A positive mental health community

University Mental Health Day 2018 takes place on Thursday 1st March. This year’s theme is community, and we all have a part to play in cultivating a positive mental health community at university. The Library offers lots of support for students experiencing mental health problems.

Both Libraries are open 24 hours a day seven days a week, so you can choose your preferred time to study, for example you may prefer to visit at less busy times. We recommend you take regular breaks and stay hydrated while you study; water fountains are on the first, second and third floors of Sheila Silver Library and just outside JG250 in Headingley Library.

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Sheila Silver Library

There are study spaces to suit different preferences, including silent and group study areas, and a Disability Resource Area, which students registered with Disability Advice can use for silent study. You can view regular and 360-degree photographs of both Disability Resource Areas before you visit.

We have a wide range of books in both Libraries to support mental health and wellbeing, including titles on stress, anxiety, depression and mindfulness.

Standard loan library books now renew automatically for up to 6 months, so you don’t have to worry about remembering to renew them; we will email your University email account to let you know if you need to return your items.

If you have mental health problems which make it difficult for you to come in to the Libraries in person, you can place books on hold and collect them from the High Demand Area near the entrance on the ground floor. You can also access a wide range of electronic resources from off-campus.

If you are worried about your academic skills, Skills for Learning can help. They offer advice and workshops on various topics such as time management, presentations and referencing. You might also benefit from some of the assistive software available in the Libraries, for example mind mapping software can help you to record and organise your ideas, and Pro-Study can help you keep track of research sources for assignments.

Students registered with Disability Advice can book a one-to-one appointment with the Library’s Learning Support Officer, to help you make the most of the Library services and resources available to you.

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Sue Smith,  Learning Support Officer

Our friendly and supportive Library staff are available to help in person 08:30 – 19:00 Monday – Friday and 11:00 – 17:00 Saturday – Sunday, so please come and speak to us if you need any advice. You can also phone us, email us or chat with us, if you feel more comfortable contacting us in these ways. Library staff have received training in mental health awareness, to help us support students with mental health problems effectively.

If you prefer to access self-service information, you can find this on the Library website or via the Library tab in MyBeckett, including FAQs and video guides.​


Don’t get lost on your way to the perfect dissertation

There are many steps in writing the perfect dissertation and Library staff are on hand to help you on your journey, especially if you’re just starting out.

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Skills for Learning are running a themed week of workshops 19 – 23 February covering topics such as Finding Information for your Dissertation, Organising your Research using Pro-Study, Referencing Refreshers, Word for dissertations and Introduction to SPSS.

And we’ve added extra sessions to our existing programme:

Wednesday 21 February 12:00 – 13:00 Critical Thinking Workshop Headingley JG123

Wednesday 21 February 13:00 – 14:00 Literature Reviews Workshop Headingley JG123

Thursday 22 February 14:00 – 15:00 Dissertation Workshop City (room to be confirmed)

As well as workshops Skills for Learning has lots of guidance on their website and they can also help if the subject you’re studying means you need to produce a dissertation based on a product. Their Dissertation IT Kit provides a really good guide on how to produce a professional looking document and avoid the potential formatting errors.

The Library website includes information about finding past dissertations in the Library or obtaining Interlibrary Loans if you need to read something as part of your literature review that isn’t available in the Library.

Or use our Beckett Books Extra scheme to request a book that you think should be in stock – just click Recommend on the web page.

Searching Discover gives you access to thousands of resources for whatever topic you pick or you can use the Subject Guides to point you in the right direction. These are created by your Academic Librarian who has expert knowledge of all the journals, databases and other material available to you.

You can book an appointment with your Academic Librarian for one-to-one support on finding resources for your dissertation or project – see their contact information on your subject guide. And, of course, you can always contact the Library 24/7 and we’ll do our best to help.

Getting organised for Semester Two

As Semester Two gets underway we thought we’d pass on some reminders about making the most of the Library and being organised in your studies:

Get extra help in essay writing, finding information, referencing, analysing data or IT Skills via the Skills for Learning  programme of free workshops – just book via their website  or take a look at their web resources.

If you’re searching for information for your assignments or dissertations take a look the Subject Guides on the Library website. These will direct you to the right information for your topic and if you still need help you can book a one-to-one appointment with your Academic Librarian.


Connect your mobile devices to eduroam for the fastest and most secure access to the internet when you’re on campus and  download Microsoft Office 365 and SPSS so you have the software you need wherever you are working. But always save and back up your work so you don’t lose it and have to do it all again!

Don’t leave sorting our your references and bibliographies until the very end of your piece of work – keep a record as you go along and use Quote Unquote as a guide.

If you ever get stuck with MyBeckett or Turnitin we have online guides to talk you through finding your way around and submitting assignments and when it comes to submitting your Semester 2 Turnitin assignments, remember to check your file type and file size against Turnitin’s rules and requirements before submitting.

Searching for information, writing and printing your assignments can often take more time than you think – use the Assignment Calculator to help you plan. And book your Student Meeting Room in plenty of time to get together to discuss any group assignments.

If you’ve forgotten your Library PIN or you’re not sure how to collect a Hold or access an eBook our YouTube Library Shorts will give you quick and easy guidance on using the Library and all the services and support available to you.  But remember you can always Contact Us for help as well.


Welcome to new students

Welcome to new students joining the University for Semester Two.

The Library opens 24/7 every day so you can study whenever suits you best. We offer both silent and group study spaces plus bookable Student Meeting Rooms so you can also choose the type of study space that suits your needs.

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If you’ve brought a mobile device with you to University you’ll need to get it set up on the wireless network, eduroam, and you can also download Microsoft Office 365 for free. If you don’t have a laptop you can borrow one for use in the Library.

Please take some time to explore our Library website as it is full of information about all our services and the thousands of resources available to you on and off-campus. We also have dedicated information pages for international students and students studying part-time. And MyBeckett provides access to your modules, reading lists, timetables, student email and much more. Take a look at the Get Started tab to do just that!A161122-2 Library City Campus-105

You should have a Library induction in the first few weeks of your course where you will meet your Academic Librarian and find out more about all the help available to you, such as your Subject Guide and our Skills for Learning workshops and resources.  But please just contact us if you have any questions at all.

We look forward to seeing you in the Library before long.

Exam success

There is lots of help available from the Library and University to support you during your exams:

  • because we’re open 24/7 you can revise at whatever time of day suits you best
  • if you need silence to revise we can help with that too – there are silent study areas in each Library
  • if you need a PC to work on remember you can use the IT Labs if there isn’t a class in progress (see the timetables outside the rooms) or borrow one of the self-service laptops
  • we have lots of books on exam techniques (see our display on the ground floor of the Library)
  • have a look at our Exam Success Wake for advice and links to help you with your revision
  • you can request a tutorial to help you revise and prepare for exams and there are also resources on exam preparation and revision and time management on the Skills for Learning website

But please:

  • find out where your exam takes place (and what time!) before the day so that you know where you are going – there is information on the Student Hub pages, plus advice on what to do if you are ill and what you need with you for the exam
  • make sure you take regular breaks – water coolers in each Library can help you keep hydrated
  • look after your wellbeing – see our Pinterest Board for ideas or listen to our relaxing music playlist plus a motivational list too for you to listen to depending on your mood!
  • don’t chat when others are working in silence
  • don’t use the PCs for social networking when others need to work
  • and don’t “save” study spaces by leaving your belongings on them

Good luck! And remember to Contact Us if you need any help

Those scary essays!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our Halloween stalls the other day, where our (hopefully not too scary) staff asked you what’s the scariest thing about writing essays.halloween HY

Some of you found the most frightening part getting started and acknowledged leaving it to the last minute. Our Little Book of Time Management might help with that.

The majority of you said that finding information was the scariest bit so you’re in the right place with the Library! Your Academic Librarians and the Skills for Learning Team offer tutorials and workshops in finding information and writing literature reviews. The Library website has subject guides to get you started and Discover gives you access to thousands of resources.  Our YouTube tutorials help you make the most out of this fantastic tool.

essaysUnderstanding the question and planning and structuring the essay can also be tricky. The Skills for Learning website has information to help with this and the Essay Writing workshops cover it in more detail. You’ll also find hints and tips in one of our essay writing books.

Not surprisingly referencing and concerns about plagiarising or using Turnitin can be scary too. Make sure you have a copy of Quote Unquote to help you out and take a look at our online guides to using Turnitin.

Remember that you can always ask Library staff to send you in the right direction for all aspects of writing your essay and help avoid all those ghouls and ghosts.

Don’t let your essay become a nightmare!

You might think (or hope!) that essay writing was something just for school but lots of university assignments require you to write an essay in some form; defined by Skills for Learning as “an extended piece of writing which attempts to answer a question or respond to a statement”.

To tie in with Halloween the Library will be offering help with essay writing so that it doesn’t become a nightmare for you. Look out for us in Headingley Library from 11:00 on Monday 30th October and in the Rose Bowl on Tuesday 31st also from 11:00 where we will be helping you overcome your fears by telling you all about the support available. Here’s a sneaky peak of the help on offer – if you’re scared of spiders, skeletons (or essays!) you may want to watch with a friend!

Also during the week there will be Skills for Learning workshops on essay writing, finding information and referencing to help you get started with your assignments. You can find lots of material online, pick up a book in the Library (or read an e-Book from under the covers!) or make an appointment with your Academic Librarian. There is even a Little Book of Essay Writing with lots of useful hints and tips, and software such as Inspiration or Pro-Study on the Library PCs to help you organise your work before you start writing.

In addition, Academic Librarian, Karen Fisher, will be in the Cultural Studies social learning space in Broadcasting House on Wednesday 1 November 11:30-12:30 offering extra help to students based there.

We also asked Holly Phillips, Academic Skills Tutor for her advice: “The most important thing is that you take a clear position in response to the question that is being asked, then the rest of the essay focuses on the evidence to support that position. Ultimately, the essay is an argumentative genre of writing where the author is trying to get their reader to accept their position. Make your case clearly, directly, and support it using the very best evidence you can find!”

Worth following to turn your nightmare essay into a dream high mark!


Celebrating Libraries Week

Libraries Week takes place 9-14 October and is a chance to showcase some of the amazing things that your Library offers such as:

And if you decide to take a break from studying why not listen to our latest Spotify playlist “The Great Library Songbook” full of library and literature related songs! Or come along to Leeds Beckett Book Club’s meeting on Wednesday 11 October to discuss The Famished Road by Ben Okri.




Positive about Dyslexia

This week is Dyslexia Awareness Week 2017, and this year’s theme is ‘Positive about Dyslexia’. The Library has a wide range of support available for students with dyslexia to help you succeed at University.

If you think you might have dyslexia but you have not yet been diagnosed, you can complete QuickScan – an online questionnaire which identifies whether you have any indicators of dyslexia and provides advice on the next steps to take. This is accessed via the Support tab in MyBeckett (under Disability Support).

Students who have dyslexia can register with our University’s Disability Advice service who arrange tailored support on an individual basis. When you have registered with Disability Advice, you can use the Disability Resource Areas in the Libraries. These are comfortable silent study spaces for students with disabilities or dyslexia which contain a range of equipment, including larger desks and PCs with dual monitors.

IMG_20170925_132111595The Library has a wide range of books and eBooks about study skills and disability in higher education, including dyslexia. Look out for some of these on our Dyslexia Awareness Week book displays. There is also a collection of reference books on these topics in each Disability Resource Area.

Students registered with Disability Advice can borrow books for longer and place 10 items on hold at once instead of the usual 5, so you can use the Holds system to have books retrieved for you if you have difficulty locating them on the shelves.

We have an ever increasing collection of eBooks. If you find eBooks difficult to use due to dyslexia, we have information on how you can customise the settings to make them more accessible. This includes changing the text size and colour, changing the background colour, and listening to eBooks in audio format. Eligible students can also have their reading list titles obtained in accessible format through the Library’s Alternative Formats service.

A variety of assistive software is available, most of which is installed on all PCs in the Library. This includes Read & Write, which has tools for reading on-screen text aloud (text-to-speech), advanced spelling and grammar support and applying a digital coloured overlay to your computer screen. You can access a web-based version of Read & Write for Google Chrome off campus. There is also software for mind mapping to help you organise your ideas visually, and we have recently subscribed to Pro-Study software which helps you to collect, categorise and organise research from various different sources. We particularly recommend this for students with dyslexia. You can also use SensusAccess to convert documents into more accessible formats, including audio, so you can listen to them rather than reading. If you’d like to know more about the assistive software available in the Library you can come to a workshop – see our Software page for further details, and if you are looking for free software and apps we have several recommendations.

If you prefer to read printed text on a coloured background, coloured paper for printing is available on request free of charge at the Advice Point on the ground floor of each Library. You can choose from six different colours.

For help with study skills including academic writing, Skills for Learning offer online resources, workshops and tutorials.

Photo of SueStudents with disabilities or dyslexia can book a one-to-one appointment with the Library’s Learning Support Officer (Disability and Dyslexia) for help with a wide range of disability related issues in the Library, including using Library resources, assistive software, equipment and more. You can also contact Library staff for advice by phone, email and online chat.

Have you discovered the Library yet?

A161122-2 Library City Campus-296 cropOur two University Libraries, Sheila Silver Library in the Leslie Silver Building at City Campus and Headingley Library in the James Graham Building at Headingley are open 24/7 365. They have different types of study space so you can choose to work in silence or in a group study area, or book a Student Meeting Room.

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

Our Skills for Learning team offer workshops and tutorials in academic communication, IT, maths, research and referencing. They are also running a peer mentoring scheme so you can get support from experienced students to help build your confidence.

Hopefully you will have already met your Academic Librarian for your course and have started to find your way around but there’s lots more help available for you. Take a look at the Get Started tab in MyBeckett and on our Library news pages.

You can also Phone Us or Chat with Us 24/7 – just see the Contact Us page on our website. And follow us on Twitter (@BeckettLibrary) for all the latest information.