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.

Silent Study at Northampton Square

Returning students will notice that Level 6 is closed for refurbishment as part of our wider work to develop the library estate.

Levels 4 and 5 are still available for silent study.  In addition to the silent spaces inside the Library, we have transformed B411c into a silent study room.  You can access this new silent study space by taking the lift or stairs from the refectory end of the Level 1 walkway to the 4th floor and following signs to Silent Study.

B411c will be open Monday-Friday 08:30-18:00.

 

 

 

RESOLVED: Ongoing issues with iPad loans

This issue has now been resolved and we are able to issue out iPads to current students and staff once again.

 

We are currently unable to issue any iPads due to problems with the software used to manage the collection.

IT are working with the software supplier to resolve these as soon as possible, and we will update you when the iPads are available to borrow.

 

 

Autumn Specials

Autumn Specials: A series of drop-in sessions at Northampton Square and Cass Libraries
This autumn Library Services will host a series of drop-in sessions and workshops at the Northampton Square and Cass Libraries. These sessions form our Library Services Autumn Specials. They will be an excellent opportunity to meet the people behind these resources and learn about how to get more out of library resources.

See the table below for dates and times of each session. Select the links to find out more information and book your place.

Autumn Specials at Northampton Square

 

Event Date Time Location
Successful Employability with the Financial Times Tuesday 24th September 12-12:30pm A110 College Building
Financial Times Drop-in Tuesday 24th September 1-3pm Northampton Square Library Level 2
Euromonitor Passport Drop-in Monday 7th October 12-3pm Northampton Square Library Level 2
Gale Cengage Roadshow Wednesday 17th October 11am-2pm Northampton Square Library Level 2
SAGE Research Methods Thursday 7th November 11am-2pm Northampton Square Library Level 2

Autumn Specials at Cass

Event Date Time Location
Successful Employability with the Financial Times Thursday 3rd October 12-12:30pm 2003, Bunhill Row
Financial Times Drop-in Thursday 3rd October 1-3pm Cass Library entrance, Level 1
Bloomberg Drop-in Tuesday 8th October 1-4pm Cass Library entrance, Level 1
Bureau van Dijk Drop-in Thursday 17th October 1-4pm Cass Library entrance, Level 1
Euromonitor Passport Drop-in Wednesday 23rd October 12-3pm Cass Library entrance, Level 1

 

Bookable library spaces

Our Technobooths and Pods on Level 3 of Northampton Square Library are now available to book for quiet collaborative work.  Students can book these spaces for a maximum of two hours per day, up to two weeks in advance.  You can book these online through our new look bookings pages.

Technobooths are ideal for working with your colleagues on a group project or presentation as they are equipped with a large screen which you can plug your own laptop into.  Our quiet collaborative pods are great if you want to study in the same place as your friends.

If you want to study in a group, then our group study rooms and spaces on Level 2 are for you.

 

Book moves at Northampton Square

Over the summer we installed nearly 700 metres of shelving on Level 3 and moved 1.2 km of books to spread the library stock across three levels of Northampton Square Library; the same length as Oxford Street from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch stations!  As a result you will see some empty shelves on Level 5.

You will now find your books on Levels 3, 4, and 5.  CityLibrary Search has also been updated to show you which level the book you are after is on.

All this work was done in preparation for planned developments to our spaces.  Watch this space for more information in the coming months…

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.

Northampton Square Level 4 works

Some minor alterations are taking place on Level 4 of Northampton Square Library from now until 19th July.

Level 4 will remain open with the stock available throughout the works, but there will be considerable noise; you may wish to study elsewhere.

Silent study areas and PCs rooms remain available on Levels 5 and 6.

 

Northampton Square Level 6: temporary closure

Level 6 of Northampton Square Library will be closed on Monday 3rd June – Wednesday 5th June for maintenance.  Silent study spaces and PCs will be available on Levels 4 and 5 of the Library.

We have scheduled this work outside our peak times in order to minimise disruption.