Welcome to the Library

We have been excited to see our new and returning students in the Library. Library staff are here to help you make the most of our resources and services, whether you are based on, or off, campus. Please get in touch with any queries you may have.

For general or subject-related enquiries, contact us on library@abdn.ac.uk, or please do enquire in person: Library staff will be available at set times at the Information Centre on Floor 1, or on Floors 5 & 6 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

If you wish to contact the Information Consultant for your discipline, their contact details are available here.

Library Resources

When searching for books on your Reading List, or other resources, please use the Library’s discovery tool, Primo. Primo provides information about our printed resources, and is also the recommended access route to our extensive e-resources, digital collections and databases.

Our comprehensive Library guides offer detailed answers to any questions you may have about our resources. If you haven’t used Primo before, you may find the following guides helpful:

Primo Quick Guide
Primo: How to do a simple search successfully  
Primo: How to do an advanced search successfully
Accessing e-resources 

Please do contact Library staff if you are having trouble accessing or finding your resources. We are happy to help.

IT Issues

If you have any problems with your device or accessing information, please contact the IT Service Desk. Contact information can be found here.

Visiting the Library

Please note that there is now a webpage on our site where you can see the current occupancy of the Sir Duncan Rice library and the Taylor library. Opening hours for all Library sites can be found here.

Please follow us on our social media channels to keep up with news from the Library. Once again, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all our students and wish you all a happy start to the new academic year.

Online Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers: now open for booking

As you begin, or continue your PhD, it is important that you feel confident that you are locating and managing all the literature and information you require to achieve your research aims.

The Library Service is here to support your research so we will be running a series of three Online Information Skills Workshops starting at the end of June 2022. The workshops’ aim is to help you understand the resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them. Read on for further information on the workshops.

28 June
Literature searching: Part 1 – Planning a search, resources, access and support

  • Planning your search, using Boolean operators and applying search rules
  • Using Primo to identify possible resources to support your research
  • Accessing resources (authentication – Shibboleth and other routes)
  • Library help and support

28 June
Literature searching: Part 2 – Primo, ebooks and Google

  • How to get the best out of Primo (the library catalogue and discovery tool)
  • Ebook collections
  • Streamlining your searches in Google, Google Scholar and other search engines

29 June
Literature searching: Part 3 – Scopus and Web of Science databases

Overview of the features and options within the two largest and broadest databases that we have access to. The training slot is one hour, however, there is an option to re-join the session later in the morning to ask questions once you have had the chance to try things out for yourself.

Feedback from those who have previously attended these sessions has been positive and highlights how after attending, students felt better equipped to find and manage the materials they need for research. One quote from a previous attendee nicely sums up what we are aiming for with these sessions:

“I will definitely be searching smarter than before”

Our aim is that after you attend, you will also leave feeling this way.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Information Skills classes.

Live online sessions for PGT students on literature searching – May 25 & 26

As many taught postgraduate students begin work on their dissertations or projects, the Library is running a series of online sessions to help you find papers on your dissertation topic, access e-resources, or understand how to get the best out of Google.

The three-part series takes place next week, on Wednesday May 25 and Thursday May 26, and will be delivered online via Collaborate. They are open to all PGT students.

The three parts cover the following:

  • Part 1 – Planning a search, resources, access and support
  • Part 2 – Primo, ebooks and Google
  • Part 3 – Scopus and Web of Science databases

To find out more and to book a place, please visit abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking – just change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

You may also find materials in our Refresher series of interest. The recordings in our Refresher series present techniques, tips and resources to help you find scholarly information and reliable support materials. The issues of plagiarism, referencing, planning a dissertation and writing a Literature Review are also covered.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions. e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

Library Event – Gale Primary Sources Seminar, March 9

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be holding an event next week to help our students access a wonderful range of historical primary source materials, produced by Gale, that are all available online.

The Gale Primary Sources Seminar will be taking place in the Sir Duncan Rice Library, in the Lower Ground Floor Seminar Room, on Wednesday March 9, at 2.00 – 3.00 p.m.

The seminar will be delivered by the University of Aberdeen’s Gale Student Ambassador, a student here that is passionate about helping fellow students understand and use this great collection of materials that contains historical newspapers including The Times and Financial Times, historical books, and other high quality and varied primary sources. You can see the full range of Gale products available at Aberdeen here.

Please take your own device with you if you choose to attend, so that you can try out the collections yourself.

This is the first in a planned series of events that will be delivered by our Gale Student Ambassador. There is no booking for this event but attendance will be limited, and face-masks will have to be worn.

Did you know…? – Extensive online access to publications from the British Academy

We thought you might be interested in additional e-resources from the British Academy that have been made available through our subscription to University Press Scholarship Online (UPSO). Recently expanded content includes 207 publications, spanning subjects in the humanities and social sciences, with new items being added as they are published.

Logo of the University Press Scholarship Online and the British Academy

Access to this electronic collection of books, essays and journals includes the series Proceedings of the British Academy, lectures delivered at the British Academy, available online from 2002 onwards.

The Library also has earlier and current print copies of this journal on Floor 2 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library and at other locations.

Access to UPSO is via the Find Databases tab in Primo. Once you are on the UPSO platform, please look for the Sign in via your Institution option.

Details of other collections that remain available on a temporary basis can be found on our designated Library page, which we update regularly.

In addition to highlighting expanded content available via our Library subscriptions, please see here a list of relevant and appropriate Open Access e-resources.

Please email us with any questions you may have as we are always happy to help!
subjectteam@abdn.ac.uk

Jenna Storey, jennifer.storey@abdn.ac.uk

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

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

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.

christin-hume-k2Kcwkandwg-unsplash

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: 

wes-hicks-4-EeTnaC1S4-unsplash

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

#BlackLivesMatter: Library resources

Our University is open to all and we are committed to securing the highest standards of equality, diversity and inclusion. This week the Library was asked what more it could do to show how much we believe that #BlackLivesMatter.

We provide a large amount of relevant resources and our staff and students can find these via Primo. We are here to help you with this if you get in touch via library@abdn.ac.uk or @aberdeenunilib on Twitter. But it is right to challenge us to do more. Earlier in the week a student brought to my attention that we are missing some important titles. As a result, we have acquired two new e-books and added them to our catalogue:

Layla Saad, Me and white supremacy: combat racism, change the world, and become a good ancestor

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

 
DSC_9161Due to the present situation, we are only purchasing e-books for now and not all the titles we would like are available in this form, but I am very happy to hear from University of Aberdeen students or staff if you have other recommendations. And if our academic staff are looking at reading lists and aiming to expand what you offer, the Library will be very pleased to help as we develop our new reading list service. We are ready to help if you need support sourcing new titles.

All of us at the Library stand with the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) and our whole #ABDNfamily to celebrate our values of inclusivity and to condemn all forms of discrimination, prejudice and racism.

#BlackLivesMatter

Simon Bains
University Librarian

 

Did you know…? – Off-campus access to OnePetro

OnePetro logo

In a previous post, we told you about accessing e-resources off-campus. In this post, we would like to draw your attention to OnePetro, an important database of technical literature for the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) industry.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), who own the OnePetro database, have an authentication (login) system based on the IP address of the user’s PC. Signing in is very straightforward when users are on-campus using University networked PCs. However, it is a 2-step process when off-campus, as users are required to come into the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) first so that their personal device will look as if it is campus-based.

Please follow the guidance on the Remote Access section of Toolkit – select the Remote VDI link in the ‘Guides’ section. Once you have logged in to the VDI, navigate to ‘Library Resources’, and from there to Primo.

Library staff have created a very useful guide on accessing and using OnePetro.

Please note that via the VDI you can also access classroom software associated with your login details and your H: drive.

Susan McCourt, Elaine Fitzgerald, Lena Papadakou