Library Staff Love #11: Socialising

Pubs. Coffee shops. Quiz nights. Private parties which come with embossed invitation cards and stringent dress codes. There are many ways in which Librarians choose to spend their time away from the Library.

However, they’re at their best socialising in the workplace.

The thing I love most about CityLibrary (and in fact the world of libraries as a whole) is the engagement with our users- you.

To start with, Librarians are all over social media: exchanging ideas, sharing opinions, Twittertalking to people; and it has become a great way for us to get feedback on the things we do well and the things we could do better. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or even LibChat, we love to know what you think and to hear about your experiences whilst part of our community here at City, University of London.

Or, if typing and clicking isn’t your thing, why not try Chat Classic? We have staff at service desks across all of our sites (as well as ‘roving’ throughout the Northampton Square Library) who are more than happy to help out with in-person enquiries. Or to just have a natter really.

So do come along, say hello, send us your Tweets and messages, or waive frantically to grab our attention, whatever works for you.

Library Staff Love #10: Read For Research

This month’s choice comes from Research Librarian Diane Bell who loves supporting research here at City (which is handy) almost as much as she loves leopards.

Diane said:

“It’s awesome to work in partnership with our research staff & students to build research collections and create resources. Read for Research allows City research students and staff to recommend titles for purchase by Library Services. The wide range of titles shows the diversity of the research done at City and we have had lovely feedback about it.”

Read For Research was set up to help postgraduate researchers get hold of print material specifically related to their topic of interest: you’ll know if you borrow a book purchased via the scheme because it will have a bright shiny sticker on the front proudly telling you so.

Read For Research
Shiny Read For Research sticker

The form to submit a Read For Research request can be found on our website and there is some helpful information provided about how the scheme works- you can even place a hold on the item being purchased, guaranteeing that you’ll be the first person to borrow it when it becomes available.

Diane also asked if she could give a quick plug for her own new resource too: Citylibresearchcasestudies.

“The purpose of this is to give a practical insight into researching different subjects from the point of view of a research student or staff member who has either recently researched the topic(s) or who is a new or experienced researcher. It concentrates on areas such as: Library resources such as databases and journals, useful textbooks, literature searching experiences and keywords and any publications, articles blog posts etc. and tips for new researchers.”

There’s some really interesting stuff on the site and it’s great to see so many of City’s researchers engage with the project.

Thanks for your suggestions Diane!

Library Staff Love #9: GSLC

Here’s a thing. We try not to use abbreviations unnecessarily because unless you know what they stand for it can be really unhelpful. But, OMG can they be fun too, especially if you’ve got a GSOH (IMHO).

They’re also ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Do you live on a ‘Ave’? When was the last time you RSVP’d someone, watched ‘ITV’ or looked up an answer to a question on an FAQ section?

So, for this month’s Library Staff Love feature (topic suggested by Kathryn in our user Services Team) I’ve thrown caution to the wind and engaged in some experimental abbreviating:

Welcome to the “GSLC”, AKA the Graduate School Library Centre.

Students at work in the Graduate School library

Kathryn’s a big fan of the GSLC and here’s why:

“When I was studying for my MSc at City, I found the graduate library a very useful study space. Everyone in there is there to work, so there are few distractions and I could really get my head down and concentrate. Now it has moved to Sebastian Street, it feels even quieter, and the separate rooms on the site are cosier.”

If you’re a City PG or PhD research student and you’re looking for an alternative location to study, the GSLC could be the place for you.

Information on the GSLC including opening times can be found on our website and if you’re in there studying keep an eye out for a member of our Roving Team dropping by from time-to-time to check that everything’s working OK.

FYI: nobody as far as I’m aware actually refers to the Graduate School Library Centre as the GSLC but who knows, maybe it’ll catch on? Probs not.

PS: See, I told you abbreviations could be fun. LOL.




Library Staff Love #7: Bloomberg

By Rubenstein [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
No, not former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I mean, it’s not that we don’t like him, he’s probably lovely: we’re just not acquainted.

No, we’re talking about Bloomberg: the business and financial resource. Which is exciting, as to use it you need to access special machines with all kinds of buttons and two screens (and there’s this really cool feature involving little ships).

Bloomberg is the latest selection for our Library Staff Love feature and was chosen by Catie our Subject Librarian for Undergraduate Business courses. Here’s Catie on Bloomberg:

“Do you ever wonder how Apple’s share price compared with the sales of the iPhone in the last year? We do too!

Bloomberg lets you get this information quickly and easily. It’s highly compatible with Microsoft Excel, and will give you the most up to date share prices available from any resource.

But wait, there’s more!

Get economic, industry, and historic currency and exchange rate data. With Bloomberg you can find career, salary and net worth information about key individuals and financials of publicly traded companies without having to read through hundreds of pages of financial statements. Bloomberg even lets you make restaurant reservations, shop for luxury goods, and find and connect with professionals in your chosen field.

To use it, just sign up on a Bloomberg terminal near you. Use Bloomberg in the Financial Resources Suite at Northampton Square Library or at Cass in the Bloomberg Dealing Room or the Financial Resources Zone. Book a database terminal now!”

If you would like more information on using Bloomberg, Catie has information on her Library Guides, as well as her contact details if you’ve got any more questions.

Thanks for the suggestion Catie!


Library Staff Love #6: BoB

When you think of Bob, do you think of:
Bob the Builder (Bob the Builder Balloon by Brian & Jaclyn Drum)


Bob Marley
Bob Marley (via Google Image Search)

Maybe even:

By Anna_Wintour_&_Alexa_Chung.jpg: LGEPR, Cropped by Daniel Case, 2010-06-10 derivative work: Daniel Case (Anna_Wintour_&_Alexa_Chung.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Anna Wintour’s Hair Cut (photo by Daniel Case)


Well, it’s time to think again people.

Because when we talk about Bob, we’re really talking about BoB:

Blackadder II
Blackadder II on Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts (or BoB) is a fantastic archive of material recorded off-air allowing you to watch programmes, schedule to record shows and compile playlists of your TV and Radio favourites. You can even create clips to be included in your presentations or teaching sessions, as well as reference clips in your assignments and literature reviews.

As an educational resource only made available to UK higher and further education institutions, BoB opens up a tremendous avenue for research, especially as its scope extends beyond the UK and into several foreign language channels.

BoB features in our collection alongside a range of other brilliant a/v resources, more details of which can found via CityLibrary Search or our marvellous Library Guides.

Alex from our Acquisitions Team is a fan of BoB and wanted to recommend it as a favourite Library resource:

“When I’ve missed something on TV, and it’s too late for iPlayer/catch up, I check to see if it’s on BoB… I was annoyed when I just missed the new series of Happy Valley recently, and then saw that it was on BoB. Great! And I could revisit the first series too if I wanted…”

Obviously, Alex was using BoB as part of his commitment to continual professional development, keeping up to date with key Library resources.


Library Staff Love #5: Naxos

Nigh_view_of_beach_of_Naxos_island,_GreeceWith Easter approaching, what better way to enjoy the bank holiday weekend than taking time out to visit the beautiful Greek island of Naxos? With its picturesque Mediterranean setting, gorgeous food and…

Oh, wait, sorry. Let me start this post again….*

With Easter approaching, what better way to enjoy the bank holiday weekend than taking time to enjoy the fantastic resource that is Naxos Music Library?

Greek Taverna

Naxos Music Library has been nominated by Stephen who describes it as a “resource with a huge variety of classical, world, film and jazz music to listen to” and is available to students (and staff) by logging-in via CityLibrary Search, or our Library Guide for Music.

So why is Stephen such a big fan?

“I use this resource of classical, world, film and jazz music recordings constantly. It is obviously a fantastic study resource (I wish there had been something like it when I was studying music!), but it is equally great for someone like myself who likes exploring different recordings of classical music, or for someone who is new to classical (or other types of) music and can have the opportunity to explore a wide range of different sorts of music within the genres.”

So inspired by Stephen’s enthusiasm for Naxos Music Library, I’ve just done a quick search for ‘Greece Traditional’ and have come across a delightful album called ‘Greek taverna’. With the mellifluous sounds of bouzouki washing over me, and the public domain picture above, all I need now is for a little sunshine and it’ll be just like being on vacation…Bouzouki music on Naxos

Thanks for the suggestion Stephen!

(*We’re sure the island of Naxos is lovely btw., it’s just that it’s not a Library resource, my mistake…)

Library Staff Love #4: Bins

Garbage. Dumpster. Trash can.

The humble dustbin comes in a variety of forms and synonyms, none more exciting than the dazzling array of new multi-purpose bins we have across all the Library sites. Simon B in particular is a big fan of our new bins and wanted to share with everyone just why he loves them so:

“The new bins are great… real snazzy and come in a fetching palette of soothing greys, black and green. You can put recyclable waste in the green bit and non-recyclable waste in black bit, and as long as food has been emptied from the containers you can recycle them… the new bins help support the University’s waste management policies and encourage sustainable processes.”

Our 'snazzy' new bins
Our ‘snazzy’ new bins

We hope that having more snazzy bins throughout Library spaces has made it much easier for users to dispose of plastic packets and cardboard containers, especially since the new policy on allowing cold snacks was introduced.

Thanks for sharing your love of bins Simon!


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!

Library Staff Love #2: Purple James Bond style chairs

The name is Librarian, University Librarian.

Yes, this month’s recommendation comes from Louise D. and highlights how the Northampton Square Library now offers all of our students and staff the chance to play out a fluffy-white-cat-spinning-chair fantasy…

But why does Louise love the purple chairs?

“I love these chairs, because… they were in use the moment they went out, and they offer a beautiful view of the square. Particularly in autumn with the trees changing colours. I’ve worked in a number of different areas of London throughout my career and I love the fact NSQ Library overlooks such a green and quiet (some of the time) space. Purple Peace amongst the chaos.”

Yes, it’s been great to see students enjoying the Library spaces and feeling comfortable and relaxed, which is particularly important during stressful periods like exam time.

Thanks Louise!

(If you would like to share what you love about the Library, let us know!)

Take a break on the new seats on Library Level 2. Thanks to @ivaalexieva for letting us share this photo. #cityunilibrary #takeabreak

A photo posted by City University Libraries (@cityunilibrary) on