Easter Holiday Library Update

The Easter holidays are just around the corner, but whether you’re planning to spend the next few weeks close to St George’s or a little further afield, we hope that our online services and support will make you feel that help with your studies is never too far away. Below we’ve put together some quick reminders of just some of the help and resources you can access no matter where you are.

Online books and articles

Our search tool, Hunter, is the best starting point for discovering e-books and journal articles that you can access from anywhere using your St George’s login and password.

  • to find articles, select Articles and more from the dropdown menu
  • to find e-books, select Books and more from the dropdown menu. Then use the filter options to limit your results to Online Resources.

E-learning tools

Your St George’s login also gives you access to our collection of online learning tools, many of them using video, quizzes and other interactive features to help you master topics. Try out some of our new and popular resources from the links below, or view a full list here.

  • *New* Complete Anatomy – a powerful 3D anatomy platform that also features lectures, quizzes and more. Install the app from the app store on your device, then use our activation code to set up your free account.
  • LWW Health Library – a large, searchable collection of key texts, videos, cases and self-assessment questions. We have access to all content in the Medical Education and Occupational Therapy collections.
  • BMJ Learning – hundreds of accredited and peer-reviewed learning modules.
  • JoVE Science Education – video tutorials in biology, chemistry and clinical skills.
Complete Anatomy is our newest online learning tool. Find instructions to install it on your device here.

Having trouble logging in to view an e-book, article or online resource? Our PDF guide or short video on offsite access may be able to help. Otherwise, email us at journals@sgul.ac.uk and we’ll try to resolve the issue.

Help with writing assignments and referencing

We have a large collection of books that can help with planning and writing assignments, both on the shelves and as e-books – this search in Hunter brings together lots of these titles. (Use the Online Resources filter on the left to show just e-books that you can access straight away). Our Writing for Assessment collection brings together resources on academic writing, study skills and dissertations and much more.

For a refresher on referencing, have a look at the Referencing Essentials unit in the Library Module on Canvas (login required). This includes a helpful guide to using Cite Them Right, the book and website that show you how to reference in the style used at St George’s. You can access the online version of Cite Them Right here.

If you’re working on a longer project or dissertation, you might be thinking about using a reference management tool to help organise your sources. St George’s supports RefWorks, and you can learn more about this web-based software and how use it in our blog post, RefWorks LibGuide or series of RefWorks videos.

Don’t forget your Liaison Librarians can answer any research or referencing enquiries you might have. Get in touch by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk or coming to one of our daily online drop-ins.

Easter weekend opening hours


Over the long Easter weekend from 2nd April to 5th April, the library and computer rooms will be open 9am to 9pm. There will be self-service only with security staff on hand. The helpdesk will not be staffed during this time. We will reopen on 6th April at 8 am.
After Easter, we resume normal opening hours, 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm Saturday and Sunday. The helpdesk will be staffed 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Should you have any questions about opening hours or our service, please email library@sgul.ac.uk. Don’t forget to check our website about our current capacity on our Covid-19 response page.

Summer Holiday Library Update

While this summer is certainly different from any we have experienced before, we still hope you are making the most of the nice weather and enjoying a well-deserved break. For those of you who are continuing with university work, catching up on last year’s content or preparing for what’s to come, we have put together a short blog post around how to make the most of the Library resources. Our online services mean you can get the information and help you need, no matter where you currently find yourself.

1. Discover e-books in Hunter

We’ve added a large number of titles to our e-book collection in the last few months, so it’s now more likely than ever that you’ll find a range of online books to help with your topic.

You can find all our e-books in Hunter. Search under Books and more, then select Online Resources in the menu on the left. To access a book, use the SGUL users log in here link and enter your SGUL username and password.

See our short video on finding and accessing e-books in Hunter.

The Oxford Medical Handbooks have been some of our most popular e-books. You can find them by searching in Hunter, or view the full collection at Oxford Medicine Online – along with over 1000 other Oxford Medicine books available in full text and searchable by specialty and series.

Oxford Medical Handbooks

Please note we’ll be transferring part of our e-book collection to a new platform in the coming months due to the closure of DawsonERA. We hope disruption will be minimal, but if you’re unable to view an e-book you previously used, email us at library@sgul.ac.uk and we’ll try to restore access.

2. Explore online learning resources

As well as e-books and e-journals, your SGUL login gives you access to online teaching and learning resources, many featuring multimedia and quiz elements to help keep your study interactive. We’ve highlighted two popular resources below, but you can browse a full list here.

BMJ Learning offers hundreds of text and multimedia learning modules across 70+ medical specialties.

Access BMJ Learning here. On your first visit you’ll need to sign in with Shibboleth (use your SGUL login), then create a BMJ personal account with a unique password. On your next visit, just sign in with Shibboleth; your BMJ Learning homepage will now be personalised to your interests and previous learning

Sign in to BMJ Learning with Shibboleth then create your personal account. After this, just sign in with Shibboleth each time.

JoVE (Journal of Visualised Experiment) is an extensive collection of videos illustrating scientific concepts and laboratory techniques. SGUL students can view all content in the Biology, Immunology and Infection, Medicine and Neuroscience sections. Click here to sign in to JoVE.

Until 30th Sept 2020 we also have access to key sections in JoVE Science Education – so you have time to review topics in Basic and Advanced Biology, Clinical Skills and other areas over the summer. Click here for more information.

3. Contact the Library for help

The Library team remain available throughout summer to answer any questions you might have. For general enquiries, for example about loans and opening hours, please email library@sgul.ac.uk.

Your Liaison team is busy this summer preparing for next academic year as we transition all of our teaching and 1-2-1 support online. We have already delivered some online training sessions which went well. Additionally, we are working on some Canvas tutorials and are expanding our video collection. We remain available for help via email (liaison@sgul.ac.uk) and can set up an appointment with you if you need help with your research or referencing.

Holiday Library Update

In less unusual times, we know that many of our students would be heading away from SGUL right now to enjoy a few weeks’ holiday; and while it’s easy lately for the days and weeks to blend into one, we hope that everyone does get a chance to take some time off over the coming weeks (even if our entertainment options these days are a little different than in the past).

That said, we know that many of you will also be working to stay on top of your studies. With that in mind, here are three quick reminders of some of the ways your library can help.

1. Access online resources with your SGUL password

Hunter allows you to search a huge collection of online journal articles that you can access with your SGUL login. For tips on finding articles in Hunter, check the Hunter FAQs.

Or browse a list of learning resources – including HSTalks for lecture videos, Cite them Right for referencing help, our most popular online resource BMJ Best Practice, and many more – that can also be accessed with your SGUL login.

Help with offsite access

Our quick video shows you the easiest way to log in to journals and other online resources when you’re offsite. There’s also a PDF helpsheet to guide you through the process.

If you’re having problems logging in to any of our journals or online resources, let us know at journals@sgul.ac.uk. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Resetting your SGUL password

You can reset your SGUL password here, as long as you’ve registered an alternate email address; if you haven’t done this yet, contact the Student Life Centre to set one up.

If you have problems resetting you password, email ITAV@sgul.ac.uk.

2. Explore e-books

There are now over 3000 e-books available in Hunter – so whatever your topic, it’s quite likely there’s an e-book that can help. To find out, search in Hunter for Books and more; then select Online Resources in the filter at the left to see which titles you can access straight away using your SGUL login.

See our short video on finding and accessing e-books in Hunter.

Use the Online Resources filter to see e-books only

Temporary access to extra e-books

A number of publishers are making their e-book collections freely available during the Covid-19 health crisis – so you may be able to view e-books now that you wouldn’t usually be able to access.

From Monday 13th April you’ll be able to access all of these through Hunter while free access lasts. For now, you can log in to publishers’ websites to see what’s available and start reading. Try:

For a full list of these offers – as well as a growing collection of free resources on Covid-19 – check the new list in our Databases A-Z. We’re updating this list as new resources become available.

Borrowed books?

We’ve suspended holds for now, so you won’t be asked to return any books you’ve borrowed until further notice. Books will continue to renew automatically.

3. Get 1-2-1 help from a librarian

Working from home set up, lapatop and flowers on kitchen table.
Working from home

The library team may now be working from kitchens, bedrooms, sitting-rooms and a few other places besides – but we’re as committed as always to getting you the information, research and referencing help you need.

We continue to provide 1:1 support for everyone at St George’s. To make an appointment, please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk. In these unusual circumstances, we use Microsoft Teams to guide you through the databases and answer any questions you might have.

We are focusing our efforts on developing online material on Canvas and helping you make the most of our e-resources. For any queries or help needed email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk. We are happy to help!

Holiday Checklist

Wherever you plan to be over the holidays, your SGUL library membership can help you keep studying. Check our three quick tips below to help you make the most of our resources no matter where you are.

holidaychecklist2019

1. Reset your SGUL password

Your SGUL login and password give you access to a huge range of online resources – including e-journals and e-books and tools such as Acland’s Anatomy, BMJ Best Practice and Cite Them Right – from anywhere with an internet connection. So you probably don’t want to find your password has expired when you’re 200 (or 2000) miles from campus.

To avoid this, we recommend resetting your password before you leave SGUL to ensure it won’t expire for another three months. Use the password change link, or drop in and see us at the Library Helpdesk between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

Forgotten/expired password?

If your password does expire while you’re away – or you’ve forgotten it – you may be able to reset it using this link. For this to work, you must have previously registered a personal email address, and you can do that here (current login required).

2. If you’ve borrowed books, keep an eye on renewals

Any books that you’ve borrowed will renew automatically as long as no-one else requests them. So in most cases, the only reminder you’ll receive is an email telling you that your items have successfully renewed.

But if one of your books is requested by another user, you’ll receive an email and will need to try and return it by the due date if possible.

books narrow

Due dates – good news!

All books that renew on or after 17th December will have an earliest due date of 2nd January. Three-week loan books are already renewing until January.

If you’re unable to return a recalled book by the due date…

…we recommend signing in to your account in Hunter where you can attempt to renew it manually. If another copy of the book has been returned, your renewal will succeed – so try this over several days to increase your chances.

Find more detailed guidance in our blog post here.

 

3. Register to study in a library near you

SCONULlibraries

SGUL Library is a member of the SCONUL access scheme, allowing our users reference access to over 170 other university libraries across the UK and Ireland. (Postgraduates may also get limited borrowing rights in some cases.)

To start using the scheme, follow the steps on the SCONUL Access page. Within a few days*, and provided there are no fines on your Library account, you’ll receive an email from us which you can take to your chosen library along with your SGUL ID for access.

Free WiFi with Eduroam

Like SGUL, many universities in the UK and worldwide use Eduroam for WiFi. If you’re visiting another university – or just passing nearby – you’ll often pick up the network on a WiFi-enabled phone or laptop and will be able to connect using your SGUL username (remember to include @sgul.ac.uk) and password.

*We’ll be unable to reply to SCONUL requests from 21st December to 1st January inclusive. If you plan to visit another library during this period, we also recommend checking opening dates on their website.

sconul-banner

 

Libraries Week 2019: Celebrating our Content and Digital Infrastructure team

Libraries Week takes place between 7th – 12th October 2019. This year’s campaign is focused on celebrating the role of libraries in the digital world. Over the course of the week we’ll be introducing you to different teams within the Library and explore how they use technology to support our community.


Today’s post features a contribution from our Content and Digital Infrastructure Team and will be highlighting what goes on behind the scenes to facilitate user access to our physical and digital resources.

In terms of connecting our library users to content, digital has transformed the parameters of our service and brought many benefits to our users, but with it has also come additional complexities and challenges. The Content and Digital Infrastructure team work together closely to meet these challenges and facilitate the opportunities offered by digital innovations to better meet the information needs of our users.

Meet the team

Lawrence Jones, our Content and Digital Infrastructure Manager, oversees the library’s activities in this area and has particular responsibility for systems such as our Library Management System and our library search tool Hunter – these integrated systems enable all the core activities around the library from access to the library space itself through to finding and accessing articles online.

Clementina Sanchez, our Acquisitions Librarian, supported by Georgina Coles, Information Assistant – takes care of the purchase, processing and cataloguing of books and e-books to ensure our book stock is kept current and in good condition – ready for when you need it!

Verity Allison, our Journals and E-resources Librarian, supported by Hilary Garrett, Information Assistant – manages the journals that the library subscribes to along with other specialist e-resources such as healthcare databases like Medline, and audio-visual resources such as Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy.

Interlibrary Loans Team – AKA Jane Appleton and Hilary Garrett, Information Assistants, locate books and articles from outside our collections on those occasions when we just don’t have the item you’re after.

Further information about using our resources can be found on the Using the Library webpages and on our  Help with Library Resources webpages.

How do we use technology to support our users?

Using the benefits of digital to enhance our physical services

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 today. The slideshow below shows before/after images of our silent study section after our last refurbishment:

In addition to this, recent upgrades to our Library Management System, Entry Gates and the installation of RFID self-service machines have made it easier than ever for our library users to self-manage their library accounts and borrowing activities, enabling the library to offer extended 24-hour opening. As long as users have their ID/Library access card with them they can access study spaces in the libraries and computer rooms 24 hours a day, borrow and return books throughout the day or night. Given the 24-hour nature of healthcare this facilitates better access for both our students and NHS trust users, as access to the library and our resources can be accommodated around any shift or study pattern.

To further support continuity of access for our users, our collection development policy supports where possible the purchase of e-book copies in supplement to print copies for reading list materials – so even if a physical copy of the book is not available, or if you are unable to be onsite, the content remains available.

Using the benefits of digital to enhance online access

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. The Journals and e-resources team negotiate the terms and conditions of these licences with our suppliers each year, making these transactions far more complex, but giving us the opportunity to ensure the licence enables us to use the content in ways that meet our needs in the ever changing Digital context. For example, in recent years we have seen improvements in licence terms around the use of content in VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments – such as Canvas, used at St George’s, University of London) to better support teaching and learning, and improvement in terms around data-mining to support research activities.

Supporting access to online subscriptions also requires maintaining a number of key systems, such as our link resolver, in addition to the more conventional library catalogue – which is also completely digital these days. The upgrades to our Library Management System and Library Search Tool – Hunter, implemented over the last two years have now integrated the functionality of the library catalogue and link resolver in to a single search tool, Hunter, enabling users to search in one place for books, journals, articles and more with live holdings information for all books and links through to the full text of articles that we have access to. These full text links are also integrated in to our other healthcare databases, and popular free tools such as Google Scholar (some set-up steps required, see below) and PubMed – look for the ‘Find it @ SGUL’ links to check for availability via St George’s Library.

Get connected, get creative and learn new skills

Use our library search tool Hunter– it is designed to search on material that St George’s University of London owns/subscribes to, focusing your search on the high-quality information resources selected by St George’s academics, researchers and librarians that you will be able to access with your university login.

Set up ‘Find it @ SGUL’ links in Google Scholar – for easier access to the full text of your search results where available via St George’s Library:

  1. Click on the menu at the top left of the Google Scholar home page
  2. Select ‘Settings’
  3. Select ‘Library links’
  4. Search for ‘st george’
  5. Select ‘St George’s University of London’
  6. Click Save

Bookmark the Library’s PubMed link: this link is customised to our holdings so that you will see ‘Find it @ SGUL’ links in for your PubMed search results, giving you easier access to the full text where available via St George’s Library.

Check for access via your local library:

At St George’s Library we manage a highly specialist collection – occasionally we get requests for resources which are just too general for our service but these can often be accessed for free via your local library. Wandsworth Libraries provide online access to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Oxford Dictionaries Online, and Press Reader (offers instant access to over 4000 newspapers and magazines) and more…why not register online today?

Need help?

We can provide help and support in person from the Library’s Helpdesk and Research Enquiries Desk, or if you have a query for a specific member of the team contact us on journals@sgul.ac.uk

We look forward to hearing from you.

HSTalks – online lecture resource from St George’s Library

Through the HSTalks Biomedical and Life Sciences collection, St George’s students and staff have access to 2,500 online, multi-media seminar-style talks, covering the latest research and development as well as the fundamentals of the biomedical and life sciences.

Presented by leading experts, the resource can be easily embedded into virtual learning environments, such as Canvas, as recommended components or additional/supplemental lectures. The lectures are suitable for blended and flipped classroom programmes as well self-motivated additional learning.

For password-free, onsite access visit:  https://hstalks.com/biosci/

For off-site access, log in with your SGUL network login.

There are various ways to search for lectures, including by subject categories and therapeutic areas.  Talks have also been organised into series within the subject categories, for example: Cancer Genetics or Stroke Prevention

Contact your Liaison Librarians Anna El-Jouzi (FHSCE) aeljouz@sgul.ac.uk or Zena Ali (IMBE) zali@sgul.ac.uk for further information.

Summer Holiday Checklist

Summer 2019 Checklist 2

Planning to be away from SGUL over the next few months? We’ve put together three quick tips that we hope will help keep your studies going smoothly over the summer.

1. Reset your SGUL password

Resetting your password before you leave campus ensures it won’t expire for the next three months. Use the password change link, or drop in to the Library Helpdesk between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

Forgotten/Expired password?

If your password does expire while you’re away, you may be able to reset it from offsite using this link.

Note: you must have already set up an external email address and if you don’t receive the reset link, check your junk mail folder.

Access e-resources with your SGUL login

Your SGUL login and password give you access to a wide range of online resources – including electronic journals, e-books and tools such as Acland’s Anatomy and BMJ Best Practice – from anywhere with an internet connection.

Check our helpsheet (PDF) for advice about accessing e-resources while you’re away from SGUL.

2. Keep an eye on book renewals

Any books that you’ve borrowed will renew automatically as long as no-one else requests them. So in most cases, the only reminder you’ll receive is an email telling you that your items have successfully renewed.

Books in a circular pattern

But if one of your books is requested by another user, you’ll receive an email asking you to return it by the due date.

If your book is requested while you’re away from SGUL…

…you will still need to return it by the due date if possible. Overdue books are fined at 20p per day and are invoiced after two weeks.

But if you’re unable to return a book by the due date, we recommend signing in to your account in Hunter where you can attempt to renew it manually. If another copy of the book has been returned, your renewal will succeed – so try this over several days to increase your chances.

Find more detailed guidance in our blog post here.

3. Register to study in a library near you

sconul-banner

SGUL Library is a member of the SCONUL access scheme, allowing our users reference access to over 170 other university libraries across the UK and Ireland. (Postgraduates may also get limited borrowing rights in some cases.)

To start using the scheme, follow the steps on the SCONUL Access page. Within a few days, and provided there are no fines on your Library account, you’ll receive an email from us which you can take to your chosen library along with your SGUL ID card to apply for access.

Free WiFi with Eduroam

Eduroam

Like SGUL, many universities in the UK and worldwide use Eduroam for WiFi. If you’re visiting another university – or just passing nearby – you’ll often pick up the network on a WiFi-enabled phone or laptop and will be able to connect using your SGUL username (remember to include @sgul.ac.uk) and password.

Information Skills Training Sessions April – June 2019

Info Skills Sessions Apr - June 2019 -blog banner(1)

Dates for our April – June 2019 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our Information Skills Training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Getting Results: Finding healthcare literature for your learning and research

This session is for SGUL/FHSCE students and staff who are carrying out more in-depth research, such as for a literature review, dissertation, research project etc.

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Tuesday 16th April 10:00 -11:30

Thursday 2nd May 13:00 -14:30

Wednesday 15th May 9:30 -11:00

Wednesday 12th June 14:00 -15:30

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Systematic literature searching for systematic reviews, research projects or service developments.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Introduction to critical appraisal

Introduction to the concepts of critical appraisal and evaluating healthcare literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Citation metrics – an overview

An overview of traditional and alternative metrics, with the opportunity for hands on exploration of a range of metrics.

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Thursday 6th Jun 12:00 – 13:00

Finding the evidence

Introduction to healthcare resources and training in how use them effectively to support evidence-based clinical practice or decision-making.

Recommended for: NHS staff

Friday 19th April 12:00 – 13:30

Tuesday 14th May 11:00 -12:30

Wednesday 26th June 13:00 – 14:30

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 3rd April 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 1st May 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 5th June 10:00 – 11:00

Keeping up-to-date

Introduction to a range of services that will help you keep up to date with current literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book your bespoke session

Getting Started with Twitter

A session for those new to Twitter, offering a hands-on practical workshop exploring this growing social media platform, with particular focus on how Twitter can be used in a professional context.

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

Tuesday 18th June 10:00-11:30

Refworks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students
Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

 

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Information Skills Training Sessions January – March 2019

Info Skills Sessions Jan - Mar 2019 -blog banner

Dates for our January – March 2019 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our Information Skills Training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Getting Results: Finding healthcare literature for your learning and research

This session is for SGUL/FHSCE students and staff who are carrying out more in-depth research, such as for a literature review, dissertation, research project etc.

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Wednesday 6th Feb 11:00 -12:30

Wednesday 20th Feb 10:30 – 12:00

Thursday 7th March 11:00 -12:30

Monday 25th March 14:00 -15:30

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Systematic literature searching for systematic reviews, research projects or service developments.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Wednesday 23rd Jan 13:00-16:00

Wednesday 27th Feb 10:00-13:00

Wednesday 27th Mar 13:00-16:00

Introduction to critical appraisal

Introduction to the concepts of critical appraisal and evaluating healthcare literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Wednesday 30th Jan 15:00-16:30

Wednesday 20th Mar 10:30-12:00

Citation metrics – an overview

An overview of traditional and alternative metrics, with the opportunity for hands on exploration of a range of metrics.

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Monday 21st Jan 12:00 – 13:00

Finding the evidence

Introduction to healthcare resources and training in how use them effectively to support evidence-based clinical practice or decision-making.

Recommended for: NHS staff

Monday 21st Jan 14:00 – 16:00

Wednesday 13th Feb 15:00-17:00

Thursday 21st Mar 14:00 – 16:00

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 2nd Jan 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 6th Feb 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 6th Mar 10:00 – 11:00

Keeping up-to-date

Introduction to a range of services that will help you keep up to date with current literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Friday 22nd March 14:00 – 15:30

Getting Started with Twitter

A session for those new to Twitter, offering a hands-on practical workshop exploring this growing social media platform, with particular focus on how Twitter can be used in a professional context.

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

Tuesday 26th Feb 13:00 -14:30

Thursday 21st Mar 10:00 – 11:30

The following course is available on request, please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk for details

Refworks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

St George’s Library Then & Now: 1998

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 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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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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