Limited Library Services on campus

While we continue to provide the comprehensive online support via chat, Ask Us and online appointments, we are now also introducing limited access to study spaces and PCs, as well as to requesting items via a Click & Collect service.

 

These services are by appointment only, so in order to be able to visit campus, you will need to confirm you slot, as University Security has to be notified of your visit in advance.

Continue reading Limited Library Services on campus

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.

Northampton Square Library, Level 6

Great news!

The silent study space on Level 6 of the Northampton Square Library has now reopened, providing nearly 200 silent study spaces.

Photo of desks on Level 6 of the Northampton Square Library.
Level 6 Silent Study Area

We had to close the floor for the autumn term to allow disruptive surveying work to take place:  this was in preparation for the proposed development of Level 7.

The additional silent study space in B411C (Level 4 of the University Building) remains open Mon-Fri 08:30-18:00.

 

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!

The Story of City exhibition – ending soon

Thank you for helping us celebrate 125 years of City. As our anniversary year draws to a close we would like to remind you that Part 2 of the exhibition The Story of City: life, learning and legacy will run until the end of December, so please visit while you can. The exhibition is open to all and is located at the foot of the Great Staircase in the Pavilion, University Building.

The second part of the exhibition explores everyday life during the early years of the Institute. Find out more about the academic and social activities of the Institute. Learn about the origins of Student Union Mascot, King Carrot and travel back to the 1896 opening to the general public of Clerkenwell who enjoyed access to the swimming baths and entertainments in the Great Hall.

On display are items from the City Archive including student exercise books and early prospectus.  You can also see a reproduction of the time capsule which was buried under the Foundation Stone of the College Building in 1894. Visit the online exhibition where you can find out more and examine in detail digital replicas of a selection of documents, such as this 1923 laboratory workbook of Telegraphy student Philip de la Haye le Marquand.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the exhibition, please share your feedback or your memories of City in the comments below.

Extended loan periods

To help you prepare for your exams, Library Services is giving you extended loan periods over the Christmas and New Year break.

 

Seven day loans

If you borrow or renew a seven day loan on Friday 6th December you won’t have to bring it back until Friday the 3rd of January.

24 hour loans

Pop in on Friday 13th December or anytime up to closing time on Monday the 23rd of December, and you will be able to keep 24 hour loans until 10am on Friday 3rd January.

You can renew seven day loans and long loans online from your Library account.

If you would like to return books, and the library happens to be closed, you can put book returns into the library book return drop. They can be found in the following locations:

  • At Northampton Square, in the University Building Walkway at bottom of the stairs up to the library
  • At Cass just outside the Learning Resource Centre
  • In the College Building, just outside the cafe near the St John’s Street entrance 
  • At Gray’s Inn Place, just outside the entrance to the Library.

Don’t forget you can stay up to date with our opening times over the Christmas and New Year period on the Library Services website and see updates on the Library social media pages on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Seasonal opening hours

The Northampton Square Library will be open from 10am to 6pm between Friday 27th and Tuesday 31st December, 2019. Security staff will be present, and yule be able to borrow items using the elf-service machines as usual.

If you are planning to visit the Library to study or revise over the festive holidays, then check out our opening hours and plan ahead.

Graphic of bells with #CityLibraryChristmas.

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All libraries will reopen on Thursday 2nd January, with Northampton Square and Cass libraries open 24/7 until the January exam period is wrapped-up.

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Please note: access for SCONUL users is permitted during Library-staffed hours but restricted during 24/7: see the Library website for more information.

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]
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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.