Easter Term, also known as the exams and assessment period (we’re sure there are plenty of other names for it too!) can be stressful at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic. The way in which teaching and exams are being done is different; we’re all still affected by the lockdown restrictions (although happily easing in line with the Government’s roadmap) and all of us, students and staff, are getting to grips with these changes in the way we operate and study on or off campus.Continue reading “Easter Term at University Library and Collections”
Over the course of the last couple of months I have been working the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) to produce an interactive online tutorial titled Your Reading List and Beyond.
This tutorial is part of ‘phase 2’ or our overall tutorial programme. Phase 1 was designed, constructed and delivered in 2020 and consists of 6 tutorials which are available individually, whilst also designed to fit together to support the needs of dissertation students, whilst been available to all as standalone tutorials.Continue reading “Creating a tutorial”
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.Continue reading “Dissertation advice”
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.Continue reading “The importance of being eBooks”
As a librarian with two teenage kids, I usually go to work for a bit of peace and quiet in a considerably less-stressful environment. But, the current situation we all find ourselves in means that compromises must be made, and limited at-home workspaces must be shared. Or so you’d think. Continue reading “A Faculty Librarian working from home”
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.