Live Q&A sessions: Library resources and services

Issues or difficulties when looking for material to support your research? If the answer is yes, come along to one of our online Q&A sessions starting this week. You will be able to ask us any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to answer them. All levels of student are welcome.

The sessions will be delivered via Collaborate. To find out more and to book a place, please visit: abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Please contact us if you have any queries
eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk
s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk

04 February: Time to Talk Day

Today is Time to Talk Day – a day when everyone is encouraged to have a conversation about mental health. This year’s focus is on the power of small. However you have a conversation about mental health, whether it’s a quick message to a colleague, a virtual coffee morning, or a socially distanced walk and talk, it’s the small gestures that have the power to make a big difference.

See Me Scotland’s interactive bingo is full of ideas on how to start a mental health conversation. Click here to access it and share with your colleagues. How many can you tick off?

We want everyone at the University to feel they can be open about their mental health and ask for support if they need it. For information about the student counselling service and other support available for students please click here. For information about Care First and other support available for staff please click here.

Library service update

View of The Sir Duncan Rice Library from Elphinstone Road

We’ve made some important changes in response to new Covid-19 restrictions in mainland Scotland. Please take some time to review the changes before you visit.

  • The Sir Duncan Rice Library (TSDRL) will be open 10:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday from Monday 11 January. The Medical and Taylor libraries will open at a later date when it is safe to do so.
  • There will be access to a limited number of study spaces in TSDRL however we ask that you use these spaces only if you have no other suitable study space available to you.
  • Books are only available on our Click and Collect Service and cannot be accessed freely on the shelves. (This is a Scottish Government requirement)
Please wear your face covering at all times. Please display your lanyard or show your exemption card if you are unable to wear a face covering.

We recognise the enormous value of the Library to our students and are working extremely hard to offer you Library services during this challenging time. Please help us by taking care to understand the rules and only visiting in person if you have an essential need. Please check the updated FAQ later on Monday 11 January, and email library@abdn.ac.uk if you cannot find answers to your questions.

If you have queries or comments specifically about our COVID-19 measures, please get in touch with coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Reading for Pleasure: Christmas 2020 Reading Adventures

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Coming to the end of this year, we are sure many of you have plans for a relaxing break. These past twelve months may also have left you in a reflective and inquiring mood. Whether you want to escape into a fictional world; or continue exploring ideas from your studies, we hope that this blog post will give you some inspiration.

Philosophy deals with the largest, most complex questions and problems facing humanity. Movies, television and culture explore stories based on these questions and give an opportunity for scholars to debate and discuss what the stories mean. They can also give rise to creative and exciting new worlds. Here at the library, several e-books in our collections have explored various queries and theories with reference to some of our greatest literary works:

Lord of the Rings and Philosophy by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson: A fantastic primer on Tolkien’s famous trilogy, bringing together international academics to debate whether or not superhuman power can be used for good, or do humans always become addicted and corrupt?

How to Live Forever: Science Fiction and Philosophy by Stephen Clarke broadens the questions that science fiction can explore. Sections here discuss technology and its ability to influence and assist humanity; and the world of medicine and its attendant concerns with immortality.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

A wealth of relevant fictional tales are available online from Aberdeen City Libraries using the ‘Borrow Box’ service. More information can be found here. Some examples of the items available include:

The Last Human by Lee Bacon: A story set in a dystopian world where humanity is (supposedly) extinct and Earth is run by machines. Everything seems perfect and in order without war, pollution, crime or poverty. What happens then, when a robot meets a 12-year old? Join XR-935 on this extremely unlikely friendship, and follow their poignant, funny adventure together as they work out what it really means to be human.

The Ghost Network: Activate by I.I Davidson: John, Slack, Akone and Salome are all passionate about computer coding, gaming and hacking; and are thrilled to be at ‘Wolf’s Den’, a specialist academy, with other technologically adept souls from around the world. Then they discover Project 31, a secret study run by the school’s leaders using the pupils themselves as guinea pigs, and two shocking facts: they are all legally dead, and John’s scientist father planted A.I inside him before mysteriously vanishing. In order to find answers and escape their enemies, the four of them must flee across the tundra.

Several of the themes here also work well in festive tales, where characters can build new lives and find new strengths. The following item is also available electronically from City Libraries:

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher: A Victorian mystery where orphaned Seren has to work out what a mysterious package contains, with the help of the strange ‘Christmas Crow’, a supernatural being who will lead her to ‘Tom’. Who is he? Can Seren trust him? And why must she find him before the owner of the parcel finds her? A fascinating adventure story exploring themes of family and belonging.

Another philosophical book that you can find on Primo is inspired by Tolkien’s contemporary and friend C. S Lewis:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Worldview by Gregory Bassham & Jerry Walls: A great primer based on Lewis’ fantastic tales of adventures, magic and coming of age. It also covers the adult topics of morality, gender, free will and the implications of our choices.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It could be paired with a number of modern day adventure stories that explore growing up, and the questions that come with facing difficult experiences and decisions. Examples of stories in this vein available from Aberdeen City libraries include:

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman: Sally Lockhart must track down her father’s killer. She’s perfectly equipped to do it, having had an unconventional upbringing for a Victorian lady: being a brilliant accountant who can ride like a Cossack, shoot like a demon and speak fluent Hindustani. Following the trail of the titular jewel, the first in this series is a masterful adventure story that completely transports you to historic London, India and China.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: This series follows the Baudelaire children as they navigate the world of their eccentric extended family, outwitting and defeating their malevolent Uncle Olaf at every turn. Witty, absurd and extremely memorable. (Please note that the first of this series is available in audiobook format here, and you must be logged into the City Libraries online catalogue for this link to work. More information on how to join them can be found later in this post.)

The Storm Leopards by Holly Webb: A magical tale of family bonds and discovering new passions. When Isabelle and her family visit their local zoo, she comes across a beautiful snow leopard, and is entranced. Determined to help them, she soon finds out about conservation efforts in Mongolia centred on a mother leopard and her cubs.

Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash

Before you go, here are a further few suggestions for festive reading:

The Lost Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes by Donald Thomas: The game is afoot! Join Holmes and Watson for sixteen tales of intellectual derring-do that see them contend with ‘supernatural curses’, find lost treasures, assist Winston Churchill at Sydney Street and foil a German invasion.

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle: If Thomas has whetted your appetite Aberdeen City Libraries have the original mysteries available in print and online, including audiobooks read by Stephen Fry.

Access to e-resources

To find out more about the City Libraries, their collections and services, please do visit their website here. Membership of Aberdeen City Libraries is available to people who work, live or study in Aberdeen City or Shire. If you are not already a member, you can join online now and start using the online services immediately. Sign up for free here.

To access our e-books remember to sign in to Primo; then in the ‘View Online’ section in Primo click on the name of the provider (e.g. Ebook Central) to link to the full-text of an e-book. If the e-book provider presents you with a Shibboleth authentication screen, enter your University username and password again.

Our Christmas Vacation hours can be found here.

On behalf of all library staff here at the University, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And happy reading!

Lucy Drysdale

Podcast Series: A New History of the University of Aberdeen

To celebrate the University’s 525th Anniversary a new podcast series has been developed that will present a new history of the University of Aberdeen; one that accounts for the University’s activities in the transnational and global transmission of ideas since its foundation.

Listen now at: http://ow.ly/KsDY50CBncZ

Please find out more on the University’s event page: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/16216/

Jisc Survey on Open Access Book Publishing – Have your say!

Jisc’s Open research team is carrying out a survey to gather the views and opinions of academics regarding the open access publishing of books (including book chapters and edited collections). We’re keen to find out about:

  • Your publishing habits and motivations
  • How you regard open access book publishing considering the benefits and any concerns you foresee

The survey will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. If you would like to participate, please visit: https://bit.ly/33Bf5jk

Please contact Joanna Adams, Scholarly Communications Officer, with any questions you may have.

Leaving early for Christmas?Return your books before you go!

Library loans can be requested by other users up to and including Friday 11 December, so remember to return your books if you’re going away and will not be able to access them. Make sure you check your e-mail to avoid starting the New Year with fines! 

Please also remember that returned items go into quarantine for 72 hrs before you can collect them. Our libraries will close at 17:00 on Friday 18 December 2020 and will open at 09:00 on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Recalls will be suspended for the Christmas Vacation period.

Please contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk with any questions you may have.

Wednesday Information Sessions from the Scholarly Communications Team

What is Scholarly Communications?

Wednesday 18 November at 14:00 will give an overview of our services and provide information on how we can help you navigate the process of making your research open access.

Introduction to Open Research on Wednesday 25 November at 14:00 will  provide advice, guidance and support to help you make your research open. This session will give an overview of our services and what you can do to improve open access to your research. 

Aimed at academic staff and postgraduate researchers the sessions will be delivered via Teams and are available on the course-booking system. To book a place, please visit: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking – select category ‘Library and Information Skills’.

For more information, please contact Joanna Adams: openaccess@abdn.ac.uk

Study spaces on our campuses

We would like to remind you of the study spaces available on our campuses. These include spaces with computers. Find out about the bookable and drop-in study spaces available and don’t forget that as well as The Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Taylor Library on the Old Aberdeen campus and the Medical Library at Foresterhill are also available!