Trial access to Bloomsbury Architecture Library

From Monday 5 November 2018 until Thursday 3 January 2019 we have free full-text trial access to the Bloomsbury Architecture Library. BAL includes the full text of the latest digital edition of Sir Bannister Fletcher’s seminal Global History of Architecture as well as 42 scholarly architecture e-books from the publisher. Access is via IP authentication. Please follow this link, particularly if off-campus or using your own device.

Here is a short video overview of the resource (1min 43 sec).


There are a few ways to discover all that the platform has to offer:

FYI there are several more features coming to Bloomsbury Architecture Library in spring 2019:

  • Building pages with key information about the world’s most important buildings all in one place
  • A clickable world map linked to building pages and articles, making location-specific research easy
  • An interactive timeline that puts architecture history in perspective
  • An essential glossary where students can look up key terms

Please contact David Stacey with any feedback on this trial.

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While You Were Away – New e-Resources!

The following e-book, e-journal and database packages were added to our collections While You Were Away…

Engineering & Design


Humanities, social sciences and management

All of these additions are summarised in the Library’s While You Were Away report for 2018.

Please let us know if you have any feedback by contacting

Posted in archive & research collections, biology & biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, databases, e-books, electrical engineering, engineering & design, humanities & social sciences, journals, management, mathematical sciences, mechanical engineering, new resources, physics, social and policy sciences | Leave a comment

While You Were Away… 2018

A lot has happened in the Library since the end of Semester 2 and the Summer break.

new catalogue

We recently posted about the Library’s new physical and digital spaces, but even more changes have been afoot:

New look Library catalogue

On Monday 2nd July the library catalogue was updated to have a more modern user interface. This has a responsive design that makes it easier to use on mobile phones and tablets.

New and improved Assistive Technology Room

This room is exclusively for students who are registered with the Disability service. The ATI room was originally based at the front of Level 3 and was rather narrow and small. Its new location in the North West corner of Level 2 makes it much more accessible. There is more space for specialist equipment and software provided by Computing Services. The look and feel of the space has also been improved with vinyl wall graphics.

ati room

Upgrades to existing study spaces on Levels 3-5

  • During the Summer one of the Level 4 staff offices (L4.06) was converted into a single seat study room, suitable for private study. This follows student demand for a dedicated private room for this purpose.

We are not just adding new spaces to study, we are actively improving the quality of existing study spaces:

  • 172 PC’s on Level 3 and Level 5 have been upgraded, to include:
    24 inch screens and 4 USB slots
  • 130 chairs on Level 3 and Level 4 have been repaired or replaced.

New e-resources for all disciplines

springer 2018We have acquired online book, journal and database content from several publishers, to support research, learning and teaching in many disciplines. These are summarised with direct links on a separate ‘new e-resources’ post.

For example, this includes more than 11,000 newly accessible research monographs from Springer. Most of these are 2018 frontfiles, but also include archive e-books.

We now have over 73,000 of these Springer e-books covering science, engineering, design humanities, social sciences and management topics.


Keeping you warm with loanable blankets

The Library has purchased new blankets for 2018 and is making these loanable from the Issue Desk. Our building is temperature controlled, but if you find a cold spot, do get in touch to let us know. If you are still feeling chilly, pick up one of our blankets!

All of these enhancements are summarised in the Library’s While You Were Away report for 2018.

Please let us know if you have any feedback by contacting

Posted in biology & biochemistry, databases, e-books, electrical engineering, engineering & design, events, health, humanities & social sciences, journals, management, mathematical sciences, mechanical engineering, new resources, pharmacy & pharmacology, social and policy sciences, space, study areas | Leave a comment

Library card required to enter Library from 9 October

From 11am on Tuesday 9 October, the gates at the Library entrance will be secured.  This means that everyone who wishes to enter the Library will need to present their current Library card at the turnstiles to enter.

Library staff will be working during the day to help new members of the University enter through the gates with their card.

The gates are secured throughout the semester and it is expected that everyone who wants to enter the Library to make use of resources or services based in the building will use their card for access at all times.

The Library Issue Desk can provide replacements for lost and damaged cards between 9am and 4:45pm, Monday to Friday.  Please note that there is a £5 charge for replacing a lost library card.

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Celebrate World Architecture Day 2018

Monday 1 Oct 2018 is World Architecture Day!

This is an event for architects around the world organised by The International Union of Architects (UIA). This year’s theme is “Architecture… for a better world!”

The UIA is celebrating its 70th anniversary. They conducted a poster competition, the results of which were released online. The winning entry can be seen on their news pages. In judging this entry they appreciated the “simplest, most powerful message. The world is our home, we make our homes in the world, and architecture is the means which we mediate our inhabitation.”

If you are inspired by architecture for a better world, search the Library catalogue for print and online materials to find out more. For example relating to sustainable or green building. Alternatively, here are some suggestions for socially-conscious or humanitarian architecture:

Feedback on these resources or recommendations of other resources are welcome.

Contact your Subject Librarian, David Stacey

To celebrate a year of architecture related blogging you can read some of our best posts here.

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Research postgrads – sign up for Library DoctoralSkills training sessions!

The Library offers a range of courses as part of the DoctoralSkills programme. You can browse our range of information skills courses, or explore all courses and make bookings directly on the DoctoralSkills webpages; browse all courses by date, theme or RDF domain.

  • Courses are all FREE to attend and are designed for MPhil/PhD and Professional Doctorate students
  • Courses cover everything from research skills and techniques to commercial awareness for job searching and interviews
  • The Library’s sessions cover everything from literature searching in your field, open access publishing and research data management to copyright, referencing and plagiarism
  • View previous Library presentations for DoctoralSkills on Moodle
  • Pick up a promotional leaflet in the Library today!


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New digital and physical Library spaces

New Physical Spaces

Level 1 Quiet Study Room

The official opening of the Library’s new Level 1 quiet study area took place on the morning of Wednesday 12 September 2018.


Before: old journal storage on Level 1

This space has been completely transformed from our old, archive journal store’s dense rolling stacks, to a bright, comfortable and modern study space with 115 individual desks – each with twin power and USB charging sockets. Acting Vice Chancellor Bernie Morley formally opened the space with University Librarian Kate Robinson, SU Officers and invited guests in attendance. A lot of hard work has taken place to bring this planned development to fruition and we are delighted that we can now provide over 1,500 individual study spaces throughout our building.


Left to Right: SU President Eve Alcock, Acting Vice Chancellor Bernie Morley, SU Education Officer Jack Kitchen and SU Postgraduate Officer Jiani Zhou – explore the new space

Lib L1_IMGP5791-2

During: the space is cleared

The transformation began back in Spring 2017 with the start of a major project to rationalise our print journal holdings. The focus was to remove print materials duplicated by journal archives and stable subscriptions, as well as materials no longer matching our teaching and researching or otherwise not fit for purpose. We needed to slim the collection by 20% to empty the L1 store. Retained materials were then moved to the relevant subject floors.

Building work was conducted apace over Summer 2018 to ensure the room was ready for the new Semester. For more detail on the process, watch our Library transformation slideshow video.


The flooring, ceiling and lighting were replaced, with additional work to enhance the heating, insulation and ventilation on the floor. Power was supplied via dado rails to each new desk.

A new paint scheme inspired by the original 1970s ‘Bamboo’ Terence Conran curtain design, featuring greens and mustard, brightens the walls. This colour scheme is extended to the new chairs and desks installed in the space. A OneLan Plasma screen display for news and alerts, as well as directional signage and Archive image wall decorations will be added as finishing touches.


29680 Library Study Space Opening 12 Sept 2018. Bernie Morley, acting VC opens the new Study Space on level 1 of the Library. Client: David Stacey – Library

Since 2014 the total number of seats in the Library has risen from 1,271 to 1,577. An increase of 22.2% (306 seats). Alongside the various Learning Commons and Graduate Commons (on and off campus) which provide another 630 seats, there has been a significant boost in flexible study spaces.


University Librarian Kate Robinson and Acting Vice Chancellor Bernie Morley introduce the new spaces to guests

We hope you enjoy making use of this new space. Please let us know what you think in the comments below or contact us using our email address or help form.


New digital spaces

Libguides launched this week! 

You may have noticed the Library gradually rolling out new look web pages using the University’s new web content management system. To compliment these and make the most of our guidance and  resource heavy pages, this afternoon we are launching our new and improved subject guides, referencing and research services pages using Libguides.


Libguides is a product specifically designed to allow librarians to create their own websites. It’s used by many hundreds of academic and other libraries and is optimised for curating knowledge and sharing information, organising subject specific databases and assets.


Libguides ensures mobile accessibility, for a friendly ‘Library in your pocket’. Not just for showcasing resources and facilitating ease of use, this platform will help enhance our e-learning provision in various file formats, whilst offering a complete refresh of the look and feel of our site.


Library Lists update:

Last year we piloted our new reading list management software with the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering & Design. These new Library Lists provide live information from our catalogue on availability of books in print and links to full-text online. We are now updating the content in these lists with the help of academic staff, further promoting their use, and exploring how they may be used in other departments.

We are now in the process of enabling seamless delivery with Moodle implementation via LTI. This supports Curriculum Transformation with easy to edit lists and list managers. It also helps us to store and provide scanned content using our CLA license and generates data to improve Library processes such as targeted book ordering.

Students can still access Library lists for recommended reading outside Moodle, using the magnifying glass to search for their unit code or title. These lists are accessible using single-sign on.


It is also possible to create lists that are not associated with a particular unit and also make these publicly accessible. For example, the new list for popular works in the Library.

Please let us know what you think about enhancements to our website and also Library Lists in the comments below, or contact us using our email address or help form.

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