Monday, 20 December 2010

Feedback from our intro sessions

We've had some really useful feedback from students who attended our introductory sessions in the IC in Intro Week.   One comment was about the lack of availability of scanners in the IC.   Apologies for this - there are scanners available but they have been moved slightly over the summer and we need to make this clearer. We'll sort out some better signs as soon as we can.

Another comment was that it would be much better if pcs could be booked from 15 minute intervals rather than on the hour, as lectures often finish on the hour. We're hoping to be able to alter this soon, so keep checking CiCS/IC websites for updates.

Many thanks to all who took the trouble to reply and congratulations to Yuling Su of the Department of Economics who was the lucky winner of our goodie bag.

It's not too late to let us have your feedback or comments about intro week or any other aspect of library services.    Comment here or email

Monday, 13 December 2010

eReader Prize Draw

Our ereader pilot loan scheme has come to an end and the winners of the prize draw were selected last week.

The project
An Amazon Kindle and Sony eReader were loaded with content and loaned to customers in exchange for feedback as part of an evaluation project. Those who took part in our survey were entered into a prize draw to win their own ebook reader!

The prize draw
The prize draw event was held in the Western Bank Library Exhibition Gallery on 6 December 2010. We were delighted to welcome Joe Oliver, Sheffield Students’ Union Education Officer, to introduce the event and pick out the names of two lucky winners. Prize draw entrants were invited along and the event was also attended by Martin Lewis, Director of Library Services, Heather Thrift and Tracey Clarke, the Associate and Assistant Library Directors, and the ebook reader evaluation project group members.

The winners
The lucky ebook reader winners are from the departments of Philosophy and Automatic Systems & Control Engineering, winning an Amazon Kindle 3G and a Sony Reader Touch respectively. Neither of the winners were able to attend the draw, though we’ve since contacted them with the good news and they’re very pleased!

Thank you!
Many thanks to everyone who took part in our eBook reader evaluation. The results of the survey will be made available shortly on the Library web site.

More photos can also be found on Flickr.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Supporting our learners survey

We are looking at new ways of delivering help, information and enquiry services at our library sites.  If you could spare the time to complete our brief survey your suggestions will help us determine how best to support you in your learning and research.  The survey should only take around 5 minutes to complete.

Many thanks!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Find it downtime

We'll be running some updates to our Find it service this weekend, starting sometime after 7pm on Friday 12 November. This may mean a few very short periods of downtime and possibly some periods of poor performance over the weekend.  Apologies for this and please bear with us!

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Million Book Library

To celebrate 50 years of Western Bank Library a new exhibition opens in the Western Bank Exhibition Gallery on Tuesday 19 October and will run until 14 January 2011.

In 1953 The University of Sheffield announced a national competition for a new master plan for the Western Bank site, in which a library capable of holding one million volumes was to hold pride of place.

Through photographs, architectural drawings and other original documents from the University and Library collections the display explores the Western Bank Library from concept, to construction and opening. Central to the display and to mark this special occasion is a commissioned replica model of the original 1953 architectural vision for the site, constructed by students Tom Hudson and Phil Etchells.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Feedback from Lending Services Survey

We had a great response to our Lending Services Survey and thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.

The results of the survey are now available, along with comments.

Monday, 4 October 2010

General Library Intro for new students

Some of you may have been to one of our introductory sessions in the IC in Intro Week.  If you missed them, or just want a reminder,  here's a copy of the presentation. It's best viewed in full screen mode - just select View Full Screen from the menu in the bottom left hand corner.

Don't forget there's also lots of useful information on our web pages, available from the Library tab in  MUSE.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Welcome to all our new and returning students!

Want to find out about Library and IT services? Come to one of the brief
presentations on Level 1 in the Information Commons week beginning 20
September, at 11am, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm.  These are followed by optional
tours by student ambassadors and demonstrations of equipment.

Just turn up - there's no need to book.  Student ambassadors and staff are also on hand at our other Library sites to help you find your way around.  You can find more information for new students at and

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Need your inter-library loan material quickly?

University staff and postgraduate researchers can now submit requests for books and documents held outside the University Library electronically. From the Library tab in MUSE, click on the myInterLibrary requests link, complete the web form and press ‘send’. We’ll let you know as soon as your item becomes available.

If you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate on a taught course you can continue to make your request using the paper forms, and you should obtain an authorisation voucher from your department.

This is a three-month trial and feedback would be very welcome. Your comments can be emailed to

More information about the service can be found at

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Magnificent Maps

Just a reminder about the marvellous Magnificent Maps exhibition running at the British Library St Pancras until 19 September 2010. If you haven't had a chance to visit it yet, do try to - it's free!  The website supports the exhibition and in addition to visitor information it also has some great online features. These include interactive images of some historic maps including the Psalter world map and the Fra Mauro map with background information on their content and importance.

If you missed the recent BBC series The Beauty of Maps the BBC website has some video highlights of the maps featured and a link to Maptube,  a free resource for viewing, sharing, mixing and mashing maps online, created by UCL's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis.

East Asia Image Collections

The East Asia Image Collections is an open-access archive of digitized photographs, negatives, postcards, and slides of colonial Taiwan (1900-1945) and occupied Japan (1947-52).

The site forms part of the Lafayette College Digital Library. It provides free access to over 1,000 images from the Skillman Library Special Collections.  Of key importance to historians are the Michael Lewis Taiwan postcards - 517 colonial-era (1895-1945) postcards from Japanese governed Taiwan, colonial era photographic albums which contain examples of propaganda promoting the benefits of Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan in 1938. Images show daily life and political events. The site may be searched or browsed. Copyright information is provided.

Monday, 26 July 2010

eBook Reader Pilot

KindleWe’re currently evaluating the potential use of ebook readers within the Library and are running a trial service from July to November 2010. An Amazon Kindle is available for you to try at Western Bank Library or a Sony Pocket Edition Reader is available at the Information Commons.

Tell us what you think of our ebook readers and you could win your own Kindle or Sony Reader! For more information about the pilot see the Library website.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Lies, damn lies and statistics?

If you've ever doubted the truth of what you read in the papers (and who hasn't?) the Straight Statistics blog is for you.  Set up by journalists and statisticians from pressure group Straight Statistics,  its aim is to expose and correct some of the worst examples of  sloppy or garbled use of statistics.  Some of the examples are hilarious and make for a very entertaining and illuminating read.  You'll find here the stats behind Gordon Brown's infamous encounter with Gillian Duffy, the true cost of public sector pensions, and whether you'll really catch Legionnaire's Disease if you don't put screenwash in your car windscreen washer.

For anyone interested in this topic and in the kind of scare stories which the media relish so much, may I also recommend Ben Goldacre's book Bad Science.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Eavesdropping on the past

Today sees the launch of the John Johnson Collection: An Archive of Printed Ephemera, the product of a unique partnership between JISC’s  Digitisation Programme, the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, and ProQuest to conserve, catalogue and digitise more than 65,000 items drawn from the collection.

The material selected for conservation, cataloguing and digitisation comprises a wide array of different types of printed document, including posters and handbills for theatrical and non-theatrical entertainments, broadsides relating to murders and executions, book and journal prospectuses, popular topographical prints, and a wealth of different kinds of printed advertising material. The resulting online collection will form an invaluable resource for researchers interested in the histories of consumption, leisure, gender, popular culture, commerce, technology, crime, and a host of other areas. With each item presented as a full-colour, high-resolution facsimile, the John Johnson Collection will also be indispensable for researchers studying the development of printing and visual culture in modern Britain.

More information and a short video about the project can be found at JISC's website.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Lending Services Survey

Many thanks to everyone who took part in our lending service survey. We received over 1100 responses in total from the online and paper survey! We're looking at the feedback now and will get back to you after we've analysed your comments.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Documents on British Policy Overseas

The University Library has arranged a trial to the Documents on British Policy Overseas database.  This historical collection gathers together tens of thousands of UK Government documents relating to Britain’s international relations, including foreign policy instructions, letters and memos, business reports and more.

The database is produced in collaboration between ProQuest and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They say "Documents on British Policy Overseas offers researchers the opportunity to see beneath the surface of the major events of the twentieth century. Users can access contemporary accounts and follow the detailed exchanges that shaped British foreign policy from the origins of the First World War and beyond".

The trial  is available to all registered staff and students at the University until 31 July 2010.  Please let us have your feedback.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Have your say

Got something to say about the Library's lending service? In September 2009 we introduced some changes to the loans service and we'd like to find out what you think to them. We're conducting a brief survey for this week only and would welcome your comments.

Click here to take survey

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Springer eBooks Trial

We currently have a trial running on the Springer eBook platform. Springer eBooks are grouped into 12 fully indexed and searchable subject collections and also include the Springer eReference collection. These include:

  • Behavioral Science;

  • Biomedical and Life Sciences;

  • Business and Economics;

  • Chemistry and Materials Science;

  • Computer Science (including the highly regarded Lecture Notes in Computer Science);

  • Earth and Environmental Science;

  • Engineering;

  • Humanities, Social Sciences and Law;

  • Mathematics and Statistics;

  • Medicine;

  • Physics and Astronomy;

  • Professional Computing and Web Design.

Access to the Springer eBook collection (MUSE log-in required) is available via Springerlink and only includes Springer ebooks with copyright years 2005-2010. It is available to registered staff and students of the University of Sheffield until 10 May 2010. If you have any comments please let us know as feedback always helps to assess the usefulness of resources and can influence our decisions over future access.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Etheses session for new PhD students

The University Library has arranged a further session for newly-registered research students on copyright clearance and the avoidance of unfair means. It’s compulsory for all research students to attend one of these sessions and further information can be found on the use of copyright material website.

This repeat session will be held on Thursday 11 March from 10-11am in the North Campus Graduate Research Centre seminar room. There’s no need to book in advance, just turn up on the day.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Staying number 1

We're delighted that the University of Sheffield Library came out top in the recent Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey but we’re not going to sit back and relax. We want to stay at the top of the list, and I want to make sure that the library develops its collections and services so that we’re offering the best support possible to students in the Faculty of Social Science.

We want to increase our online collections as much we can, and we’ve been buying a lot of e-books recently. However, we can’t make everything available online (yet!) so we also want to make it easier for you to find your way round our print collections. Following the recent redevelopment of Western Bank Library we’re working to reduce the number of different sequences in the library, and rearrange them in a more logical way. We’ll also be putting in new signs and guiding ready for September 2010. If you haven’t been in Western Bank library for a while, come and see what a difference the refurbishment has made

We’ll continue to work with your departments to make sure that you can get access to the materials you need for your modules. We do this by adding links from myResource Lists to e-journals, e-books, e-offprints and Star. You can access these through the library tab in MUSE. We also want to help you develop the information literacy skills required of a Sheffield Graduate, and have created an Information Skills Resource in partnership with academic departments.

We need feedback from students and departments so that we know what we’re doing right, and where we can improve. Members of the Faculty Liaison Team already go to student staff committee meetings in many Social Science Departments, and I’ve attended Faculty Student Forum meetings in the past year. We’ve recently had a strategic meeting with senior members of the Social Sciences Faculty, including Carys Swanwick the Director of Learning & Teaching, and Rob Sykes the Director of Operations, and we hope to repeat these on a regular basis to help with our planning.

If you’ve got any views on what the library should be doing, leave a comment, or email me: Maria Mawson, Faculty Librarian for Social Sciences,

Monday, 22 February 2010

Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy

A new database is now available.  Nihon Gaiko Monjo (Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy) is a multi-volume set of publications detailing Japanese foreign policy since the Meiji era (1867 onwards).

The content is now being digitised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho), and is being made freely available as The Digital Archive of the Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy.

The database is not yet complete, with content currently available up to the end of the Taisho era (1926). To view the images in the database, you must download the free browser plugin DjVu which is also available via a link to the Caminova site given at the bottom of the title page.

Western Bank Library Virtual Tour

Now that the Western Bank Library redevelopment work is nearly complete,  we have produced a virtual tour which we hope will help you find your way around the new-look building. There is also a new guide available as a pdf.

Let us know what you think .

Friday, 12 February 2010

Oxford Reference Online

WBL - DictionariesThe University Library has arranged a trial of Oxford Reference Online (ORO) for all registered staff and students of The University of Sheffield until 9th March 2010.

Electronic access to over 185 reference books and dictionaries is available with almost 1.5 million entries. You'll find both English and bilingual dictionaries of French, German, Spanish and Italian as well as over 45 timelines linking to more than 2,500 key events in 20th-century history in the fields of Art and Architecture; Literature; Performing Arts; Politics and Government; Science, Technology and Medicine; Society; and War.

After connecting to ORO, type in your ucard number in the 'Library card number' box and click 'log-in'.

Oxford Reference Online - Log-in

If you wish to comment on this trial please use the online feedback form.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Western Bank Library Tours

Western Bank LibraryFollowing the completion of the Western Bank Library redevelopment project we'll be offering guided tours to all staff and students. These tours will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the new facilities, learn more about where our various collections are housed, in what areas you can expect to find silent study and how we plan to use the exhibition space etc.

Student tours are due to commence week beginning February 8th and are open to everyone. There'll be two sessions a day, starting at 11am and 3pm, and all you have to do is show up at the library five minutes beforehand. Make your way up the 1st flight of stairs from the main entrance on Level G and we'll be waiting on Level M.

For more information about the project take a look at our webpages or contact library staff by email

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Studying Economics?

Are you an undergraduate economics student?  We've just heard about  a new website which could be worth checking out.  Created by the Economics Network based at  Bristol University  and written for undergraduate economics students, it  contains a wide variety of information which you might find useful  e.g; module choices, study tips, intern advice etc.

Let us know what you think.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

QR Code Competition

Paul Tobin (Left) and Dami Bakare (Right)During October/November 2009 the university library ran a competition (sponsored by JISC) to win an iPod Touch. Students were asked to comment on the library blogs, suggesting ways the library could use QR codes to support services. The range of responses we received has given the project group plenty of food for thought and they would like to thank all for your participation.

The lucky winner, Dami Bakare (a third year dental student), was drawn out of a hat by Paul Tobin, President of the Student Union, before Christmas and was presented with his prize early this week.

To read more about QR codes - what they are and how to use them - take a look at the library news page and have a practice with the codes found on our blogs. Any further comments about the library's use of QR codes are always welcome or if you'd prefer to email suggestions you can contact us at

For more photos of the presentation have a look at our Flickr photostream and check out the article in Forge Press.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Western Bank Library Extended Opening Hours

During the Winter exam period (from January 10th to February 4th) the Western Bank Library has extended opening hours (see the table below for times). With the redevelopment work now in its final stages (effecting Level 3 and the impaired-mobility access route on Level G) you'll find plenty of silent study spaces and our upgraded network means greater wifi access.

Opening hoursStaffed service hours
Sunday10:00 - midnight14:00 - 18:00
Monday - Thursday09:00 - midnight09:00 - 19:00
Friday09:00 - 21:0010:00 - 19:00
Saturday10:00 - 18:0014:00 - 18:00

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

National Archives release 1979 records

On 30 December The National Archives announced the release of government records from 1979 and highlights are now online.   This being the year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister,  following the infamous 'winter of discontent',  items of interest include files on industrial policy,  Britain's relationship with Iran and the situation in Northern Ireland.