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.

Resource in focus: Historic Digimap

Who doesn’t like maps?

Historic Digimap is an online map and data delivery service, available to all staff and students of Newcastle University. It delivers access to historical Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain dating from 1846-1996 across various scales, including 1:25,000 and 1:10,650.

If you are a first time user of Digimap then you will need to complete a brief registration form and agree to the license agreements for each collection, but that takes seconds and then you’re ready to go!

Viewing historic maps (3:36 min)

If you want to ‘roam’ through the ages in an area, then you can use the timeline tool to see how the landscape has developed through the years, or view two maps side-by-side to compare and contrast your findings. Imagine looking at the Newcastle University Campus and seeing what used to be on the site before buildings such as the Henry Daysh Building, Stephenson Building and Philip Robinson Library graced us with their facilities!

Once you have your area of interest, the Roam service will allow you to view, annotate and print the map in PDF format. Data Download will allow you to download OS data for use in GIS/CAD (if you wish!).

The full scope of what Historic Digimap (and the other collections available to you including Ordnance Survey, Geology, Marine, Environment, Aerial, Lidar and Improvement Service) are covered in EDINA’s comprehensive Help service:

(Improvement Services is an organisation dedicated to the improvement of local government services in Scotland. This data collection comprises of 37 local authority datasets, such as planning applications, green belts and school catchment areas. A wealth of information, who’d have thought.)

Go on, give it a try! But please do read EDINA’s Digimap FAQs on what you are permitted to do with the data you use, to ensure you comply with the educational use licence.

Resource in focus: Times Literary Supplement Archive

Screenshot of TLS banner

We have access to the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) archive from 1902-2014.

The archive brings you the full content of this world-renowned weekly literary and arts publication, dating back to its first issue. For over a century, the TLS has published reviews, features, debates and original works from across the arts world, not to mention its legendary letters page!

Many of the world’s most notable writers and thinkers have contributed to the TLS over the decades, including T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, Noam Chomsky, Virginia Woolf, Bertolt Brecht and Umberto Eco. Until 1974, contributions published in the TLS were often anonymous, but the digital archive now reveals the identity of all contributors.

To find out more about the TLS, click Research Tools to read a selection of essays about different periods of its history.

Menu screenshot

You can browse the TLS by date to find a specific issue, or search in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options, including searching by contributor, book title, or document type.)

Additional search features on the home page include Term Frequency, to trace how often a word, phrase or person has featured in the TLS over the years, and Topic Finder, to explore and visualise connections between topics.

Screenshot of topic finder
Topic finder

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!

New resource: Irish Newspaper Archives

Following a successful trial, the Library now has access to the Irish Newspaper Archives: a fascinating resource for any aspect of Irish studies.

It provides access to the archives of national and local Irish newspapers from the 1700s to the present day. Major national titles such as the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent and Sunday Independent are included, together with a wide range of regional titles, such as the Meath Chronicle, Kerryman, Connacht Tribune and Ulster Herald.

The archive is updated daily with the latest editions of current titles, and it also includes significant newspapers which are no longer published, such as the Freeman’s Journal and The Nation.

Title pages of Irish newspapers
A selection of title pages from the archive.

You can search and refine your results in various ways, or choose browse to look through individual newspapers by date. Various save and export options are available, and there are some short help videos on the archive’s home page to give you some tips (note, these don’t have sound). Follow Irish News on Twitter for interesting highlights from the archive.

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on the trial.

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!