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.

A161122-2 Library City Campus-105
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.

Photo of Sue
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.​


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.


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.

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!

Using Sheila Silver Library overnight

Want to study in the Sheila Silver Library in the evening or overnight? There are a few things that you need to know!

The issues with the fire alarms have now been resolved (October 26th) and all study areas are open 24/7.


Don’t forget if you’re coming in to study in the evening or overnight you must have your Campus Card card with you from 19:00 – 08:30.




Unfortunately due to health and safety concerns caused by issues with the fire alarm system we are unable to open all areas 24/7. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Ground floor and Third floor

  • The ground floor and third floor are open as normal, with all areas open 24/7.

First floor

  • The first floor book room is open 24/7 with full access to the book stock (000-339 & 350 – 599), group study and open access PCs
  • The print hub, Student Meeting Rooms and IT labs are open during staffed hours
  • The new flexible study room (LS104) and group study room (LS105) are open during the day but closed in the evening and overnight

Second floor

  • The second floor book room is open 24/7 with full access to the book stock (600-799), group study and open access PCs
  • The print hub, Student Meeting Rooms and IT labs are opened during staffed hours
  • The Postgraduate Room (LS204) and Silent Study (LS205) are are open during the day but closed in the evening and overnight

The third floor returns

Blog imageWe have just got full access to the third floor Book Room back after the recent work that has been taking place. Although we’re sad to say goodbye to our New Helpers : Terry and Harvey it’s really good to have the floor back in use.

We’ve missed the books, the views, the stripy chairs, large letters (!) and being able to browse all the latest journals.

There is now full access to the following book stock and resources on the third floor:

  • Books 800 – 999
  • Law Collection (340 – 349)
  • Journal Collection
  • Statistics

The Print hub, Disability Resource Area, Student Meeting Rooms and Silent Study are also open.

The Postgraduate Research Room remains closed as some work still needs to be completed. The AET IT labs (LS304 and LS305) are also still closed whilst further IT upgrades take place.

We’re really looking forward to the start of term and the reopening of the second floor early in the Autumn term.

How do you use your Library?

As part of the Library redevelopment work we looked at how you used the refurbished third floor area during the few weeks after Easter to revise for exams and write your end of year assignments.

Staff noted how busy certain areas were and also took photos of how different spaces were being used. Some key observations included:

  • The most popular areas:
    • Desks near windows
    • Desks with a PC
    • Student Meeting Rooms
    • Some of the  large “pod” chairs in the corners of the floor
Empty spaces
Empty spaces
  • The number of “claimed” empty spaces, particularly in the Silent Silent Area where there were 32 spotted at one point during this period!
  • The number of different mobile devices you bring with you when you study and the fact that they are often all in use at the same time.
  • The full use of desk space with all necessary supplies!


  • The use of furniture, including how it is moved to create new types of spaces.

use of space

The aim of this work is to help ensure that the way you use Library space feeds into future redevelopment decisions. We’d also be happy to hear your comments about how it feels to use Library spaces. You can also tweet us your views @BeckettLibrary #librefurb