Dissertation advice

One of the key responsibilities for our Faculty Librarians is to support our dissertation students, many of whom will be undertaking a substantial research project for the first time. Although we would always urge our students to consider what materials and resources they are actually going to have access to (this could be in terms of accessing a physical collection such as an archive, or being able to use, say, a particular database), this year it is more important than ever.

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The importance of being eBooks

Although academic eBooks have been around for years, current circumstances have meant that they have very suddenly become more important than ever. Reduced access to physical collections and distance learning have resulted in eBooks becoming an ever-more vital format. Earlier in the year, during lockdown in particular, our acquisitions team wrote about how things had rapidly changed for them with ordering items to support research, teaching & learning at the university.

Even well before the Covid pandemic we have seen over the last few years how increasingly accessing a key text in e-format has become the favoured option amongst taught students in some subjects. And as a result, for some time now we have been purchasing our key texts in electronic format to meet that demand, where possible.

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From “webinarghghgh!” to “webinaaaaaah…”

Last week the Faculty Librarians presented 3 webinars via Zoom on trial e-resources, one for library staff and a further two for staff and students across all 4 faculties. The aim of the session was twofold: firstly to promote the vast number of resources we currently have on a temporary basis. And secondly, to use this as the first step in delivering a range of webinars across the coming months on other topics. Considering this was our first foray into webinar hosting there was a decent attendance and the feedback received was very encouraging. We also learned a fair bit about the do’s and don’ts of presenting a session like this via Zoom! Continue reading “From “webinarghghgh!” to “webinaaaaaah…””

Working on webinars

Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve all had to adapt to a rapid change in working circumstances. With our physical Library and Collections sites closed, the support we offer for our users has shifted firmly online. In previous blog posts we have looked at the realities of working and learning from home, and how we’ve introduced services such as the virtual enquiry desk to help our users remotely.

Looking further ahead, we are now planning as to how we can continue to offer some of the other training and support we regularly provide, but now in an online environment. As a Faculty Librarian, a large part of my role is user education and support. This can be support for 1-2-1 queries, and it can be delivering sessions to cohorts of students related to particular topics, disciplines or resources. As we are currently unable to see our users face-to-face – and it may be some time before classrooms/lecture theatres can be used to see groups en masse – it’s important to plan for alternative delivery methods. Continue reading “Working on webinars”

Resources on Trial

In addition to the hundreds of databases, thousands of eBooks and millions of journal articles we provide remote online access to via our subject pages and Discover interface we also have a number of eResources on trial at any one time.

Members of Durham University can see what resources we have and gain access to them via:

https://www.dur.ac.uk/library/password/trials/

Given the situation we currently find ourselves in, it is perhaps unsurprising that we have more trials currently available to us than usual. And we need YOUR help to assess if they are worth considering gaining permanent access to. You can offer feedback on any of our trials here Continue reading “Resources on Trial”

Escape From Durham University Library

Last Friday – Valentine’s Day – Durham University Library and Collections welcomed a class of 35 year 10 pupils (and 3 teachers) from Southmoor Academy in Sunderland. The pupils were there to learn about who we are and what we do, as well as sampling a little of what life at university is like when it comes to finding and using resources.

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A visit to an academic library on Valentine’s Day – whats not to love?!

This was my first experience of accompanying a group of this age. As the Faculty Librarian for the Business School I work with undergraduates, postgraduates and staff. But not schoolkids. I have two teenagers of my own. I come to work to get away from them…!

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Christmas Cracker relay!

The library has had a staff running group for a couple of years now, meeting a couple of times a week to head out and remind themselves just how flat Durham isn’t. It’s a good way to get a bit of exercise in an encouraging environment whilst having a bit of a natter.

In addition to the regular biweekly jaunts, the group has turned out en masse in 2019 to conquer the Sunderland City 5k and Durham 5/10k. So, what better way to celebrate the upcoming festive period than with the 2nd Annual Library Christmas Cracker Relay!

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