Archive for the ‘Library’ Category

And so, the end is nigh…

…hopefully not in the apocalyptic sense of course, it’s just that it’s my last week at work before my maternity leave starts. It’s all very exciting. I’ve completed all my final tasks now, including finishing teaching, writing up a project, clearing my desk, and saving any necessary files onto the shared library file space; and my replacement has been appointed, so I’m all set now! I was almost too efficient about finishing up, as I wanted to be prepared in case I had an unexpected early arrival, and was generally concerned about leaving too much to finish off in the last few days.

It’s fairly quiet at the university at the moment, as most students are doing exams, or not yet back; though there are still enough students back to make driving my car around the university quad to a parking space a challenging obstacle course. I’ve had a few enquiries by email and one or two in person, enough to justify my existence and make me feel useful.

I’m convinced my brain is slower getting steadily fluffier, due to being preoccupied with such exciting things as baby bedding, baby clothing and so forth, so it’s probably good timing to make a graceful exit at the end of the week before I a) can’t intelligently answer any library enquiries and b) can’t get up from the sofas at tea break.

I’ve had a really good year here at Bangor, really like my job and my colleagues, and will hope to drop in and see them all later in the year. I’m still going to be keeping half an eye on library news and developments in the UK via email and Twitter, but of course most of my attention will be on other things this year.

Fingers crossed for a safe arrival…


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This biliingual (English / Welsh) powerpoint presentation briefly outlines some printed and electronic library resources for music students:

Library Resources for Music Students / Adnoddau Llyfrgell i Myfyrwyr Cerdd

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This is the presentation for SENRGY postgraduates (forestry, land conservation, countryside management, etc) on library resources and literature reviews.

Library Resources and Literature Reviews for SENRGY Students

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The teaching term

This term I have been mostly teaching. As a result, everything else I was doing, such as experimenting with Web 2.0 tools and writing it up for a library scoping study, planning book displays, and various other things, have slightly fallen behind as I am so busy both preparing and teaching sessions.

I only started in this job in January, and was originally assistant to John Wright who was doing most of the teaching (I did a lot more one to one enquiries earlier in the year than group sessions, although I did talk to a few groups); but since John left this summer, and the autumn term began at University, it’s been incredibly busy!

Initially there were all the library induction presentions (very general, and we shared a presentation for that which I just had to adapt). The biggest challenge there was imparting information about the library to large groups of new students in Freshers Week (the first week of term) who were already completely overwhelmed by too much information, so we tended to keep these sessions pretty general.

Since Freshers Week, I have been out across the university presenting to a range of subjects and people. I went to a small island just off the Anglesey mainland to talk to Marine Biology postgraduates about resources for their subject; talked to 50 geography first years about information literacy and how to evaluate information quality (using two journal articles for comparison, one from a tabloid, one from a scholarly journal); and spoke to English first years about library resources. This week I’m talking to SENRGY postgraduates (mostly forestry and countryside management) about library resources and also literature reviews, lecturing 120 business undergraduates about Refworks (electronic referencing software) and speaking to a group of music undergraduates about their library resources. It takes a fair bit of preparation at the moment, as I have to get an overview of their subject, investigate their resources, write the sessions, and deliver them.

Oh, and in tandem with all this, I’ve also been running two hour hands on workshops (mostly for postgraduates) on Refworks, information searching skills, and e-resources at Bangor library; all of which also needed preparing and delivering; plus doing my usual one to one enquiries, enquiry desk sessions, responding to email enquiries, huge amounts of Refworks support, and all the other random things which come up.

It’s been a busy time! On the good side however, I now have lots of useful materials prepared, which just need sending to translation to be translated into Welsh (I speak and write Welsh fairly well but they have to be done properly) and then can be put up on the website. Even better, I have met lots of nice students, and hopefully helped them begin their year at college with some idea of where to hunt for information. I have also had the chance to get across some basic points such as: the library does not buy all journals in databases, and bibliographic databases like Web of Science and CSA are lists of abstracts and do NOT contain full text articles. It’s also great for me to get feedback from the students on their experiences using library resources, and find out what kind of support they need from the librarians.

It’s fascinating, having noticed via Twitter that several speakers at e-learning conferences this year were questioning the role of libraries and libraries, to notice that actually, contrary to some assumptions out there, librarians are more in demand than ever in this age of electronic information, and I’ve been in and out of this line of work for around 16 years now, so have a long term view on this. But that’s the subject of another long blog post or rant one of these days…why librarians are needed more than ever!

In the meantime, I’m starting to think that by the time the baby is born, it’s going to be an expert on library databases and search skills, as they can apparently hear things by this stage!

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This is the handout for Friday afternoon’s working on information hunting.
I am putting handouts on my blog to try and cut down on printing costs.


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This is the handout for Friday’s teaching session on e-databases for library staff.


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At the library, we have a large range of electronic databases. They can all be accessed by university members when online at the university, or from home by logging to databases using your university user name and password. To find a database, go to the library e-database search page, type the name of a database you are looking for into the “Database Name” search box, and press submit.

This first list is some of the e-databases listed by type (e.g. bibiliographic databases, dictionaries, historical source materials, maps, newspapers, etc).


This second list is a separate list of most of the e-journal databases (excluding a few with only 1 or 2 journals in), with around 124 databases on the list. Each e-journal database is a colletion of journals from a different publisher (e.g. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, American Chemical Society); and some databases may contain only 1 or a few journals, whereas others contain 2000 journals. In most cases, the library only buys some of the journals in the database, so you will only be able to access articles in journals we buy, others will not open or will ask you for passwords. A few databases cover most subjects, and are therefore nearly always worth searching when you are hunting for articles for your research, and other contain journals for particular subjects (health, law, science, etc); so the list divides e-journal databases by subject.


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