Library Loves Feedback: 18th to 24th November 2019

Once again Library Staff will be popping-up across City to find out what you think about Library Services. We want to know what you love and why you love it: plus, your ideas for how we can improve things too.

Your feedback makes a difference: we use it to help plan and make changes for the benefit of everyone who uses the Library’s services, resources and spaces.

We’ll have our usual in-person pop-up stalls, plus our popular feedback walls so that you can post your comments anonymously, read other people’s thoughts and see responses from Library Staff. If you don’t make it in, you can submit your feedback online: https://city-uk.libwizard.com/f/feedback-2019.

Poster advertising Library Loves Feedback
Library Loves Feedback

As a massive “thank you” for giving us your feedback, we’ll have some fabulous freebies and prizes to giveaway too!

Here are details of our pop-up locations for this year:

Northampton Square:

Monday 18th Nov Myddleton Street Building Reception Area 12:15-12:45
Tuesday 19th Nov University Building Pavilion 13:15-13:45
Wednesday 20th Nov University Building Stalls – Level 1 Walkway 12:15-12:45
Thursday 21st Nov College Building Entrance Area 13:15-13:45
Friday 22nd Nov University Building Stalls – Level 1 Walkway 13:15-13:45

City Law School, Gray’s Inn Place:

Tuesday 19th Nov Common Room, Atkin Building, Gray’s Inn Place 11:45-12:15

Cass Business School, Bunhill Row:

Thursday 21st Nov Bunhill Row, 1st floor, outside Cass Learning Resource Centre 15:15-15:45

Finally, there are loads of other ways to contact us too throughout the year including via email, Online Chat, and Social Media: tell us what you think!

Take a closer look at e-books

You’ve probably noticed that many of the items on your reading lists come as e-books. E-books are great in several ways:

    • They’re available 24/7
    • They can be accessed on and off campus
    • They’re often great for readers using assistive software
    • You won’t ever have to worry about forgetting to renew them on time
    • You can search within the text of an e-book to find the thing you want really quickly.

You’ve probably also noticed that different e-books look and function differently.

That’s because we purchase titles from different publishers and providers and so the rules about access and use can vary.

To help answer questions you might have about using e-books, we have created an online guide which you can access via the Library website. As well as some general information about using e-books, the guide has detailed sections on each of our main suppliers, offering tips on the different features available, troubleshooting advice, plus links to more information if you need it.

All of our e-books can be accessed via CityLibrary Search – just click on the ‘Full Text Online’ link when it appears in the search results.

Screenshot of CityLibrary search results screen showing titles with an e-book available.
Example search for a title with an e-book available.

We have thousands of titles available online and we’re acquiring new ones all the time (for example, the clickable images scrolling above) so whatever your research or personal interests, there should always be something for you, available when you need it.

Subscribe and use CityLibrary News

To keep up to date with what’s happening across Library Services why not subscribe to CityLibrary News?

Screenshot of a news story on CityLibrary News
CityLibrary News

We regularly post stories on topics such as brand new online resources, the latest textbooks purchased, campaigns like Take a Break and service updates, e.g. on our opening hours or bookable study spaces during the exam period.

Plus we’re always interested to know what you think, so you can send us your comments and questions on any of the news items we publish, or suggestions on any topics you want to read more about.

Happy reading!

 

Library Staff Love #17: City Novel / City Crime

Our students studying for an MA in Creative Writing are a super talented bunch and benefit from a sector leading course which has led to graduates becoming successful and award-winning published authors.

You can get a flavour of their creativity by reading City Novel and City Crime: brilliant collections of their stories available in the Library, so brilliant in fact that they’re the subject of our latest Staff Pick submitted by an enthusiastic, anonymous colleague:

“They’ve only gone and done it again! City’s talented writers have knuckled down and created some fresh, raw and revealing fiction. I just love to read new books and these collected excerpts are all brilliant. They really whet the appetite for more.

The City Crime books are all full of spooky whodunnits and the City Novel books are all just full of great novels. It’s like a little bonsai library. Just perfect.”

Librarians are known for knowing their fiction so you can’t go wrong with a recommendation from one, including from our very own mystery author. You can pick up copies of City Novel and City Crime from Level 5 of the Northampton Square Library today.

(We’d love to hear your reviews or recommendations: @CityUniLibrary)

Library staff’s favourite summer reads

Summer’s all about finding a good book, a nice patch of sun, and relaxing. Well that and a few other things, but either way the library loves curling up with a good book.

Here’s a list of the favourite books of members of library staff including some great beach reads and airport novels. Enjoy.

Ice cone magnifier

 

 

 

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  by Douglas Adams
“I loved a bit of this. Adam’s world is total escapism, very readable on grass, sand or airport lounge.”

 

Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone
“A brilliant book that explores so much of what makes us what we are. A revelation.”

 

In Parenthesis by David Jones
“One of the greatest works to come out of the twentieth century. A densely wrought masterpiece that rewards several re-readings. :)”

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
“What’s not to like about Jane? She gets stuff done and she does not let herself be cowed: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will.””

 

Life on air: Memoir’s of a broadcaster by David Attenborough
Catherine says, “I am engrossed in this. I’m listening to it as an audio book and just lurvve his voice, but his journey is so engaging and so much more than the animal documentaries we all know and love.”

 

On The Beach by Nevil Shute
Lynn is a big fan of this. She says “More of a nuclear summer? I read this at a young age. Characters carried on regardless in the sweltering heat as I realised, to my horror, they were all doomed.  Scarier than any Pan Book of Horror!”

 

Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey
“It’s set in Sydney in Australia in the late 70’s and is about a group of teenagers ‘coming of age’. It’s not really my favourite book, but it and the movie always give me a good laugh for being so cheesy and kitsch.”

 

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
“Entertaining but informs the reader of the culture of the times and the history of partition.”

 

The Bible
Catherine says this “is my handbook for life. It gives me wisdom, encouragement, inspiration and words of love that lift my spirit. It is always in my mind and heart and never far from my hand.”

 

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Alex loves this book. He says it’s “a great mystery with some wonderful characters. Engrossing.”

 

The Neapolitan by Elena Ferrante
Catie recommends reading these books this summer. She says “they don’t all take place in the summertime, but in Book 2, most of it takes place on a beach in Italy. It’s scandalous, salacious and influences all subsequent books.”

 

The portrait of the Artist as a young man by James Joyce
“Portrait was challenging conventional ways of writing and long held beliefs and traditions. As an aspiring artist in those days, that’s what I wanted to do as well.  “

 

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
“It’s about the love and friendship between a girl and her artist grandmother while they spend the summer together on the Swedish archipelago. It’s about freedom, nature and death and is beautifully written.”

 

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This book sums up summer reading for Samantha. “A beautiful coming of age story about a literary young woman in privileged yet difficult circumstances falling in love, and choosing not to lose her head. It’s wonderfully written, the characters are captivating, and you get a lovely sense of endless English summer.

“I confess it also reminds me of my teenage summers in the countryside, especially as a friend had a very similar house. We had cars though, which did make the meeting of suitable and unsuitable boys much easier!  (Dodie Smith also wrote another much more famous work: 101 Dalmations.)”

 

The Waste Land  by TS Eliot
“It’s got so many literary illusions – you could DEDICATE your whole life to studying it.”

 

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“The atmosphere of a sleepy Southern town; you just get so sucked in. Kids looking for an adventure over the summer. Compelling, moving and very easy to read.”

 

VALIS by Philip K Dick
“PKD at his best. It got everything: libraries, mind expansion and the grail myth. A real stonker of a book”.

 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Fanfic before there was even an internet to be a fanperson on? This book “expands and presents a very different view of Jane Eyre, illuminating it with the dark side of the British Empire”.

 

Anything by MJ Arlidge
One member of staff said he got into these books after they were recommended to him by Director of Library Services.

 

Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan
Chosen twice.  One member of staff said he likes it because it reminds him of a year spent in Paris and the South of France which he described as “smashing”. Another member of staff said “I just remember a lot of it being on a beach and it was quite evocative”.

 

Eleanor of Aquitaine
“Eleanor of Aquitaine was the baddasserest queen to ever badass. She married two kings and birthed two more, and outlived all but one, always making sure to run her own Aquitinian estates perfectly whilst fighting off all sorts of ne’erdo wells and having five equally badass daughters. She shaped the 12th century, and with it, western Europe.”

 

 

What do you think of our recommendations? Have we missed anything? Tell us in the comments below.

Library Staff Love #16: Rock’s Backpages

As anyone who has listened to our latest Spotify playlist knows, Librarians have excellent taste in music. We’re not common people. We know our Bachs from our Back for Goods.

What we librarians also have excellent taste in is our selection of online resources, which is why for Library Staff Love #16 Alex, our Subject Librarian for Arts, has chosen to highlight Rocks Backpages.

Rock’s Backpages

Here’s why:

“Rock’s Backpages lets you explore rock and pop music history with over 30,000 articles of music journalism including interviews, feature articles and reviews. The articles are sourced from magazines such as Rolling Stone, Cream, NME, Mojo and Melody Maker with all genres covered from Country to Glam Rock and Trip-Hop. Coverage goes back to the early 1950s and is updated every week.

Some of my own personal favourites from the archive:

For anyone researching popular music or music writing this database is an essential resource. Search for “Rock’s Backpages” via City Library Search, then select the link to go directly to the site where you can browse and search by artist, publication, genre or journalist. The website itself also includes bonus audio and visual materials.”

When you access the link to Rock’s Backpages you’ll be prompted for your City Username and Password and then… hallelujah! You’ll have access to a treasure trove of musical matter.

Thanks for the suggestion Alex (such a good egg, definitely not a bad seed…)

The Curious Case of Library Staff Love #14

Rather excitingly, and in typical crime fiction fashion, this month we received an anonymous tip-off. It seems that there’s something worth investigating on Level 5 of the Northampton Square Library and, luckily for us, our unnamed online-form-filler left some vital clues to help us take a closer look:

Clue 1: “It’s got loads of great new contemporary writings and photos.”

Hmm, how mysterious. Could it be an online resource? We’ve got so many, including LION– but you don’t need to be on Level 5 to access our e-resources, you can do that from anywhere with an internet connection. No, it must be something else…

Clue 2: “You can just curl up with a big Galaxy bar and sail away to loads of different worlds.”

Hmm, well I know that Bloomberg (available on PCs in the Financial Resources Suite) does a cool thing with little ships, but I don’t think it’s that. What does Clue 3 say…

Clue 3: “It is a great way to discover new writers. You can pick the most recent copies up from Level 5 although our collection goes back to 1979.”

Ah, I think I can see where this is going. Recent copies? A longer back catalogue? I’m thinking Journals, of which we have many in both print and digital form. But which one could it be? It must in print as we were told to look at Level 5. Let’s look at the final clue…

Clue 4: “It publishes work from a lot of hot new things including work by one of our talented alumnae: ‘Strange Heart Beating’ by Eli Goldstone will be published in June 2017 and then be available from all good bookshops and libraries.”

Aha! Time for a little process of elimination: if I Google ‘Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone’ I get a results list, and the top result says Granta has bought the rights to this book. Now, maybe, if look for Granta on CityLibrary Search… huzzah! I can see that we stock… Granta Magazine!

Now, if I head to Level 5 and inspect the scene carefully…

Granta Magazine, on Level 5 of Northampton Square Library

Mystery solved! Us Librarians, we do love a bit of sleuthing. Thanks anonymous tip-off person!

5 ways to take a break: Library-style

It could be because it’s exam season. There could be a coursework deadline looming. Either way, you’ve decided to camp out in the Library: you’ve remembered your water, cold snacks, laptop, and those fluffy slippers to keep your feet comfortably cosy. You’re ready-to-go with an all-night revision-a-thon. Your referencing is going to show Harvard who’s boss. It’s on, people.

But you also know that having a break is ESSENTIAL to successful exam survival and coursework preparation. Rest is important. Burning yourself out will not help anyone.

So, with this in mind, here are 5 things you can do in the Library that will help you take your mind off things:

  1. Look out of the window. From a glorious sunrise, to a spectacular sunset, looking out of the window can be awe inspiring; and inspiration is key to good studying. On a bright sunny day gaze at beautiful blue skies and puffy clouds. On grey rainy days, watch as other people get drenched. Bliss.

    Sunset from Level 6
  2. Go for a walk. We have 5 floors, stairs, lifts, doors to open and close- plenty of promenading possibilities. Plus, you never know who you might bump into
  3. Browse. Seriously, not only does it add a whole new exciting dimension to promenading (see: 2, above) but browsing can be serendipitous for the soul. We’ve got loads of things you can browse, books (pick up a floor guide at the desk, choose a section, off you go…) journals, newspapers. And once you’ve found something which sparks your imagination, grab a comfy purple chair, sit back and expand your mind.
  4. Hang out with BoB. BoB could be your new best friend. BoB will listen to what you want and try to give you what you want, when you want it. BoB’s great like that.
  5. Talk to a librarian. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even the good old fashioned way, in person, at the Service Desk. Topics we’re good at include: library essentials, resources, referencing, knitting, board games, TV and cake.

And remember: you will get there in the end- just make sure you look after yourself on the way.

Library Staff Love #13: Research methods for business students

As it’s the last Library Staff Love feature for 2016, this time we mean business. Well, by ‘we’ I mean Samantha, our Research Librarian for Cass PG & Business; and by ‘business’ I mean specifically:

Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2016) Research methods for business students (7th ed.) Harlow: Pearson.

Research methods for business students

Here’s why Samantha chose this title:

“[It’s an] excellent book for anyone approaching a dissertation, business mastery project or other major research project in a Cass subject, covering everything from formulating your research question in the first place to writing up at the end- including a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods and how to pick one.”

As well as print copies at both Northampton Square and Cass Libraries, we also have this title available as an e-book: so if you’re new to using e-books, why not have a look at our helpful guide on our website.

Of course, it won’t just be business researchers and students working hard over the festive break: we know students from all disciplines will have assignments to complete and deadlines to meet; so if anyone needs any assistance using Library resources, we’re here until 3pm this Friday to answer your questions and to help if we can.

Season’s greetings!

Library Staff Love #12: Drama Online

Here at CityLibrary we love drama. Not in a soap opera style showdown-in-the-Staff-Room kind of way, that never happens- no cups of tea have even been spilled in a fit of pique.

No, by drama I mean proper drama- plays, playwrights, the RSC, the Almeida; texts, criticism, performance and review. Only the other day one of my colleagues mentioned she had tickets to see Glenda Jackson as King Lear, which sparked a conversation about the wonders of live theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and seeing Angela Lansbury live on Broadway.

drama-online
Drama Online

A love of drama is what led to this month’s Library Staff Love feature, as suggested by one of our Subject Librarians Catherine, who herself is no stranger to treading the boards.

Catherine’s pick this month is Drama Online and here’s why:

“It’s such a great resource to find plays and scenes for performance/rehearsals/workshops. It’s fairly easy to use and allows you to specify the genre and cast size or you can browse through the plays or playwrights and find works that way. Some plays / productions have a video recording you can watch (Shakespeare – Globe on Screen – is my fave!) if you prefer a bit of an escape from reading.”

As Catherine suggests, as well as a vast and ever expanding collection of texts, Drama Online also features multimedia content too. So whether you’re looking for inspiration, materials for your Arts research, or merely interested in learning more about your favourite works, access to Drama Online is just an IT Username and Password away.

(Thanks for your recommendation Catherine!)