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

Mental Health Awareness Week at The Sir Duncan Rice Library

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week at The Sir Duncan Rice Library and we have multiple events throughout the week on the Ground Floor of the library. Make sure to take a break from studying and check out these events!

  • AUSA will be in the library all week with some information boards and interactive boards to help promote their Mental Health Awareness Week campaign.
  • Make sure to take some time out from studying and pledge to read for just six minutes on Wednesday 11th May in Scotland’s Reading Moment initiative to ‘Keep the heid and read!’ Make your pledge and read more information about the initiative here – https://www.keeptheheid.scot/#pledge
Keep the heid and read campaign poster. Take a mood boosting read on Wedesdnay 11th May - reading for just six minutes every day improves mental health and wellbeing. Pledge here at www.keeptheheid.scot/pledge #keeptheheid
  • We also have our last Therapets session of the semester on Wednesday 11th May 2-3pm. Pop along to see Nevis and Fonzie and take a well-deserved break from your studying.
  • In collaboration with our friends at the Aberdeen City Libraries and our very own Old Aberdeen Library. Ewan Scott, the Health and Wellbeing Librarian for Aberdeen City Libraries is coming in to engage with students, staff and visitors on Wednesday from 2-3pm. Pop along and say hello!

We look forward to seeing you all and remember to take regular breaks from studying!

Therapet dogs in the Library

Last Wednesday afternoon, students and staff in the Sir Duncan Rice Library had a visit from Canine Concern Scotland Trust’s Therapet dogs. The dogs are back in the Library today, and we will be having weekly visits from the Therapets until 10th May – please see below for details. Therapets also attended the University’s recent Live on the Lawn event, where they were a very popular attraction!

Canine Concern Scotland Trust (CCST) is a charitable organisation where owners and their pets can volunteer to visit various groups of people. Dogs must undergo an assessment to ensure they are well-suited to meeting lots of different people, including in schools and universities, care homes, and hospitals. Therapets have been shown to reduce stress and promote wellbeing in students, as detailed in this pilot project, and this article.

Ground floor of the library showing dogs being doted on my students and staff.

We met Leo, Nevis, and Zela with their owners. Leo, a rough collie, was very relaxed and reclined on the floor to receive his adoring public. Nevis, a flat-coated retriever, was really excited to meet everyone! Her tail got a good work-out from wagging so much. Zela, a miniature poodle, was a very attentive listener, her head tilted as she watched people fuss over her. For our future sessions, Nevis and Zela will be present.

We will be having further visits from our canine friends every Wednesday until 10th May, the dates and times of these sessions are below:

  • 6 April, 2-3pm
  • 13 April, 11am-12pm
  • 20 April, 2-3pm
  • 27 April, 2-3pm
  • 4 May, 11am-12pm
  • 11 May, 2-3pm

They will be situated towards the back of the ground floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library. No booking is required but these sessions may be busy, so please be aware that you will only get a limited time with the dogs.

Celebrating Neurodiversity: Resources Available in the Library

As part of the University of Aberdeen’s support for Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 21-27), 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.

Neurodiversity

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.

ADHD

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.

Dyslexia

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 .

Lucy Drysdale

International Women’s Day

Photo from Google Images

To mark International Women’s Day, from the 8th – 11th March the University of Aberdeen is hosting a series of in-person and online events. These include a panel discussion of female voices in the climate change debate, asking if there is space for women to be heard in the discussion, research and debate around the crucial decisions that need to be made.

We thought that this was a good opportunity to showcase a small selection of the books available in the library that dig deeper into women’s roles and involvement in climate change around the world: both from an academic perspective and through examining specific case studies and the work of countries and communities.

Ursula Oswald Spring: Pioneer on Gender, Peace, Development, Environment, Food and Water by Ursula Oswald Spring (available online)

Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change by Margaret Alston & Kerri Whittenbury (Proceedings of the Gender and Climate Change: Women, Research and Action Conference, available online)

Climate Technology, Gender and Justice: The standpoint of the vulnerable by Tina Sikka (available online)

Linking Gender to Climate Change Impacts in the Global South by Roy Sen (available online)

Women and the Energy Revolution in Asia by Reihana Mohideen (available online)

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from these books. If you have any comments, questions or recommendations, please let us know.

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.

World Book Day – Old Aberdeen Library

To help us celebrate 25 years of World Book Day we are once again welcoming students and staff to the Old Aberdeen Library on the ground floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library. Where we get to enjoy and borrow from the Aberdeen City Libraries collection!

Image of curved bookcases full of books in a row with a standing banner in front saying Welcome to Old Aberdeen Library.
Old Aberdeen Library

All those who work, live or study in Aberdeen City or Shire, qualify to become a member of the public library. This gives you access to borrow from their physical collection from any branch using Old Aberdeen Library as your collection point, browse the shelves on the ground floor, borrow audiobooks and electronic books from BorrowBox, their online collection. It also gives to access to all of their online resources such as Ancestry and PressReader. You can find out more about how to sign up for a membership here – https://aberdeencity.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/WPAC/JOIN

To help us celebrate World Book Day, staff from Aberdeen City Libraries will be here to answer any questions you may have or help you sign up for a membership on Wednesday 2nd March from 10am-12pm.

Pop along to say hello to them and sign up for a membership if you haven’t already, it’s free!

Reading for Pleasure: Walter Scott & Song – Inspiring Stories to read over the Festive Season

Picture via Google Images

In honour of the 250th anniversary of his birth, the University of Aberdeen’s Museums & Special Collections have collaborated with the Walter Scott Research Centre on Walter Scott & Song: Retuning the Harp of the North. Exploring ballads, opera, and theatrical and popular songs, this online exhibition showcases the University of Aberdeen’s Walter Scott collections alongside musical recordings. As a best-selling author, Walter Scott introduced Scottish traditions to audiences across the world. His writings and song collections inspired both his readers in the 1800s, and future generations of musicians. 

Walter Scott (1771-1832) trained as a lawyer and practised in Edinburgh, but his true calling was for storytelling: he was deeply passionate about Scotland’s history and culture, and committed himself to showcasing and creating epic stories such as the Waverley novels and Rob Roy.

Like many others in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Scott had a deep interest in songs and stories that had been passed down by ordinary people over generations. As a young man, he gathered together ballads from the Scottish Borders, and published them in a book called Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. ‘Battle of Otterbourne’ tells the story of a 1388 battle between a Scottish and an English family. Heavily influenced by the European romantic movement, he would go on to spark the imagination and creativity of generations of readers and writers.


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Taking as our inspiration the folklore, myths and legends of Scotland and Europe, library staff have collated the following materials available both in the academic collection and from Aberdeen City Libraries. The Ground Floor of the Library hosts the Old Aberdeen branch of Aberdeen City Libraries, and more information can be found here.

On behalf of all Library, Special Collections and Museums staff, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library Opening Hours during the Winter Break

The winter break is almost here, bringing with it the opportunity for a much-needed rest from study and research.  And before the Winter Term closes, we would like to let you know the opening hours of The Sir Duncan Rice Library during the winter break and public holidays.

All libraries at the University of Aberdeen will be closing at 5pm on Thursday, 23 December and reopen again on Thursday, 6 January.

Full details of the opening hours at our other two library sites, Taylor Library and Medical Library can be found on our website.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library is open 24/7 until Friday, 17 December when we will close at 22.00.  We will then be open at the times given below.

Statue in the snow. (Jonathan Mackintosh)
Saturday 18 December9:00 – 13:00
Sunday 19 DecemberClosed
Monday 20 – Thursday 23 December8:30 – 17:00
24 December 2021 – 5 January 2022Closed
Thursday 6 & Friday 7 January8:30 – 17:00
Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 JanuaryClosed
Monday 10 January8:00 – 00:00 (Normal Term Hours Resume)

Wishing all of our readers a safe, well-deserved holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in January for the start of the new term.

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As Christmas approaches, we would like to remind students and staff about the possibility of borrowed items being requested by other users during the upcoming holidays. Library loans can be requested by other users up to and including Thursday 23 December.

Our libraries will close at 17:00 on Thursday 23 December 2021 and will open at 09:00 on Thursday 6 January 2022.

Library loans can continue to be requested by other users over this vacation period, so remember to return your books if you’re going away and will not be able to access them. However, any recalled items will not actually be due back while we are closed over Christmas. Make sure you check your e-mail to avoid starting the New Year with fines! 

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