All posts by Leanne

Meet your Librarian – Debbie Phillips

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

Hi, I’m Debbie. I’m the Information Consultant for Classics, History, Modern Languages, and Music.

Debbie Phillips
Debbie Phillips

How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I’m quite new! I started in January 2017, so it’s only been 9 months!

What is your role within the Library?

I’m the link between the Library and the various departments that I represent, so my role is to make sure that we have the resources that they need for teaching and research. I’m also responsible for making sure that staff & students know how to use the resources that we have, and how to evaluate the information they find. To do this I teach Information Literacy sessions.

Have you always worked in libraries?

Yes, I have (unless you count babysitting as a teenager, or my very glamorous holiday job as a booking clerk for a coach firm when I was at University).

What did you want to be when you were little?

I am pretty sure I wanted to be a ballerina. Then I had dancing lessons and it became apparent that dancing professionally wasn’t going to be the career choice for me.

Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t think I do!

What did you study?

I studied Psychology right here at RHUL! Then later I did an MA in Information Services Management.

Do you have a favourite book and why?

It’s Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, because it’s funny, touching, apocalyptic and it makes me think about something different every time I read it.

If you had to be a superhero alter ego, what would they be names and what would your super power be?

I’m rubbish at superhero names, but I think my superpower would be telekinesis. I’d love to be able to make a cup of tea without walking over to the kettle!

Meet your Librarian – Rachel White

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Rachel White and I am the Information Consultant for English, Media Arts, Drama & Theatre and the Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS).

Rachel Sleeman

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I started at Royal Holloway in April 2016. I am looking forward to the new academic year and meeting all of the students!

 What is your role within the Library?

My role is to support several departments (English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts and CeDAS) and to ensure the library has the resources the students and staff need. Another important part of my role is teaching information literacy skills. This involves showing users how to use resources, how to search effectively, how to recognise resources that are suitable to use and managing the information once you have found it.

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Yes apart from a some part time jobs before and during University. I’ve worked in various libraries including a specialist library in The Met Office, Further Education Colleges and Universities.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

There was a very short period where I wanted to be a lorry driving! Not sure why this was especially as I don’t think I am the best driver, my Peugeot is plenty big enough! Since finishing University and getting my first part time post in a library as a library assistant all I have wanted to do is to work in libraries.

Long Distance Clara

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

Not sure about hero but I do love JK Rowling! I am a massive fan of Harry Potter and the novels she has written under the guise of Robert Galbraith. I also love the fact that she has recently dropped off the Forbes billionaire list due in part to the large amounts of money she donates to various charities.

 What did you study?

I studied English Literature at Swansea University

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have lots of favourite books and would struggle to pick just one! I remember there were two books that I studied at University that stayed with me. One was Dracula by Bram Stoker and the other was The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I loved both of these texts but did struggle to sleep after reading them both!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Not sure what my superhero alter ego would be, but I definitely know what super power I would like! I would love to be able to disappear on the spot and turn up anywhere in the world instantly (apparating for any Harry Potter fans).

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

Varied, rewarding, interesting

 What advice would you give to a new student?

My advice would be to make use of the library resources and if you are unsure about anything at all contact your information consultant, we are all more than happy to help!

Meet your Librarian – Sian Downes

Sian Downes
Sian Downes

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Sian and I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology.

How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I will have worked here for 3 years come October

 What is your role within the Library?

I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology. I liaise with academics and the departments to ensure that we have all the resources that they need for your courses. I teach Information Literacy skills to all students within those departments and also run training courses throughout the year open to all students. I help students with their research problems and when they do not know where to start for their essays.

I also help run the Library Social media accounts (follow us on Twitter @RHUL_Library)

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Whilst I was at University I worked in a lovely ‘old man’ pub and Claire’s Accessories. Then I worked at Waterstones for 18 months before getting my first library job at the British Library when I was 24.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

A librarian (my Uncle worked The National Library of Wales and I thought it was so cool there)

What did you study?

I studied Law at undergraduate level and Information Science at Masters level

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – it is my favourite of the series

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

The superpower would definitely be flight. I live in South London and it would make commuting much easier if I could just fly here. I am not very imaginative with names, so I would just be The Flying Librarian

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

BEST JOB EVER

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Come and ask us anything!

and

A mug of peas made in the microwave with a little butter is a great and cheap snack.

Meet Your Librarian – Leanne Workman

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

Hiya, I’m Leanne (Workman). I am the library information consultant for the Sciences. I look after the subjects: Biological sciences, Computer Science, Earth Science, Electronic Engineering, Information Security, Mathematics, Physics and the Centre for Professional Studies!

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

Aha a bit of a complex question! Technically I have been here in this post since May 2016, but I worked in the library in a different role from 2012 to 2015. (I was also a Masters student here, so I should know the place quite well by now!)

Leanne Workman

 What is your role within the Library?

So my role is to work with all of the students, lecturers and researchers in the departments I look after to ensure that the Library has the resources they all need. I also provide information skills training (us library folk like to call it “information literacy”!) Basically we want to make sure our library users can recognise when they need info, where to find that information (i.e. what resources are available both inside and outside of the Library) and be able to evaluate & use the information well thereafter. I would like to think of us as the Jedis of the Information World!

Have you always worked in Libraries?

No, not always! I’ve worked in various administration & customer services roles, which tbh I did not find all that thrilling! I was a warden and tour guide at Windsor Castle for three years just after graduating, which was great fun! But it was when I volunteered in the Royal Archives for about a year that I worked out I love digging around for information, researching and organising  it all, so it got me thinking that perhaps this was something I could do for a living! From that I applied (and got) a graduate trainee information assistant role at the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum (you can see I really only choose very pretty buildings to work in/nearby!) After that, I started at Royal Holloway as an Information Assistant and the rest, as they say, is history…

What did you want to be when you were little?

Well, this is embarrassing *blushes*… I remember very distinctly wanting to be a Native American and to live with Pocahontas (whilst simultaneously being a ballerina of course and/or a nurse – until I realised I fainted at the sight of blood and rethought my career choice!)

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes- sorry that’s such a lame answer!!

What did you study?

I studied History at University of Essex. I then went on to do a Masters here in Gender History and I am currently studying for my Library and Information Studies Masters at Aberystwyth University (you could say I’ve got the ‘study bug’!!)

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Ah man it is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child!!

….

……..

I am of the Harry Potter generation and I am still a HUGE fan so I think I will say that! But tbh, I just love a good book!!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

This is a tricky one as I am also a small-time, closet comic geek! I think I would like to be a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though I rather think I am more like Giles the Librarian than Buffy!) and Phoenix from the X-Men (telekinesis, telepathy and ability to manipulate matter on a subatomic level? Darn yes!)

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

CAKE! Fun; information-sharing! (I think I am technically cheating with the last but :P)

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the library- seriously. [That’s not just in the inner library geek coming out here!] The studying side of life is soooo much easier when you use the library & you get better grades top! We have lots of stuff you’ll need, and if you’re not sure where to find information, please just ask! We’re only an email or an email away (or pop by!) And it is our job to help YOU 🙂

Meet the Library Liaison Team: Emma Burnett

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

I’m Emma Burnett and I work as an Information Consultant within the Library’s Academic Liaison team.

work_profile-web

How long have you been at Royal Holloway Library?

Just over 3 years.

What is your role within the Library?

I work with several departments (Economics, European Studies, Geography, Philosophy, Politics & International Relations and Social Work) and try to ensure that the Library has the resources they require. Another key part of my role is providing information literacy training. Information literacy is a skill for life, not just for University. It involves recognising your need for information, having the ability to know where and how to access that information, managing the information once you’ve found it and using it in an ethical manner. For more information, please see http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/infolit

Have you always worked in Libraries?

Since I joined the real world, after taking a post-university gap year to see the world, yes.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a vet! I’ve always loved animals, especially cats. I have 2 gorgeous cats at home.

Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes but I do very much admire Margaret Atwood. I’ve seen her speak a few times and she’s got such an incredible mind.

What did you study?

I hold a degree in European Studies from the University of Hull, which included a year in Italy. I also have a Masters in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield.

Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have many favourites! Remains of the Day is one of them. I studied this at A Level and think it’s a beautifully written novel. Also a great film (if you haven’t ever seen it, you can watch it for free on BoB https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/000809CD?bcast=94981462).

If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Completely drawing a blank here, sorry! My favourite superhero(ine) is batgirl, as she was a librarian too 🙂 batgirllibrarian

What project/event are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year? (Library related!)

Teaching information skills sessions in our new library training room.

Describe working in the library in 3 words

Lots of tea!

What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the Library’s vast array of resources! These are a huge privilege of being at University so take advantage of them and you’ll reap the benefits in your studies.

Check out the Subject Guides to find out who your librarian is, and read more interviews here.

5 Things Freshers Need To Know About RHUL’s Library

Using the Library and its resources could well help you get a better grade. Fact. So here are some tips to get you started and make sure your library experience is more this:

GoodLibraryExperience

than this:

BadLibraryExperience

So here are the top things you need to know to get started with the libraries on campus.

1. Where is the Library?

There’s a lot going on in Welcome Week and finding the libraries might not be the first thing on your Fresher’s bucket list. When your first essay drops, though, the library is the place to be on campus so you’re better off getting ahead of the pack and finding it early.

1.Lost

Don’t worry: campus takes a bit of getting used to but you’ll have it worked out in no time. The main things you need to know are that there is only ONE library containing over 600,000 volumes. The Library is in the Emily Wilding Davison Building in the centre of campus.

2. Ok, that’s a lot of books – how do I find the stuff I actually want?

2.TooMany

Academic libraries are way bigger than school or public libraries, and it’s not just books – we’ve got journal, electronic resources, databases – you can even borrow laptops! So how do you find what you actually want?

Well, that’s where LibrarySearch comes in. This is the tool that searches all of our collections  and helps you locate the resources you need. So don’t get in a spin over our collections, read our guide to searching for items and you’ll be sorted.

2.TooMany2

And if you want to make sure you’re finding the A* quality resources to make your essays really sparkle, you can always ask your friendly library information consultant.

3. Perfect book found, now how do I actually borrow it?

3.BorrowBooksHermione

Don’t worry – you’ll have a lot of reading to do and we don’t expect you to work through those big textbooks in the library. That’s why undergraduates can now borrow up to 25 items at any one time. (You’re welcome.)

Borrowing couldn’t be easier – your College Card doubles as your library card while you’re with us (so make sure you bring it with you every time you visit the library). All you need to do is pick the items you want to borrow and check them out on our self-service machines (don’t worry, staff are on hand to help if technology hates you).  Best of all, it’s completely free to borrow items (just bring them back on time, or – fines!)

4. This is all great, but I still need HELP, where do I turn?

4.OMGNeedHelp

Hey, this is what librarians are for – helping you get the resources you need is what we do.

Every department is assigned a librarian to help support you, and you can read handy guides from each of them online here: http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/home

And if that doesn’t answer your question you can always pop in to see us – the helpdesk in the library is staffed from 9am to 9pm. Alternatively, you can email us at library@rhul.ac.uk or start up a live chat with a librarian right now.

5. Sounds good, anything else I should know?

Go on then! One more information morsel for you:

As a member of the University of London, we have full access to Senate House Library and all of their e-resources. You don’t even have to go into London to register, you can do it online. Want to know more? Read our guide on accessing Senate House Library.

We hope that’s been a helpful introduction to us and our services. Come in and chat to us any time to find out more, or visit our website: www.rhul.ac.uk/library

And remember, getting the job done isn’t hard…

Sign-off

Enjoy your time with us!

Want to access exam papers? We’ve got your back…

So you’re looking for some past exam papers in prep for the forthcoming summer term, a.k.a exam term? Well, the College institutional repository is the place to find them and this is how you can access them…

1. Are you on campus? If yes, carry onto 2.
If no, please use CampusAnywhere (If you don’t do this, you might not be able to see the papers.)

2. If you’re using Moodle: click on the Past Exam Papers link on the right to go through to past papers for that course code only.

past papers

3. To search the Past Papers database directly, go to the Library homepage, and click “Exam Papers”.

4. Check you are logged in by looking in the top right hand corner. If you can’t seem to access the exam papers, check the top right hand side and see if you are logged in as a guest. If you are, log out and then log in using your Royal Holloway username and password.exam papers login

You can browse by Department or search for your course code using the search function. And the good news? All exam papers can be downloaded as PDFs.

If you have any questions, please let us know! Happy revising and good luck in all of your exams!

via GIPHY

Resource of the Week: KNOVEL

Resource of the Week is *insert drum roll here* Knovel!Knovel 1

It is totally the go-to resource for engineers, but it is also excellent for those studying biology, physics and computer science! This electronic resource provides technical information with specialised search tools and has three elements: an epic e-book collection, a nifty equation solver and a materials property database.

The e-books

Knovel’s e-books cover a wide range of subjects from biochemistry & biology to electronic engineering and nanotechnology. You can browse the different subjects we subscribe or search for items on a specific topic using the search box.

Its power lies in its ability to search the full text of books – so if you searched LibrarySearch for example, the search terms you entered will just be matched to title words or the subject headings, so you’d need to keep your searches simple and broad. With Knovel however, the search you put in will be matched with the content in the e-books, so you can be pretty specific and you’ll be taken straight to the part of the book it is on.

The equation solver

This is totally a hidden gem! You can find the equation solver under the ‘Tools’ heading at the top left hand side.

Knovel Equation solver

It contains hundreds of equation worksheets combined with browser-based calculation software with export capabilities. You can browse by subject and filter by keyword once you’ve picked a subject.

Data search

Data search allows you to search for property data of thousands of materials including metals and composites. You can find the link to the data search function under the search bar on Knovel’s homepage.Data search

You can search by material name, property name or both then manipulate the data easily. You can specify numerical values and/or ranges plus units of measurement. The results are usually presented in tabular or graphical form and some of the graphs are interactive, allowing you to manipulate the data further.

I find that it is really this search tool that make Knovel the bee’s knees of science e-resources!

For further help and guidance, don’t forget to check out Knovel’s own help pages and of course you can always contact your very own sciences librarian (me!) here: Leanne.workman@rhul.ac.uk

Resource of the Week: Web of Science

Web of Science (WoS) is a bibliographic database; that is, a database which shows what has been written on a topic, but does not necessarily provide you with full-text access. Despite the name, Web of Science (WoS) contains something for everybody. It includes the Science, Social Science, and Arts and Humanities subject areas. WoS cannot cover everything in such wide areas as those: in fact, it only covers about 5% of the journals published. However, it covers the core titles, the journals which are most cited in each field each year.

This makes it an excellent first choice for exploring a subject. You get to see what has appeared in the main journals for that subject area, and it does not include anything that will be too obscure or hard to find. For undergraduate work, this is ideal! Researchers have the further option to search for papers which cite the key papers on their topic, to see how the field has progressed.

SEARCHING

The search form is a single search bar, like Google and LibrarySearch. What WoS does, even better than Google, is help you make better, more relevant searches by clicking on “Add another field”. This option allows you to build a really clever search string using combining words such as AND to make your results more specific, or OR to broaden your results. (NOT is also very handy if you find you’re getting a lot of irrelevant results, e.g. you’re searching for AIDS the disease, but you’re finding a lot on hearing aids, using NOT hearing will exclude those irrelevant results!)

An example search using the above combining terms:

WOS Example search

Note the quotation marks around “United Kingdom”, which specifies that we only want those two words together as a phrase.

Notice in the black banner at the top that we are searching “Web of Science core collection” but there is an orange arrow by it. Clicking that gives the option to search other databases, in particular Biosis Previews, which lets you search the largest single life science database from 1969 to 2008. You can also choose “All databases” to search them all at the same time. This makes WoS the core resource for biologists.

When the results appear, the FindIt@RHUL tab appears underneath each result. Click on this and it will take you to a LibrarySearch page to see if we have access to the full-text.

REFINING YOUR SEARCH RESULTS

Below shows the results for the above example search terms. Looking at them, you may notice that they really do not seem to be that relevant to my search terms. You’ll notice at the top of the results there is a ‘Sort by’ option and it shows that these results have been ordered by the date they were published, not by relevance to my search terms:

WOS Search results

By clicking on the drop down button and selecting ‘Relevance’, the results now listed appear more relevant to my search terms:

wos 4

On the left hand side, you can refine your results further by searching for an additional keyword within these results. On the right hand side, you can see there is a ‘Times Cited’ option. This shows you who else has referenced this article and may lead you to find other useful articles on the same topic.

(You can even sort the results to show those articles cited the most times, but beware: they may may not necessarily be cited for the right reasons! Other researchers may have found a flaw in the author’s research!)

SAVING YOUR SEARCHES

You can create yourself a free account to save your searches and relevant results. You can also send the results to a Reference Management Tool such as EndNote Online, RefWorks or other similar tools.

You’ll notice that above the results, there is a “Save to EndNote online” option. This is because the owners of Web of Science also own EndNote(!), so do not be put off if you prefer another reference management tool! Click on the arrow beside this option and you will find more options to save your results.

This is very much a whistle-stop guide to Web of Science and its various functions! If you have any questions about WoS or want to learn more, please do contact us: library@rhul.ac.uk

Happy researching y’all!

2013 Exam Papers Are Go!

Exam papers for courses run in 2012-13 are now available!

The Exam Papers are held in Royal Holloway’s Institutional Repository, which holds all sorts of things from PhD theses to academic research and work.

You can access the Exam Papers in a couple of ways…

1)      Through Moodle (the link is usually found on the right hand side of the page under the “Library Resources” section)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/92707537@N05/11871265186/

2)      Through the Library homepage
http://www.flickr.com/photos/92707537@N05/12048792384/

3)      Using the web address for the Institutional repository:

http://digirep.rhul.ac.uk

However you decide to access the exam papers, you should be greeted by the Repository homepage:
homepage

You will automatically be logged in as a guest, but this will NOT give you access to the exam papers. You will need to LOG IN using your computer username (i.e. abcd123 or wxyz456) and password to access the exam papers. Click on “Login (with CC Username)” found on the left hand side of the screen & then log on:
login

To view the available exam papers click on “Past Exam Papers” (second from the top of the listed collections). Exam papers are divided by subject area and most of these will be displayed on this first page. Clicking on the relevant department with link you through to the exam papers for that subject.

As you may have noticed, not all subjects are listed, like Criminology & Sociology or French for example. For those courses not listed here, you can view the available exam papers by doing either of the following:

1)      To view exams for each department by year, click on “Department/Year”.

2)      To see a list of all the courses for each department, click on “Department/Course Code”.

tool

When clicking on the desired year or course code, you will find that this takes you through to a page listing the Exam Papers as PDF files. From this click on the exam paper you want to see and this record will contain the PDF file, which you will be able to click on and download.

record with arrow

Hopefully this has proved a helpful “how to” guide on access the exam papers, but should you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact the library: library@rhul.ac.uk