Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Wellcome Library Workshops - for all!

Come along to a free workshop at the Wellcome Library, London!

The Wellcome Library team of library and archive professionals offers a series of short practical sessions to help you to discover and get the most from various library resources.

Topics include:
  • Finding published research (using Web of Science and Scopus)
  • Finding visual resources in the Wellcome Library
  • Hunt the ancestor: resources for (medical) family history
  • Science in the news: keeping track of stories in the media
  • Wellcome Images
... and many more.

For details please visit the website at: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/node32.html

Cambridge Library Collection ebooks

We are pleased to announce that works from the Cambridge Library Collection digitised by Cambridge University Press from the holdings of Cambridge University Library are available to staff and students as ebooks on the Cambridge Books Online site. Several hundred titles have already been published online and the collection will continue to grow as new content is digitised.

The Cambridge Library Collection is a collaborative venture which provides access to out-of-copyright works on subjects ranging from anthropology to zoology, selected with advice from leading specialists, and digitised using state-of-the-art technology to produce a highly-legible text. The titles have been re-published in print as well as being made available as ebooks. For more information on the project see the Cambridge Library Collection web site at: http://ebooks.cambridge.org/clc/

To view the ebook collection go to Cambridge Books Online at: http://ebooks.cambridge.org/and select the Access To link in the top right-hand corner. A list of individual titles can be viewed. The collection is fully cross-searchable. The Cambridge Library Collection adds to subscribed ebooks on Mathematics already available to students and staff on Cambridge Books Online which you will also find listed.

Students and staff connecting off campus should select the Shibboleth Log-in option and enter their Raven passwords.

Friday, 22 October 2010

New acquisitions

New books:

Biodiversity of fossils in amber from the major world deposits, edited by David Penney. Manchester: Siri Scientific Press; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: GJ (42)

Evolution, 2nd ed., by Douglas J. Futuyma. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.; 2009. Balfour Library shelfmark: EO (325bi-iv) (Overnight Loan shelves)

The greatest show on earth: the evidence for evolution
, by Richard Dawkins. London: Black Swan; 2009. Cambridge; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: EO (324i-ii) (Overnight Loan shelves)

New theses donations:

Analysis of dynamic gene expression patterns in arthropods, by Elizabeth Marie Sefton. (M.Phil.) Cambridge; 2009. Balfour Library shelfmark: Thesis (486) (Library Office)

Biomechanics of the fibrillar adhesive system in insects, by James Michael Rex Bullock. Cambridge; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: Thesis (485) (Library Office)

Functional characterization of human cyclins through quantitative proteomics, by Felicia Jane Walton. Cambridge; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: Thesis (487) (Library Office)

IP3 mediated signalling in Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis, by Aniko ilona Nagy. Cambridge; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: Thesis (489) (Library Office)

Variability, function and phylogenetic significance of unionoid shell characters, by Alexandra Zieritz. Cambridge; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: Thesis (488) (Library Office)

New book donations:

A book of reed: Phragmytes australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Streudel, Phragmites communis Trin.), by Sylvia Haslam. Cardigan: Forrest Text; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: FA (58)

Crustacean fauna of Taiwan: Barnacles, volume 1 - cirripedia: thoracica excluding the Pyrgomatidae and acastinae, by Benny K. K. Chan, Romanus Edy Prabowo, Kwen-Shen Lee. Keelung: National Taiwan Ocean University; 2009. Balfour Library shelfmark: PL (4)

The European bison, by Malgorzata Krasinska and Zbigniew A. Krasinski. Bialowieza: Mammal Institute , Polish Academy of Sciences; 2007. Balfour Library shelfmark: YJL (10)

Hazards of butterfly collecting, by Torben B. Larsen. Brentwood: Cravist Printing Company Limited; 2003. Balfour Library shelfmark: Q (87)

Where to watch birds in Ethiopia, by Claire Spottiswoode, Merid Nega Gabremichael and Julian Francis. London: Christopher Helm; 2010. Balfour Library shelfmark: KZ.6 (76)

Cambridge University Press donations:

Bird conservation and agriculture, by Jeremy D. Wilson, Andrew D. Evans and Philip V. Grice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2009. Balfour Library shelfmark: K.8 (63)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

QR codes - what they are and how to use them

You may see one of these on our library guides, it's a QR code, and it links to our website. QR stands for Quick Response. Basically, anyone can generate a QR code using a free generator available on the web. It's like a barcode and can be created from a web link, a video, or an image for example.

If you have a smartphone (iPhone/Blackberry/HTC or other Android phone) you can download a QR code reader application and then use your camera on the phone to read the QR code - the link, video, image or whatever, will open on your screen.

I think it's a great way to quickly access information - you don't have to either remember or write down a URL for example. In the commercial world QR codes are being added to film or music advertisements on the streets, and there is huge potential for using it in libraries (and many other public services) - to advertise our services and facilities, our contact details and websites etc. Some libraries create them for links to their Special Collection websites and stick a copy of them on the shelves near them so a reader can just scan the code from the poster and automatically be able to read about the collections. Or you could create one to link to a blog post or website about one particular book on the shelf or on display, and post the code nearby.

Next time you see one, have a go at reading it with your smartphone!

Find out more about QR codes on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_codes

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Musings on using the Cephalonian method - a different method of teaching

I first learnt about the Cephalonian method at a conference for librarians in higher education / university / college and research institutions* earlier this year. Jane and I have adapted it for use in our library induction sessions for our undergraduates and postgraduates this term (we've now done the bulk of them) and wanted to jot down our thoughts in case you were thinking of using the same approach.

Why Cephalonia? Well, apparently tour guides originally devised it for running orientation sessions for their groups on the island; you can find out a little bit more on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalonian_method We're using it at a basic level, whereby we have prepared a mix of witty / random / sensible questions about the library services and facilities that we actually hand out to the students we are inducting, and get them to ask us the questions. We then answer the questions, and we have our own cards with the answers on in bullet-point form, in order to prompt us in case we forget anything. For example, one of the questions I have asked is 'What's in the cage?'. The answer is that we have 6,000 rare books in our caged area, dating from 15th-20th centuries..." and so on. Feedback from students so far has been very positive, because they feel more involved and the questions made them think about library services and facilities they hadn't thought about before.

We also introduced sign-up sheets for induction sessions this year, which were advertised by me at the Zoology and Neuroscience students' introductory talks, and reinforced in an email to the students on CamTools. They signed up on sheets provided by us on the Part II notice board and we asked for a maximum of ten people. I had told them we were trying to make it a bit more interesting and interactive for them, and that we would give them some additional help in the form of a new leaflet on how to interpret reading lists. Tours lasted around 20mins.

One main aim of all of this was to try to get as many students as possible into the library for a tour and subsequently using it. We also wanted to avoid just giving tours to one or two people at a time, which is hard on the voice and very repetitive. We also wanted a way of prompting us to tell them things that we sometimes forgot. The more students we induct in this way, the more information they are armed with. Hopefully we will then have less routine queries to deal with and can spend more time on helping people as and when they need it; helping them navigate online resources for example.

  • The induction sessions are more interactive and therefore a less passive experience for the students, and this makes it more interesting for us.
  • Nobody has been too shy to ask a question, in fact they sometimes can't wait to ask theirs as they're keen to know the answer to what are sometimes odd questions!
  • It's easier for us to remember everything that we need to tell the students, but I for one still forgot to mention things.
  • We decided after the first session we did each, that numbering the questions so they were asked in a particular order helped the 'flow' of information from one topic to another - before that we allowed the students to ask us the questions randomly and we had to sift through our own answer cards then answer which interrupted the flow and flummoxed us sometimes! However I think with a larger group (such as the 20 or so postgraduates) the randomness works well, especially with the more witty questions.
  • The sign-up sheets were really successful. We have inducted far more undergraduate students this year than ever before - around 100! They used to be just invited to present themselves in groups for a tour and not many ever did. I think making students commit to attending sessions in this way (although it's not mandatory) along with the promise of an interesting and informative time definitely helped. Other students often saw that a tour was going on and asked to join it.
  • We still forgot to say certain things!
  • You do still end up talking 'at' students a bit but I suppose this can't be helped - maybe we could offer more questions though to break topics up a bit?
  • If only one person signs up for a tour and they can't do any other time this method doesn't really work (with smaller groups it still seems ok though) so you end up doing the traditional tour.
  • We usually left demonstrating the online catalogue and how to access e-journals to the end of the session - some students had lectures to go to so may have missed out, but we do emphasise they're welcome to do this at any time.
How to improve next year:
  • I might change some of my questions next year and put them in a different order to make it flow a bit better.
  • We might just allocate morning sessions as they've proved most popular. We definitely couldn't have coped with doing as many as we actually offered.
  • We might avoid having a couple of tours back-to-back as it leads to a lot of congestion once people have finished theirs and then want to register their cards for borrowing / ask questions, and then the next group arrives.
  • We'll ask for a minimum of 5 people on the sessions, as well as a maximum of 10.
  • Maybe incorporate the demo into the session proper.
We think that this approach has definitely been worth trying and has been successful and we can tweak it to make it even better next year. If you've been on one of our induction sessions, please let us have your feedback, either in person or by email on library@zoo.cam.ac.uk

Clair and Jane

*The Joint CILIP CofHE and UC&R Conference held at Exeter University in June 2010 http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/ucr/pages/joint-conference-2010.aspx

Photo credit: 'Kefalonia' by Dan Taylor, on Flickr.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Rediscover Nature

The international science publication Nature reveals its new look clearer structure and navigation this month.

The new redesigned edition has been enhanced in print and online. New features include a new navigation bar for easier access to online content, a new carousel for smoother browsing of the latest daily news, features and opinion pieces and highlighted research articles showing the latest 16 published articles as they appear online. The new research articles landing page allows readers to browse Nature articles by subject or article type, while new mobile apps allows access to science news stories and the latest published research from your iPhone.

For more information about the new changes to Nature online check out rediscover Nature (http://www.nature.com/rediscover/)

To check out the latest edition of the journal click (http://www.nature.com)

Free workshops at the Wellcome Library, London

We received this message from the Wellcome Library:

"We've just released our new programme of resource discovery workshops at the Wellcome Library. To see what's on, check our list of workshops here: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/workshops

The workshops provide introductions to research and information resources at the Library, and are aimed at the general public. Perhaps you, your colleagues or your users would be interested in:

- thematic workshops such as Science in the News, Medicine and Literature and the History of medicine on the internet;
- training on specific resources such as PubMed Central, and Web of Science;
- and introductions to the Archives & Manuscripts collections,
and the Wellcome Images digital image database.

All workshops are free and available to members of the Library (library membership is free and open to all).

To book a place on any of the workshops, please use the online booking facility on the library web site: http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/workshops"

Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research

An exhibition at the British Library showcasing new and innovative research tools and techniques

12 October 2010 - 16 July 2011

Growing Knowledge will inform and inspire today's researchers, consult and engage with them, demonstrate the value of investment in digital research tools, and spark a debate on the future of research.

See the website at: http://www.bl.uk/growingknowledge/

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Undergraduate borrowing from the University Library

All undergraduates can now borrow up to 5 items at a time from the University Library (UL), for two week loan periods.

Loans can be renewed online for one extra loan period of two weeks.

The UL web pages for students can be found at: http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/students/

From this page you can link to details of introductory tours of the UL and to a film about all the libraries in the University, from students' point of view.

See also the UL's Research Skills Programme, designed to support readers working at every level, from undergraduate to researcher, covering a variety of topics in formats ranging from bookable practical sessions to one-to-one help, at: http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/courses/

There is also much more information on the libraries in the University on the Cambridge Libraries Gateway website at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/libraries