The Library in the time of Covid-19

Not sure what Library resources, services and support are available to you at this unusual time? You can always keep up to date with all of this via our Library Covid-19 site but we’d like to highlight some key areas in this blog post.

Temporary access to e-books and other e-resources
E-books and books in general
Requesting a chapter from a book or journal article for personal use
Digital primary source and archive collections
Returning library books

Temporary access to e-books and other e-resources

The Library is already in a strong position when it comes to online resources and digital collections. We have around 1.4 million e-books, 185,000 e-journals, 700 licensed databases, 84,000 streaming videos and 6,000 scanned book chapters and journal articles. The majority of this content can be accessed via DiscoverEd and your subject guides.

However, at this time we’ve also been looking to take advantage to free temporary access that various publishers have been opening up to universities. This is giving us access to a really vast range of online resources (e-books, e-journals and digital primary source databases) that we wouldn’t normally have access to and new sites or resources are being added weekly.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

Many of these temporary resources can’t be added into DiscoverEd, so to discover and access them you must go to Temporary access to e-books and e-resources. And don’t just look at familiar names and publishers listed on this page, there are resources you may not have heard of before which are giving access to 1000s of e-books or large ranges of e-journals or digital primary sources.

E-books and books in general

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

All our library buildings are closed and library staff have no access to the print and physical collections within the libraries.

If there are books available at the Library in print but not e-books (or alternatively, if the Library doesn’t have the book at all) then you can ask the Library to try and buy the e-book version. There is no guarantee they will be able to get an e-book, unfortunately not all books have been digitised, but our Acquisitions team will try.

Do remember to also check the resources being made available via the Temporary access to e-books and other e-resources page, as it could be the Library already has free access to the e-book you require.

If you just require a chapter from a book you may be able to get a copy of this via the Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) service.

Requesting a chapter from a book or journal article for personal use

The Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) service at the University is still running but with a reduced service. The ILL team can try and get copies of book chapters or journal articles from other libraries where an e-copy (digital copy) is held. Normal copyright rules apply.

ILL requests can now be placed via DiscoverEd. For more information on how to do this see Request an Inter Library Loan. Remember PG students and staff have a free quota of 30 ILL requests per academic year and UG students have a free quota of 5 free ILL requests per academic year.

If an item is only available in print it won’t be possible to get a copy just now.

Note, if you had borrowed a book via the Inter-Library Loans service before the lockdown this book will have been renewed and no fines will accrue during the closure period. Please keep hold of your books just now and keep checking the Library Covid-19 site for updates on how to return these books.

Digital primary source and archive collections

For those of you planning on doing more historical research or using newspapers for your work digital primary source databases are incredibly important. The Library already has access to a very large range of these databases (over 400) and these can be accessed via the Digital primary source and archive collections guide and the Newspapers, magazines and other news sources guide.

However, the Library has been able to organise temporary or trial access to an even greater number of these databases at this time.

On the Temporary access to e-books and other e-resources page Bloomsbury, British Online Archives and JSTOR have opened up primary source databases to us for limited periods of time. Also on this page take a look at National Archives, who have opened up access to a range of their digital collections at this time.

The Library has also organised extended trial access to a wide and varied range of primary source databases covering 100s of years of world history. There are newspaper archives such as Financial Times Historical Archive, The Daily Mirror Historical Archive, The Sunday Times Historical Archive and The Telegraph Historical Archive. There are databases concentrating on U.S. history, the 19th century, crime and punishment, women’s history, LGBTQ history, slavery, refugees, radicalism, book and publishing history, South Asian history, history of China, and large databases looking at the the making of the modern world and the making of modern law.

To see the full list of databases available on trial and to access them see the E-resources trials page. These databases will only be available for a limited period of time so do make a note of the end date of each trial you are interested in.

If there is a database you would like the Library to trial please contact (or your relevant Academic Support  Librarian). We can’t guarantee the publishers will say yes to a trial but it’s worth us at least asking.

Returning library books

The Library is currently not able to accept book returns as our library buildings are closed. We are aware that some students are returning to their home countries and wish to return their books, and we’re looking into ways that you can return your borrowed items. Please keep checking the Library Covid-19 site for updates.

You can still contact the Library with any queries via the Library Chat service (appears on DiscoverEd) or via online forms.

If you have subject specific queries or are unsure where to direct your library related query please feel free to contact myself and Donna Watson via (or your relevant Academic Support Librarian).

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for School of Social and Political Science

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