Find your space

A161205-1 Library HC-15cropWe know how busy it gets in the Libraries at the end of the academic year when everyone is working on final assignments and revising for exams so we’re doing all we can to help you find the study space you need:

  • Access to Sheila Silver Library  is limited to Leeds Beckett students, staff and guest users to give you priority in finding study space. Remember to bring your Campus Card with you and also take it with you if you leave the Library for a break as you’ll need it to come back in!
  • We’ve worked with the University to make extra rooms available so if it is too busy in the Libraries you can head over there. You can also use the study tables in City Students’ Union and the Living Rooms on both campuses.
  • We’ve added information to our website to tell you about the most popular times and spaces are in Headingley and Sheila Silver Libraries to help you choose your study space.
  • Timetables outside the IT Labs tell you when there isn’t any teaching taking place and if they are available for you to use. You can check PC Availability on the plasmas as you come into the Library or on the Leeds Beckett App to find out where there are free PCs.
  • We’ll also check the bookings for Student Meeting Rooms to let you know if there are any free via Twitter #findyourspace.
  • You can contact us if other students aren’t respecting the study environment – if you’re at Sheila Silver Library please quote the number of the study space so we know where to find you.

But please help your fellow students too:

  • Don’t chat if you’re in the silent study areas and remember to turn your phones to silent.
  • Don’t “occupy” spaces with your belongings and disappear for hours on end (we know most of you only take short breaks – and that’s a good thing – but if you do need to leave for more than 20 minutes please take your things with you).
  • Don’t use PCs or laptops just for social networking when others need to use them for work.
  • Remember to cancel your Student Meeting Room booking if you don’t need it.

As always please ask staff if you need any help.

 

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Exam survival 2017

There’s lots of help from the Library and University to help you survive your exams:

  • we’re open 24/7 so you can revise whenever suits you best. Remember you need your Campus Card 24/7 at Sheila Silver Library and from 19:00-08:30 at Headingley if you’re studying overnight. And don’t forget to take it with you if you leave the Library for a break so that you can get back in!
  • we have silent study areas to help you concentrate and there are extra spaces booked across the University for you to use if the Libraries are busy
  • you can use the IT Labs if there isn’t a class on or borrow a self-service laptop to access your notes
  • there are some past exam papers available on MyBeckett. Click on the Modules tab and select “Exam papers online”
  • we’ve lots of books on exam techniques – take a look at our displays in both Libraries – or you can have a look at our Pinterest Guide to Study Skills and our Key Resources Page
  • you can request a tutorial or attend a workshop to help you prepare 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 is (and at what time!) before the day so that you know where you’re going – timetables are 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. There’s also a motivational list for you to listen to, depending on your mood!
  • remember that everyone needs to share our study spaces fairly so please don’t chat when others are working in silence; use the PCs just for social networking or “save” study spaces by leaving your belongings on them.2015-04-14 14.01.48

Good luck! And remember to Contact Us if you need any 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. Alternatively you could watch or listen to one of their recorded workshops or podcasts 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.

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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.

 

Popping up but trying not to scare you!

headingley-1Last week was a week of Library Pop ups!

We ran a spooky Halloween pop up at both campuses asking you whether there was anything you found “scary” about the Library. (Apart from this photo!)

Our Skills for Learning team also ran pop ups telling people about their essay writing week and highlighting their websiteworkshops and publications.

 

So what did you tell us?………………………

You said that you found finding information “scary.”

Deciding where to start can feel overwhelming but there’s lots of ways to make it easier:

  • Use Discover for fast and easy searching of our books and journals. We have a number of Discover videos to help you get started
  • Take a look at your subject pages for loads of useful information that will be specific to your topic
  • Make an appointment with your Academic Librarian – book an appointment online from your subject pages
  • Book on a “Finding Information for your Assignments” workshop from Skills for Learning. Or use their online tutorial to help you
  • Come and see us on the Help and Information Point in either Library

You said that you found assignments “scary.”

Again knowing where to start, which topic to choose and writing that first sentence can be hard, but follow our tips to help you get going!

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You said you found finding books “scary.” But don’t struggle and leave the Library empty handed!

You said you sometimes found it “scary” finding a PC or somewhere quiet to study

  • Use PC availability to help you find a free PC when you arrive
  • Have a look at our webpages to help you find the place that’s right for you to study

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Finally don’t forget there’s lots of help available from the Library, please don’t be afraid to ask!

 

 

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.

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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

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.