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News and updates

News or updates on Library services and resources

You will find information about updates on the Library, our services and planned downtime for resources that we subscribe to.

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Current

Get your dissertation on course. Posted - 6 May 2020.

  • Studying from home, need to work on your dissertation – but not sure where to start? Here are our tips on where to find library materials and resources online to support your dissertation journey:
    • A great place to start looking for dissertation materials is your academic subject guide. Your Subject Librarian has put this together so you can familiarise yourself with the most relevant resources for your subject – ebooks, ejournals, databases and other web resources. There are also guides on how to use specific databases, so you can get the most out of them.
    • Our Library and Information Skills Moodle module contains sections on how to find, evaluate and use information effectively in your assignments, using a variety of tools. It also directs you to guidance on citing and referencing, and on different reference management software packages.
    • For more information about the dissertation process, you can access online resources such as ebooks and websites about academic writing via our study skills guide. There is also a very helpful section on dissertations on the Birkbeck study skills pages.
  • In the Library, we have been working very hard in these past weeks to make as many online resources available to you as possible. All our extensive digital collections, including databases and ejournals, are still there for you to use, and we have sought to purchase further electronic copies of key texts and set up trials for new digital resources where possible.
    • Many academic publishers and online platforms have expanded free access to electronic resources at this time. We have compiled a new guide to these free resources which is being updated as more become available.
    • Birkbeck students who are eligible for membership of Senate House Library can self-register online to use its eresources while the library itself is closed.
  • There is further support available to you when you study from home:
    • Our online Help Desk is open 10am – 11.45pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am – 11.45pm at the weekends. You can send your enquiry via email, online form and live chat to get help with accessing online resources and other Library queries.
    • Your Subject Librarian can provide further specialist support on finding, accessing and using information via email. Where possible online one-to-one appointments will be offered to students: please email your Subject Librarian in the first instance. You can also find the details of your Subject Librarian in your academic subject guide.
    • Monday to Friday, the Library Disability and Dyslexia team will be there to support you via . They will endeavour to source accessible digital copies of study materials for you.

Changes to library services in response to covid-19. Posted - 17 March 2020.

  • Following the further advice issued by the government yesterday, Birkbeck Library will close at 5pm this afternoon (17 March) and remain closed until further notice.
  • We will continue to provide online services for library users in the coming weeks. These will include:
    • An email and chat enquiry service: Monday to Sunday, you can contact us online and we will get back to you within a day.
    • Interlibrary loans: you will be able to request new articles (digital only) via the service.? Currently, the British Library can only supply items from their electronic stores.?You will need to request renewals via the service, but you will not be charged for these. Fines on overdue items will be waived.
    • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students: Monday to Friday, the Library Disability and Dyslexia team will be able to provide support via .? They will endeavour to source digital copies for you but will no longer be able to do book fetches, photocopies and scans.
    • Subject Librarians: will be available to provide subject-specific support via email.? Where possible online one-to-one appointments will be offered to students, please contact your Subject Librarian in the first instance.
    • Assistance for academic staff: for digitisation requests, please continue to request items in the usual way, via the Digitisation service. For all other enquiries please contact your Subject Librarian in the first instance.
  • There is a huge amount of information and help available online via our Birkbeck Library home page, including:
  • Free to access online resources: an increasing number of online resources are being made free to access during this pandemic.

24-hour opening in the summer term. Posted - 17 February 2020.

  • Following last year’s successful pilot, we are very pleased to announce that the Library will open overnight again during the summer term.
  • Each week, the Library will open at 8.30am on Monday and not close again until Friday at 11.45pm. We will not stay open overnight at the weekends.
  • This begins on Monday 27 April and will continue through to the end of the main exam period on Friday 12 June.
  • There will then be a break, before 24-hour opening resumes on Monday 29 June for the final two weeks of the term.

Library Services Annual Review of 2018-2019. Posted - 28 October 2019.

Past

Industrial action and the Library. Posted - 17 February 2020.

  • During the industrial action affecting the College, our opening hours on some days may be affected. From Monday 2 March onwards, the Library will remain open until at least 9.30pm on strike days, although this may only be on a self-service basis for part of the evening.
  • Please phone the Library on +44 (0)20 7631 6239 to check. Some of our other services may not be available during this period.

Library tours - throughout the year on Saturdays. Posted - 31 October 2019.

  • Library tours will take place on the second Saturday of the month throughout the academic year, apart from December and April.
    • Saturday 9 November 2019 at 1.15pm
    • Saturday 11 January at 1.15pm
    • Saturday 8 February at 1.15pm
    • Saturday 14 March at 1.15pm
    • Saturday 9 May at 1.15pm
  • There is no need to book, just turn up at the Library's entrance.
  • Can’t make the tour? Find out more about using Birkbeck Library’s facilities and range of study spaces.

Digital resources (Discover, Articles and more) search on 6 March. Posted - 6 March 2020.

  • Currently there is an issue with our Digital Resources search, and this is not working properly.
  • This is being investigated by our supplier and they hope to resolve this as soon as possible.
  • In the meanwhile you can still access our digital resources individually by searching them via the Database and online resources web page.

?Walk-in Access computer. Posted -? 27 February 2020.

  • We are experiencing intermittent problems with the Walk-in Access computer. We cannot guarantee that this computer will be available for use, as the problem is intermittent however we hope to resolve this as soon as is possible.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

LIBRARY CLOSING EARLY - Wednesday 26 February.

  • Due to industrial action, the Library will close at 7.45pm on Wednesday 26 February. It will reopen on Thursday 27 February at 8.30am.

LGBT+ History Month at Birkbeck Library - Poetry reading - 20 February. Posted - 29 January 2020.

  • Thursday 20 February 6pm-8pm in the Library Training Room.
  • Join the Library in celebrating LGBT+ History Month with an evening of readings by Birkbeck queer poets Golnoosh Nour, Keith Jarrett, Valentine Carter and Fran Lock compered by Julia Bell.
  • This event is open to all Birkbeck students and staff, it is a free event but booking is required.

EBSCO ebooks maintenance on 20 February. Posted - 18 February 2020.

  • On Thursday, February 20, for approximately 1 hour (16.00-17.00), the download function for EBSCO eBooks will be unavailable while a software update takes place.
  • Additionally, eBooks that are currently downloaded offline to Adobe Digital Editions or a mobile app, and have not yet been opened, will not be accessible during the update.

Spring Saturday workshops: 15 February. Posted - 16 January 2020.

  • Saturday 15 February
    • 10.30am – 12pm Finding information for essays and assignments
      • Get the information you need from academic databases by learning effective search strategies and skills. Includes time for hands-on practice.
    • 12.30pm – 2pm Evaluating online information
      • Learn key techniques for reading critically and evaluating information found online; from academic journals to spotting fake news. Includes time for hands-on practice.
    • 2.30pm - 4.30pm Managing your references using Mendeley
      • Learn the basics of Mendeley such as saving references, creating bibliographies in Word and sharing resources. Good for Scopus and ScienceDirect users.
  • All sessions are held in room 107 (Library Seminar Room) on level one of the Library. Book your place via Events through your My Birkbeck profile.

Love data week 2020: 10 - 14 February. Posted - 03 February 2020.

  • The purpose of Love Data Week is to raise awareness and build a community to engage on topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. You are welcome to participate in the data events organised by the Birkbeck Library during Love Data Week.
  • All events are held in the Library Training Room, level one.

LGBT+ History Month at Birkbeck Library - Author event: Julia Bell - 6 February. Posted - 21 January 2020.

  • Thursday 6 February 6pm-8pm in the Library Training Room.
  • Essayist, poet, novelist and Reader in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, Julia Bell will be reading from her essays and previewing her new book, Radical Attention, to be published by Peninsula Press in May 2020.
  • Julia will be in conversation with Len Lukowski, writer and performer and winner of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize 2018.
  • This event is open to all Birkbeck students and staff, it is a free event but booking is required.

Spring Saturday workshop: 8 February. Posted - 16 January 2020.

  • Saturday 8 February
      • 10.30am – 12pm Finding information for essays and assignments
        • Get the information you need from academic databases by learning effective search strategies and skills. Includes time for hands-on practice.
      • 12.30pm – 2pm Evaluating online information
        • Learn key techniques for reading critically and evaluating information found online; from academic journals to spotting fake news. Includes time for hands-on practice.
      • 2.30pm - 4.30pm Managing your references using Zotero
        • A practical session looking at setting up a Zotero account and then searching and saving references found on Google Chrome with Zotero's one-click button.
  • All sessions are held in Room 107 (Library Seminar Room) on level one of the Library. Book your place via Events through your My Birkbeck profile.

ProQuest Central maintenance: Sunday 9 - Monday 10 February. Posted - 07 February 2020.

  • ProQuest Ebooks will not be available from Sunday 9 February to Monday morning, 10 February. This is due to scheduled maintenance.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Christmas and New Year at Birkbeck Library. Posted - 28 November 2019.

  • Over the festive period, the Library will be open every day except Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 December (when the whole Malet Street building will be closed for electrical work); Wednesday 25, Thursday 26 December and Wednesday 1 January. Our service desks will be fully staffed throughout our opening hours.
    • Your loans
      • Borrowed items will be due back on days on which we are open but can be renewed unless they have been requested by another library user.
    • Your requests
      • Requested items and interlibrary loans can be picked up as normal on days on which we are open.
      • Please note that no new interlibrary loan requests will be processed between 24 December and 1 January, so please make your requests in good time!
    • Making an appointment with your Subject Librarian
      • You are welcome to meet with your Subject Librarian for help with finding information using the Library Catalogue, databases and ejournals, and for help with referencing and using reference management software.
      • Your academic subject guide and the Library and Information Skills Moodle Module are good places to start. Contact your Subject Librarian to check their availability and make an appointment.
      • Please be aware that Subject Librarians will not be available between 24 December and 1 January and may be taking annual leave during the vacation period.
    • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students
      • Last date for postal loan requests is 20 December.
      • Last date for one-to-one support is 23 December.
      • No requests for reading material will be processed between 24 December and 1 January.
      • Sensus Access will be available to convert reading material into accessible formats.
      • Guides for assistive software at Birkbeck are available on our web page.
      • Accessible study spaces will be available during Library opening hours.
    • Using other libraries
      • Most Birkbeck students are eligible to access other academic libraries across London and the UK.
      • If you are thinking of using libraries other than Birkbeck during the holidays, we strongly recommend that you find out as soon as possible when you should join, your eligibility and what you will need to take with you before you make your visit.
      • We also suggest that you should join the SCONUL Access scheme, which you will need to do in order to use many libraries.
    • There is lots of information and help available online via our Birkbeck Library home page, including:
  • Most people who use the Library during the festive period have made a special effort to come in, so please treat everyone with respect and consideration.
  • We would like to send best wishes to all our Library users, hoping that you enjoy a very peaceful and productive time during the festive period and throughout 2020.

Closure for electrical work (20 - 22 December) AND Services between christmas and new year. Posted - 5 December 2019.

  • From 5pm on Friday 20 December until the end of Sunday 22 December, the whole Malet Street building will be closed for electrical work.
  • The Library will also be closed during this period and, since all IT systems will be affected by the work, the College website, including the Library’s, and our online library (including our catalogue, e-journals and databases) will be unavailable too.
  • Alternative study spaces (without computer facilities) will be available in the Clore Building and at 43 Gordon Square throughout the weekend and Birkbeck students and staff can also use other libraries (although you may need to join in advance). No borrowed items will be due back on 21 and 22 December.
  • The Library plans to re-open on Monday 23 December and remain open every day except Wednesday 25, Thursday 26 December and Wednesday 1 January. However, it is possible that the electrical work will continue to impact on our services and systems during this period, and you are strongly advised to check with us before travelling to visit the Library.

Autumn term Saturday workshops: Saturday 9 November. Posted - 28 October 2019.

  • These workshops will be held in the Library Seminar Room, on the first floor of Birkbeck Library.
    • 10.30am – 11.30am Getting to grips with your reading list
      • Understand your reading list; is it a book chapter or a journal article to read? If you know the format, then you know where to find it.
    • 12pm – 1.30pm Finding information for essays and assignments
      • Learn basic search strategy and effective use of the Library Catalogue and Discover service (alternative to Google Scholar).
    • 2pm 3.30pm Google Scholar vs Discover
      • Get some hands-on practice with searching for journal articles with Birkbeck's Discover (articles & more) search tool and Google Scholar.
  • Book your place via Events through your My Birkbeck profile.

Autumn term Saturday workshops: Saturday 26 October. Posted - 11 September 2019.

  • These workshops will be held in the Library Seminar Room, on the first floor of Birkbeck Library.
    • 10.30am – 11.30am Getting to grips with your reading list
      • Understand your reading list; is it a book chapter or a journal article to read? If you know the format, then you know where to find it.
    • 12pm – 1.30pm Finding information for essays and assignments
      • Learn basic search strategy and effective use of the Library Catalogue and Discover service (alternative to Google Scholar).
    • 2pm 3.30pm Google Scholar vs Discover
      • Get some hands-on practice with searching for journal articles with Birkbeck's Discover (articles & more) search tool and Google Scholar.
  • Book your place via Events through your My Birkbeck profile.

Open Access Week 21 - 27 October. Posted - 30 September 2019.

Get to know your library: tours, guides, workshops. Posted - 20 September 2019.

  • To help you get to know Birkbeck Library and how it can support your studies, there are daily tours, online guides to resources for your subject area, a special library skills Moodle module, and Saturday workshops. We also provide specialist assistance to disabled and dyslexic students.
  • Library Tours
    • We will be providing Library tours at 5.30pm every weekday night between 30 September –12 October as well as on Saturdays at 1.15pm. Tours last c. 20 minutes and will give you an introduction to Birkbeck Library’s services and facilities.
    • Sunday tours added!
      • For those of you who prefer getting to know your Library at a quiet time, we will be running tours on Sundays at 11am, from 13 October to 27 October.
    • No need to book – you can just turn up and join one of the tours. Meet by the Library entrance on the ground floor of the main Birkbeck building on Torrington Square.
  • Academic subject guides
    • Compiled by your Subject Librarian, our academic subject guides incorporate all of the relevant resources for your area of study.
  • Library and information skills Moodle module
    • Take this online tutorial to develop your library skills and optimise your study time.
  • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students
    • New disabled and dyslexic students registered with the College will be contacted by the Library’s Disability and Dyslexia Service so we can help you make full use of the resources we provide.
  • Saturday workshops
    • On Saturdays 26 October and 9 November we will be delivering workshops on a variety of topics to help you get a head start in building your library and study skills. The workshops will be held in the Library Seminar Room on Level one of the Library. All staff and enrolled students are welcome but you do need to book (there are a maximum of 30 places on each workshop).
    • The list of workshops and link to booking page can be found via Events in your My Birkbeck profile. You can also see the list of workshops in the 'Autumn Term Saturday Workshops: Saturday 26 October' news item, below.
  • Further help in using the Library
    • We are staffed throughout our opening hours and are happy to answer your queries whenever you are in the Library – you can recognise library staff by their green lanyard or badge. You can also contact us by live chat, email and phone.

IT and Library Services Student Survey. Posted - 1 August 2019.

  • This is now open and will close on Saturday 31 August at 11.59pm.
  • We welcome your feedback on our services and will use the survey results to inform future improvements - so please complete the annual Birkbeck IT and Library Services Student Survey with the possibility of winning £100 John Lewis vouchers!

Store Fetching Service. Posted - 8 July 2019.

  • As part of our exciting refurbishment plan, some of our lesser-used books have been moved into on-site storage. From 1 July we will be improving how quickly we fetch these items.
  • Fetching will now take place seven days a week. Items requested before 10am (including those from the previous evening) will be fetched by 10.30am, those requested before 12noon by 12.30pm, before 2pm by 2.30pm, before 4pm by 4.30pm and before 6pm by 6.30pm (on days when the library closes at 6pm items must be requested by 4pm, otherwise they will be held over until the next day).
  • All library users can request any item marked on the catalogue as being in ‘Russell Square Store’ – just fill in our Store Request Form which can be found on the bottom right of the Catalogue page. If you have any difficulty, please ask a member of staff. You will receive an email when your item is ready to collect from the request shelf on the ground floor.

Library refurbishment: Summer 2019. Posted - 4 July 2019.

  • The first phase of our refurbishment begins on Monday 15 July 2019. The Library will remain open all summer (with full access to books) but some areas will be closed. For further information and updates, including details of alternative study spaces, please check our project web page.

24/7 pilot: Monday 29 April - Sunday 16 June. Posted - 7 March 2019.

  • The Library will be open continuously during this period, including on both May Bank Holidays.
  • Following a successful campaign by the Students' Union, the College has agreed to fund this 24/7 pilot, as student feedback indicated that there was a demand for longer library opening hours during the main spring exam period.
  • The Library and the Students' Union have worked together to implement this pilot for seven weeks in 2019. The Library will be fully operational overnight, with Birkbeck students being able to use all of the library spaces, borrow books, use the Library computers, as well as ask staff for help with their enquiries.
  • Students will not be able to top up their print accounts at the desk from 11.45pm until 8.30am. However, they will be able to add money to their print account via the IT Services website. Students are advised to bring a debit or credit card if they are planning to do printing overnight.
  • The Perch, the Malet Street ground floor café, will be open 8.30am till 1am from Sunday 12 to Friday 17 May. They will review their opening hours on a weekly basis.
  • External visitors who are currently registered with the Library will be able to use the Library’s facilities as normal. External visitors, including paying visitors, who are not registered, will not be able to gain access between 11.45pm and 8.30am.

Access to libraries during the summer. Posted - 30 May 2019.

  • Whilst Birkbeck Library will remain open for you throughout the refurbishment works this summer, our electronic resources will, of course, be available 24/7.
  • You may find that using another university library closer to where you live or work is more convenient for you when you are not coming into College for classes. The SCONUL Summer Vacation Access scheme gives you access to some 180 academic libraries across the UK and Ireland with your Birkbeck ID card (we recommend that you also take some current proof of enrolment with you).
  • Remember that, as a Birkbeck student, you can also join other academic libraries throughout the academic year. In many cases, depending on your level and mode of study, you will also be able to borrow items from them through the SCONUL Access scheme (please note that this is different from the summer vacation scheme).
  • And, whether you use libraries other than Birkbeck or not, you can use our free Interlibrary loan scheme to gain access to materials not held at Birkbeck Library.

Summer term Saturday workshops: Saturday 8 June. Posted - 10 May 2019.

  • Finding company information - 10am - 11.30am
    • Use the Library's business databases to find the information you need about companies and industries.
  • Evaluating journal articles - 12noon - 1.30pm
    • Learn key techniques for evaluating journal articles, reading critically, and understanding journal impact factors and peer-review.
  • Managing your references using Mendeley - 2.30pm - 4pm
    • Learn the basics of Mendeley such as saving references, creating bibliographies in Word and sharing resources. Good for Scopus and ScienceDirect users.
  • All sessions are held in the Library Seminar Room on level one. To book your place do so via My Birkbeck under the 'Future events' heading on the home page.

Summer term Saturday workshops: Saturday, May 18. Posted - 15 April 2019.

  • Improving your search skills 10am - 11.30am
    • How to do a literature search and tips for searching databases.
  • Finding and accessing theses 12noon - 1.30pm
    • Learn how, where and why to search for Birkbeck, UK and International Theses online.
  • Managing your references using Zotero 2.30pm - 4pm
    • Create a Zotero account and search, save and store formatted references found on Google Chrome with one click.
  • All sessions are held in the Library Seminar Room on level one. To book your place do so via My Birkbeck under the 'Future events' heading on the home page.
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