14 December 2010

Aston e-Library unavailable

The Aston e-Library is currently unavailable. ISA are working on the problem and we will let you know when the problem has been resolved. In the meantime please access the Library's electronic resources via the following web page http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lis/eis/

Update - 11.00am on 14/12/2010: The Aston e-Library is now available. We apologise for the inconvenience.

13 December 2010

Book loans over the Christmas vacation

Books will continue to be loaned for the normal seven day, one day or long loan period during the Christmas vacation and renewed or returned when due. No books will be due for return during the library closed period 24th December 2010 to 3rd January 2011 inclusive.
Any book which cannot be renewed due to a reservation will need to be returned by post if necessary. Fines will be charged for late return.

11 December 2010

IT problems today

Unfortunately there is a campus wide IT problem which is affecting the Library today. This means that you will not be able to renew your books online until this has been sorted out. ISA have been informed and are working on the problem. We apologise for the inconvenience caused

6 December 2010

24/6 and Christmas vacation opening hours

From Sunday, 28 November 2010 - Friday, 17 December 2010 the Library is open 24/6.
Monday - Friday we are open 24 hours. The Help desk is open 09:00 - 18:00.
Saturday we close at 18:00. The Help desk is open 10:00 - 13:00.
Sunday we open at 11:00.

On Friday, 17 December 2010 the building will close at 22:00.

Christmas vacation opening hours

Saturday, 18 December 2010 - Saturday, 8 January 2011

(Please note for the vacation period we will close at 23:00 on Thursday, 23 December 2010 and re-open at 08:00 on Tuesday, 4 January 2011. Our book return boxes will also be closed during this time.)

Monday - Friday we are open 08:00 - 23:00. The Help desk is open 09:00 - 17:00.
Saturday we are open 11:00 - 18:00. The Help desk is not available.
Sunday we are open 11:00 - 18:00. The Help desk is not available.

On Monday, 20 December 2010 the Help desk will close at 12:00. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

2 December 2010

Access to Westlaw & Lexis off campus

Access to subscription based legal research databases off Campus

To access off campus please use the proxy server - see instructions

You can also phone Westlaw ( 0800 028 2200 ) and ask them to do a search for you and they will e-mail the results to you. They are aware there is a problem with Shibboleth access. Dont forget to use Lexis and Lawtel as alternative resources.

NB- use the law section of the Aston e Library - there are lots of alternative free resources for legal research.

Adele Champken - Information Specialist (Law)

**3rd Dec. This problem has now been fixed, and you can log on to Westlaw and Lexis as usual via the e-Library. Apologies for the inconvenience**

30 November 2010

Relax, have a coffee and read the latest news

The newspaper stand has now moved from the 3rd floor to the Library Ground Floor. You will find the newspapers located next to Cafe Libro. Please feel free to visit the Library, grab a coffee and read the latest news.
When you have finished - just pop the newspaper back on the stand. The newspaper stand contains the last 3 months of The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Times. We will update the stand on a daily basis.

We also have online access to a wide range of global news publications via the database called Nexis UK. Please visit the Aston e-Library > access the Find Resource tab > choose Locate and type in Nexis UK. To access this service off campus you will need to type in your network username and password.

26 November 2010

Safari Tech Books Online availability via Library Catalogue

Due to a problem with e-book records, there will be no Safari e-books listed in the catalogue until the beginning of next week (29th/30th November). You can still access the e-books by going to Safari directly and searching for the title you need.

**These e-books have now been restored on the library catalogue. Sorry for any inconvenience** 30/11/10

17 November 2010

Access to the FT.com now discontinued

Aston University Library would like to alert students to the fact that Aston University Library is no longer providing automatic access to FT.com web site. The subscription costs to the FT.com were doubled and we were unable to proceed with a renewal to this service. The link to the FT.com is now no longer available through the Aston e-Library.

How do I access The Financial Times now?

However, the Library still provides access to the Financial Times through our newspaper databases NEXIS UK and our journal database ABI INFORM. You can access the Financial Times specifically by following these instructions:

  • Access the Aston e-Library from the Library homepage http://www.aston.ac.uk/lis
  • Log in with your network username and password
  • Click on FIND E-JOURNAL
  • Type Financial Times in to the search box and click GO
  • Click on the newspaper name in the results list
  • You can now choose to search the Financial Times in either Nexis or ABI Inform
  • Just click the red GO button next to the database you want to use

In Nexis UK the Financial Times appears as an individual title in the source box. You can now type your topic key words in to the search box and Nexis UK will search for those words within the Financial Times articles.

In ABI Inform you will see all the issues in date order which you can browse at leisure or you can search for specific articles on a topic by using the search box at the top of the screen.

You can also find the last month of the Financial Times newspaper on the newspaper stand on the ground floor of the Library Building- next to Cafe Libro

5 November 2010

New for November 2010 - Changes to login process for renewing and reserving books

From 2nd November 2010 you will no longer need to remember your Library barcode and PIN if you are an Aston student or staff member. Instead you can use your Aston computer login and password to access your Library Record or place reservations.

To access your Library Record you should do the following:
Step 1:
Go to http://library.aston.ac.uk and click on the My Library Record link on the right hand side.

Step 2: You will see the following screen. For Aston staff and students enter your computer username and password in the boxes and click submit. Only visitors should continue to use their barcode number and PIN

To reserve items you should do the following:
Step 1: Search for a book and bring up the main details. If all copies are on loan click on the reserve button at the top of the screen.

Step 2: You will see the following screen. For Aston staff and students enter your computer username and password in the boxes and click submit. Only visitors should continue to use their barcode number and PIN

Step 3: You will get a confirmation screen if the reservation is successful and an email will be sent to your Aston email account when the book is ready for you to collect.

29 October 2010

Important news about the Library

I am pleased to announce that the refurbished ground floor of the Library will open from 8.00am on Monday 1 November 2010. Here is a summary of the changes that you will find, following the refurbishment works this summer:

• The new entrance is at the corner of the library opposite to the Main Building. You can find a route map here. The temporary entrance at the back of the library will be closed from 6.00pm on Sunday 31 October onwards.

• There are new stairs, a new passenger lift and new toilets on all four floors at the front of the building.

• On the ground floor you will find: a Welcome desk; flexible group study space; two computer labs; the short loan collection; a self-service reservations area; self-service machines with fines payment facility; two additional needs rooms; two bookable group study rooms, a Help desk and CafĂ©Libro.

• The Learning Development Centre, printed periodicals, small study areas and the Library staff administration area are on the first floor.

• The second and third floors have not been refurbished at this stage. All of the bookstock is located on these floors, as well as PCs and printers / photocopiers. The second floor can be used for group study for much of the year, but the third floor is reserved for individual silent study only.

• Further information about the library, including opening times and borrowing arrangements, can be found on the library website.

To see the changes for yourself and find out more about how the Library works, please come along to a Library Matters Live session anytime between 11.00am to 3.00pm from Monday 1 November until Friday 5 November. There will be Goody Bags for all first year students and a chance for all students to enter a Prize Draw to win a £100 Bullring Gift Card or a Sony e-book reader.

Thank you for your patience during the refurbishment, especially during the last month when the upper floors of the library have been particularly crowded. We hope you enjoy the new facilities and spaces. To help us to provide a pleasant learning environment for you, please make sure that you observe the Library Regulations.

Please let us know what works well and what doesn't work as well, by emailing library@aston.ac.uk or by completing one of our Have Your Say forms.

Nick Smith

Dr NR Smith
Library & Information Services
Aston University
B4 7ET
T: 0121 204 4509
F: 0121 204 4530
E: n.r.smith@aston.ac.uk
W: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lis/

25 October 2010

Access to the FT.com

Access to the Financial Times web site has now been reinstated. To see the full range of access to the Financial Times, please use the Library catalogue. Choose the title search function and type in The Financial Times.

You no longer need to register or log in before accessing the full web site. However, if you are trying to access the web site off-campus you will need to go through the University proxy server and details of how to do this are available at http://www1.aston.ac.uk/lis/eis/passwords/ejournalsproxy/

If you experience any more access problems please contact library@aston.ac.uk.

6 October 2010

Photocopying and printing in the Library

Follow-Me system

You can add credit to your uniCARD in 3 ways:

  • Online at http://followme.aston.ac.uk/ (Minimum top-up is £5 maximum is £30)
  • Using the credit top-up machine on second floor of the Library (£5 notes)
  • Using the credit top-up machine outside the ISA Helpdesk, Main Building East 477 (£5 notes)

Please contact ISA Helpdesk for help or queries with online payments, email isa_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk and telephone +44(0) 121 204 3445.

Helpdesk Main Building East 477
(8:30am until 5:00pm Mondays to Fridays)

5 October 2010

New service offering online access to TV and Radio broadcasts now available on Blackboard.

Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is a new service attached to Blackboard. Now Aston staff and students can, by request, view television transmissions which have previously been shown or book transmissions for the future for use in teaching and learning.

New photos of Library refurb!

Take a look at the latest photos of the refurbishment work that is currently going on at the Library. Work on the ground floor is now well under way and is on target for completion in early November.

4 October 2010

Reaxys - have you switched yet?

Reaxys is a web-based, chemical structure search system for chemical compounds, chemical reactions and bibliographic data. It combines the information from the CrossFire Beilstein, Gmelin and Patent Chemistry Databases in a single, web-based tool, providing reaction and substance data with synthesis planning in organic, organometallic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

This database replaces CrossFire, and no further logins to CrossFire will be possible from 1st January 2011.

You can get further information about Reaxys, including a Quick Reference Guide and free webinars, on the Reaxys Information Website.

27 September 2010

Problem with logging in to Dawsonera

There is currently a problem with logging in to e-books on the Dawsonera platform. The supplier is looking into this as a matter of urgency.

12/10/2010 - update: There is still a problem off campus with the Dawsonera platform. However, it is now possible to access Dawsonera books on campus by searching the Library catalogue for a title and clicking on the link from within the record.

We apologise for the continuing inconvenience and will provide an update as soon as one is available with regard to off campus access.

13/10/2010 - update: While a solution is being worked on for the off campus access it is possible in the short term to use the proxy server to access Dawsonera books off campus.

21 September 2010

The Eleventh Hour: LIS and the new term

Over the summer vacation, your library will be regenerated, and we would like to invite all academic staff and researchers in LHS and EAS to the newly refurbished 1st floor to get a flavour of what the completed project will look like, and how we are intending to manage student use of the library in the meantime. We’ll also be looking at possible implications of the 2010/11 LIS budget, new resources, services for researchers, Library Matters and reading lists on Blackboard, and Information Literacy teaching across programmes in LHS and EAS.

Where: LDC Workshop, 1st Floor, The Library
When: 11am, Tuesday 28th September
Refreshments will be provided.

RSVP to Georgina Hardy or Clare Langman for catering purposes. We look forward to seeing you there!

NB: This is the same event as that featured in Aston Aspects.

15 September 2010

Printed Journals Returned to Library

The printed journals have now been returned to the first floor of the library after being held in storage during the refurbishment. Please check the Library catalogue for holdings.

New Library Refurbishment Photographs

Check out the new Library 1st floor by viewing our photographs on Flickr

6 September 2010

Problem with the Library catalogue

We are currently experiencing some problems with our Library catalogue. This means you will be unable to search the catalogue or log into your own Library record. Our system suppliers are investigating the problem and we hope to have the problem rectified later on today.

The self service machines are still available for use during this time. If you want to see if we have a title you can use MARs at http://aquamarine.aston.ac.uk/ablaston/ which will tell you what titles we have and the class number but can't tell you if we have copies in stock due to the problem with the catalogue.

We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

Update - 17:00 on 06/09/10. This problem has now been resolved and you should be able to access the Library catalogue as normal.

3 September 2010

Stage one complete - weekend disruption likely!

The first stage of the Library refurbishment project is about to be completed, and the contractors will be handing over the refurbished first floor to Library staff over the weekend 4-5th September. Furniture, equipment, and PCs will be moved from the ground floor to the first floor, and members of library staff will be returning to work on Monday morning to new desks! By then, the entire ground floor will be handed over to the contractors.

You will be able to visit the newly refurbished first floor (with its new toilets!) from Monday 13th September. The printed journals and Learning Development Centre will be available shortly after that date.

Due to the relocation work this weekend there will be disruption to our enquiry services, in particular our e-mail services (library@aston.ac.uk and lis-enquiries@aston.ac.uk), both today (Friday 3rd September) and Monday (6th September). We hope to minimise the delay, but please be patient when waiting for replies to your messages.

This also means that from today (Friday 3rd September), all service counter and face-to-face enquiry services will be delivered in the first instance from the temporary entrance.

This is an exciting milestone in the refurbishment project - thank you for bearing with us during the inevitable inconvenience this causes.

1 September 2010

Reduced enquiry service - 2nd Sept, am

On Thursday 2nd September, there will be no network to staff PCs on the ground floor for most of the morning. While open access PCs and self service machines on the 2nd and 3rd floors will not be affected, you may receive a reduced enquiry service until afer 11am. This includes contacting members of LIS staff by e-mail or phone.

If you need to get hold of a member of LIS staff urgently, please telephone LIS reception on extension 4489. The staff there will arrange for someone to get back to you as soon as possible.

27 August 2010

Software error - e-journals and Aston e-Library

We are currently experiencing problems with accessing e-journals via "Find it @ Aston". This will also affect access via Aston e-Library.

When clicking on the "Find it @ Aston" button, or the red SFX symbol, you may see the following (or similar):

Software error:

IOL::Base::_execute_single_update: Cannot execute         INSERT INTO
The table 'SFX_REQUEST' is full
Parameters: 1234 ContextObject::Engine
We are aware of this problem and are currently working with our providers to get it resolved. We will keep this blog post updated with any further developments, so do check back here to monitor the situation.

Update: this problem has now been fixed, so you should not be getting the Software error any more. If you see this, or any other error message, please do e-mail enquiries with details of your difficulty.

25 August 2010

Access problems with ScienceDirect

We are currently experiencing technical problems with access to ScienceDirect. Elsevier, the suppliers of ScienceDirect are aware of the problems and are working to resolve them. This is an issue that is affecting all ScienceDirect users, not just Aston.

If you are looking for a certain journal title you can search for it via the catalogue or the Aston eLibrary and use the find it @ Aston option to see if it is available on any other databases as well as ScienceDirect.

It is hoped that the problem will be resolved within 3 hours and apologise for the inconvenience.

23 August 2010

Enhancements to IEEE Xplore

The library has recently extended its subscription to IEEE Xplore to include the IEEE-Wiley eBooks Library. Previously Aston University staff and students had access to the journal, conferences and standards within this resource. This now represents a full subscription to all the content within IEEE Xplore – if you get an item in your IEEE Xplore search results, you should be able to access the full text.

Note that the IEEE-Wiley eBooks are also listed on the library catalogue, so a keyword search for your topic of interest on the library catalogue or via MARs will also find relevant IEEE-Wiley eBooks.

Aston University staff and students have online access to this comprehensive resource which can be accessed via Aston e-Library. There is no login required on-campus. However, alongside the extra content for IEEE Xplore, the login procedure for off-campus users has been improved – a separate username/password is not required and you can now login using your Aston University username and password.

User guides and online tutorials are available from the IEEE website and these give an overview of the key tasks, including advanced searching, refining your results, and saving your search. These cover the new interface and are worth looking at if you haven’t used IEEE Xplore since the switch-over.

If you have any feedback or comments to make about this resource, please add a comment to this post.

19 August 2010

Lift out of action from August 23rd

The lift in the Library will be out of action for approximately 2 weeks from August 23rd due to the refurbishment. Apologies for any inconvenience this causes. If you need to use the lift, please continue to come to the Library and staff will be more than willing to fetch any material that you need.

16 August 2010

Technical problem linking to journal articles

There is currently a technical problem with links to journal articles via the Library Catalogue and the Aston e-Library (14:25, 16th August 2010). You can still obtain access to journal articles from the list of Electronic Resources on the Library home page or from full-text journal databases using the Find Resource tab within the Aston e-Library.

Please note: problem now resolved (14:40, 16th August 2010).

12 August 2010

Cafe Closure: 17th August

The cafe in the Library will be closed from Tuesday 17th August due to the refurbishment and will remained closed until the ground floor of the Library re-opens during the Autumn term.

9 August 2010

Library Matters on Blackboard is being improved

Library staff are re-organising some of the content on Library Matters. The revised module will be available shortly. In the meantime, if you have any questions, problems or difficulties in accessing content please contact library@aston.ac.uk

Springerlink new platform

Springer have launched a new journals platform: http://springerlink.metapress.com/

New Wiley Platform

Wiley has launched its new Online Library today: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/. See here for new features: http://info.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/view/0/Features.html/

4 August 2010

Access to Lexis Library and Nexis UK

Due to a problem with the login system, on and off-campus access to Lexis Library is currently unavailable. Off-campus access to Nexis UK is also unavailable. While we attempt to fix this, Nexis UK is still available on-campus and can be accessed off-campus by going via the proxy server. We will add a comment to this post when the problem is fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience.

**UPDATE** While the suppliers are trying to fix this problem, they have set up IP access to Lexis Library for us. This means that Lexis Library is now available on-campus, and can be accessed via the proxy server from off-campus.

30 July 2010

No Digimap Services 10-4pm Tuesday 3rd August

All Digimap Collections will be unavailable on Tuesday 3rd August 2010 from 10.00hrs until approximately 16.00hrs. This is to allow for a major hardware upgrade to take place.

29 July 2010

Access route to the Library during refurbishment

The access route to the Library during the refurbishment can be viewed here.

28 July 2010

MyiLibrary launches new e-book viewer

MyiLibrary has launched an enhanced e-book viewer. Page navigation is now much smoother & less 'clicky'. More details here.

27 July 2010

New photos of Library refurbishment demolition work available!

Have a look at these latest photos of demolition work that took place a few days ago on the Library building!

26 July 2010

Floorplans of Library Refurbishment

You can now view the architects' floorplans of the Library refurbishment. You can also follow the progress of the renovations as they happen via Flickr.

23 July 2010

Datastream availability

If you are an MSc student and are having problems booking a session on the Datastream computer in the Library, please contact Shereen Awan s.f.awan@aston.ac.uk in the Finance and Accounting Group in the Business School. Shereen may be able to offer time on the Datastream computers in the Business School as an alternative. This is only on offer until the MSc project deadline which is the week beginning 3rd August.

Noise Hot Spot chart

Look at this chart to find out the places in the Library building where the noise is going to be the most noticeable this week (week commencing 26th July).

EIU Global Forecasting Service now available to staff and students at Aston

Please find below a message from the Economist Intelligence Unit:

I would like to bring to your attention the news that for the first time, the EIU is making access free to our Global Forecasting Service.

For staff and students alike, once registered you will have free and unfettered access to this database.

Global Forecasting Service

  • download the monthly Power-point presentations, that summarise the main points of our global forecasts
  • A free, monthly updated PDF report covering our global forecast
  • data, analysis and forecasts for the global economy, plus drill down options for the regions most important to you
  • regular articles on the critical issues that influence economic prospects
  • succinct analysis of the top ten risks confronting the world economy at any given time

Just go to www.eiu.com/gfs to register.

21 July 2010

Library Building Closure: Thursday 22nd July

Unfortunately, due to an unexpected problem, the removal of the emergency staircase in the library, which was to have been done last weekend, will now have to be done on Thursday 22 July. This work will cause significant noise and vibration throughout the building during the day and the evening, and also means that all of the toilets in the building have to be closed. Consequently, the library will be closed that day.

We hope to re-open at 9.00am on Friday 23 July. However, if the work has to be extended into Friday, we will not re-open until 12 noon at the earliest. If you are intending to come to the library on Friday, you are advised to ring 0121 204 4489 or 0121 204 4525 to check if we are open, before travelling.

There is alternative quiet study space available in the Main Building. Please ask at Library Reception or Enquiries for advice about this or ring one of the numbers above or email library@aston.ac.uk .

We apologise for any inconvenience this closure may cause to you.

19 July 2010

EBSCOhost Business Source Premier - authentication problem

There are currently technical problems when trying to access Business Source Premier off-campus. The Library is liaising with EBSCO to try and fix the problem. Access on-campus is unaffected

15 July 2010

Library Building Closure Sunday 18th July

The Library building will be closed on Sunday 18th July due to the refurbishment. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

No toilet facilities in Library building this Saturday 17th July

Due to the Library refurbishment work taking place over the summer vacation, there will be no access to any toilets in the Library building on Saturday 17th July. If you are using the Library building on Saturday, you will need to go to the main building and use the toilet facilities there. Please remember that you will need your student card to get into the main building over the weekend.

Library Building Closure 7th/8th August

The Library building will close at 3pm on Friday 6th August and will remain closed over the whole of the weekend of Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th August due to the refurbishment. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

2 July 2010

Network unavailable in Library building Monday 5th July

There will be no PC or printer/photocopier access available for students in the Library building on Monday 5th July between 9am and 11am due to the work going on for the Library Refurbishment. Apologies for the inconvenience.

24 June 2010

Want to view the Library Refurbishment?

Library staff are taking photographs of the Library refurbishment as it happens. View the latest photos on FlickR at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lis_refurb/

15 June 2010

SPIE Digital Library extended

The library has recently extended its subscription to the SPIE Digital Library so that all journal and proceedings content is included. Previously Aston University staff and students had access only to the Micro - and Nano-Technologies segment of this resource.

SPIE is an international society advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light and publishes more than 17,000 new articles and conference proceedings each year. They operate an ‘e-first’ policy so that the latest papers are available online within just a few weeks of being presented.

Aston University staff and students now have 24/7 online access to this comprehensive resource which can be accessed via Aston e-Library. There is no login required on-campus; please use the proxy server to access this resource from off-campus.

A quick start guide and online tutorials are available from the SPIE website and these give an overview of the key benefits, including advanced searching, email alerts, and navigation through citations and related articles.

If you have any feedback or comments to make about this resource, please add a comment to this post.

9 June 2010

Changes to service during Library Refurbishment

Take a look at our new Changes to Service webpage to find out how Library services will be affected during the building refurbishment this summer.

Access to printed journals during summer vacation

As part of the Library refurbishment project over the summer, it will be necessary to remove all printed journals from the 1st floor of the Library and place them in storage. Therefore, there will be no access to 1st floor printed journals from June 10th to October 6th. Please make use of our Inter-Library Loans service during this time.

8 June 2010

Graduation 2010

If you are graduating in July 2010, you must clear all outstanding Library charges by 12th June. Failure to do so will mean that you are unable to graduate. If you have any queries about this, please contact library@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4525.

4 June 2010

Stepping Stones to Information Literacy

Information Specialists Georgina Hardy and Caroline Long have recently completed a CLIPP-funded project to create an Information Literacy Profile within PebblePad, Aston University's e-Portfolio system.

Information Literacy can be defined as “knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner”. For this project a profile consisting of a set of 14 skills was created, enabling you to rate yourself against each aspect of Information Literacy, provide evidence of a skill where appropriate and build an action plan to improve if necessary. The profile can be revisited throughout your career at Aston University, as you develop your Information Literacy Skills through attending a seminar with your Information Specialist in the library or carrying out research.

You can access PebblePad via MAP - follow the link to "Aston ePortfolio" from your E-Learning Links container. The Information Literacy Profile is available to everyone across the University.

Georgina and Caroline presented their work at the Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2010, and details of their presentation can be found on Aston University Research Archive.

1 June 2010

Preparatory work is due to start in the Library Building

During the last week of exam period (week beginning 7th June), some preparatory work needs to be carried out in the Library before the arrival of the building contractors on 21st June. This will involve stock removal on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Library. We hope to keep noise and disruption to a minimum, but people wishing to study in silence may wish to use the 3rd floor during this time.

27 May 2010

Project timeline for Library refurbishment

A project timeline of the Library refurbishment is now available on our Library webpages. Keep checking our refurbishement webpages for updates throughout the summer.

26 May 2010

Help name the Library

We had over a hundred suggestions submitted to our "Name the Library" competition. These have been short-listed to nine suggestions and you can now vote for your favourite. The results will be announced next month.

Voting closes at midnight on Sunday 13th June.

24 May 2010

Off-campus access to PsycArticles

There is currently a problem with logging on to PsycArticles from off-campus. The database suppliers are looking into this as a matter of urgency and we will update this blog post as soon as it is fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience.

28 April 2010

Air Conditioning Problems in Library Building

There are ongoing problems with the air conditioning in the Library building today (28th April 2010). We apologise if the temperatures are not ideal during the examination period. Estates are working on the problem as a matter of urgency. If you have and queries or comments about this, please comment on this blog post.

23 April 2010

Silent study during examination period

The 2nd and 3rd floor of the Library will remain silent study zones until 12th June. Please remember that only single, silent study is permitted on these floors during this time.
If you have any comments or queries about this, please comment on this blog post.

16 April 2010

New media resource

We now have access to the following resource via the Aston e-Library:
The LBC/IRN Audio Archive
The London Broadcasting Company / Independent Radio News audio archive consists of 7,000 reel-to-reel tapes in a collection that runs from 1973 to the mid-1990s. It is the most important commercial radio archive in the UK and provides a unique audio history of the period
You will need to log-in both off and on campus

15 April 2010

Changes to loans policy over vacation period: Feedback

Thank you for all your comments regarding the changes to loans policy over the vacation period.

It is true that the vacation is being treated the same as term-time, which means that fines will be charged on overdue loans that have not been renewed, and on any loans that are wanted by another reader and cannot therefore be renewed. Students who find that they cannot renew a book because it is wanted by another reader are advised to post the item back to the Library. This is responsible borrowing; it helps the widest possible circulation of resources; and it is the normal practice at a great many universities, including Birmingham University.

It is highly unusual for us to change an established way of doing things part-way through an academic year, however there was a lot wrong with the old system, which caused a good many problems at Christmas and resulted in unfair practices. In the light of this experience we decided to make changes now rather than wait until after the Sumer vacation.

Under the old system, students were able to borrow books for the whole vacation and incurred no fines, even when the books were wanted by other readers. It seemed to be unfair that some students could keep books – which they knew to be in demand - for several weeks without being fined accordingly. Moreover, many students, who did not realize that there would be no fines, asked staff what it would cost them to keep the book for a few weeks, knowing that they were depriving other readers. It is also the case that students who have a reservation to collect in the last week of term do not collect it until as late as possible so that they can have it for the whole vacation. This results in an in-demand book sitting on the reservation shelf for a week, unused by anybody. All these practices are counter to the sort of community spirit and sense of responsibility that should be fostered around shared – and scarce - resources. We therefore took the decision to change the parameters of the library management system so that all days when the Library is open are treated the same and only days when the campus is closed do not incur fines, giving us a much more equitable system.

If you have any further comments on this, please comment on this blog post.