Shelf-Help: helps you to understand and manage your health and well-being using self-help reading

We all need a little help sometimes. It might be to make sense of things happening to us or a friend. The library has collected together books from the Reading well Books on Prescription list to help everyone in the college who wants a little Shelf-help.

The list of books is available here. There is a mix of ebooks and print books available.

How are the books selected?

The books for the lists were selected using an evidence-based approach supported by a rigorous process of consultation and expert advice. The titles have all been recommended by experts as useful, effective and accessible and tried and tested by people with lived experience.

How to get the most from the books

Respected professionals with relevant experience have produced guides to help people get the most out of the reading recommended by Reading Well Books on Prescription.

A final word from the Library

We hope that this book will help you, but please help us by not writing in it! It can be very tempting when you find an idea that you want to highlight, or a worksheet that you want to fill in. It’s ok to photocopy a few pages for your own use.

Feeling anxious about the library? We are here to help

Last week we did a small anonymous Twitter Poll to see how many of our users  feel anxious about the library.  Of the 21 respondents 48% said they didn’t, 28% said sometimes and 24% said yes they did.



We don’t want anybody to feel anxious about the library and believe it or not a lot of people have researched and written about “Library Anxiety” in the past so if you do feel anxious you are not alone.

Symptoms of Library anxiety include:

  • Fear and uneasiness with the physical space of the library, often related to how big the library is.
  • Fear of approaching a librarian or library worker to ask for help.
  • Fear that you are alone in not knowing how to use the library.
  • Feeling paralysed when trying to start library research.

If any of this sounds like you we are here to help!

Please see the college’s Support, Health and Welfare pages for help and support for anxiety and stress.

Library Anxiety

Here are some tips that can help you cope with library anxiety so that you can make friends with the library, or at the very least, be able to get in, get out with what you need, and get on with your life.

  • Recognise that what you’re feeling is common and that you aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed by the libraries. Sometimes being able to put a name to a problem really helps in dealing with it. If you know library anxiety is affecting your work, you can take steps to deal with it.
  • Ask a librarian or library employee for help. It can be hard to ask for help. Many of us have grown up with strong impressions of the value of independence and self-reliance, and may feel like we should be able to figure out libraries all by ourselves and sometimes librarians may look a bit intimidating behind the reference desk. But librarians are here to help you, and, even though it may be hard to believe if you are stressed out, librarians like helping you and want to see you succeed.
  • Ask your tutor for help. If you are really struggling or feeling paralysed when you try to do your library research, let your tutors know. They may have some ideas of places to start and may be able to talk with you about ways to make your research easier.
  • Try to plan ahead. It’s very, very easy to procrastinate when feeling library anxiety. Unfortunately, procrastinating only makes it worse. As deadlines approach and the amount of time you have to work with shrinks, chances are good your anxiety levels will go up, not down. So try to nip this cycle in the bud by getting into the library and asking for help early on.
  • Take deep breaths and work on focusing. When we are under stress, even fairly simple navigational tasks can become difficult. You are more likely to be able to find what you need if you slow down, look around, and read carefully. And, again, you can ask for help if you feel lost or panicked.

Remember that unlike many librarians in popular culture (would you like to ask Madame Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts, a question?) we are friendly and here to help. Sadly, some people have encountered unfriendly librarians in real life, librarians are just people, like you, with special training in locating and accessing information. And most of us are quite friendly and helpful – try and ask a question.

Please see the college’s Support, Health and Welfare pages for help and support for anxiety and stress.


Technical Issue with some library resources

Have you seen the error message “Connection refused, please try again later”? 

Some of the library resources have been experiencing a technical error and when trying to access them via the library website you might receive the message “Connection refused by (URL of resource) please try again later”. This is only affecting users not using the Campus network and this has been reported, the library and IT are working to resolve this issue.

The resources that we know that are affected by this issue are:

  • Taylor and Francis Online
  • American Economic Association Journals
  • Emerald Insight
  • Wiley
  • IEEE Xplore

If you do encounter this error message with any other resources please email 

If you see this error message there are a few workarounds that you can use to gain access to the resource:

  1. Log in using Campus Anywhere
    These issues should be resolved when accessing library resources using the Campus Anywhere VPN (Virtual Private Networking) service. It works by mimicking you being on campus and giving you a Royal Holloway network address so it should help to resolve these issues.It is also best practice to use this if you do live off campus as it can provide access to your Y and W drive, and can make accessing the library resources more streamlined as you don’t have to log into each resource separately.To find out more about this visit:
  2. Google the name of the Database and log in using Shibboleth
     If you want to access an article from say Taylor and Francis online you can google the name of the database and log in using Shibboleth.If you are experiencing this problem when linking to an article on a database via library search, this short video will demonstrate how to access that resource.




MyiLibrary e-books – save your notes now!

book and tabletThe Library provides access to e-books via several different platforms. One of these, MyiLibrary, is going to close in May. All e-books we have on this platform will be migrating to another site, Ebook Central, on Wednesday 25th April 2018. Ebook Central offers many excellent features, meaning you will have an improved experience when accessing e-books.

After the migration, you will still be able to access the e-books as normal via LibrarySearch.

Notes you have made within MyiLibrary e-books will not be carried over to Ebook Central. If you have created notes that you would like to keep, you will need to save these before 25th April. You can download a helpsheet with instructions on how to save your notes.

If you used the bookmarking or highlighting tools in MyiLibrary, please be aware that it is not possible to save these features.

If you have any questions or comments about this, please get in touch.


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:

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

So you’re looking for some past exam papers? Well, the College institutional repository is the place to find them, but if you forget that URL, you can always find a link to the Exam Papers on the Library homepage:

Before you try searching for the exam paper of your desire, do make sure you log out as a guest at the top right hand side and log in with your Royal Holloway username and password…

To find exam papers, you can either search for the course code, e.g. IY5501 or you can browse by Department.

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!


Resource of the Week: The Listener Historical Archive

This week’s resource of the week is The Listener Historical Archive 1929-1991.The listener

The Listener was a weekly publication that was established by the BBC in 1929. It was a medium for reproducing radio and television broadcasts, and is our only record and means of accessing content of many early broadcasts.

There were many contributors to the publication including E.M.Forster and George Orwell, it also provided a platform for new writers and poets such as Sylvia Plath and Philip Larkin.

Step back in time and see how key historical events like VE Day or the Queen’s Coronoation were broadcast through the British Media, or explore the numerous book reviews and pieces poetry that were published by the magazine.

You can access “The Listener” from the eResources A-Z page.
If you want to learn more about the resource then email

Resource of the week: New RefWorks

This week’s Resource of the Week is the new version of RefWorks.

RefWorks has recently gone through an upgrade to imporve the interface and also add some extra features. You can continue to use RefWorks (Legacy) or feel free to give RefWorks (New) a try. Some new features include being able to read documents within RefWorks and the ability to highlight and add notes to these documents

RefWorks is a web-based tool that is free to use for all staff and students. It will help you to capture, save, organise references and create bibliographies using a range of different referencing styles. You can also link it to Word and Google Docs so you can insert citations as you type and also create your bibliography within your essay.

How do I access it?

  1. Go to the Citing and Referencing Tab on your subject guide
  2. Click on “New RefWorks” from the drop down
  3. Create an account (you must use your College email address)

If you have used the previous version of RefWorks and would like to migrate your content to RefWorks (New) you can watch the short video below to find out how.

Using RefWorks

You can import information on resources from databases like Library Search, JSTOR, Science Direct and many others. Most databases will have an export to RefWorks option, for websites you can use the Ref-GrabIt tool

You will then see the option to save to RefWorks Legacy or RefWorks New, ensure you select RefWorks New.

new refworks








RefWorks creates a database of your references and you can organise these by folder.







Use RefWorks to generate an automatic bibliography. You can insert citations and bibliography directly in your assignment using the Write and Cite tool for Word and Google Docs.

Further Help


How do I cite a Kindle book?

Other e-readers are available…


We were only able to find guidance for a couple of the popular referencing styles, but hopefully this will give you an idea of what to do next! Link to any good resources in the comments, and we’ll tweet them.

APA referencing:

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. 
 Retrieved from


Patterson, M. 2012. Lost places in dreams. [Kindle DX version] Transworld Media. Available at: <http://> [Accessed 9 June 2012].

If you use another e-reader, put details of the version you have read in the [square brackets] instead.

What about in the text?


In the text, however, citation can get confusing because e-books often lack page numbers (though PDF versions may have them). Kindle books have “location numbers,” which are static, but those are useless to anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle too. To cite in text, either (a) paraphrase, thus avoiding the problem (e.g., “Gladwell, 2008”), or (b) utilize APA’s guidelines for direct quotations of online material without pagination (see Section 6.05 of the manual). Name the major sections (chapter, section, and paragraph number; abbreviate if titles are long), like you would do if you were citing the Bible or Shakespeare.

Gladwell’s book has numbered chapters, and he’s numbered the sections in the chapters. An example direct quotation might be this:

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing” 
(Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5)


If you include a quotation from an ebook without page numbers, use the section heading or chapter heading as a guide to locating your quotation, if available.

Resource of the week: Bloomberg and BMC


This week we’re teaming up with Careers to promote Bloomberg, as part of Business and Finance Week, 9th – 13th October. This month, Careers also have a challenge to complete an online course, Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC), to learn more about Bloomberg and how the world of finance operates.

Bloomberg is a financial database that was created in the early 1980s. It’s interface is quite reminiscent of this decade, but don’t let that put you off! It is a super powerful resource that can provide a whole range of information.

Bloomberg login

If Bloomberg looks familiar, that’s because you’ve probably seen it on TV and film! In fact, in the past decade it’s starred alongside Kevin Spacey (Margin Call) and Christian Bale (The Big Short).

Unlike other resources, Bloomberg is only available on certain PCs around campus.  Bloomberg terminals can be identified by the keyboard, as shown below. This special keyboard has shortcut keys to make searching simpler.


Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) is a self-paced e-learning course that takes about 8 hours to complete. You can take for free on the Bloomberg terminals. It will introduce you to financial markets and some of the key functions on Bloomberg. Once completed, you will get a certificate, which you can use on your CV and LinkedIn profile. If you complete it during October, you will also get passport points, as it is the Passport Challenge for this month. If you are unsure where to start, please come to a Bloomberg Basics session in the Library, which are taking place 8am to 9am, 10th to 13th October. These will help you create a Bloomberg account and register for the BMC.

Sian Downes and Emma Burnett, Information Consultants from the Library, provide help and support with Bloomberg all year round, including training.