#OpenAccessWeek2020: Open Access articles and teaching

The current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it the (even more) urgent need to provide online access to journal articles and books.  This is not always easy or possible to do via subscriptions, and it is certainly not always affordable.  It makes it more important than ever that we look to those high-quality resources that are openly available and consider how these can be utilised successfully for teaching purposes. 

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Going beyond your reading list…

Last week we introduced a range of new Guides available for staff and students across the University, and yesterday we highlighted some of the features you may have missed in our new Reading Lists platform. Today we’d like to highlight the support available to you on our Research Skills Guide to help you navigate the collections and resources available to you beyond your reading list. Read on to find out more…

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Making the most of your reading list

As term is now underway, many of our new and returning students and colleagues will have been exploring our new Reading Lists. We thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight and explore some of the additional functionality they offer to you – from adding notes, to managing your reading progress and references for your bibliography.

To help, we spoke to one of our Faculty Librarians, Richard Holmes, who was part of a team of colleagues across the service who got this up and running in record time for the start of term.

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A warm welcome to Durham University Library and Collections 2020-2021

A message from Mike Wall, Assistant Director and Deputy Librarian in the University Library and Collections

If you are a new student joining us at Durham University this year, welcome! We’re so pleased you’ve chosen Durham for your studies and we hope your time with us is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. And to those of you who are returning at the start of a new academic year, welcome back! After such an unceremonious parting six months ago, we’re excited to be able to open the doors of our libraries to you once more.

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Robert Chapman and his plea to the bishop of Durham

Simona Martorana is one of a small group of intrepid Durham University students wrestling with medieval handwriting. They are guided by Michael Stansfield, Senior Manager of Archives and Special Collections, normally in person, but over the last few months online. During these palaeography sessions, students catch a glimpse of a past world through the many stories that surface in our archival sources. Simona discusses a document from the Durham Cathedral Archive, which our staff look after at 5 The College.

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The Bill Bryson Library’s First Steps into UX

If students were brave enough make it past the terrifying dragons we had set up in the library during induction week, they may have experienced the library’s first foray into UX research.  UX stands for User Experience, and in a library context it basically means that users are put at the centre of all our decision-making, from the big to the small. UX research puts an emphasis on using creative and intuitive methods with participants, rather than standard surveys that can be uninspiring, boring, and often cannot get to the heart of how users feel, as well as what they think.

We wanted to find out what new students felt as soon as they walked into the library, and whether the expectations of returning and postgraduate students were being met, so induction week felt like the perfect time to conduct our research.

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#FreePeriod

Being Period Positive at the Billy Bee

At the end of last year, any regular visitors to The Bill Bryson Library will have noticed the ‘Period Positive Drive’ donation point near the entrance:

PeriodPositive 1

This initiative was a collaboration between The Student Wellbeing Team and Durham Students Union’ with the ultimate aim of providing sanitary and incontinence products to students and staff who are ‘caught short’ in a busy, central study area.

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A judgement on prorogation: floundering in legal citation

Down the road in London Town this morning, a judgment was handed down by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Whilst the judgment itself has attracted far more attention than many others in recent memory, we imagine that for some of our students, and both academic and professional colleagues (denizens of Durham Law School excepted), some of the many citations that peppered the pronouncement may prove particularly perturbing. But help interpreting these is available…

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Looking for a seat?

A shh of Librarians from Durham University Library have this week been getting a sneak preview of the soon to be opened Teaching and Learning Centre. Just 2 minutes walk from the Bill Bryson Library, the centre will offer a range of spaces including a cafe, a range of group quiet study areas, group study rooms (they’re sound-proof – we checked!), flexible teaching rooms, lecture theatres and (after our tour guide got temporarily disorientated and took us into it), at least one walk-in cupboard!

We’ve included some pictures here so you can see the spaces before they’re teeming with staff and students. Enjoy!


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