Celebrating Libraries Week: 7th-12th October 2019

If you didn’t already know, next week is Libraries Week! This year’s campaign is focused on celebrating the role of libraries in the digital world. Whether they are helping individuals, local businesses or community groups, libraries are at the forefront of developing information skills, encouraging digital inclusion and supporting health, wellbeing and education.

Between the 7th-12th October, Libraries across the country will be showcasing the ways in which they support people of all ages to get connected, get creative and learn new skills. But why are digital literacy skills so important?

Public Libraries help to reduce inequality by providing safe, civic spaces open to all: part of this offer is access to computers and the internet. Communities that have access to timely and relevant information and to the internet are better positioned to eradicate poverty and inequality and support people’s health, culture, research, and innovation.

The critical importance of libraries in supporting digital inclusion and skills development continues to grow, with nearly half of public libraries reporting an increasing number of customers request this kind of help. 

St George’s Library is no different – we play a vital role in identifying and supporting the information needs of our complex and diverse user base. From students to academics and researchers to NHS professionals we offer a variety of training, support and resources centred around digital inclusion and information skills.

So, to celebrate Libraries Week and mark our contribution to our community, over the course of the week we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts featuring different teams across the Library and Archives services.

Each post will introduce a different team and explore what they do to support our users and how they use technology to do so.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes, or see how we support the University and Trust beyond the Library Helpdesk, our featured posts this week will give you a closer look at what Library staff do.

You should also join us over on Twitter next week, where we’ll be sharing local Libraries Week events and our favourite celebrations from Libraries across the UK. Follow us @sgullibrary or keep up with the conversation here: #LibrariesWeek

As October is also Black History Month, we’ll also be sharing our favourite reads from our BHM Book Collection over on Instagram: follow us @sgullibrary for great book recommendations.


Inspired to explore other libraries? If you live in London, you’re spoilt for choice!

A top-tip for medical and healthcare students is to check out the Medical Museums website as several member museums have library and archive collections that are accessible to the public. Terms of use will vary, so make sure you check with the institution before you visit.

If you are local to Tooting, why not join your local library? See the Wandsworth Libraries website for a list of their locations.

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New Library website launched

St George’s Library website has now been integrated into the new University website, launched on 30th September. The site guides key audiences, including current students, teaching staff, researchers and our NHS partners to the information they need about library services.

There’s no need to immediately update your bookmarks, as our old address http://library.sgul.ac.uk should automatically redirect to our new address:

https://www.sgul.ac.uk/about/our-professional-services/information-services/library

To navigate to the library from the SGUL website homepage, just move to the footer at the bottom and click on ‘Library’. Familiar links to key resources such as Hunter, Databases and LibGuides remain on our landing page.

We hope you find our new website useful. If you have any comments about the new website or suggestions for ways we can improve it, please email the project team.

Study Break Pass Scheme launches today

Having listened to your feedback, we announced last month that we would be launching a new scheme to both encourage health study practice and to combat the issue of desk-hogging in the Library.

Today, our new Study Break Passes come into effect: if you are planning on leaving your belongings unattended you will need to make sure you’ve displayed one of our passes on the desk where you are working. This will enable you to leave your things for up to 30 minutes in the knowledge that they won’t be moved.

However, if you don’t display a pass with your belongings, or more than 30 minutes has elapsed since the time on your card, other users are free to move your items aside so that they can use the space for themselves.

Details of the scheme can be found on the Study Break tab within our Library Essentials LibGuide, and we’ve anticipated some of your questions below. If we haven’t answered your question please email us on library@sgul.ac.uk

Why are you introducing this scheme?

We know that all of our users have different study preferences and meeting these needs can be a real challenge for Library staff. This issue is often made more difficult when other library users have left their belongings unattended to ‘reserve’ a desk. We hope that the cards will indicate which study spaces are actively being used and empower users to move belongings that are unattended. In essence, we want the scheme to encourage and maintain fair use of our study spaces.

We’re also keen to promote healthy study habits. Many of you are spending longer hours in the Library and will need to take a break from time to time. We hope that these cards will encourage you to “study healthy” and take regular breaks, without worrying your belongings might be moved.

Where can I find the study break passes?

When you need a break, you can collect one of the passes from the Library Helpdesk or the RED. Just write down the time you left your desk on the card and make sure it’s visible to anyone passing by.

The passes have been designed for multiple uses, so once you are finished with one, please return it to a member of staff.

What spaces are covered by the study break passes?

At the moment, the scheme will apply in the main Library study spaces and not the computer rooms. This also includes the seating in the Library foyer by the Helpdesk. The scheme will run all year round – it won’t be restricted to busy periods.

What if I forget to leave a pass on my desk?

This is a new initiative in the Library, so you may well forget from time to time. However, if belongings are left without a study pass, fellow Library users, staff and security will have no way of knowing how long they have been left there. Therefore it’s possible that they may be moved (or removed) before the 30 minute time limit.

If the time indicated on the pass has been exceeded by a reasonable time, or there is a lack of study space available, then belongings may be removed and placed behind the Helpdesk.

What if I don’t feel comfortable moving someone else’s belongings?

That’s understandable. If you don’t feel comfortable moving someone else’s belongings, you can ask a member of Security or Helpdesk staff for assistance.

It has always been they case that any belongings left in the Library are done so at the user’s own risk – the Library does not take responsibility for any items that are unattended.

You should always take valuable belongings with you when you leave the Library (e.g. purses, phones, devices, laptops etc.)

What if I just need a 5 minute toilet break?

It’s worth your while noting a time on a study pass anyway, even if you only plan to be away for a few minutes. While it’s unlikely your belongings will be moved, as we mention above, other users or staff will have no way of knowing how long you plan to be. Besides, we know all too well how easy it is to bump into a friend en route, or add a coffee stop on to your journey . This way, you’ll be covered if other events get in the way!

Can I report belongings that have been left been left unattended?

Yes you can. Our daytime security staff are back and will be patrolling the spaces during the day, so please feel free to let them know. You can also let a member of Library staff know at either the main Helpdesk or the RED during staffed hours.


The information featured here can also be found on our Library Esssentials LibGuide, under Study Breaks. If you have any questions about the scheme, please email us on library@sgul.ac.uk

Welcome to St George’s Library!

Welcome to St George’s to all our new undergraduates and postgraduates and a warm welcome back to all of our returning students. After your summer adventures, we hope you have a great start to the new academic year! This time of year can feel quite hectic and there is a lot of information for you to absorb, so here are some things to keep in mind while you settle in to University life.

Your Library Induction

The Library now has a home on Canvas, St George’s Virtual Learning Environment. All new students will have been given access to the Library module, but if it’s missing from your Dashboard our previous blog post will show you how to self-enrol.

You can find the Library module here. There are separate resources, created by your specialist Liaison Librarians, for St George’s students (IMBE) and St George’s/Kingston students (FHSCE). When you click on the appropriate banner you will find an “induction” section, which pulls together all the important information you need as a new student and takes you to your induction quiz.

The quiz is a playful and interactive way of engaging with the Library and getting to know the resources and services we have. It has been put together to show you, as new healthcare students, how important it is to access and use up-to-date information as you are on your way to becoming qualified professionals. It only takes about 15 minutes and you need to complete it before Monday 14th October, after which you’ll be automatically entered into our prize draw! This year we have got great prizes from businesses in Tooting and beyond…

Library Tours

If you attended your induction week welcome lecture, you’ll have had a virtual tour of the Library via our new welcome video. We had a great time creating this video for you over the summer, shot in the library with REAL Librarians.

If you’d like to meet us face-to-face for a brief overview of the services we offer, we’ve also organised a series of short Library tours.

The next set of tours will be running on:

  • 30th September 12 pm and 1 pm
  • 1st October 12 pm and 1 pm
  • 2nd October 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm
  • 3rd October 12 pm, 1 pm
  • 4th October 12 pm, 1 pm

Ask at the help desk for more information! The Library tours are a great chance for you to become familiar with the space, get more information on using the Library and ask any questions you might have.

What you can expect from us

The Library supports you throughout your studies, both in person and online. The Library and computer rooms are open 24/7, all you need is your student ID.

The help desk is staffed every weekday 8 am to 6 pm and this is where you can get help with passwords, your Library account, finding books on shelves and pick up your reserved books. The Research Enquiries Desk (RED) is staffed Monday to Friday from 11 am to 2 pm with Librarians who offer support if you have research questions, need help searching databases or with referencing.

Your Liaison Librarians also offer tailored, embedded teaching and training sessions throughout your degree, and run a programme of bookable Information Skills sessions throughout the year. If you’ve got a question for your Librarian, or would like to book an appointment, you can contact them by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk.

We know you can’t always be in the Library, so if you need support while you’re away from St George’s, check out our series of LibGuides. Here you’ll find subject-specific guides for your course (e.g. Medicine, Midwifery, Biomedical Science, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy). These all follow a similar format and give you an overview of which textbooks, journals and databases are most relevant to your course. They also guide you through evaluating information and referencing correctly.

As well as these subject guides, the Liaison team have also developed support for specific resources (e.g. RefWorks) and for using the Library. Library Essentials will be especially useful for getting to grips with our services and Library StART can help you with finding appropriate resources for your academic writing.

Throughout your studies, you also have access to the complete Microsoft Office Package and to tailored training on Office 365 (email ITTraining@sgul.ac.uk for more information). Additionally, the Library functions as a base for the Academic Success Centre, where you can get help with academic writing, effective revision and note taking. They offer 1-to-1 support and lots of online resources, available via the Study+ module on Canvas. The Careers service is also based in the Library, have a look at their online resources and to book an appointment with them.

What we expect from you

To keep the Library as pleasant a space as possible, for all users, we expect you to follow the Library’s rules and regulations. Full details of our expectations can be found on Library Essentials, but key points to remember include:

  • Always having your student ID card on you
  • Not eating in the Library
  • Taking phone calls outside the Library entrance
  • Respecting the function of the different study spaces, such as the silent study area.

We’re also trying to improve the availability of study spaces and discourage users from “desk-hogging”. A new Study Break Pass scheme launches on the 1st October: find out more information about it here.

As you can see, we have got lots on offer for you and we are here to help should you have any questions or need extra support. Have a fantastic year at St George’s!


Remember the complete your induction by doing the online quiz and with a bit of luck, you will win one of our amazing prizes! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, for a bonus entry into the prize draw and for regular updates!

Coming soon: Study Break Passes

We know that all of our users have different study preferences: you might need space to spread out your books, prefer to work in silence, or need access to a power socket. Meeting these preferences can be a challenge for Library staff and we’re aware that finding the right study space can be difficult when other library users have left their belongings unattended.

So, to help address this (and encourage you to take regular breaks from studying!) from the 1st October 2019 we’ll be introducing our new Study Break Pass scheme. If you are going to take a break and leave your belongings, you will need to collect a pass from our helpdesks to indicate to other users that they’ll be unattended for up to 30 minutes.

Other Library users will then be able to move aside belongings that have exceed this 30-minute limit, which we hope will dissuade people from ‘desk-hogging’ and encourage a fairer use of our study spaces for all.

You can find out how the scheme will work on the Study Break tab in Library Essentials. We’ll also be spreading the news about the scheme nearer to the launch date, so expect more detailed blog posts, social media content and announcements later in the term.

If you have any questions, feedback or comments, please email us on library@sgul.ac.uk

Self-enrol on the St George’s Library module in Canvas

In case you didn’t already know, the Library now has a home in Canvas – St George’s virtual learning environment (VLE). You should expect to see content and resources develop in the SGUL Library module over the coming academic year, but for now the module has a key role in hosting this year’s Online Library Inductions – see here for more information.

If you don’t see the SGUL Library module on your Canvas dashboard, it’s really easy to enrol yourself:

  1. Click the support icon in the global navigation
  2. Click the link to Extra Curricular / Learning Resources
  3. Select the Library icon
  4. Click ‘Join this module’ on the right-hand side of the page

Alternatively, this very short video will guide you through the process.

If you have any questions about the Library module in Canvas, Library inductions etc. please email us on liaison@sgul.ac.uk

New edition of Cite Them Right now available

Cite Them Right is the book and website used by St George’s to guide you in how to reference correctly. The 11th edition of Cite them Right (2019) has now been published and will be used by St George’s from September 2019.

The great news is that there are no major changes, so if you currently have the 10th edition (2016) out on loan you can keep using it until you get the chance to return it. 

The new edition includes more examples for you to use, including examples of how to reference a NICE Guideline or a Cochrane Systematic Review. The website, www.citethemrightonline.com, has been updated to reflect these changes and we’ve updated our referencing helpsheets with these new examples too.

From September onwards you should use the 11th edition if you need guidance on how to reference.  Copies are now available on the Library shelves and you can search for the new edition in Hunter. Copies of the previous 10th edition will be removed from circulation as and when they are returned.

The full reference for the new edition is as follows:

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 11th edn. London: Red Globe Press

As ever, if you have any questions about referencing, you can email the Liaison Team for support on liaison@sgul.ac.uk or drop by the Research Enquiries Desk between 11am and 2pm Monday to Friday to speak to a member of staff in person.