Services and Resources Status Updates

Have you ever wondered why a library resource is not working or wanted to check if there is any upcoming system maintenance? You can now quickly do so, by checking our Current status of library services and resources page!

We knew that having a centralised place to check would make your life easier, so we worked hard to produce a tool that would clearly show you the status of Library Services’ core systems and services. So now, in one place, we are able to highlight to you known issues and periods of service disruption, and provide you with information on alternatives where necessary.

On that page you will be able to check the status of our online resources, services and spaces. Specific major issues are highlighted at the top, but you can click on each category to get more details on what is happening (an alert shows next to a category when there is an issue related to it), and learn about other potential issues:

  • In Online resources are listed current issues with library resources and news items about upcoming maintenance, as well as workarounds for known issues. If you have found an issue with a resource, this page may tell you why. If not, you can report the issue to e-access@city.ac.uk
  • By checking the status of our Services, you will know if any of them is disrupted – did you know that all but one are available at the moment?
  • Currently all our physical Spaces are closed, of course, but this will be a useful page to remember checking when we reopen.  

Give it a quick try at https://libanswers.city.ac.uk/systems –  see what’s happening and what will be happening soon!

CityLibrary online

The buildings might be closed but CityLibrary is most definitely open. Whatever help you need accessing and using Library resources and services, there are lots of ways you can get it, including:

Online Chat

We have extended our Online Chat service so you can now speak to a member of Library staff online from 9am to 5pm during weekdays. You can find the Online Chat box via the Library homepage.

Ask Us

When Online Chat isn’t available, you can still ask questions and find answers using our Ask Us service. If you can’t find an answer to your question straight away, simply submit a new question and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

Appointments with a Subject Librarian

Our Subject Librarians are available for appointments via Teams or telephone. Book an appointment online or contact your Subject Librarian to arrange a suitable date/time.

Research support

If you need help with your PhD research project, guidance on Open Access publishing via City Research Online or advice relating to Copyright, you can contact a member of our Research Support Team.

Library Guides

Find advice, guidance, tips and useful links via our Library Guides, including subject-specific pages for each School, and information on the types of services and resources available.

Library Guides Homepage

CityLibrary News and Social media

Keep up-to-date with all things Library related by subscribing to CityLibrary News or following us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Finally, as ever, you can email library@city.ac.uk with your questions, comments and suggestions and use our online feedback form too.

 

Keep taking care of yourselves, and each other.

Accessing law e-books

Library Services provides all current City students access to a huge range of e-books, on Westlaw, Lexis and other platforms.

What subjects are covered?

These titles cover a lot of different law topics: Company & Commercial, Crime, Employment, EU and International Law, Family, Land and Property, Litigation, Tort Law and many more.

We give you online access to texts such as “The White Book” and “Blackstones on Criminal Practice”, so you can always consult them even when all the library copies are being used.

Shipping books such as Snell’s Equity, Kennedy Rose on the Law of Salvage, and Scrutton on Charter parties are also available online, so you don’t have to wait to get your hands on them!

We also subscribe to many of the Butterworths’ handbooks and practitioner textbooks such as Banks on Sentence or McDonald on Immigration. This means you don’t have to come to the library to access them, they are all available from your computer and you can access it from anywhere.

If you’re already writing your dissertation, you’ll be happy to know that the library is in a great position to support you as a lot of content is accessible remotely.

How do I get a list of all the available books?

Does this sound interesting but you’re unsure which books are in the collection? Come to the Library Help Desk and we’ll show you how to view the full list on Westlaw and LexisLibrary, or send us an email to lawlibrary@city.ac.uk if you cannot find what you’re looking for. We’ve also provided some brief instructions below.

Westlaw – start by searching “Westlaw” in our catalogue (libraryservices.city.ac.uk) and log in using your City username and password.

Select the drop-down menu next to the ‘Westlaw’ logo and select “Books”: you can see all the titles included in our subscription. If you wish, you can also filter the titles by subject area, from the section headed ‘filters’ on the left-hand side.

The Westlaw interface showing the Switch Product menu button where you can choose Westlaw UK, Books or Practical Law.

LexisLibrary – search “LexisLibrary” on our catalogue and log in. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a section headed “My Bookshelf”. Scroll down and select the “View More” link to see all the titles you can read online.

The LexisLibrary interface showing The My Bookshelf section. Listed underneath are titles such as All England Law Reports and Atkin’s Court Forms which can be browsed or searched.

When you open a book on Lexis, we recommend you open the “Table of Contents” on the left-hand side, as this will make it easier for you to browse the book. Do let us know if you have any issues reading a resource.

The table of contents opened within Blackstone’s Criminal Practice. Each part and section within the Table of Contents is expandable.

You can also use the ‘Search’ bar in both databases.

Need further help?

Please contact us at LawLibrary@city.ac.uk or come to the Help Desk if you cannot find a book or need further help!

Not a law student?

We have thousands of e-book titles covering the full range of subjects taught at City

Library systems downtime

We are upgrading our library systems overnight Monday 16th – Tuesday 17th December.  As a result you may experience intermittent periods of downtime during which you will be unable to:

  • login to online resources
  • see book availability through CityLibrary Search
  • request items, or
  • login to your CityLibrary Account to renew items.

Please plan ahead to conduct research and manage your account ahead of this time.

CityLibrary gains Customer Service Excellence Standard

City’s Library Services Team has been awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Standard.  The standard assesses a huge number of elements and criteria, including feedback from library users, to determine the highest quality service.

This is something we could not have achieved if it was not for the help of our wonderful customers, both students and staff, who assisted in talking with the CSE assessors and who help us run a successful service in different ways.

Social Media

Our assessors picked up on several factors relating to our relationship with our students. Our social media game was praised as being beyond the standard and, without your interaction with our tweets and posts on CityLibrary News, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, these efforts would be wasted – so thank you so much for interacting with us online as well as in person.

Continous Improvement

We were also commended on our commitment to continuous improvement where, really, it is you who drive this, you who make us a success. Without your engagement with our Feedback pop-ups, for example, we would not know how we do better – because it is what You Say that We Do. We are currently looking at the feedback we received last month but you can let us know at any time what we are doing well and what are not doing well at our Help Desks where you can talk to our staff or fill out a form.

So thank you for making us a Customer Service Excellence success!

Hold that thought: Mind Mapping with MindGenius

Understanding, organising and retaining information can be challenging. While studying and working we often need to compose and organise our written work, understand complex topics and retain information. Mindmapping can be an excellent tool to help us meet these challenges.

Depending on the task at hand mindmapping can be useful for almost everyone, but can be particularly useful for Neurodiverse profiles such as Dyslexic learners.

Mindmapping is a way of graphically representing a topic, concept or problem, so we can visualise it, making it easier to understand. Mindmapping is a versatile technique which can have many applications. Here are some examples:

Brainstorming

Mindmapping is a great way to brainstorm. You can use it to better capture your thoughts or start exploring a topic. You may find that it can help to stimulate and generate more ideas.

Capturing all of your ideas can reduce the load on your working memory. Once you can see your ideas together on one page, you can then edit and arrange them into a more organised structure. This is also useful for group brainstorms, try it on our large screens in the group study rooms and technobooths.

Planning and organising

Bring order to chaos. Before you start a task it’s a good idea to plan how you are going to do it. Mindmapping can help you plan written work such as an essay. With most digital mindmaps, as you build your map you can add more substantial notes to ideas. This means that when you export your finished mindmap into a Word document you have a logical outline structure and some content to get started with.

You could even use a mindmap to plan your research or literature search in an academic database, plotting out which keywords, synonyms and antonyms you are going to use.

A mindmap breaking down a keyword search of " a comparison of the effectiveness of exercising versus a health diet in reducing obesity in children".
A mindmap to plan a database search [click to expand].

Revision

Make your revision notes into a map. When trying to recall information it’s easier to remember the spatial layout of a map rather than linear notes. Add additional memory hooks, such as colour and images, which can prompt you to recall the associated concepts.

Breaking down complex ideas

Some topics are complicated such as land law, who is related to who in Wuthering Heights, or potential Brexit  scenarios, requiring flow charts and maps to make visual sense. It’s difficult to keep all that information in your head or to understand the connections when going backwards and forwards though linear notes.

A mindmap of Wuthering Heights characters and their relationships.
The characters of Wuthering Heights [click to expand].

So, how can I start mindmapping?

To me, Mindmapping has no strict rules, but there are some basic guiding principles you may wish to follow to keep your map effective:

  • Put your topic or essay title in the centre this is useful for keeping you on track or remind you to answer the question in hand.
  • Use single keywords (or very short phrases) so you can see at a glance what the map means when you come back to it. Key words are easier to digest and remember if you are using the map for revision. Keywords are also useful because at the mapping stage our ideas may not be fully formed sentences, but we can still easily capture and build on them.

Using MindGenius software

MindGenius 2019 software is now available on any City student Windows pc.
Staff can download the software onto their City staff desktop computer via the Software Centre. MindGenius is excellent for project management and has some advanced features to facilitate this, such as the ability to create a Gantt chart from your map at the click of a button.

MindGenius Functionality

The software is simple to use with “type and return” functionality to build you map. You can also:

  • Add attachments to keep the documents you are reading for a project or essay organised by linking them to relevant branches within the map.
  • Add notes: Add more substantial notes to each branch. As mentioned, this feature is excellent when planning an essay.
  • Export to Word: You can export your finished mind map to Word to create draft written work. In Word you will have a linear structure to work with along with your added notes.
  • Export to PowerPoint: You can use the software to help plan and create presentations.
  • The mental connection tool allows you to link ideas on different areas of you map and describe the relationship between them.
  • Categories and Filter: You can use colours to code or categorise ideas across your map. If your map becomes quite large and complex you can filter by category to concentrate on particular themes.
  • Templates such as the SWOT and PEST analysis can help encourage exploration of a topic and apply critical thinking to it.
  • If you’re really not sure where to start there are guided brainstorm tools, such as ‘solution finder’ and ‘question sets’.

A real life example

I find mindmapping incredibly useful for organising complex, but otherwise unordered ideas. To write this article I planned it first in Mind Genius.

I started by brainstorming in an unstructured way, getting every one of my ideas down on the page (which is very cathartic!). This reduced the load on my working memory. I also used the Who? What? Where? When? Question set to stimulate more ideas and identify gaps in my thinking.

Once all my ideas were on the page I could move on to organising and structuring the information using the drag and drop functionality to group ideas which came under the same theme.

Then I could think more critically and reject any of the weaker or less relevant ideas. i.e. in this article I’m not going to talk about other mindmapping software so I have deleted those branches on review.

A mindmap bout mindmapping, many ideas have been added with no real structure.
Stage 1. An unordered mindmap. [Click to expand]

A mindmap about mindmapping with more structure
Stage 2. An ordered mindmap. [Click to expand]
""
Stage 3. Mindmap exported to Word as outline text. [Click to expand]

Need Help?

If you need help or have any questions about Mind Genius contact us. We’d like to hear what you think so please add your comments below or share with fellow students how mind mapping works for you.

Meet the Team: Law Team

The Law Team works across two libraries, Gray’s Inn Place Library and Law Library College Building. The team makes sure both libraries run smoothly throughout the week, checking the environment and answering students’ questions.

The team is made up of the following people:

Martin Edwards – User Services Librarian

Martin is the User Services Librarian. He manages the frontline staff and is the person to contact should you have issues with your Library account. You can also contact him regarding feedback, complaints or general enquiries.

Martin also manages the library spaces, making sure the study environment is appropriate and meets your learning needs.

You can contact Martin at Martin.Edwards@city.ac.uk

 

Rob Hodgson & Tom Ellen – Subject Librarians
Rob and Tom are your Subject Librarians for Law. Rob has been working at City for a few years, Tom has joined us from the Law Society.

They are your contact for all things relating to library resources and library support for teaching and learning. Book a one-to-one appointment with them to learn how to use databases and other resources effectively, discuss literature searching for your dissertation, get help with citing and referencing using OSCOLA (citing correctly is the only way to avoid plagiarism!) and more. They also run training workshops throughout the year which can be booked via the Library Calendar.

You can drop in without appointment during their office hours. You can find them in B301 (Northampton Square Library) on Wednesdays between 1-3pm and at Gray’s Inn Place (Room 1/04) on Thursdays from 11-1pm.

You can contact Rob at Robert.Hodgson@city.ac.uk
You can contact Tom at Thomas.Ellen@city.ac.uk

 

Hilary Vieitez – Research Librarian

Hilary is the Research Librarian for Law, supporting academic staff and PhD students at The City Law School with their research needs. She offers both one-to-one training and group workshops. Areas in which she can offer support and advice include: literature searching techniques; how to track down resources for your research; effective use of reference management tools; and correct citing and referencing.

You can contact Hilary at Hilary.Vieitez.1@city.ac.uk

 

Stefanie McDade – Senior Information Assistant
Stefanie worked at The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn Library for two years assisting barrister and student members of the Inn with their legal enquiries. She therefore has a lot of experience and can help you with your legal research, and with OSCOLA too.

You can contact Stefanie at Stefanie.McDade@city.ac.uk

 

Information Assistants & Evening and Weekend Team
Every day from Monday to Friday, you can ask for help at the desk from our Information Assistants: Alex, Conor, Martina, Monika and Stephanie; and, if you use the library in the evenings or at the weekends, you will find Josephine, Phong, Sadeer, Tim or William available to assist you.

Our staff can help you with: finding books on the shelf, printing, reading a report citation, using the catalogue; and have all been trained on how to use key law resources like Westlaw or Lexis. They will also be able to refer you to the right person should your enquiry require a more in-depth answer.

You can get in touch with the team at LawLibrary@city.ac.uk

Library Services on Thursday 4th July

To allow for a staff development event on Thursday 4th July Library sites will be open for reference and self-service only.

Access on that day will only be available to City University students, staff and registered Library users.

Normal opening hours will apply. Staffed services will resume at 9am on the following day, Friday 5th July.

Redesigning the Library Bookings pages

We are giving our bookings pages a new look and want your input.

Below are two screen shots for the design of the front page, have a look and let us know which you would find easier to use by clicking on the voting options below.

Option A: bookings by category

 

A: bookings by category

Option B: bookings by site

 

B: bookings by site

Printed versions of this survey will be available on noticeboards in Levels 2 and 3 of the Northampton Square Library, and at the Library Help Desks at the Cass and Law Libraries.

We will be asking for more feedback further along the design process.