Friday, 18 December 2009

Chinese magazines

We have a new trial running.  This one is  to the Bookan Chinese e-magazine database, which gives access to more than 2500 Chinese best-selling magazines.

The Bookan trial is available to registered staff and students of the University of Sheffield until 28 February 2010. Please take a look and let us have your feedback.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Loan Periods: Christmas Vacation 2009

Christmas vacation loan periods start this week (beginning 14th December). 

More detailed information on return dates can be found on the library web pages.

Please note that items can be reserved as normal throughout the holiday and the only way to ensure that you can keep them for the whole of the vacation loan period is to renew them during the last week of semester.

You can renew items through MUSE or by ringing the renewals hotline (0114) 222 7201

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Get Social Science research on your iPhone

Spotted this on the Intute blog,  posted by Paul Ayres.  It's  about the  iSSRN,  a new free iPhone app just released by the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which allows you to search and read the full text of over 250,000 papers.  iSSRN is available from Apple's  iTunes store.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Information Skills Resource

Information Literacy

9-13 November 2009 is information literacy week

How do you know that?
How do you know it is right?
How are you going to use that information?
Will you act ethically?

How highly would you rank your information literacy skills?

Did you know that students who can demonstrate the skills of information literacy not only perform better academically but also have better career prospects? Many students learn these skills from the University of Sheffield Library’s online tutorials.

Be an information literate graduate by learning how to:
Define a search question
Search for information
Evaluate information
Synthesise information
Cite and reference information

Visit the tutorials at:

Monday, 9 November 2009

OECD iLibrary trial

We have another new trial running. This one is  to the OECD iLibrary which is available to registered staff and students of the University of Sheffield until December 2009. Although it's a preliminary version and not yet fully complete nor functional, do take a look and let us have your feedback. There is a Guided Tour of the OECD iLIbrary to help you.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is one of the world's largest sources of comparable statistics, and economic and social data. As well as collecting data, OECD monitors trends, analyses and forecasts economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more. This trial provides access to all their books, statistics and journals.

Many OECD publications are also freely available online. They can be found either from the OECD website,  via a 'Contains' search on Find it, or from the ESDS International database in MUSE.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Western Bank Library redevelopment - update

Just to let you know that Level 4 (formerly Stack 4) of the Western Bank Library is now open.  On this level you will find printed journals, audiovisual material and study space.

There is still minor finishing work taking place so please continue to take care when visiting Level 4. 

For more information about the redevelopment of the Western Bank Library and regular updates please take a look at the library web pages.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Book galaxy

Fed up with the limitations of keyword searching on Star? An imaginative University of Southampton undergraduate computer science student has just won a JISC-funded competition with his 'Book Galaxy' entry.  The JISC website explains the idea behind it:

"Alex Parker’s space-age entry presents library data in three different ‘galaxy’ views where library books are represented as moving stars that change speed and location according to how popular they are within a given course.  They also join together in constellations to show books on connected topic, while orbited by meteors representing the courses of the students using those books...He explains:  'The main reason I entered this competition is that I think that doing a keyword search and presenting lists of books to users is not always the best way to find what you want in a library, especially if you're not sure what you're looking for.  I had an idea that if you linked similar books together in a 'web' and did that for every book in the library interesting patterns would emerge.' "

Find out more and explore the Book Galaxy from the JISC website.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Commercial Radio Archive online for the first time

Just received:  a press release about the launch of the UK’s first online commercial radio sound archive.  Thanks to funding from JISC of just over £760,000, the Centre for Broadcasting History based at Bournemouth University has spent the last three years digitising the noteworthy radio dating from 1973 up to the mid-1990's - preserving over 5,000 searchable recordings including the first hour of UK commercial radio in 1973, coverage of five UK general elections and the end of apartheid.

The collection is available online for researchers, lecturers and students
at the LBC / Independent Radio News (IRN) radio news audio archive which
gives access to the catalogue and audio of reports filed by some of the UK’s
leading journalists including Jon Snow, the late Carol Barnes and Dickie

Among the 4,000 hours of radio are a number of historic events covered by LBC/IRN including:

• The first hour of UK commercial radio including the first commercial radio
news bulletin
• Broadcasts of the Falklands War, the miners’ strike and Northern Ireland
• The live reporting of UK election results from five general elections,
giving a unique sense of the political shaping of the country
• News related to the whole of the Thatcher government
• The whole of the 'Decision Makers' series 1974-86: weekly 30-minute
programmes of political and current affairs analysis which provide a unique
insight into politics and its reportage within the UK at the time
• State President PW Botha’s speech at the opening of the South African
parliament in which he announced that the era of apartheid was over, with
political and journalistic analysis of this event.

The archive was unveiled by internationally-acclaimed broadcaster, radio
historian and academic, Professor Seàn Street, at the Radio Centre in London.

He said: “This was at a time before the Broadcasting Act of 1990 which
brought significant change to the structure of British broadcasting.  The
change in commercial radio since this period is extraordinary. It is
impossible for the young student of radio, born since this time, to imagine
that such independently funded radio could have existed. As a result, it is
vitally important that these programmes be preserved, as part of the
evolving history of post-war British broadcasting.

“This archive forms an important part of the history of radio broadcasting
since it provides an alternative source of radio journalism and news and
current affairs broadcasts to the BBC’s own collection,” he concluded.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

How long can I borrow books for? - a quick guide

You may have noticed that there have been some changes to how long you are able to borrow books for. After feedback from Library customers we have introduced a new variable loan status and during this year we will be trying it out at all sites. Rather than having both short and standard loan items on the shelves, the default status of a book will be standard loan but become short loan whenever an item is in demand. Items go back to being standard loan when the level of demand falls.

A bit more information:

  • What is standard loan? - how long a standard loan is depends on the type of borrower you are e.g. one week for full time undergraduates and taught postgraduates, two weeks for part time and distance learning students and four weeks for postgraduate research students.

  • How do I know how long I can take a book out for? - the self-service receipt or the date label in the book will tell you the date your book is due back. Please check this carefully as the item may have been requested by someone else, and have a shorter loan period.

  • What is short loan? - items will become short loan when they are in heavy demand. Short loan will be two days for full time undergraduate and postgraduate students and four days for part time and distance learning students.

  • What happens if the item I have out on loan is reserved by somebody else? - if an item is requested by someone else you may keep it until the due date, but you won’t be able to renew it. You will need to return it to the library.

Remember, if you have requested titles that are on loan we will send you an e-mail to let you know when they are ready to collect. Reservations will be kept on the held shelf for two days.

Take a look at the guide to using the lending service for more details.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Mass Observation online trial

Just to let you know we have a trial running to Mass Observation online.  It's available to registered staff and students of the University of Sheffield until November 16 2009 so you only have 4 weeks to take a look and let us know what you think of it.

Mass Observation online provides integrated access to c115,000 digital images of material from the Mass Observation Archive. The Archive holds all the material generated by Mass Observation (MO) between 1937 and 1949, with a few later additions from the 1950s and 1960s. This includes file reports (1937-1972) and publications, material collected by investigators and material submitted by investigators.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Finding resources – getting started

If you are new to the University but didn’t manage to attend a Library introductory session here are a few tips to help you find your way around the resources available. Many Library services are available online from the Library tab in MUSE . You can log onto MUSE using your username and password to:

  1. Find what reading is recommended for a module you’re doing.  Start with myResource Lists.  Here you’ll find direct links to books in the library,  full text journal articles and web sites - all just one click away!

  2. Search Star, the Library catalogue. Star is the best place to start when searching for course materials.  From Star you can find out if the resource you want is available in print or electronically – click show copy/show library holdings.

  3. Access electronic resources such as ebooks, subject databases and ejournals - look under Library eResources.

  4. The subject guides are a good starting place as they provide advice on material that might be useful in your subject area and how to find and use Library resources.

  5. The Information Skills Resource is available as a Quick Link from the Library Web home page.  Here you’ll find a number of tutorials and quizzes that will help you to develop your information skills – check out the Information Skills tutorials tab. More detailed guides are tailored to your subject – take a look at the Tutorials by department tab.

  6. Ask us for help at any time. Post your comments here, or send us a tweet.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Global Barometer Surveys

Global barometer surveys is the first comprehensive effort to measure, at a mass level, the current social, political, and economic atmosphere around the world. It provides an independent, non partisan, multidisciplinary view of public opinion on a range of policy-relevant issues.

Check out this new resource by connecting to the Global Barometer Surveys website. You'll need to be logged in to MUSE but you'll be prompted to do this if you're not already logged in.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Half a century of British design launched online

Four thousand images from the Design Council Slide Collection have been launched online today, providing a unique insight into the history of British design and its promotion by the UK government from the 1940s to the early 1990s.

The Design Council was established in 1944 and is the UK's national
strategic body for design.  The images relate closely to the changing
scope and policies of the Council over a period of almost fifty years,
providing valuable visual evidence of the ways in which design has been
evaluated and promoted throughout this period.

They show a wide variety of products such as tableware, furniture,
lighting, toys, domestic appliances, textiles, wallpapers, office
equipment, engineering components and machinery, as well as other areas
of design such as architecture, town planning, interior design, graphic
design and corporate identity.

'The collection is an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in
design' says David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council.  'In
particular, it demonstrates the Design Council's long track record of
promoting the use of design to strengthen the UK's economy and improve

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports - free!

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Report has been purchased by JISC Collections and is available free of charge to UK Higher and Further Education institutions and Research Councils as part of the UK National Academic Archive.

Covering the period 1974–1996 in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, the JISC selection of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports includes a wealth of transcripts of broadcasts and news from around the world all translated into the English language.

The FBIS Daily Report series:

  • contains significant, critical material unavailable from any other source. The newspaper, short-wave, radio, and television broadcast texts in many cases exist nowhere else but in the English transcription or translation of those broadcasts which have vanished into the airways.

  • shows what the US government knew from the open source intelligence and when they knew it.

  • shows what the world thought of the U.S. and its democratic allies, “the West,” in often harsh and critical assessments.

The FBIS Daily Report has been the United States' principal record of
political and historical open source intelligence for nearly 70 years.
it provides an archive of translated broadcasts, news agency
transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from
around the world. It also includes many firsthand reports of events as
they occurred.

The archive collection covers the following regions and dates:

* Middle East and North Africa, 1974-1987
* Near East and South Asia, 1987-1996
* South Asia, 1980-1987
* Sub-Saharan Africa, 1974-1980
* Africa, 1987-1996
* Eastern Europe, 1974-1996

Hart law ejournals

The Library is often able to arrange trials of electronic resources  so that you get a chance to try them out  and see how useful they are to you.  Feedback from you helps us to decide which  resources are most worth subscribing to.  We've currently got a trial running to Hart law ejournals.

Hart Publishing produce over 500 titles in print, including journals, textbooks, scholarly monographs and works for practitioners. This trial provides access to its journals collection of 13 titles, including current and back issues to 2007. This includes titles covering European Law, Corporate Law and Media Law.

The Hart law ejournals trial is available to registered staff and students of the University of Sheffield until December 31 2009.  Check it out and let us have your comments.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Books on a Budget!

The start of term can be an expensive time for students and course books generally get pushed further and further down the shopping list, especially the expensive ones. So, the university has setup a marketplace for students to sell their no longer needed texts, where the buyer pays less and the seller gets more. Sound good?

Take a look at the Books on a Budget page and see if you can get kitted out. Failing that Oxfam Bookshop on Glossop Road (West Street) is well stocked and there's always Amazon's second-hand sellers on hand to snap up a bargain.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Fancy winning an iPod Touch?

QR Code

The image on the right is a QR or 'quick response' code. Originating in Japan they were initially used by companies as tracking devices. Unlike traditional barcodes QR codes are two dimensional and are able to store both alpha and numerical content (up to 7000 numerical or 4300 alpha-numerical characters long). The information stored within these codes can be anything from urls, to telephone numbers, to addresses or even entire poems.

The QR code above converts into the Library homepage. For you to be able to read this you’ll need a mobile camera phone and reader software. Some of the later Nokia phones already have the software installed and for iPhones it’s easy to pick something up from the app store, like BeeTagg or Quickmark. You could try Googling your phone’s make and model to find out what software you need or alternatively try some of the following:

To read the code you just need to take a photograph with your phone’s camera and allow the reader software to do the rest. For those of you with Internet enabled phones you’ll be directed straight to the URL via your mobile browser. To find out more about QR codes visit the library news page and for details on connecting your phone to the university’s wireless network have a look at the instructions via CiCS.

The University Library is currently piloting the use of QR codes and we are keen to discuss your ideas on how we could be making use of this technology to support our library services. Some suggestions have included codes iPod Touchwhich link to the library catalogue and our library blogs for mobile bookmarking purposes or the inclusion of codes on catalogue records to save bibliographic details. We are also working on attaching QR codes to a sample of our paper journal runs to link users to their electronic equivalents via Find it @ Sheffield.

If you have any ideas about how we can use QR codes in the Library we'd like to hear them. By leaving a comment against this blog post you'll automatically be entered into our competition to win a brand spanking new iPod Touch.

The deadline for entries is 30 November and the competition is open to all University of Sheffield students, via the four library blogs:

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Important Customer Services Notice

Change to Library loan periods September 2009

The Library constantly reviews its practices with regard to loans, and recent modifications to the reservations system have prompted us to try to further improve the way in which material is circulated. We have changed the lending service so that Library material ‘manages itself’. An in-demand item automatically has a shorter loan period which then reverts back to a normal loan period once the demand has been satisfied.

Why change the system?

  • In the past when you requested a book it was arbitrary which item you received – it may have been a normal loan or a short loan. You’ve told us this is unfair.

  • Short loan items were not in-demand all the time, and it was difficult to understand why you couldn’t have items for longer if no-one else needed them. Also, you had to remember to renew short loans every other day and it was easy to build up large fines.

  • Part-time and distance-learning students found it difficult to borrow short loan items.

With the new system what will happen when I borrow a book?

All items in stock in the Library now have a ‘normal’ loan period, the length of which is determined by the type of student, as previously. So, if you’re a full-time undergraduate or a postgraduate on a taught course books are issued for 1 week, if you’re a part-time student books are issued for 2 weeks, and if you’re a research student books are issued for 4 weeks.

If no-one else wants the book you can keep renewing it and each time it will be issued for the standard loan period.

We have also increased the number of self-renewals to 20, so staff don’t need to renew items for you until you reach that limit.

Full details of the new lending service can be found on the Library website under using the library. Remember - it’s essential to check myLibrary Account via MUSE regularly to avoid fines and check no-one has reserved the items you have on loan.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Searching Find It @ Sheffield

The University Library has a new platform for our eJournals. To help you search ejournals using Find it @ Sheffield we've compiled a list of ten search tips and included illustrations to demonstrate. If you have any feedback please comment or email me directly for further help.

1. If you know exactly what you're looking for you can use the 'starts with' button to be prompted with predictive text: