5 things I wish I had known about library e-resources as a student

By Customer Service Advisor and postgraduate student Gracie Sharp

Navigating the vast array of physical and electronic resources offered by the library can be a daunting task for many students, and it can be hard to keep track of where to find this information in the ocean of university emails we receive on a daily basis. I know from personal experience that as a student sometimes you just don’t have the time or mental energy to devote to finding these resources, and that’s okay.

Since becoming a Customer Service Advisor at the Bill Bryson, whilst also studying for a master’s degree, I have become more aware of certain, very helpful, e-resources offered to us by the library. Which is why I’m writing this blog post as a low down of some online resources that just might make your life a bit easier.

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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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Ask DULib: Our Virtual Enquiry Desk

It’s very easy to still think of libraries in purely physical terms. You walk in  – (lidded) coffee in hand – tip your hat to the friendly librarians, and pull a beautiful, hard-back tome from the shelves, feeling primed to escape into its milky white, or perhaps slightly yellowing, pages. Delightful.

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Photo from pexels.com

As you can probably tell, I get a lot of joy from working in a place that holds so many physical books, but as a Library intern this year, I have also found it really exciting discovering the joys, practicalities and usefulness of the “virtual library”.  Our online resources are constantly expanding and evolving, with new e-books and online access being made available weekly, if not daily, in our catalogue.

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