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.

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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. You can also tweet us @BeckettLibrary #librefurb.

 

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Hints, tips, and a bit of cake and wine!

ExamWe asked you for your hints and tips to help survive exams. Thanks to everyone who responded.

There were a few that we’re probably not allowed to repeat (!) but we thought we’d share some of them with you, alongside more information that you might find helpful:

“Ask your teachers for support” – but remember there is lots of help from staff right across the University if you are struggling, such as the Student Wellbeing Team who offer appointments and self-help guides.

“Plan” – sounds obvious but isn’t always easy; you might find mindmapping a useful technique: MindView software is available on all the Library PCs. And remember to make sure you know where and when your exam is!

“Be kind to yourself” / “believe in yourself” – take a look at our Wellbeing Pinterest Board for ideas or pop along to one of the SU #stressless events.

“Prep” / “Remember to read da question” – lots of information and advice is available on the Skills for Learning exam prep pages.

“Reward yourself after a few steps” – Colleagues in the Food Courts have special offers on to help you get through exams – £1 cakes after 2pm!

“Rehydrate (with wine)” – can’t offer the alcohol but there are water fountains in each Library.

Colouring“Take a break every ten minutes” – we have mindfulness colouring to stop you looking at your screens for a few minutes, but if you do take longer breaks remember to take your belongings with you.

“Early nights zzzzz” – we’re open 24/7 but that doesn’t mean you should be revising 24 hours, make sure you get lots of sleep whether you’re a night owl or an early bird. But remember to set your alarm so you don’t miss your exam!

And don’t forget to Contact Us if you need us.

Want a £10 gift voucher? Take us on a tour of the Library…

We’re looking for volunteers to take us on a tour round the Library!

A161122-2 Library City Campus-40We’d like you to take us on a tour of how you use the Library so you can tell us which are your favourite places to study, which services and resources you use, what you do if you need help and anything else you’d like to share! Staff will record and take notes of the tour and photograph things of interest.

The tours will form part of the work we’ve been doing over the last year or so to gather feedback on how you use your Library space. You may have already left a comment on one of our feedback walls, or seen staff out and about with clipboards and laptops counting the number of students in different areas, or we might have come up to you and asked you why you were sitting in a particular study space.

If you’re able to help, simply sign up for one of the time slots available. The tour should take about 30 minutes and you’ll receive a £10 gift voucher. If the times don’t work for you but you’d still like to get involved please email Helen Loughran (h.loughran@leedsbeckett.ac.uk) to arrange an alternative time.

Loving your Library!

Thank you for all your feedback last week on our Valentine’s Boards. We really appreciate you taking the time to post your notes.img_1092

We asked you what you loved about the Library or what would make you love us more.

We’re really pleased that you said you loved our staff, 24/7 opening, laptop loans and some of our study spaces.

But what would make you love us more?

  • More anatomy books online – try www.anatomy.tv – ask Library staff for more info about how to log on to this resource.
  • Fix the Wi-Fi – work has been done to improve the wi-fi so please bring your devices to the Help and Information Point if you’re still having problems so we can get you connected.
  • Water fountains in Headingley Library – unfortunately James Graham is a listed building with limited plumbing facilities.  The University’s supplier carried out detailed surveys to see if more could be provided but there are only a small number of places where fountains can be installed so that the water is safe to drink. There is a fountain near the vending machines on the ground floor of James Graham as well as just outside JG250.
  • Toilets in the Headingley Library – we agree that it would be good to have more toilets in the Library but again the listed building status and plumbing limits what our Estates team is able to provide.
  • Air con / heaters – we know the temperature in the Library isn’t always ideal and we’re working with Estates to try to improve things.
  • More windows in Sheila Silver Library – we can’t add more windows to the building unfortunately but as we’ve refurbished each floor we’ve moved as many study spaces as possible near to them to take advantage of the natural light.
  • If it wasn’t so busy – we agree it can get very busy in the Library and we are looking at ways to let you know where the quieter spaces are.

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Remember if you have any other feedback about the Library you can speak to a member of staff or complete a What’s Your View card.

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.

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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.

Sheila Silver Library Refurbishment: choices and compromises – responding to your feedback

While we’re really excited about the newly refurbished first floor of the Sheila Silver Library, we know it’s not perfect.  We’ve received a lot of comments on the whiteboards we put out for your feedback asking us why we made the changes we did—many students really liked having the bookstock on the ground floor and the big open study space on the first floor!  So we thought we’d share some background about why we made the changes we did, and what you can look forward to in the future.

To summarise what’s happened: before this phase of the refurbishment, books 001-599 were temporarily located on the ground floor.  During 2015-16, the entire first floor book room was full of study tables and PCs. Now that we’ve refurbished, the first floor is similar to the second and third floors and the book room contains a mixture of bookshelves and group study furniture and PCs. Rooms 104 and 105 are also available for group study.

Why did you move the books back onto the first floor?

Rooms G28 and G29 (which temporarily contained bookstock) had to be turned back into teaching labs for 2016-17. These are some of the only labs on campus large enough to hold the larger student groups of 40 or more. So we had to move the books out of those rooms and replace them with as many PC desks as possible—these rooms are an essential part of University teaching space.

By the way, don’t forget that any time a lab isn’t timetabled for a class, you can walk in and use a PC!  That’s 44 PCs in G28 and 43 PCs in G29, plus a few extra desks in each room if you want to use a laptop.  This is in addition to the other teaching labs on the first, second, and third floors.

But you could have left the books in the area near the entrance and still had some extra study space on first.

Yes, but we are expecting the ground floor to be refurbished in the near future, and that would require the books to move.  Book moves are very costly (that’s your money we’re spending!) and, more importantly, they’re very disruptive for you—every time we move books from one floor to another, those books are unavailable to you for at least some of the time.

Both the temporary location of the books on the ground floor and their recent move to the first floor are part of a larger plan to keep the bookstock available to you (and reduce costs) as much as possible over the course of the larger project in which we refurbish the entire Library one floor at a time.

You could still fit more study tables on the ground floor near the entrance.

You’re right! This phase of the project didn’t include funds to purchase new furniture for the ground floor, so we’ve reused our old furniture that would connect to the floor sockets (so you have more convenient plug points on top of the tables).  We are currently working on getting some more tables to fill in the gaps in this area.

The books take up too much space.

We have to balance between providing study space and providing the resources you need for your coursework—we know both of these things are important to students from the feedback we receive. We do our best to keep the balance right:

  • we buy eBooks and ejournals whenever we can—no shelf space needed!
  • we assess the collection regularly and remove items that are out of date
  • we have a section of compact shelving on the third floor which takes up less space than ordinary bookshelves. However, compact shelving is very expensive and also too heavy to use safely across the entire floor of the Library.

Why do you let college students take up space in the Library?

We need an upgrade to the infrastructure of the entrance gate in order to be able to turn it on all day long without inconveniencing you even more with multiple gate breakdowns. We expect this situation to improve soon and to be able to implement better balanced visitor policies that will prioritise the needs of our students to use study space.  You can help with this by getting in the habit of carrying your Campus Card with you at all times!

Your feedback about needing more study space and more areas with large tables for groups to spread out and study together has been passed along to Leeds Beckett Estates, as they ultimately make the decisions about University facilities.  We will be working with Estates on the next phase of the refurbishment of this Library (fourth floor, Summer 2017) and the ground floor refurbishment.  We’ll do everything we can to increase study space and provide the kind of environment you need as we participate in these projects!

What’s going on with the clipboards?

If you see Library staff around the building with large clipboards or laptops, don’t be alarmed – we are just carrying out one of our regular headcounts. We do this for a week every month from October to May.

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We do a headcount in each area of the Library, and note where people are sitting and whether people are using PCs, books, tablets and laptops. So please excuse us if we are peering over at your table!

This information helps us tailor our services to your needs. It also helps us gain information about popular study spaces, levels of PC occupancy, how many of you bring in your own devices and how many use books to study.

headcounts4We are currently using a low-tech pen, paper and clipboard approach in the Sheila Silver Library and trialling a new online system using laptops at Headingley Library.

Information from the headcounts contributes to decisions aboutheadcounts3 the current refurbishment of the Sheila Silver Library, such as planning what kind of seating and tables will be installed on the new first floor.

Sorry we made a mistake….

…when we told you we were open 24/7 365 because this year we’re open 366 days!Library leap year plasma

Yes, that’s 8,784 hours of the Library being open and available for you to study – either on or off-campus.

To celebrate we’ll have Pop-Up Libraries across both Headingley and City campuses during w/c 29th February reminding you of how we can help you get the most out of your studies 24 hours a day.

We would also like to know what else you love about the Library as well as our 24/7 opening so please let us know on Twitter #leapyearlearning or tell us at one of the Pop-Ups.

And we’ve even created a “Music of Time” Spotify playlist for you to listen to as you study.

We’re also launching a competition for a new design for Library bags to go on sale in September 2016. More information is available in our latest blog post.

It’s never too early to start!

As work continues on the second floor of Sheila Silver Library Library staff are already starting to work with our Estates team on plans for the first floor refurbishment which will be taking place in summer 2016.

An initial meeting took place recently to discuss both what and who will have to move off the floor, including furniture, printers, PCs and people!  Academic Librarians and other Library staff are currently based on the first floor so temporary accommodation will need to be found for them as well as new longer term homes.

We’ve also started to count the number of bays of books on the first floor to work out how much space will be needed for current stock and areas of growth as our curriculum continually changes.

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If you have any thoughts or ideas about what you would like to see as part of the ongoing refurbishment or find useful to support your studies please let us know. You can Contact Us via the Library website or tweet us @beckettlibrary #librefurb