We'll update this page every day this week to remind you what there is to love about Wolfson Library at this half-way point in the year.
Drop in to the library this week for Love Hearts sweets wrapped in study tips (if Virginia (the) Wolf doesn't eat them all!), instructions and paper to make an origami heart book mark (tweet images of them @WolfsonLibrary), or to colour-in a love-themed bookmark. They say that music is the food of love, so share your favourite tracks to study to and we’ll create some playlists to share. We want you to love your library, so you can also let us know if there is anything else we can do by using our suggestions box.
Libraries are designed for studying. It is easy to get distracted in your own room, but when you are surrounded by other hardworking students it helps to focus your mind. The silent atmosphere helps you concentrate (and if you can still hear a pin drop, we have ear plugs too!). It is healthy to delineate your work and leisure environment; when you go back to your room/home, you will be able to use that space for relaxation.
We also want to look after your physical health: we have a range of desks to suit all needs from large tables, smaller carrels, standing desks to laptop tables which you can combine with a lumbar support and the right sort of chair for you. Then customise your workspace with blankets, fans, lamps and plug sockets to make sure everything is just right.
And you don't have to keep on lugging your resources to the library, either. Make use of our shelves and cubby-holes and if you are returning within 12 hours, remember to fill out a yellow slip so that we don't move your belongings. With access to a kettle, coffee-machine, water fountain and fridge you can also make sure that you stay hydrated and keep your energy levels up while working.
Wifi ensures you have all the e-resoucres you need and print resources are to hand, and if we don't have what you need do let us know . Finally, staff are available during the day for any questions you may have. If you haven't been in a while, pop in!
Of course, you don't have to step inside the Lee Library to love it. The online library is with you wherever you are and whenever you need it. This means that you can study in a place best suited to your needs. Our e-collections are extensive; you can search for online books, journals, maps, conference papers, newspapers and more by title and keyword in iDiscover. See our tips for searching and the iDiscover LibGuide for more information.
The catalogue indexes a lot of e-journal articles, but it is definitely worth spending time searching some of the nearly 900 databases we subscribe to, to make sure that you have tracked down everything that is relevant to your studies.You can also browse ebook collections, repositories of theses, and resources for primary research including newspapers and official publications. To help you know where to start, you can limit by subject area.
We know that many students search any number of different places online (Google, Google Scholar, Bing, Baidu, academia.edu, ...) to find resources. So that this doesn't become a confusing mix of articles that you do and don't have access to, use Lean Library, a browser extension that delivers an article to you regardless of where you are linking from. There's no more looking for login buttons on publisher websites or scrolling for your institution's name in dropdown menus, it will automatically detect when you have access thanks to the subscriptions of Cambridge University Libraries. Plus it will deliver an Open Access version of an article - if one is available - whenever Cambridge University Libraries do not provide subscription access. If you prefer just to use Google Scholar, take some time to set up Library Links so that you can see what you have access to. There’s a video showing you how to do this on our LibGuide.
While we can't promise to always be online, drop us a question whenever it occurs to you and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
In keeping with the theme of well being, we wanted to address a key cause of anxiety for all students: referencing. We also get a lot of enquiries about how keep on top of notes. Fortunately, the two are very much connected and reference management software can take the stress out of both.
Reference management - There is no point searching for references, reading books and articles, and taking notes if you can't easily find a quotation or page reference when you are writing an essay or thesis. It is also essential that you keep a record so that you can give proper accreditation to any sources you use to build your written argument. If you don't cite an idea or direct quotation, even unintentionally, you could be accused of plagiarism. Find out more about avoiding this on the Plagiarism LibGuide. In addition, you may need to store other types of research data such as images from archives, field notes, interview transcripts or audio files. It is important to have a plan for how to store all this research material. Learn more on our Data Management LibGuide.
Software - You need to take records of everything you encounter during the research process. You can do this in a notebook, but you'll soon find that unwieldy. Reference management software will let you download references from catalogues and databases, store pdfs and take notes, keeping everything in the same place and searchable so you can track it down later. It will back up this information and be accessible wherever you are, regardless of the device you are working on. Both Mendeley and Zotero are free software that enable to you download, store and annotate references and documents. One of the most useful aspects lets you cite references in a document and automatically builds your bibliography/list of references. If you are looking for something less involved, why not try Zoterobib. This lets you add a title, ISBN, DOI, PMID or URL to quickly generate a formatted reference or bibliography. You can effortlessly change reference style too. You don't need to create an account; just create and export it straight to your work. The unique link will let you return to it later or share with someone else. There are separate LibGuides for both Mendeley and Zotero plus there are videos showing you how to get them set up on the Managing References tab of our LibGuide. Of course, sometimes, it is just easier to come in to the library and we can help you get started. Let us know if you would like a hand!
Notes - Both Mendeley and Zotero have note-taking functions that means not only are your notes stored with each reference, making them easy to retrieve, they are also searchable, which is useful if you can't remember where you read something. If you prefer to take notes in another format, you can attach a Word document or a photograph of handwritten notes to help you stay organised and back them up in case they get lost. More tips and strategies for making effective notes are available on the Note making tab of our LibGuide.
Day 4 is your opportunity to tell us what you love about the library but, more importantly, what you’d love us to do in the future. The Cambridge Libraries Survey opened yesterday and runs until 3 March. It should take no longer than ten minutes to finish and all completed surveys can enter a prize draw for one of ten £50 Amazon vouchers.
You are asked to answer questions for just one library that you use in Cambridge. So if you are frequently in here, we’d love it if you selected Wolfson so that we can find out how we can best meet your needs. However, you may select another location because that’s where you spend more library time. If you do and still have some feedback for us, please drop a note in the Suggestion Box in the foyer. We’ll respond directly if you leave an email address or we’ll periodically post responses in the library. Comments by email are always welcome too.
DAY 5: Well-being in the library
On the final day of Love Your Library Week, Virginia can be seen highlighting the explicit role we can play in your well-being.
Do you know about our self-help selection? Located opposite the self-issue machine, we have books on a wide range of topics including stopping smoking, helping you sleep, managing depression and anxiety, and overcoming eating disorders. They may provide a useful first step if you are looking for advice or are concerned about a friend or family member. It is a growing collection; we have just added some new titles and are always looking for suggestions.
If you would find it helpful to think about how you engage online or if you are looking for ways to unplug, take a look at our LibGuide for a range of digital detox tools: https://libguides.cam.ac.uk/wolfsoncollege/digitalwellbeing
We hope you've found some useful tips in the messages this week and we know that you've enjoyed the sweets in the library! ;-)