Sustainability

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

We are rather proud of our new Sustainability Guide, created in collaboration with one of our quite brilliant SAgE PhD students, Georgios Pexas – actually he did all the hard work by providing all of the content!

This guide looks at Sustainability regarding the key resources available from the Library around the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. We particularly like Georgios’ opening paragraph for our guide explaining what sustainability is and its relation to these three pillars:

“As defined by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987, sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In other words, it describes living within the limits of available natural, physical and social resources and in ways that allow our environment to thrive in perpetuity; a concept that can be summarised as: “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainability approaches the issue of resource depletion holistically, unifying Environmental, Economical and Social concerns.”

The Guide also points to researchers on campus that are focusing on sustainability. It has a useful RSS feed of ‘sustainability’ in the news and invaluable links regarding careers and development in sustainability: professional associations, funding opportunities, where to look for jobs, and some upcoming events.

You will find the Sustainability Guide in the SAgE section of the Subject Guides, as it focuses on natural sciences and engineering side of sustainability, however we would love to have a section on how we as individuals can be more sustainable. We are trying to keep this Guide consice, yet useful, yet we welcome any new ideas for this guide, so please contact lorna.smith@ncl.ac.uk if you think of anything worth adding.

GUEST POST – OFF THE SHELF

Off the Shelf poster

Hi! I’m Caitlin, a final year law student and law library aide – and by now I’m used to the stress of exams and deadlines.

I tried the ‘poetry-pick me up’ after going into the common room for a revision break.

I stumbled across Sue (@kind_curious) in the Law School Student Common Room, where she asked, ‘do you want a poem?’. Not really knowing what to expect, I had to overcome a bit of social awkwardness! I was surprised by Sue’s passion and love of poetry, which was clear in the way she spoke about how she’d used poetry in the NHS before and it was what she enjoyed most.

I was asked questions about my current stress levels and how I was feeling with exams, and how I dealt with stress. I told her that when I get stressed I talk even more than usual, which for anyone who knows me sounds like I’m going at a million miles an hour, and she suggested something that would relax me.

I laughed as I saw no signs of chocolate or Netflix – my usual go to relaxation strategies.

Instead she said I needed something like a lavender bubble bath – again I saw no sign of a bubble bath in the Law School and I’d yet to find one in the Dungeon.

She picked out two poems that would make me feel like the relaxing in lavender: she suggested ‘Sonnet’ by Elizabeth Bishop and Shennagh Pugh’s ‘What if This Road’.

What if this road reminded me of Robert Frost’s ‘A Road Not Taken’, and was great for me as a an indecisive person. It was matched perfectly to the questions that Sue had asked me, as I read it as a  ‘roll with it’ approach to life, which is definitely needed to cope with exams and deadline stress.

The second poem, Bishop’s ‘Sonnet’, had great visualisation techniques, almost like a meditative poem – which was spot on to turn off the stress and slow everything down!

The experience was a great switch off from deadline stress, and a great use of the 10 minutes which I’d usually scroll through twitter or Instagram. It was something different, and really quite unique and relaxing, which I would definitely recommend to help have a break from any exam and deadline stress!

Getting the most out of ebooks

We have over 6 million ebooks advertised on our catalogue, Library Search.

These can be a mixture of free available and subscription ebooks (which we’ve paid for).

They can be purchased as they feature on reading lists, or have been recommended by staff and students or we buy them through large bundle deals with specific publishers so we gain access to lots of research titles all at once.

You’ll find these useful as they are available 24×7, off campus and some come with some snazzy features such as keywords searching, links to other relevant information, reading aloud facilities to name but a few.

Since we get ebooks from different platforms and providers you might see a different layout each time you access one of our titles. But the logic is the same you can navigate using a toolbar, you can normally turn pages using little arrows along the top, you can jump to specific chapters and in some case print or download all or some of the ebook.

We often receive comments from students asking why you can’t download and save offline forever a copy of the book. We have subscriptions or licence access to titles but we don’t own the title. There is something called Digital Rights Management where publishers can control the copying, pasting and downloading of their content. This is linked to issues with privacy and Copyright.

So in a nutshell if you’re on campus and using a PC or your own device, simply navigate to Library Search and enter your keywords to look for a book title as usual.

Then choose an ebook which looks relevant e.g. Essentials of Business Research Methods by Hair which we know is popular book for Business students doing dissertations.

Once the ebook has loaded on the screen, hover over the functionality buttons to see what they do. The search will be useful if you’re looking for specific topics, navigate straight to a chapter you’ve been told to read or change the colour of the background to help with your reading.

Not all titles are available in ebook format as an institutional library but if you’d prefer a title in electronic format we can certainly investigate. Just let us know by using the form on via our Books on Time Scheme.

Thinking about study space

During the exam period library study spaces are at a premium and it is important to think in advance about the kind of study space that you need.

Whether you require a silent, quiet, or collaborative study space, a group study room or booth, or an individual accessible study room, there are a variety of open access and bookable study spaces located across our four library buildings (Philip Robinson, Walton, Law, and Marjorie Robinson).

It is possible to check live study space availability online or by using the university app. This will allow you to head straight for the nearest available study space and therefore avoid wasting valuable time searching for a desk.

You can also book a group study room or booth online for a maximum of 120 minutes per day. This will allow you to get together with fellow students to plan and allocate some guaranteed study time prior to your next exam.

Study Well@NCL, which runs throughout the exam period, advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces. Remember, it is key to choose the right environment that meets your study needs, to stay hydrated, and to respect the students and study space around you.

Thinking about study space in advance can help to remove a lot of unwanted stress and thus free up valuable energy that will aid both your revision focus and exam preparation.

Exams: we are here to help

Woman throwing books up in the air

Exams are a tricky time. Often you will be juggling different exams themselves, on top of other deadlines. However, we want you to know that you aren’t alone at this crazy time of year. We are here to help you through.

But how exactly can we help? Sadly, we can’t take go into the exam with you, or magically freeze time to give you more hours in the day, but do make the most of the following:

  1. Library Help – the place to go when have a question via chat, email, text, twitter, Facebook. Or alternatively search our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) database.
  2. Librarians – yes you heard right. Book a one-to-one appointment to get the best out of the University Library resources. Also remember our staff in every library are friendly and approachable. There is no such thing as a silly question, so ask away!
  3. Study Space – The University Library has a range of different study rooms and spaces to suit your needs.
  4. 24/7 – The Philip Robinson Library is open 24/7 during the exam period. We want you to sleep and get enough rest, but if you do need to study through the night, we are here.
  5. Subject guides – we have a range of subject guides put together by expert librarians which draw together all the main resources for your studies.
  6. Be well@NCL collection – we don’t just have books for study. This new collection includes tried and tested books that support your wellbeing.
  7. Additional support – don’t suffer and please don’t be shy. You can seek additional support from your NUSU, Student Wellbeing Service, Nightline and the University chaplaincy.

So remember……pace yourself, access the help you need and believe that you can do this!

Study Well @ NCL – What’s going on in the Walton Library

Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

Returning to University in January means one thing: it’s time to start revising for your exams. Study Well @ NCL is a campaign run by the Library, NUSU (Newcastle University Students Union) and NUIT (Newcastle University IT Service) advocating a responsible approach to studying and encouraging positive behaviours in study spaces. We all know it can be stressful at this time of the year – but we’re here to make things easier. So, what exactly are we doing?

Extended Opening Hours

Here in the Walton Library from 6th – 24th January, 2020 we’ll be extending our opening hours opening from 8:30 until midnight, Monday to Friday and 10AM until midnight on weekends. You can check our extended opening times here on the Library website.

Noise Alert Service

We’ll be monitoring our Noise Alert phone very closely during this time. Wherever you are in the Walton, you can text us at 07891 484764 and we’ll investigate the source of the noise issue as soon as possible. You can also contact us on Library Help to report a noise complaint.

Housekeeping

During busy periods staff will be checking to see:

  • where seats are available (and clearing unattended desks after 30 minutes of inactivity).
  • that bins are emptied.
  • that bathrooms are clean.
  • that walkways are kept clear.

How you can help

Choose a study space suited to your preferred choice of study. There are silent, quiet and collaborative study spaces to choose from. Please be considerate of fellow Library users.

Do be mindful of the food and drink policy within your chosen study area. Remember, you can only eat hot and strong smelling food in the café area.

Let staff know if there’s something that’s been missed. It’s not always possible for us to know if there’s a shortage of towels in the bathroom or if a waste bin needs emptying. Please contact us if you notice something and we’ll do our best to fix it straightaway.

Looking after yourself

We encourage all Library users to take regular study breaks. Taking the time to get a drink of water or some fresh air can make all the difference to your study session. Why not stop by our display table (located near the main entrance) and pick up a Sudoku puzzle or desk yoga instructions? However, to be fair to all Library users, we’re asking that breaks away from your study space are no more than 30 minutes.

Colour your Campus

On lighter note, we’ll be providing pens, pencils and colouring sheets for you to relax and unwind with. Hand your completed sheet in to a member of Library staff with your name or Twitter handle on the back and we’ll display it in the Library and enter your masterpiece into a draw to win some fabulous Library prizes.

Off The Shelf

Sue Spencer returns to the Walton Library on Thursday 16th January (3-5PM) to dispense personalised poetry pick-me-up’s designed to soothe and inspire. Take a study break, chat with Sue and receive your own poetry prescription. You can find out more about Off The Shelf here.

We hope that Study Well @ NCL provides you with a peaceful and productive study environment and allows you to achieve maximum studying satisfaction. We welcome feedback on how we can change or improve Study Well @ NCL. You can ‘Tell Us What You Think’ online or get a form in the Walton Library.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please contact the University Student Wellbeing Team or NUSU Student Welfare. They’re there to help.

We wish you every success with your exams – study well!

Be Well@ncl and Medicine in Literature collections

Do you need help to understand your mental health and wellbeing?

Are looking to understand your subject from a different point of view?

Then take a look at the collections below. These will get you reading around and outside of your subject and could benefit your health and wellbeing. Both collections can be found in the Quiet Study area of the Walton Library.

Be Well@NCL

Be well@NCL is a collection of books designed to help manage and understand common mental health conditions and wellbeing. Reading a book by someone who understands what you are facing can help you start to feel better. The books within the collection are recommended by professionals and are available to borrow. The Philip Robinson and Walton libraries have the same collection of books.

Content of the collection

The collection offers books that can help with a wide range of issues and concerns. The collection includes titles that offer more healthy ways of thinking, such as practicing mindfulness and challenging unhelpful thought patterns. There are also books about common feelings, experiences, and issues, such as:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety – including health anxiety and social anxiety
  • Bereavement, loss and grief
  • Body image issues and Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Caring for someone with a mental health issue
  • Depression – including postnatal depression
  • Eating disorders and eating distress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mood swings
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Phobias and panic
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress

If you find the book you are reading is not helping, please contact your GP or health professional. If you are a student you can also contact the University’s counselling team.

If the book you want is out on loan then please make a Reservation. If there is high demand for a book this alerts library staff to potentially order more.

Pick up a Be well@NCL postcard from the Walton Library desk or find out more here.

Medicine in Literature (MIL)

The Medicine in Literature collection captures the complexities of what it means to be human through a wide range of literary genres. Representations of illness, dis-ease, healing and health are interwoven themes that give voice to a diversity of perspectives and experiences. If you are interested in exploring your subject from a different viewpoint or simply want to broaden your reading, dive right in! The collection includes books and DVDs.

Topics covered include:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Brain Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukaemia
  • Locked-In Syndrome
  • Mental Illness 
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Parkinson’s
  • Polio
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stroke

Go and have a look at both of these collections in the Quiet Study area of the Walton Library.

2020 Reading Challenge

Not one for New Year’s Resolutions? Well, how about a challenge?

Why not try a 20-minute-a-day-reading-for-pleasure challenge?

Pick something from the Law in Literature and Medicine in Literature collections, something from the Philip Robinson Library, or your own book shelves, and start today!

We all know that reading for pleasure is a good thing – pleasure is good! But it’s good for de-stressing, positive wellbeing, conversation, imagination, empathy, a break, engagement… READaxation! Don’t just take my word for it, click HERE for research by The Reading Agency.

Of course, if you read more than 20 minutes then… YES!

Share what you’re reading with your friends and family, colleagues and fellow students, comment on here, or even the social media world – #ReadingChallenge.

We’re here to help (even when we’re not)

Christmas scene with dining table

The University may be closed for the Christmas period but if you are studying, writing assignments or revising, library resources and help are always available. We may not be in the building, but the library team can help you with your semester 2 preparation.

Use your Library Subject Guide

If you are not sure which resources are best to use for your subject or what you can access off-campus, visit your Subject Guide . The guides bring together links and help for the specialist information sources in your discipline.

Visit the Library over the vacation

Between Christmas and New Year, the Philip Robinson Library will operate as self-service from 10.00 pm on Friday 20th December 2019 until Thursday 2nd January 2020. If you need access to books and journals, or a quiet place to study, all you will need is your University smartcard. Visit the website for the Library vacation opening hours.

Have a question? Check the FAQs

We have an extensive database of frequently asked questions available on the Library website. You can search by keyword or browse by topic area and find answers to the most common questions. So whether you want to know how to access newspapers from the Library, how to book a group study room or get help with EndNote, check the FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.

Contact Library Help

If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. You can live chat with a librarian outside of the University to get immediate answers, or send us a message and we will get back to you when the University reopens.

So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and ebooks from the Library website and we will be back in the Library on 2nd January 2020. Enjoy the festive season!

A quick guide to finding the best study space for you

Did you know that across our four locations, we have over 3,000 study spaces? With so many, it’s easy to choose the best spot to revise or write your essay.

Image of silent, quiet, collaborative and bookable study spaces

Our Study spaces and rooms page has more information about the types of spaces available. Check out current study space availability information on the web or via the Newcastle University app. Find free cluster spaces with the Find a PC function, also available on the app.

As well as study spaces, we have spaces where you can relax and catch up with friends between lectures. Make yourself comfortable in our new social space on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library, or visit the refurbished café.

So if you need a change of scenery, go and take a look and find a space that’s just right for you.