Welcome to Library and Collections 2022/23!

As we welcome both our new and returning students to the upcoming academic year, our updated LibGuides include lots of information on getting started with the library or continuing using our services to support your studies.

In addition to what is available online, we are hosting a Welcome Fair in the Bill Bryson Library – the first time we’ve been able to do this since 2019! It will take place from the 26 – 30 September, 10am – 3:30pm.

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‘Making a Difference at Durham’ event

On Thursday 15 September, University Library and Collections staff attended the first ‘Making a Difference at Durham’ event. This was a chance for colleagues from across the University to come together to engage in discussions and hear about the range of resources, activities and benefits the University has to offer. For many staff, this was the first time they had seen colleagues from other areas of the University in person since the pandemic. 

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Playful Learning Conference 20/21/22

A post by Faculty Librarian Ben Taylorson

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of attending the Playful Learning conference in Leicester. This was the second time I’d been able to attend – the last being in 2019 before everything went awry. The conference was back after a 2-year hiatus, and the organisers made up for it with a packed calendar of sessions, talks and activities.

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New library engagement system incoming!

A post by Dr Richard Pears

On 1st August, the new library management system (which provides the catalogue and the means to borrow and renew books) will be available. Our current system, called Millennium, was introduced in 1996, so it’s older than most students. It will be replaced with a much more up-to-date system called Alma, which is used by many UK and European university libraries. We already use the Discover search engine from the same company, and introducing Alma within Discover will make it much quicker and simpler to see live information on books in the library, place reservations and renew books. 

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Open Days

A post by Faculty Librarian Ben Taylorson

Welcoming and introducing people to the University Library during open days is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job. It’s always nice to see so many prospective students (and their families) coming onto campus for the first time, and looking to get a feel for both the university and the city. And being able to offer them guidance, information and – in some cases – reassurance (“don’t worry, you won’t have to read all of the books!) is particularly satisfying.

Earlier this month Durham hosted a couple of open days which were easily the biggest since Covid stopped such things. As always seems to be the case on open days, the sun was shining and Durham was looking particularly welcoming as 1,000s of people descended on Durham to take in as much as they could in the few hours they were here.

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Learning about ULC’s Learning and Engagement Team

By Kelly Hetherington, Repository Officer at University Library and Collections.

On Wednesday 11 May, the University Library and Collections Learning and Engagement Team invited staff from the rest of our vast department to come and learn about what they do on their team.

Seeing as my role involves so much computer work, I jumped at the chance to have a trip out for the following reasons:

  • The session was held at the Oriental Museum – a lovely change of scene from home working / Bill Bryson Library office because it is full of fascinating artefacts.
  • Our colleagues there regularly hold sessions for school children.  This means they are fun, engaging, and lovely so I knew the session would be interesting and I’d learn something new.
  • This was a session about ‘object centred engagement’ – we’d be able to touch real life old artefacts! (More on this later).
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#DULibIntroducing Kate Williamson

In the next of our series introducing members of staff, #DULibIntroducing meets Information Assistant Kate Williamson.

Kate Williamson (and Archie!)

Please tell us your name, full job title, and a brief description of your role.

Kate Williamson, Information Assistant. I work at the Bill Bryson Library in a customer service role. You will usually find me at the Help and Information Desk helping with queries, finding books for people, fixing printers, and passing out the ever so popular staplers and pens. I am also part of the team that processes resource requests, which is our service to help provide staff and students with Scan and Deliver requests, Postal Loans, Inter-Library loans, and book purchases through our Acquisitions team.

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Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday

A post by Learning Coordinator Charlotte Spink.

On Sunday 15 May the Oriental Museum hosted Buddha’s Birthday celebrations. This event was particularly special after a two-year break owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was wonderful to welcome back our visitors and see the museum full of people.

Buddha’s Birthday, also known as Vesak or Wesak, is celebrated around the world and commemorates the birth of Buddha in around 563 BCE. Born a prince, Buddha went on to renounce his privileged royal life and become a holy man, ultimately reaching Enlightenment. 

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Delightful dogs visit the Billy B

Promoting student wellbeing is always high on the agenda for us (see previous blog about self-care and wellbeing 😊). Particularly during Easter term, where pressures, anxieties and stress levels increase for many, thanks to the impending exam and assessment period. Planning study time, revision, getting enough sleep, eating well, taking breaks – all massively important but we know that sometimes, it can feel quite overwhelming to fit everything in.

To try and help with this, we’ve developed a schedule of wellbeing events and activities throughout May, kicking off with a visit last Wednesday during Deaf Awareness Week from the wonderful Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

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Study skills guidance

We have a wide range of guides available to help our users get the most of what Library and Collections offer. These include:

  • Subject guides
  • Site guides
  • Service guides
  • Archives and Special Collections guides
  • Museum guides
  • Research skills guide

The research skills guide offers advice and support on finding and managing information, keeping up-to-date, and the subject guides point to the different resources available for staff and students working in particular disciplines.

Until recently, one area we felt we were not offering specific support for was study skills – but that has change now, with our newest guide!

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