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News and updates

News or updates on Library services and resources

You will find information about updates on the Library, our services and planned downtime for resources that we subscribe to.

 

Current

Birkbeck Library annual survey. Posted - 29 June 2021.

  • Our annual Library Services Student Survey is now open and will close on Saturday 31 July
  • We welcome your feedback on our services and will use the survey results to inform improvements in the next few months and beyond - so please complete the survey now and be in with the chance of winning book vouchers!

Re-introduction of interlibrary loan service for printed books. Posted - 16 June 2021.

  • From Monday 5 July, Birkbeck Library will again be able to provide printed books via interlibrary loan for titles not held in its own collections.

Library re-opens on Saturdays. Posted - 23 April 2021.

Library re-opens for pre-booked study space use and Easter break. Posted - 26 March 2021.

Birkbeck Library's response to Lockdown three. Posted - 5 January 2021.

  • Due to the current lockdown, Birkbeck Library is closed until further notice. 
  • We are continuing to offer a click-and-post service. Birkbeck students, staff and alumni can order up to five books at a time via this form. [From June 21 this service will not be available to alumni.]
  • Our online enquiry and live chat services continue to be available Monday to Sunday 10am - 10pm.

Birkbeck Library reopens for study and borrowing - update. Posted - 2 October 2020.

  • We are pleased to announce that from Monday 14 September the Library will reopen its space for use by current Birkbeck students and staff.
  • New opening hours from 3 October: Monday to Thursday, 2pm – 9pm and Friday 2pm – 6pm.
  • To visit the Library, you will need to book a study space in advance. You can also use this form to make a booking if you simply want to come in and borrow items. There will be no access without a booking.
  • You can book a study space up to three days in advance of your visit.
  • A range of safety measures is in place inside the Library.
    • The number of study spaces has been reduced by over 50% to ensure social distancing is possible at all times.
    • Computer users will collect a keyboard and mouse at the Library entrance, to use during their visit.
    • All users will be expected to wear masks throughout their visit (unless they have a medical exemption).
    • There will be a cleaner on site at all times.
  • Printing is now available from Library computers only. It is currently not possible to print wirelessly. You will need to top up your print account  online as there is no facilities in the Library to do that.
  • Our main enquiry service will continue to be delivered online via chat and email.  Library staff who are present in the building will only offer limited assistance. 
  • Since the Library will be open, we are no longer offering a click-and-collect service. However, we will continue to offer a click-and-post service to library users who do not wish to travel to central London. Birkbeck students, staff and alumni can therefore continue to order up to 5 books at a time via this form. 
  • It is no longer necessary to contact us in advance if you only wish to return items. These can be left on a marked trolley immediately outside the Library (Monday - Friday). Items will not be taken off your account immediately, as it is recommended to quarantine books for 72 hours. Alternatively, you can continue to post items back to us at the following address: BOOK RETURNS, The Library, Birkbeck, University of London Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX.
  • The British Library is now able to supply most of the material in its On Demand collection. This means that our Interlibrary loans team can now supply articles and chapters from non-electronic sources.
  • Senate House Library is also providing a Click, Collect and Returns service.
  • Please read our Library Service adjustments during the COVID-19  pandemic for more information.

Changes to library services in response to covid-19. Posted - 17 March 2020.

  • Following the further advice issued by the government yesterday, Birkbeck Library will close at 5pm this afternoon (17 March) and remain closed until further notice.
  • We will continue to provide online services for library users in the coming weeks. These will include:
    • An email and chat enquiry service: Monday to Sunday, you can contact us online and we will get back to you within a day.
    • Interlibrary loans: you will be able to request new articles (digital only) via the service.  Currently, the British Library can only supply items from their electronic stores. You will need to request renewals via the service, but you will not be charged for these. Fines on overdue items will be waived.
    • Assistance for disabled and dyslexic students: Monday to Friday, the Library Disability and Dyslexia team will be able to provide support via .  They will endeavour to source digital copies for you but will no longer be able to do book fetches, photocopies and scans.
    • Subject Librarians: will be available to provide subject-specific support via email.  Where possible online one-to-one appointments will be offered to students, please contact your Subject Librarian in the first instance.
    • Assistance for academic staff: for digitisation requests, please continue to request items in the usual way, via the Digitisation service. For all other enquiries please contact your Subject Librarian in the first instance.
  • There is a huge amount of information and help available online via our Birkbeck Library home page, including:
  • Free to access online resources: an increasing number of online resources are being made free to access during this pandemic.

Past

Scheduled maintenance of Ebook Central server on June 26. Posted - 15 June 2021.

  • All ebooks on the eBook Central server will not be accessible while the server is migrated, on Saturday 26 June between 3pm – 11pm.
  • You should ensure that you access/download any Ebook Central books in advance of this migration.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Unplanned downtime Monday 31 May onwards. Posted - 1 June 2021.

  • Some of our College servers are experiencing unplanned downtime and this has impacted our digital resources that are authenticated via or hosted on these. Read the message from IT Services.
  • This is impacting our a-z ejournals, databases, Discover (articles and more) and Vufind (catalogue ebooks). You will not be able to access these until the issue has been resolved.
  • We are working to resolve this problem and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
  • Issue resolved Wednesday 2 June 13.30.

Migration of data centre impacts Discover (articles and more) and eJournals A-Z search for up to 24 hours from 30 May. Posted - 17 May 2021.

  • You will not be able to use ‘Discover (articles and more)’ and our ‘eJournals A-Z search’ options, as the links will not work, from 2am Sunday 30 May - 3am Monday 1 June, during the migration of the data centre. If you need to access digital resources during this time, please use either the A-Z Database page or the Proxied Resources lists.
  • To avoid inconvenience we recommend that you access/download any resources you will need in advance of the migration date.
  • Please note that direct links in your Moodle module and ebooks on our catalogue should not be affected.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Bitesize library sessions online. Posted - 29 April 2021.

  • Join us for the following bitesize library sessions online. You can book your space through the events and workshops options in your MyBirkeck profile or via the event listing on the Birkbeck website.
  • How to find and use books and ebooks
    • Join us for a guided search of the library catalogue for books and ebooks. There will be time for you to ask any questions you have about using the library catalogue.
    • Tuesday 18 May, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Tuesday 25 May, 1.00pm - 1.20pm
  • Finding journal articles on your reading lists
    • Join us for a guided search showing how to find a journal article on a reading list using the search tool Discover. This allows you to search across multiple databases to locate the journal article that you are looking for. There will be time for you to ask any questions you have about finding journal articles on your reading lists.
    • Wednesday 19 May, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Wednesday 26 May, 1.00pm - 1.20pm
  • Beyond your reading list: finding journal articles for your essays and assignments
    • Join us for a guided search showing how to find journal articles beyond those recommended on your reading lists. We’ll show you where you can see the ejournals you have access to through the library website. We’ll also demonstrate how to search for journal articles using a database that covers multiple subject areas.
    • Thursday 20 May, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Thursday 27 May, 1.00pm - 1.20pm

Student-Library Partnership group goes online. Posted - 25 February 2021.

  • This group of students and Library staff will now meet online once a term. We discuss library matters together in order to make the Library work better for you. You can ask questions and make suggestions, and you’ll also receive updates and training which will help you make the most of the Library’s services and resources for your studies. If you’d like to participate and get a £20 voucher for two meetings attended in a year, please email our .

Birkbeck Library adopts automatic renewals. Posted - 28 January 2021.

  • We now renew your library loans automatically. This means you will never get fines for forgetting to renew your items.
  • In January 2020, we decided to adopt automatic renewals as this would greatly benefit our students, who are often not based on campus, even outside of pandemic times. The service went live with a soft launch in August 2020, and we are pleased to report that the automatic renewal of loans has now been working smoothly for several months.
  • As part of this new service, you will receive a monthly statement to remind you of the items you have borrowed. If an item is requested by another library user and cannot be renewed, we will notify you of this by email. We waived all past fines to mark the start of automatic renewals, and fines will only be reintroduced in the future for overdue requested items.

Bitesize library sessions online. Posted - 27 January 2021.

  • Join us for the following bitesize library sessions online.
  • Booking is not required, join the sessions using the links through the event listing in your MyBirkbeck profile.
  • How to find and use books and ebooks
    • Join us for a guided search of the library catalogue for books and ebooks. There will be time for you to ask any questions you have about using the library catalogue.
    • Tuesday 2 February, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Tuesday 9 February, 1pm - 1.20pm
  • Finding journal articles on your reading lists
    • Join us for a guided search showing how to find a journal article on a reading list using the search tool Discover. This allows you to search across multiple databases to locate the journal article that you are looking for. There will be time for you to ask any questions you have about finding journal articles on your reading lists.
    • Wednesday 3 February, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Wednesday 10 February, 1pm - 1.20pm
  • Beyond your reading list: finding journal articles for your essays and assignments
    • Join us for a guided search showing how to find journal articles beyond those recommended on your reading lists. We’ll show you where you can see the ejournals you have access to through the library website. We’ll also demonstrate how to search for journal articles using a database that covers multiple subject areas.
    • Thursday 4 February, 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Thursday 11 February, 1pm - 1.20pm

Kortext titles not accessible. Posted - 15 February 2021.

  • Currently, it is not possible to access our Kortext titles.
  • Kortext is aware of this issue and is working to resolve this as a matter of urgency. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

SSL error messages on Apple devices. Posted - 21 January 2021.

  • We have been made aware by library users that some Apple devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone) are getting error certificate messages when accessing resources via Birkbeck Ezproxy. 
  • Please note that this is a problem with the device and or browser.
  • Although this is not an Ezproxy problem we are trying to find a workaround for this issue.

Library services during the Christmas break. Posted - 3 December 2020.

  • We are pleased to announce that the Library will open 12pm-6pm on the following seven days during the Christmas break:
    • Monday 21 – Thursday 24 December
    • Tuesday 29 – Thursday 31 December
  • To visit the Library, you will need to book a study space in advance. There will be no access without a booking.
  • The Click and Post service will be unavailable between 18 December and 3 January. Interlibrary loans, Library Disability and Dyslexia Service study materials and appointments, and subject librarians will also be unavailable during this time. If you need these services before January, please submit your request in good time before the Christmas break! You will be able to contact library staff by email during this period but our live Chat service will be closed.
  • Our regular services will resume on Monday 4 January 2021.

Online membership service for Alumni. Posted - 9 October 2020.

  • We are pleased to announce that the online library membership service for alumni has gone live. You can now apply for Alumni Library access by going to ‘My Birkbeck’.
  • If you graduated a long time ago you may not have a student record on ‘My Birkbeck’ so please contact .
  • Unfortunately due to the limited number of study spaces available during the COVID-19 pandemic, access to the physical Library is not possible at this time.   

Birkbeck Library annual survey. Posted - 20 July 2020.

  • Our annual Library Services Student Survey is now open and will close on Monday 31 August.
  • We welcome your feedback on our services and will use the survey results to inform improvements in the next few months and beyond – so please complete the survey with the chance of winning book vouchers!

Click and collect service from Monday 27 July. Posted - 14 July 2020.

  • We are pleased to announce that from Monday 27 July Birkbeck Library will be providing a click and collect service for print books.
  • Birkbeck students, staff and alumni can order up to 5 books at a time via this form. Items will be available for collection in two working days.
  • You will be asked to specify a day to collect the book(s). Collection will be possible between 10am and 8pm, Monday to Friday. When your items are available we will email you with full instructions.
    • It will be fine to return your items at the same time as collecting your new ones.  Once you get an email confirming that you can collect your new books, you can just bring the returns with you and leave them in the marked place near where you will pick up your books. [The books are not taken off your account immediately, as it is recommended to quarantine books for 72 hours.]
    • You can post the books back to us at the following address: BOOK RETURNS, The Library, Birkbeck, University of London Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX.
  • Collection will be contactless and will not involve any face-to-face interaction with Library staff.
  • We will also post books to users who are unable to travel. This can be requested via the same form.
  • We are continuing to work closely with the College to plan for a safe reopening of the Library’s study spaces.
  • The British Library is now able to supply most of the material in its On Demand collection. This means that our Interlibrary loans team can now supply articles and chapters from non-electronic sources.
  • Senate House Library is also providing a Click, Collect and Returns service.

Returning your books while the Library is closed. Posted - 23 June 2020.

  • Birkbeck Library is still closed until further notice. We continue to periodically renew your books and are happy for you to hold on to your library books for now. However if you have finished your course and would like to return your books, there are two options available to you:
  • You can post the books back to us at the following address:
    • BOOK RETURNS, The Library, Birkbeck, University of London Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX
  • You can drop your books at Malet Street by appointment only, Monday to Friday, from10am to 6pm. Contact who will make an appointment for you with the College’s Security Team.
  • Please note that the books will stay on your account as no Library staff is currently working on site. You will not be charged any fines during this period.

Get your dissertation on course. Posted - 6 May 2020.

  • Studying from home, need to work on your dissertation – but not sure where to start? Here are our tips on where to find library materials and resources online to support your dissertation journey:
    • A great place to start looking for dissertation materials is your academic subject guide. Your Subject Librarian has put this together so you can familiarise yourself with the most relevant resources for your subject – ebooks, ejournals, databases and other web resources. There are also guides on how to use specific databases, so you can get the most out of them.
    • Our Library and Information Skills Moodle module contains sections on how to find, evaluate and use information effectively in your assignments, using a variety of tools. It also directs you to guidance on citing and referencing, and on different reference management software packages.
    • For more information about the dissertation process, you can access online resources such as ebooks and websites about academic writing via our study skills guide. There is also a very helpful section on dissertations on the Birkbeck study skills pages.
  • In the Library, we have been working very hard in these past weeks to make as many online resources available to you as possible. All our extensive digital collections, including databases and ejournals, are still there for you to use, and we have sought to purchase further electronic copies of key texts and set up trials for new digital resources where possible.
    • Many academic publishers and online platforms have expanded free access to electronic resources at this time. We have compiled a new guide to these free resources which is being updated as more become available.
    • Birkbeck students who are eligible for membership of Senate House Library can self-register online to use its eresources while the library itself is closed.
  • There is further support available to you when you study from home:
    • Our online Help Desk is open 10am – 11.45pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am – 11.45pm at the weekends. You can send your enquiry via email, online form and live chat to get help with accessing online resources and other Library queries.
    • Your Subject Librarian can provide further specialist support on finding, accessing and using information via email. Where possible online one-to-one appointments will be offered to students: please email your Subject Librarian in the first instance. You can also find the details of your Subject Librarian in your academic subject guide.
    • Monday to Friday, the Library Disability and Dyslexia team will be there to support you via . They will endeavour to source accessible digital copies of study materials for you.