Shhh! 10 Things you might not know about the Library.

WE DO FOOD! The Library has a café.

We know how important high blood-sugar and caffeine are to effective study. That’s why we’ve installed the Whispers Café area on the first floor. This has vending machines for food and drink, and even a free water dispenser just in case you seriously overdo the crisps.

With the exception of bottled water, this is the only place in the Library where food and drink are allowed, so the next time your brain runs out of glucose, make sure you’ve got the strength to get to the first floor to recharge.

WE DO PHONES! There are two places in the Library you can use a mobile phone.

According to recent research, listening to someone yakking into their mobile while you revise for your exam is one of the primary causes of “Library Rage”. With this in mind, we’ve designated some special zones for using phones where you won’t disturb anyone. These are the first floor café area and the little-known East Staircase. Why is it little known? Because it’s out of the way. Which means that if you go there to make your call, you won’t send those sitting nearby over the edge, even if you loudly explain last night’s adventures to ten of your mates one after the other. It’s a win-win scenario.

WE ALLOW TALKING! There are places in the Library where you can study in groups.

Everyone knows that Libraries are places where you must study in absolute silence. Right? Wrong! Well, right and wrong, actually. The Library has places where you can study in silence and other areas where you can study in groups.

We’ve provided signs – big signs – to make it clear which is which, but we also have the following advice when selecting a study zone:

Trying to study in silence in a group study area can make you seriously grumpy. We advise against it. And remember what we told you about Library Rage? Well the same applies to trying to hold a group seminar in a silent study zone. Best to avoid that too.

WE LOVE LAPTOPS! The whole Library building is wireless enabled.

This means that you can bring your work with you and take it away when you leave! If you want to surf in silence or share your brilliant ideas with your course mates, you can log on and get connected. If you’re not sure how, we can show you. And if you want to pretend that you don’t need any help at all, there are easy to use help sheets available so you don’t have to suffer the indignity of asking for assistance.

Don’t forget that thieves love laptops too, so when you bring your precious electronic brain with you to the Library, don’t leave it unattended…

WE MAKE A SPLASH! The Library has a floor without books.

The third floor of the Library is given over entirely to SPLASH: our hugely popular Super Plush Laptop And Sofa Heaven. Actually SPLASH doesn’t stand for that at all, but it could do, because it’s a huge study space filled with bookable study rooms,  comfortable seating, tables and pods for you to work   And what intellectual utopia would be complete without beautiful people to staff it? But handsome as they are, the SPLASH team aren’t just there to look pretty. They provide cutting-edge study skills workshops and  one-to-one specialist advice on improving your approaches to study.

By the way, SPLASH really stands for Student Personal Learning and Study Hub.

WE LOVE TO HELP! The Library provides support for all students and can provide extra help for specific learning difficulties or disabilities.

Contrary to popular belief, not all Librarians are stern people who meet requests for help with stares that would curdle milk. In fact, most of the staff in the building are cheerful, warm and thoroughly helpful. This is especially true of our Academic Liaison Librarians and the Additional Learning Support team.

Each Faculty has a friendly Academic Liaison Librarian who can provide subject-specific, professional support and guidance for learning, using e-resources and the Internet effectively, and much more besides.

On the fourth floor, the expert ALS team give confidential advice and information to dyslexic and disabled students. They also have a suite of high-tech tools to make this easier in the Assistive Technology Centre.

WE CAN DANCE! The National Resource Centre for Dance is located in the Library.

A close-knit team of nimble professionals, they are busy preserving dance artefacts, providing help for dance students, teachers and researchers. We’ve had to request that they don’t wear tutus to work, but you can recognise them by their graceful movements. Failing that, you can find them in their offices on the fifth floor, where they have a study room to support students undertaking dance study and research.

WE DO BOOKS WITHOUT PAPER! Read our e-books and e-journals online.

Tired of dragging heavy books around campus? Bored of having to reserve the popular ones? Sick of the messy business of fines for returning them late? So are we! To avoid the old-fashioned tradition of turning pages, we’ve provided over 90,000 e-books and more than 13,000 e-journals, so that you can browse the full-text online. You can download pages and print them and all you need is an internet connection. You don’t need to come into the Library to use them – or even get out of bed, for that matter.

WE’RE EXPANDING! We’re building an extension to the Library.

Observant students may have noticed that there is a large hole being dug next to the Library. Unable to find gold, oil or the bones of extinct hominids in the excavation, the University has decided to fill it in with concrete and build an extension to the Library on top of it.

This fabulous structure will hold more PC’s and study spaces as well as a host of other treasures. We may be biased but we believe that this new Library and Learning Centre will be far better than precious metal, fossil fuels or even a scientifically significant bone-bed.

Judge for yourself later in 2011 when the whole thing will be finished.

WE LISTEN TO YOU! Let us know what works well and what we could improve .

Western mythology tells us that Librarians never smile Now we do have some staff like that but we keep them permanently locked in the cellar where they can stamp books to their cold hearts’ content. The rest of us are friendly, approachable and always looking for ways to be more helpful.

We’re always listening and making positive changes on the basis of what we’re hearing from you.

The café, the refurbished and enlarged PC rooms, the better seating areas, the new water fountain, improved lighting, new blinds, more copies of core books, more e-books and extra e-journals are all examples of things that we’ve done because you let us know your views about the building and resources.

And of course, don’t forget 24 hour opening during the exam period!

We never stop and we never sleep. (Well we do, but just not during working hours.) We’ve just completed another survey and on the basis of that we’re adding more PCs, more informal work space, more silent and group study zones, improved access to the building, and more sockets for recharging laptops.

Ideally, we’d take all the credit for this, but since I’ve already let on that these were all your ideas, I’m going to come clean and ask you shamelessly to keep telling us how we are doing and what works for you. So don’t be shy, call us: 01483 68 9235


or talk to us next time you come to the Library. You can fill in a comments form or chat to a member of staff.

The more you help us, the better we can help you.

Phil James

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