New Self-Service Kiosks in the Library

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We’re pleased to announce that in the new year, the Library will be installing new self-service kiosks which will make borrowing books quicker and easier. We’ll also be installing new book detection gates at the library entrance.

The works to install these new features will be carried out between 7th – 9th January 2019 and we anticipate that there will be some disruption during this period.

On Monday 7th January there will no entry to or exit from the Library through the main entrance – an alternative route through the main computer room will be available and signposted on the day.

Library users shouldn’t expect any disruption to borrowing or returning items during these works.

If you have any comments or questions about the, please email the User Services team at library@sgul.ac.uk

 

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Service Update: Increased Loans, Changes to Fines and Automatic Renewals

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Library staff are pleased to announce that we’ve made a number of changes to our rules and regulations that will improve your experience of borrowing items from the Library:

 

booksWe’ve increased the amount of items you can borrow.

SGUL students/staff and NHS staff are now able to borrow up 15 items at one time. Some exceptions do apply*.

 

recycle-signWe’ve increased the amount of renewals on your loans.

Items on your record will now be automatically renewed until the end of your course.

Loans for NHS and SGUL staff will be automatically renewed until their Library account expires. This means you won’t have to remember to renew the items yourself, or bring them back to the Library when they have reached their renewal limit.

However, items won’t successfully renew if another user requests them, or you have accumulated more than £10 in fines. You’ll be notified by email if your book has been requested by another user.

 

coinsWe’ve changed the way we charge overdue fines.

By introducing these rolling renewals, we hope our users will accumulate fewer overdue fines over the course of their studies.

However, if a book is recalled, you’ll be charged 20p per day until the book is returned.

We’ll also continue to issue invoices for non-returned, lost or damaged items, which cover the cost of a replacement plus an additional administration charge.

 

By increasing the amount of books you can borrow and extending your renewals, we hope that borrowing books from the library becomes a more flexible experience for the majority of users.

However, rolling renewals will mean that books are likely to be off the shelves for longer periods if they aren’t requested by other users. Therefore it will become more important for users to request books that are on loan by placing a hold (or reservation). If you’ve not placed a hold before, see our FAQs below for further instructions.

 


FAQs

 

How can I check when my books are due?

You can manage your account by signing sign in to Hunter using the login option in the top right-hand corner (or by clicking the ‘My Account’ link on the library homepage).

SGUL staff and students should login using their University username and password. NHS staff can obtain their login by emailing library@sgul.ac.uk

Your Library Card overview will show you everything you have on loan, and their due dates:

library card

 

How do I place a hold on a book I need?

To place a hold on a book you’ll need to make sure that:

a) you are signed in to Hunter

b) all copies of the book you need are on loan to other users

If that is the case, an option to ‘Place Hold’ will appear above the location information for your book:

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Click on this link and you’ll then be asked to confirm your request.

Step-by-Step instructions for placing a hold can be found here.

Don’t forget, you can manage your holds by signing-in to your account in Hunter. If you no longer need a particular title, please do be courteous and cancel your request so it becomes available for another user.

 

I’m going on placement – what if someone requests the book I’ve borrowed?

If you know you are going to be away for St George’s for some time, we’d usually recommend using an electronic version of the book you intend to borrow to avoid picking up fines on physical items you are unable to return.

However, using an electronic version isn’t always possible. While it’s likely that the rolling automatic renewals will last the duration of your placement, if someone has placed a hold on your item it will still need to be returned by the due date. Otherwise you’ll be charged 20p per day until the book is returned.

If your book has been reserved but you are unable to return it, please sign-in to your Library account on Hunter and attempt to renew it manually by clicking the ‘Renew’ button next to the correct item in your ‘Loans’ section. By doing this, if another copy of the book is returned, your renewal will be successful. You may need to attempt this over a few days to allow enough time for another user to return their copy.

renew

 

I have outstanding fines on my account – do I need to pay them?

Yes – although fines are changing, you will still need to pay any outstanding fines on your account. Try to pay them as promptly as possible: once your fines reach £10.00 your books won’t automatically renew and you won’t be able to borrow further items.

 


If you have any further questions about these changes, please send them to the User Services team by emailing library@sgul.ac.uk or ask a member of staff at the Library Helpdesk.

 

*Exceptions include: honorary members of staff, elective students & placement students. Some NHS job categories are only eligible for restricted loans or reference only access.

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1998

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Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October 2018. Over the course of the week we’ll be exploring our Archives to look at how the library has – and hasn’t! – changed over time.


In this final retrospective look at the Library, we’ve delved into a really interesting commemorative brochure produced by library staff to celebrate 21 years of being based in Tooting.

Back in the early 1990s staff were singing the praises of their “several CD-ROM machines, word processing facilities and a scanner” which warranted instating an enquiries desk where library staff could be on hand to answer IT related questions.

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It’s interesting to note that even with the differences and improvements in technology over the past 20 years, many of the enquiries that helpdesk staff answered back in 1998 will be very familiar to users and helpdesk staff today!

Needless to say the type of enquiries facing the library staff are mainly computer related. The most common ones are

‘My Printer is not working’
‘The printer has stopped printing half way through’
I can’t open my file on the computer’

The rest of the commemorative brochure makes for an interesting read: it captures a pivotal point in the development of modern academic libraries as the way we access information began to rapidly change. Technology has streamlined many library services whilst also generating new challenges – especially over the two decades that have passed since the publication of this brochure.

For example, the move from print to electronic journals has had a fairly dramatic impact on the physical layout of the library. With most journal subscriptions now online, we no longer require the rows and rows of shelving to accommodate print copies and can offer far more study spaces, which is of real benefit to our users.

 

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The Library now manages access to thousands of journal titles, far in excess of what we ever could have accommodated physically in print, giving staff and students at St George’s access to far more content than before, with the added convenience that in most cases it can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.

However, with online journals the Library typically licenses the content for a specific period of time, whereas with print journals we owned the volumes and issues of the journals we purchased. Our Journals team must negotiate the terms and conditions of these licences with our suppliers each year, making these transactions far more complex.

Supporting access to online subscriptions also requires maintaining a number of key systems, such as our link resolver, which generates the links through to the full text of articles we have access to; either from search results in Hunter or our other healthcare databases.

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The Library also needs to manage the process of authentication: whereby journal sites identify a user is from St George’s and entitled to access that particular resource. The Journals team work hard to make this process as smooth as possible and provide the necessary support for users where difficulties arise. Responding to the pace of change as technologies develop is a real challenge for library staff and will undoubtedly continue to shape the academic library of the future.

On a final note, the brochure also offers interesting snippets of social history too. Present day staff thankfully have much more input over their own sartorial choices!

1977-98 Library Brochure trousers

…and female staff are now permitted to wear trousers for the task.

 


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If you are interested receiving updates from the Library and the St George’s Archives project, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from the Archives.

 

 

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1977

LibWeekRGB
Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October 2018. Over the course of the week we’ll be exploring our Archives to look at how the library has – and hasn’t! – changed over time.


In this exploration of the Archives, we’re looking at some of the physical incarnations of the Library throughout St George’s illustrious history. Today the hospital and medical school are located in Tooting, but until the 1970s were situated in central London at Hyde Park Corner.

The Library at Hyde Park had many traditional features: lots of dark wooden furniture, high shelving, and books behind glass cabinets. There also appear to be desks perched very precariously on the balcony below the lovely domed ceiling, which today might cause all manner of health and safety headaches.

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As St George’s moved to Tooting in 1976, the Library settled into a more modern looking space. These photos, from 1977, give us a sepia-toned glimpse into the Library as it was then: slightly more accessible shelving, hundreds of print journals, much lower ceilings and a slightly sterile looking staff office. That said, the black and white image in the slideshow below shows a much brighter, wider study space that isn’t that dissimilar to the library back in 2012, before our last refurbishment.

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Do you have any pictures taken in or around the library from your time studying at St George’s? Whether it was last year or 20 years ago, we’d love it if you could share them with us!

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If you are interested receiving updates from the Library and the St George’s Archives project, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from the Archives.

 

 

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1953

LibWeekRGB
Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October 2018. Over the course of the week we’ll be exploring our Archives to look at how the library has – and hasn’t! – changed over time.


The Library gets a very short mention in the 1953 St George’s Hospital Medical School prospectus:

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The Library, which is under the supervision of an Honorary Librarian, contains current textbooks and standards works of reference in Medicine, Surgery and allied subjects. It is open daily from 9.30 am to 8 pm, except on Saturdays, when it is closed at 12.30 pm. A book is kept by the Librarian for students to enter the title of any publication they may wish to be added to the Library.

These days, we’re a little less shy about promoting the variety of services and resources that are on offer to all our users, from traditional books and journals to databases, apps, point-of-care tools and visual e-resources. We’ve developed a series of LibGuides to introduce you to topics such as literature searching and reference management and well as subject guides that will help you find, manage and evaluate the information you need for your course.

We also offer embedded and bookable training sessions and drop-in services, run a literature searching service for NHS/SGUL staff and support researchers through the research life cycle, including Research Data Management and Open Access publishing. We still welcome resource suggestions from users, although through much more convenient web forms.

In short, we run a very busy service! We certainly need more hands on deck than our 1950s counterparts and the rapid technological advances of the late 20th century have helped to both alleviate traditional library duties and create new ones. We certainly wouldn’t be able to run any of the above services without the support of our wonderful helpdesk staff, who are on hand between 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday. While these are not dissimilar staffing hours to the library of the 1950s, the study space and computer rooms are now open 24/7 during term times. We wonder what the Librarian (and Honorary Librarian) would have thought of that.

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If you are interested receiving updates from the Library and the St George’s Archives project, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from the Archives.

 

 

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1941

LibWeekRGB
Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October 2018. Over the course of the week we’ll be exploring our Archives to look at how the library has – and hasn’t! – changed over time.


This excerpt from a 1941 edition of St George’s Hospital Gazette tells the tale of a very dedicated librarian who kept the library collection intact during the Blitz.

SGH Gazette 1941

Following bomb-damage to this part of the School in the early months of the year, all books were evacuated to the Small Lecture Theatre. With the books in residence the Theatre could not be used by lecturers; the Large Lecture Theatre, like the Library, was open to the sky and the weather, and also unusable. However, this unfortunate predicament could not be helped, and while the books were there the appalling amount of brick-dust and slime that coated the covers and clogged the pages was removed by the Librarian, Miss Bond. By July 16th, the damage to the building was repaired, and on that date the Library once again resumed its part in Medical School activities.

Many books now bear honourable scars, but very few were lost by enemy action: the Library is incomplete, however, as there are still some volumes at Luddington House.

Members of the Medical School are indebted to Miss Bond who, almost unaided, rendered fit for use, replace and re-catalogued all the books now on their accustomed shelves.

The conservation and repair of our print books is still very much part and parcel of library life and mostly takes place behind the scenes. While ‘brick-dust and slime’ aren’t high on our list of worries in 2018, spillages are usually the cause of irreparable damage – leaky bottles in backpacks being a particular culprit.

On average, our collection teams repair around 8 – 10 books per week; using specialist glues and tapes to restore pages and damaged spines. Our popular Oxford Handbooks are regular candidates for repair – their signature plastic covers are resistant to glue and have a tendency to break away from the spines with regular use.

One of our Information Assistants, Georgina Coles, takes us through a simple book repair in the images below:

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Cataloguing and processing books so that they are ready for the shelves is another important part of managing our collection. While we thankfully haven’t had to re-catalogue any bomb-damaged books, our Collections Team have been kept very busy this summer accommodating the large volume of radiography resources being transferred from Kingston University Library. This has involved a large-scale weeding project to remove old and rarely used items from the shelves, before reclassifying the radiography books under our classification scheme. The team have so far processed over 670 books and there are more to follow!

We think it’s lovely that Miss Bond’s efforts were recorded in this way – managing the library in some extraordinarily difficult circumstances is no mean feat. We’re left wondering if there are any other mentions of her or other dedicated librarians in the Archives…

 


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If you are interested receiving updates from the Library and the St George’s Archives project, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from the Archives.

 

 

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1894

LibWeekRGB
Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October 2018. Over the course of the week we’ll be exploring our Archives to look at how the library has – and hasn’t! – changed over time.


This rather damning excerpt from an 1894 edition St George’s Hospital Gazette highlights a perennial problem for libraries: managing noise.

SGH Gazette 1894

“If we were asked by a reading student to choose some familiar quotation for each room in the School, that to our mind most suited to the Library would be, “All hope abandon, ye who enter here.” For reading in the Library, becomes, at certain seasons of the day, a matter of impossibility. We cannot even hope that our present admonition will result in improvement. Swing doors will slam, loquacious students will converse in stage whispers, pellets will fall from choreic hands, even though an Embryo dwells in our midst. Yet there is room for great improvement without attaining complete perfection.”

We’re not short of ‘loquacious’ students these days either, but in the intervening 124 years methods of teaching and learning have changed which libraries have evolved to support. One of our ‘great improvements’ to the library has been zoning the space to cater for a variety of study preferences: from quiet, independent reading to collaborative group work.

Arguably, we’ve not attained ‘complete perfection’ either. While you won’t find us ‘sssshh-ing’ users these days (a stereotype library workers aren’t always fond of), we are still on hand to politely remind users to keep the noise to an acceptable level.

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If you are interested receiving updates from the Library and the St George’s Archives project, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from the Archives.