Black History Month – Help us Diversify our Collections

It’s Black History Month and we are looking for your help to Diversify our Collections. If there are any relevant books we do not have, either in print or electronically, that you believe that we should, please let us know and we will look into adding these to our collection.

We have set some funds aside for this and will purchase titles throughout October while these funds remain. Please contact us at subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with the details of your suggestions for purchase.

This continues work we have already been undertaking to diversify our collections. You can see a full list of titles already purchased under this initiative on our website.

Books stacked showing just some of the titles we have already added to our collection through this initiative

Here is some more information about just a few of the titles we have added to our collection in the last year.

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

You may recognise this title as it has been highly recommended across social media platforms since its release in 2017. Inspired by her 2014 blog post of the same title, Eddo-Lodge discusses issues such as eradicated black history, the link between class and race, whitewashed feminism, and the political purpose of white dominance. This book has received many accolades including the Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year 2018 by the British Book Awards and is a No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller. This book is an essential read to help understand race in a modern-day Britain.

If you prefer reading a physical book or listening to an audiobook, Aberdeen City Libraries have access to both here – https://bit.ly/3aSSLol.

Race talk and the conspiracy of silence : understanding and facilitating difficult dialogues on race by Derald Wing Sue

Dr. Sue provides guidance on how to turn what may be an uncomfortable conversation into one that is meaningful and how to get over any fears you may have when talking about race. Showing how best to approach, navigate and facilitate conversations about race. He goes over how to identify when a conversation on race may be unproductive, social rules to keep in mind when talking about racial issues, race specific difficulties and misconceptions and advice for parents and educators on how to approach race more effectively. Dr. Sue has included specific chapters on why people of colour may find it difficult to have honest conversations about race. This book seems incredibly useful if you want to have more productive conversations about race and why a ‘colour-blind approach’ may not be very helpful. 

Ain’t I a woman by bell hooks 

bell hooks provides an essential and classic text in feminist literature. This book covers the impact of sexism on black women during slavery moving into the continuation of the devaluation of black women. She also looks at racism amongst feminists and black women’s involvement in feminism. This is a must read for those looking to expand their knowledge of feminism and read a text that has been deemed ground-breaking in the field.

It is also available as a physical book if you prefer, you can find the details here – https://abdn.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/44ABE_INST/1eeeind/alma990016699270205941

We have also compiled a short playlist on Box of Broadcasts to celebrate Black History Month: https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/playlists/328235

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from some of these titles and please let us know if you think our collection is missing any books, email subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk with any details.

Did you Know…? – help with referencing

Once you have researched and started 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 others focused on specific referencing systems or subject areas: 

Please be sure, though, to also refer to any specific referencing guidance which you may have been provided by your department. You can also see advice on avoiding plagiarism on the Student Learning Service’s website and PGT students can also 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.

If you need any help with referencing your dissertation or project please feel free to contact Library staff with any questions you may have.

Did you Know…? – 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 others focused on specific referencing systems or subject areas:  

Please be sure, though, to also refer to any specific referencing guidance which you may have been provided by your department. You can also see advice on avoiding plagiarism on the Student Learning Service’s website and PGT students can also 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. 

If you need any help with referencing your dissertation or project please feel free to contact Library staff with any questions you may have.

Reading for Pleasure

 

For many, picking up and reading a book may seem daunting. You may not have done much reading other than academic work for years, or maybe it’s just something you’ve never really got into the habit of. With a little more time on our hands, reading can be a great way to spend some of this time. It’s also a great way to escape some of the challenges around us and lose yourself in a different world.

If you haven’t read anything for fun in a while, it may seem difficult to know where to start. Start somewhere easy; choose a book that you know will make you smile, your favourite book as a child, something that you know will keep you reading! GoodReads is a great place to see reader reviews to find books that you might enjoy.

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And of course, you don’t have to pick up a physical book. If e-books and audiobooks work better for you then why not check out what Aberdeen City Libraries have to offer? See what’s available in their collection here.

Read on for some e-book recommendations…

The Secret War: Discovering new outlooks on World War II

75 years ago, the world was looking forward to a vastly different future than many people living then could have imagined 6 years previously. When World War II ended, much like today, everyone wondered what would come next and how and when ‘normality’ would resume. As we have discovered more about this seminal conflict, new and exciting stories have been told.

Aberdeen City Libraries have put together an excellent online collection of Wartime Stories to commemorate this anniversary. Several of the items include uplifting tales of wartime espionage, courage under fire, and dealing with impossible situations. 

Some highlights below: 

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The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather 

The captivating, almost unbelievable true story of Witold Pilecki, an operative with the Polish Resistance, and his two years smuggling information on the Holocaust to Western contacts from inside Auschwitz, alongside saving thousands of fellow prisoners.

The 21 Escapes of Lt Alistair Cram by David Guss 

Another true-life tale, in which you’d be readily forgiven for thinking this man’s middle name was ‘Houdini’. Captured in 1941, Lt Cram was held in 10 different POW camps and prisons and made 21 escape attempts. Courageous and defiant to the end, his partnership with David Stirling led to his last, successful escape and the Military Cross.

Many more wonderful items are available online from Aberdeen City Libraries. Please note that Aberdeen University students and staff can join Aberdeen City Libraries and use their online services immediately. For more information, please see our blog post. Once normal operation resumes, you will also be able to borrow books from the ‘Old Aberdeen Library’ on the Ground Floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library. 

For further study of the conflict, Primo offers you a gateway into a plethora of information sources. Do get in touch with us if you need help searching Primo or see our Library guides for guidance. 

Harry Potter chapter readings

We may not be able to be back on campus yet but we can go back to Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is being released chapter at a time with a different celebrity reading each chapter; with Daniel Radcliffe himself reading the first chapter. These are available on Spotify and via the Wizarding World website. 

Green lifestyle 

As well as reading purely for pleasure, you may be looking for inspiration on what you can do to improve the world you live in. One aspect of that could be reducing your personal carbon footprint. Here are a couple of easy-to-read e-books from Aberdeen University Library, which might help you find ways to live in a more sustainable manner:

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How bad are bananas: the carbon footprint of everything by Mike Berners-Lee 

Cooler smarter practical steps for low-carbon living: expert advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists by Seth Shulman et al.

To access the above two items, remember to sign in to Primo; then in the ‘View Online’ section in Primo click on the name of the provider (VLeBooks, SpringerLink) to link to the full-text of an e-book. 

Please email us with any questions you may have. Until then, happy reading! 

Laura Bain, Lucy Drysdale and Elaine Fitzgerald

Did You Know…? – Information for Education Distance Learners

We may be unable to post books out to our Education Distance Learners at the moment, but we are still here to help. As always, the Distance Learner team are available Monday-Friday from 9am-12pm, responding to your queries. Please get in touch with distancelib@abdn.ac.uk if you need help with anything, as we would be happy to help!  

Since the library building closed, we have been working hard to gain access to more e-books which are available via our online catalogue Primo.  

We also have temporary access to some additional electronic resources; you can find a full list of what we have access to hereVitalSource and EBSCO eBooks are two that you may find particularly useful as they have access to some useful education resources and e-books. First time users of VitalSource: click on ‘Create a VitalSource account’. After setting up an account, VitalSource lets you borrow up to maximum 7 textbooks, you can read more information about VitalSource in one of our blog posts here

See our guide to referencing for education students for assistance on how to reference your work.  

Don’t forget to check the library website for up to date information on the library service.  

We hope you are all well and don’t forget to email us if you need any help with anything!