Celebrating Pride Month

June each year marks LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and the University of Aberdeen is hosting activities and events for our community and the general public to come together and celebrate. More information can be found on the Pride Month webpages.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

If you are interested in finding out more about Pride and the LGBTQ+ community , Library staff have collated some of the resources into a themed display, which can be seen on Floor 1 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library. We have also collated several of our resources in the Pride Month 2023 Reading List and Learning on Screen playlist. Please do contact us via library@abdn.ac.uk if you have any suggestions for new resources.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Old Aberdeen Library has also built a Pride Month display, and these items can be borrowed from the Ground Floor of the Library. Find out more information on joining Aberdeen’s public libraries on their website.

Enjoy Pride Month.

Refresher sessions for PGT students

Once the exams are over, many taught postgraduate students will be turning their attention to their dissertations or projects. Library staff and the IT Service Desk’s Training and Documentation team are here to help you with a series of workshops.

There are four Library workshops on offer and they will be taking place from
29 May – 01 June:

  • Part 1 – Starting your dissertation research. Covers planning, using Primo to find print and electronic books and how to get the best out of search engines such as Google
  • Part 2 – Going further with your dissertation research. Covers how to identify, access and use the most suitable academic databases to find research level material in your subject.
  • Part 3 – Academic Integrity and Referencing. Offers an overview of academic integrity and how this relates to your dissertation. General tips and advice on how to avoid plagiarism in terms of correct referencing and citing conventions will also be provided. The session also covers the three common approaches to referencing, ie. Harvard, Vancouver, Oxford. 
  • Part 4 – Managing your dissertation research. Carries on from Part 2, going into more detail on referencing and using ProQuest RefWorks.

PLEASE NOTE: RefWorks is of limited use to those using Footnote referencing styles, such as OSCOLA. 

Training and Documentation Team
Colleagues in the Training and Documentation Team will be running the following workshops:

  • Microsoft Word: Working with long documents (24 May & 01 June)
    By the end of this course you will be able to define and use an appropriate template, understand and modify inbuilt styles, apply multi-level numbering, apply page and section breaks, insert page numbers, images and tables, use captions for images/tables, create cross-references and automatic tables of contents and tables of figures.
  • Creating Posters using PowerPoint (30 May)
    During the course you will have the opportunity to create an A0 poster using PowerPoint, insert backgrounds, titles, text, graphics, and charts (images and text will be supplied). After a short presentation, you will work at your own pace from a workbook. A tutor will be on hand to help.

To find out more and sign up to attend one of these popular workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for courses on Library Information skills and MS Office. Do this soon, as places go fast!

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thursday 18th May 2023 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! From their website: “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.” 

Library staff are committed to offering accessible digital resources to those who need them. When we purchase books and other resources, our preference is to buy electronic versions. However, this isn’t always possible due to licence or publishing restrictions. We have access to some additional free services for qualifying users – please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.  

Our email address is librarydisability@abdn.ac.uk, please contact us any time, for any reason. We’re happy to answer any questions: if we can’t help, we’ll find out who can!

A close-up of a person holding tablet device in front of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

RNIB Bookshare 

RNIB Bookshare is a database of electronic resources offered by the Royal National Institute of the Blind. Their collection includes more than a million books and is completely free to use! All books can be downloaded in various formats and are compatible with screen readers and other assistive software. More information can be found on the RNIB Bookshare website

To request an account, please ask your disability advisor to contact Library staff – this is so that we can make sure you meet RNIB Bookshare’s eligibility criteria. Library staff will create an account on your behalf then send you an email with the login details. Your account can be used until you leave the University. 

Requests to publishers 

Library staff can request free accessible materials directly from publishers. To do this, we must meet one of the following criteria: 

  • at least one print copy of the title in stock, or 
  • have electronic access to the title (but for disability-related reasons the student would benefit from a different file type or format), or 
  • the student will own a personal copy and can provide proof of purchase which will be sent to the publisher 

This isn’t always successful, or very quick, but we are more than happy to make requests. If you need access to a specific item, please email us at librarydisability@abdn.ac.uk with the title, author’s name, year/edition, and the format you require (eg. PDF, EPUB, or even a print copy). All enquiries are strictly confidential: we don’t share your details with publishers, and we’ll never share your personal information without your consent.  

Personal scans 

If you need access to a work available only in physical format, library staff can scan items on your behalf. These are only for personal use and must not be shared with anyone else. To make requests, please email librarydisability@abdn.ac.uk with book/article details. We will get back to you if we have any questions, then email the scan to you. 

A view of the middle floors on

Reading lists 

The library works closely with teaching staff to provide digital reading lists for each course. These are hosted in a web-based software package called Leganto. Leganto is compatible with screen readers and has options to change contrast, font size, and pop-up duration. It is also possible to export your entire reading list into an accessible file.  

When essential materials are only available in physical format, teaching staff can request digital scans. These must comply with copyright law, so are usually less than 10% of the total work (more information on copyright can be found on our website). These scans can be accessed directly from Leganto and can be read using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). 

E-resource providers 

Many of our e-resource providers and databases offer features to help with accessibility. For example, VLEBooks offers a Readaloud feature, allowing you to use text-to-speech from any browser. A list of accessibility statements from providers can be found on our website. 

Library staff member demonstrating how to borrow books on the self-issue machine.

Direct support 

Library staff can also offer one to one support, either in-person or as an online session, at a time that suits you. We can help with a wide range of queries; including how best to use our catalogue, Primo, help with referencing, how to find resources for your assignments, or anything else! 

We can make referrals to other support services if you want them (such as Assistive Technology).  

Physical accessibility  

We can offer a gentle introduction to the library, either for individuals or small groups. We recognise that our users may be neurodiverse, so these can be held at quiet times to minimise distractions. Staff can help with navigating physical spaces and finding an area that works for you, locating and borrowing books, and more. We also offer a book fetching service for our users – let us know if you’d like to access this. 

We hope this information is useful. Our email address is librarydisability@abdn.ac.uk. Again, please do get in touch with us any time, for any reason. We’re happy to receive feedback and answer any questions: if we don’t immediately have answers, we’ll investigate and get back to you as soon as possible! 

Do you need help with your referencing?

If you can’t find what you need in our Library guides, come along to our workshop: ‘Referencing & Managing References with ProQuest RefWorks’ next Thursday, 18 May, 10:00 – 12:00.

This will be a two-hour session designed to help students understand the principles of referencing (including creating correct in-text citations and, lists of references at the end of your written work). In the session we will look at the three common approaches to referencing, ie. Harvard, Vancouver, Oxford. We will also look at using ProQuest RefWorks to help you manage your references.

The workshop will combine instruction and hands on-time to let you practise using ProQuest RefWorks. For more information and to book a place visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/ and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Students at all levels are welcome to attend.
Please note that this session is held in-person, in EW F81 (Old Aberdeen Campus).

For any queries, please contact

Did you know…? How to return books in TSDRL

Did you know the quickest and easiest way to return library books is at the Returns Room through the self-return machines? You will find the Returns Room on the Ground Floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library, to the right of the main entrance.

A photo of the Returns Room slot on the ground floor interior of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Photo by Library staff

It’s as simple as placing the books through the slot one by one. They are removed from your borrowing record as soon as they have passed through. You don’t even need to use your ID card to return books this way.

You will also find an external slot on the right-hand side of the entrance to the Library. This is only available when the library is closed so you don’t need to wait for us to open to return your books! You will need your ID card to be able to use this.

Don’t forget to take your receipt as proof of your returned items.

Heavy Demand books can be returned in the Heavy Demand Area on Floor 1 (using the self-issue/returns machine), or at the Returns Room.

If you are returning books to the Taylor or Medical libraries, please take them to a member of staff at the issue desk. If you are returning them out-of-hours, please use the boxes provided.

If you have any problems with book returns, please speak to any member of staff, or email library@abdn.ac.uk.

Would you like help with referencing?

It’s not too early to start thinking about your referencing. Once you have researched and begun writing your dissertation or project you must remember to correctly acknowledge the sources of any information which you refer to. This allows readers to trace the original material while also ensuring that you avoid potentially committing plagiarism.  

To help you with your referencing, Library staff have prepared several online guides with useful examples. We have a generic guide on Referencing and Citing as well as other guides on specific referencing styles or subject areas:  

A grey scale image of a tall pile of books.

Please be sure to look at the referencing guidance which has been provided by your department. You can read advice on avoiding plagiarism on the Student Learning Service’s website and you can check in MyAberdeen for materials on academic writing and avoiding plagiarism. 

We also have access to a really useful book by Colin Neville called Complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism which goes over topics from why you need to reference, where, the different referencing styles, plagiarism and how to express your own ideas in an assignment. 
Cite them right: the essential referencing guide by Richard Pears is another great resource, available to access online or in print from Floor 4 at shelfmark 808.027 PEA in The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

There are many different software solutions that will help you manage your references. RefWorks is a cloud-based reference management service that is free for all University of Aberdeen students and staff to use. See the library website for guidance on using RefWorks, and referencing in general.

Using reference management software allows you to import references from online databases and other sources. There are writing tools that work with the software, for example RefWorks includes a Reference Citation Manager plugin which allows you to automatically generate references from your RefWorks account while you write in Word.

We run occasional Information Skills Workshops for postgrads covering the main features of RefWorks and how to get started. Workshops for taught postgraduate students will be happening later in May. Check the course booking system for these and other workshops soon. Details will also appear on the Library website.

Library staff can also advise on using RefWorks.  Email library@abdn.ac.uk with any questions you may have or come and speak to us in the library. During term time, you can also ask for one-to-one help in an online support session.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library: 24-hour opening and Floor 5 silent study before and during Exams

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday 23 April, and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday 12 May 2023.

Over this period, it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • Swipe access only after 22.00 – please ensure you have your ID card, as access will not be permitted without it.
  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. This will happen at 04.00, and you will be given an option to delay this for 2 hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Hot and cold drinks in covered containers can be consumed in the library.
  2. Cold food can be consumed in the same locations – but not if it is has a strong smell or is noisy! (Remember – no hot food allowed apart from the café area on the ground floor).
  3. Tidy up after yourself – use the bins which are available on each of the floors.
  4. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.
  5. Please go to the stairwells to make/take phone calls

Please note that during this period, the whole of Floor 5 in The Sir Duncan Rice Library will once again operate as a Silent Study area.

Silent Study: Floor 5 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Sunday 23 April to Friday 12 May. Looking for a place to study? There are a range of study spaces throughout The Sir Duncan Rice Library, allowing silent, quiet and collaborative study. Facebook, twitter accounts: @aberdeenunilib. BeWell: abdn.ac.uk/bewell

Students are required to observe the following rules on Floor 5:

  • No discussions, conversations, or phone/video calls
  • No noisy food
  • No loud music from headphones
  • Please go to the stairwells to make/take phone calls or hold conversations.

In addition to the Floor 5 Silent Study Space, our designated Silent Study rooms on Floors 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the south side of the building will operate as normal. The Silent Study room on Floor 6 (Room 624) is the only Silent Study room in the building where electronic devices are not allowed.

Elsewhere in the building, we encourage all users to keep noise and conversations to a minimum. Library staff will be readily available throughout the Library to promote an environment conducive to study.

If you require space for group discussion and collaborative working, have you considered booking a space across our different libraries? See our website for further details.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Also check out the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

Celebrating Neurodiversity: Resources Available in the Library

As part of the University of Aberdeen’s support for Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 13-19), the Student Experience Team have put together a vibrant social media campaign, focusing on studying with various conditions, and exploring the meaning and implications of being neurodivergent across interconnected blog posts and social media sites, linked together by the Student Channel.

The Library would like to highlight materials from our collection that contain a wealth of resources and research on neurodiversity and its impact. Covering how the human brain can develop and interpret information and stimuli in myriad different ways; and how individuals can interact with the world in several ways, neurodiversity can be seen as an umbrella term for multiple conditions:

  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD

You may already be aware of the challenges that these conditions can pose, and unfortunately, the misconceptions that society has regarding them. Due to this, people can try to hide or ‘mask’ these conditions. However, they can also be a source of several strengths for individuals and collectively produce new and innovative products, services and research.


There are several perspectives on how different sectors of society work with neurodiversity and neurodiverse groups. In education, the following authors seek to empower and equip students and staff:

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to help Students with Special Needs succeed in School and Life by Thomas Armstrong: This book takes an in-depth look at all aspects of neurodiversity, examining the conditions and highlighting the unique strengths that individuals can have, particularly spotlighting notable people who have achieved lasting recognition.

The Adolescent and Adult Neuro-diversity Handbook: Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Related Conditions by S Hendrickx: Aimed at young people and adults who may not have been formally diagnosed, but wish to know more about the range of conditions, their implications and get some advice regarding coping strategies.


Approximately1-5% of the global population have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.) (Source: Neurodiversity Week). They are likely to be highly logical, energetic and focused.

Smart but stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E Brown: This book starts with the difficulties people with ADHD can have focusing, and how that can effect their academic, employment and social lives. It examines and explores a range of individual stories, and explores how treatment, support and medication can help.

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication and today’s push for performance by Peter Hinshaw: Emphasising the attitude and approaches to treating and managing ADHD in the USA, this book argues for less medical intervention in the form of pills, and more social support from families, doctors, teachers, employers and businesses. It makes a strong case that this will help reduce the costs and controversy surrounding the high diagnosis rate across the country.

Accidental Intolerance: how we stigmatize ADHD and how we can stop by Susan Hawthorne : Similarly to Hinshaw, Hawthorne probes the issues surrounding our treatment of people with ADHD, looking at whether or not they have the same opportunities as their peers; or if they are struggling in a society that is inadvertently discriminating against them with an outdated view of ADHD and how it can affect people.


10% of the population are dyslexic, meaning that they are creative, dynamic problem solvers & storytellers. (Source: Neurodiversity Week.)

Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success by Margo Verzog-Izzo: This inspiring work takes self-advocacy, mentoring and pride as it’s themes, and is aimed at educators and teachers who want their neurodiverse students to achieve their dreams and thrive. The author blends practical advice and insight with case studies of students who have been successful, and showcases how others can follow her lead.

Inclusive Education: Making Sense of Everyday Practice by Vicky Plows: A comprehensive look at the thirty-year campaign to build a strong, democratic education system that dismantles economic, cultural and physical barriers to learning, it examines a host of problems and issues that arise, including diversity.

Making Dyslexia Work for You by Vicki Goodwin: In a more user-focused approach, this book encourages the reader to put together their own ‘support package’: ideas, strategies and coping mechanisms that work for them in managing dyslexia.

More Information and Support

The University of Aberdeen is committed to providing a welcoming, secure and inclusive environment to all students, staff and visitors. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team offer a plethora of information, training resources and links to support, student organisations and both staff and student networks across diversity and equality issues. More information and contact details for EDI are available from the University website .

Information skills workshops for PhD students

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers with a series of information skills workshops which will take place in The Sir Duncan Rice Library on the 06th, 07th, 08th and 9th of March.

There are four workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Part 1: Getting started
  • Part 2: Using databases, Copyright
  • Part 3: Academic Integrity, Referencing
  • Part 4: Managing references using ProQuest RefWorks

Across the four workshops we will look at: how to use Google for support materials, planning a search, finding books in Primo and e-book collections, using databases of academic literature and managing references with ProQuest RefWorks.

We will also cover how to use resources fairly and legally and provide an overview of Academic Integrity and discuss plagiarism, collusion and contract cheating.

To find out more and book a place, please visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/ and look for ‘Library Information Skills’ classes.

Did you Know….What is Freshservice in IT

When enquiring about our Library Services or seeking IT advice, you can use our web-based enquiry management system called Freshservice.  

To access Freshservice, please click on myit.abdn.ac.uk. You will be asked to sign in, using your University of Aberdeen (UoA) username and password. When you land on the homepage, please select the first option to Report an issue and a new window will open where you can submit details of your enquiry. 

Once you have submitted your enquiry, it will be given a unique reference number (ticket number) in Freshservice, which will be emailed to your UoA email account. You will then be able to interact with staff members, ask further questions and receive support.  

As soon as all actions and conversations have been concluded, staff will resolve the ticket, and you will receive an email to that effect. A subsequent email will follow with a short satisfaction survey, to offer you the opportunity to provide feedback on the process and on the outcome of your enquiry.