library with titles including the Little Book of Time Management and the indispensable Quote Unquote guide to Harvard referencing.

And if you need one-to-one support please contact the team to arrange a tutorial.

Staying on for postgraduate study

If you have a place to study on a postgraduate course here at Leeds Beckett after you finish your undergraduate degree there’s help available from the Library to keep your study skills on track:A161122-2 Library City Campus-161crop

  • Access to the Library to borrow books expires as you graduate and you’ll need to return any loans and pay any outstanding charges. However, if you want to borrow resources to help prepare for your new course you can apply for interim Guest User membership.
  • Our Academic Librarians have created a web page for people preparing for postgraduate study. This is aimed at students who have been out of education for a while but you should find some useful hints and tips and reminders of how to get the most out of the Library and continue to develop your academic skills. Each subject area also has its own page packed with links to key resources so take some time to browse these if you’re about to study something new.
  • Similarly the Skills for Learning team has grouped together some of the key resources on their website to support students studying at postgraduate level. You’ll still need your username and password to access these off campus but this should be live until 30th September.
  • The Alumni Tab on MyBeckett will appear once you finish your undergraduate course but this signposts you to lots of resources and information about being a postgraduate student if you’ve decided to stay with us.


We look forward to seeing you in the Library once again!