Love is in the Library

Today is Valentine’s Day. Sweethearts around the country will be swapping cards and flowers. Sometimes it can be a very expensive day, but it doesn’t need to be. CityLibrary Search has tons of great resources to help you celebrate this festival of love. Here are five of our favourite romantically themed items from our collections.

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is the classic love story. If you don’t know the play, you will know the story: star crossed lovers from different sides of the track falling in love (think West Side Story or Buffy and Angel). If you are new to the play, this BBC recording from 1978 is a great place to start. Watching it this year will have added resonance as it was also the big onscreen debut of the great Alan Rickman.
  • Pride and Prejudice is a great novel. There’s romance at the heart of the story, but the book contains much much more than that. In it you get a humorous view of the joys and pains of falling in love, a gentle comedy of manners, a sharp and ironic dissection of  Georgian society, and let’s not forget that scene. Very few readers will forget when hunky Mark [sorry, Fitzwilliam] Darcy climbs out of the pond in his wet shirt and kegs #swoon. Set in Regency England, the novel still resonates and enthralls readers today.
  • George and Mildred Box of Broadcasts has tons of great videos, often episodes of shows which aren’t available elsewhere. Choosing one couple from the great TV power couples was hard – Jack and Vera, Homer and Marge, Miss Piggy and Kermit etc – but we have chosen George and Mildred – one of the sweetest TV couples ever. If you have never seen it before, now is your chance.
  • My Beautiful Laundrette directed by Stephen Frears from a screenplay by Hanif Kureishi is one of the great classics of Cinema. Set in London during the Thatcher era, the film explores how the relationships of characters develop  across communities, classes, generations and sexual identities.
  • Wings of desire an angel in 80s Berlin falls in lurve with a mortal circus performer. So beautiful. Look out for cameos from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Peter Falk (aka Columbo). The stand out star is of course the State Library at the edge of the Potsdamer Platz where angels listen in to the readers thoughts.

New Addition to the Northampton Square Library

A new addition was recently made to Level 3 of the Northampton Square Library, which you may have spotted while picking up your printing or making photocopies.
An extra vending machine, full of snacks, has been installed so you don’t have to trek all the way down to Level 2 and go through the gates and back to grab a quick snack.
The machine contains a variety of crisps, chocolates and drinks and accepts both cash and cards.
So, should you be studying within the library and fancy a little something, just head to the back of Level 3 where you will find the machine in the corner with the printers and photocopier.  

The new vending machine in the corner with its printing neighbours.
The new vending machine in the corner with its printing neighbours.

Speaking of printing – if you are unsure about how printing your work, well, works, then head over to the Printing Facilities pages on the IT section of the University website.


From here, if you click on the Managed Print link on the right hand side then you will be able to top-up your Print Credit.

We want your feedback

Design, Deliver and Develop Library Services

Last year we asked you for your feedback to help improve Library Services and you responded in droves. Over 4,300 students took part in at least one university survey, including 73.9% of final year undergrads who took part in the National Student Survey. You can find out more about the changes that have taken place around the university on the university’s website.

Your feedback is instrumental in designing, delivering and developing your Library Service. We’ve made lots of improvements over the past two years, much of which has been as a direct result of student feedback. So please keep the feedback coming, it really does make a difference.”

Louise Doolan, Director of Library Services

These are just some reasons why you should give your feedback. In the past two years we have made the following changes to Library Services.

Cold Food policy

You can now bring cold food into the all libraries. To stop other students being disrupted we only ask that the food is cold, that it isn’t smelly or messy, and that you use the bins afterwards. So far this scheme has been very successful.


Library Essentials

Library Services have introduced a new series of short workshops to help you get up to scratch on all aspects of Library Services. From Getting to know CityLibrary to employability workshops these series will help you get the most from Library Services during your time at City.

Opening Hours

  • Northampton Square Library and Cass Learning Resource Centre are both open 24/7 during exams (in January and May)
  • Northampton Square is now open between Christmas and New Year
  • We have also introduced regular Sunday opening throughout term time at Gray’s Inn Place
  • The new Graduate School Library Centre is open for the same hours as the University Library during term time.

newsletter entrance exit

More seats for you

Following feedback we have added:

  • More seats than ever in all the libraries.
  • A new Welcome Zone in the Cass Learning Resource Centre designed to support interactive student engagement
  • A new group study room at Gray’s Inn Place Library
  • A completely new silent study computer lab on level 6 of the University Library
  • 53 new study spaces (and counting) on levels 5 and 6 of the University Library

More Stuff on shelves

In the last two years, acting directly on feedback from you, we have:

  • Dedicated funds set aside to buy books recommended by you. Suggest a book to Read for Research or More Books and we will buy it.
  • Expanded print and e-book collections using student-led selection models
  • Expanded e-journal collections across all subject areas
  • Purchased new databases to support education
  • Purchased additional Bloomberg terminals
  • Introduced fiction collections at the University, Cass and Law libraries.

Borrow More Books newsletter

Easier Services

  • We introduced CityLibrary Search, a new resource discovery tool, making it easier for you to search a wide range of Library resources from a single search bar. We have made several smaller improvements to how it works because of feedback from you.
  • You can now pay fines online to help you manage your library account.
  • You can now book a 1-2-1 with a subject Librarian through our “one click” system.
  • You can check our LibAnswers website for any FAQs.

Streaming Video Collections: Alexander Street Press

We currently have unlimited access to Alexander Street Press’s complete suite of academic video titles (more than 43,000 titles!) for a year. The most watched videos will become part of our permanent collection. 

The videos cover a wide range of subjects and topics. Collections include:

  • 60 Minutes: 1997-2014
  • American History in Video
  • Medical Imaging in Video
  • Human Resource Management Online (video content)
  • Human Rights Studies Online (video content)
  • International Business Online (video content)
  • Meet the Press
  • Opera in Video
  • The BBC Video Collection 

All of the videos can be accessed via CityLibrary Search, just search for your topic then narrow your content type to ‘Streaming Video’ and click ‘Apply’.

Features include searchable transcripts and the option to share videos, make clips and create playlists. 

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If you have any feedback on this resource or would like more information please contact your Subject Librarian.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Russian troops. Auschwitz was the most notorious of many such camps in which many millions of people  were murdered during the Holocaust. The majority of these people were Jewish, although many other groups were targeted by this crime: political opponents to the Nazi regime, homosexuals, Roma, ethic minorities and disabled people among others. Tragically genocides like this have happened since. On the 27th January every year we remember the millions of people who have been murdered, or whose lives have been changed by genocide, both during the Shoah and in later conflicts.

Writing in the 1950s, Theodor Adorno wrote that to write poetry after Auschwitz was barbaric. Several writers however, have used the medium of literature to bear witness to this crime and to examine how it happened in order that one day it can be prevented ever happening again.

The library holds several books about the Holocaust and genocide which are both powerful pieces of literature and also calls to action from each of us to stop it ever happening again.

  • Anus mundi : five years in Auschwitz written by Wieslaw Kielar is a very moving and harrowing account of the author’s experiences at Auschwitz.
  • Maus, by Art Speiglemann, is both a biography of the author’s parents, and a depiction of their experiences of the shoah and the effect it had in their lives after the war. A comic book, in which Jewish characters are drawn as mice and Germans are drawn as cats, it is both profoundly tragic and deeply moving. It is surely one of the great books of the 20th century.
  • If This is Man by Primo Levi is a powerful book inspired by the author’s experiences in Auschwitz. A trained chemist, at one time Levi was helping the German war effort, before he was sent to Auschwitz. Levi was one amongst a generation of great Jewish Italian writers, whose lives were effected by the holocaust.
  • Following the war many of the Nazi leaders were put on trial for Crimes against Humanity. Telford Taylor, who was counsel to the prosecution, wrote his memoirs of the trials which was published posthumously in 1992. The anatomy of the Nuremberg trials: a personal memoir is a very interesting and moving book of this aspect of the Shoah.
  • Hannah Arendt examined the illness that grew fruit to such evil, in books such as Eichmann in Jerusalem and The origins of totalitarianism . Her most famous theory, the banality of evil, described the actions of Eichmann a mild mannered man who nevertheless organised the murder of millions. She wrote it as she was reported on his trial in Israel in 1968 for the New Yorker magazine.
  • International criminal law and human rights by City academic Claire de Than explores  how issues of International Human Rights and International Criminal Law overlap. In it she explores how the International Criminal Court can try international crimes such as Genocide.

These books must be read so that we always remember the tragedy and evil that is genocide.

Book Review: Oscar and Lucinda

A world classic from Australia

Oscar and Lucinda is a great little book. It follows the adventures of the two eponymous characters both in Australia and Europe. Oscar Hopkins and Lucinda Leplastrier are Southern star crossed lovers [geddit?] and gamblers from different sides of the world. Their will they/won’t they relationship is just one of the many elements in this novel, that will leave you wanting to read more.

The sweetest things: stress apples and great literature are the best things to relax with.
The sweetest things: stress apples and great literature are the best things to relax with.

Inspired by several great books – such as Gosse’s Father and Son and Patrick White’s Voss  – this novel nevertheless takes its own unique course. As the characters set off on their own visionary journeys, the book becomes, at times, reminiscent of both magic realism and postmodernism , and of the Australian walkabout. This classic of Australian fiction will leave you literally breathless.

Unputdownable and deep

This book is great and should be read. It’s a real page-turner but discusses deep and challenging issues that are still important today. 5 stars.

Library Staff Love #3: City Research Online

City Research Online
City Research Online

For January we thought we’d share Samantha’s nomination for City Research Online (or CRO for short):

“I love City Research Online because it’s a great showcase of all the amazing research our academics produce. It’s a repository of different versions of our academics’ work, freely available for anyone to download and benefit from.”

Research is shared on CRO as part of our commitment to the principles of Open Access: that results of research, in the form of publications, should be freely available to anyone with access to the internet.

For anyone wanting more information about City Research Online and Open Access, the team have put together a helpful Library Guide available online. You can also follow the latest items being uploaded to CRO via Twitter.

Thanks Samantha!

Resource of the month: HeinOnline

What is it?

HeinOnline provides full text access to a large number of law and law-related periodicals covering US, UK and international publications. It also includes resources such as:

  • Publications from the European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Pentagon Papers (a collection of papers relating to the US’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 – 67)
  • US Presidential Library, which contains various documents relating to US Presidents
  • Women and the Law, which includes biographies of famous women, as well as resources on topics such as ‘legal rights & suffrage’ and ‘women & society’
  • World Constitutions and related material, searchable by country.

How can I use it?  Search all collections by using the search box at the top of the HeinOnline menu page, or browse collections by category or name.  An Advanced Search function is also available.

Where can I find it?  Search for ‘HeinOnline’ in CityLibrary Search.  Click on the HeinOnline link and enter your username and password.  Once on the HeinOnline home screen, click on the blue ‘LOG IN’ button in order to access the HeinOnline menu page.

Northampton Square Bookable Silent Study Spaces

Bookable silent study spaces will be returning during the 24/7 opening period at Northampton Square in January.

Students can book a space to study on weekdays from 4th – 22nd January. Sessions of two or three hour blocks are available between 9am and 9pm and users can book one session a day, with a maximum of two a week. The full terms and conditions are on the bookings page.

The spaces themselves are on Level 5 and can be found on the Spencer Street side beyond the enquiry desk. They are specially decorated to show which is which, too!

Some of the Bookable Silent Study Rooms waiting to be booked
Some of the Bookable Silent Study Spaces waiting to be booked

Northampton Square Library Group Study Rooms

Starting January 2016 the Group Study Rooms at Northampton Square will be locked outside staffed hours.

You can book the rooms for use during staffed hours up to two weeks in advance.

We have recently been working with IT to upgrade the PCs in rooms 3F, 3G, 3H, 3J, and 3K.  3C will be upgraded soon.  Thank you for your patience whilst we did this work.