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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

London Open Research Week 25 - 29 October 2021. Posted - 12 October 2021.

  • A group of London-based peers working in the areas of scholarly communication, research data management, librarianship, publishing, and institutional repositories decided to collaborate across institutional boundaries for London Open Research Week 2021: having experienced frustrations with the fractures and divides across the topologies of openness, we have worked together to try and forge a broad event for practitioners and research communities.
  • Predicated by our experiences at and beyond the four institutions collaborating in London Open Research Week, and working with the theme of  this year's International Open Access Week, It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity, we have curated a diverse and engaging programme of live, online sessions that are free to attend.
  • Feminist perspectives from Early Career Researchers, critical perspectives on openness, and the increasing tensions arising in the realm of research evaluation and (biblio)metrics and the various intersections with open research will be included, amongst a wealth of international insights from scholars and professionals across the sector.
  • We welcome you to join us to share in the ideas and benefits that come from commons approaches; as a rich field, working collaboratively and exchanging experiences and ideas beyond our usual operational, departmental, and institutional limitations, we hope to explore the tensions that exist between our current conception and operation of openness in direct relation to structural equity in order to build upon and challenge the equitable premise that 'open' is often understood to imply.
  • For more information and to book please visit: London Open Research Week 2021.
  • If you have questions about any of the events, please contact Emma Illingworth at .

Bitesize sessions for Autumn Term. Posted - 5 October 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.
  • An introduction to Birkbeck Library
    • Join us for an introduction to Birkbeck Library. During this session you will find out about the: library space, collections, e.g. books, ebooks, ejournals, databases and the help and support in using the library.
    • Tuesday 12 October 1.00pm - 1.20pm
    • Wednesday 13 October 1.00pm - 1.20pm
    • Wednesday 13 October 5.30pm - 5.50pm
    • Thursday 14 October 5.30pm - 5.50pm
  • 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 19 October 1.00pm - 1.20pm
    • Tuesday 26 October 5.30pm - 5.50pm
  • 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 20 October 1.00pm - 1.20pm
    • Wednesday 27 October 5.30pm - 5.50pm
  • 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 21 October 1.00pm - 1.20pm
    • Thursday 28 October 5.30pm - 5.50pm

Library Tours. Posted - 4 October 2021.

  • Get to know your Library! We will be providing Library tours at 5.15pm every weekday night between 4 - 15 October. Tours Last c. 20 minutes and will give you an introduction to Birkbeck Library's services and facilities.
  • No need to book - you can just turn up and join one of the tours.  The tours will be limited to six people.  Meet by the Library's entrance on the ground floor of the main Birkbeck building on Torrington Square.

Re-opening of the Study Support Rooms. Posted - 27 September 2021.

  • From Monday 27th September both Study Support Rooms A and B will be available for students with a Study Support Plan. These rooms are available for solo study or to work with an assistant/tutor. These rooms can be used for sessions of up to two hours a day, and sessions may be booked using the booking form. Up to 10 sessions may be booked in advance, The dictation software Dragon is available to use in these rooms.
  • At present, the third Study Support Room will remain closed due to its lack of ventilation.

Changes to Library Services. Posted - 23 September 2021.

  • From Monday 27 September, you will be able to come and use the Library without booking a study space in advance. Once in the Library, you will be asked to scan a QR code and book the study space you have selected. You will need to check out when you leave your seat and tap out on the attendance reader to the right of the exit gate.
  • Our seats will no longer be socially distanced but wearing a face covering is still mandatory everywhere in College, including while seated at a desk.
  • We are keeping one area of the Library as a socially-distanced space: Room 107. You need to pre-book to use study spaces there.
  • Please consult the 'Service adjustments during the COVID-10 pandemic' page for more information.

Past

Work to bring power to more seats on level one. Posted - 28 September 2021.

  • Between Wednesday 29 September and Sunday 3 October, work will take place to bring power to the seating near the book stacks on Level 1 of the Library. This is in response to student feedback.
  • Book with classmark 001-169 will not be available while this work is being undertaken.
  • We have been warned that the work may be noisy for the first two days and have therefore secured access to some other spaces in the Malet Street building which have been reserved for library users. These are:
    • MAL 351, 352 and 353 on Level 3, 
    • ITS rooms MAL 457 and 458 on Level 4. 
  • The work will be completed by the start of term on Monday.

Refurbishment work in the Library. Posted - 24 August 2021.

  • We’re making improvements to the Library and the offices next to it, which will provide a refurbished silent study area on Level 2, an IT helpdesk in the Library and a new lift. The work will take place between October and December and to facilitate it, the existing silent study areas on Level 1 and the mezzanine will not be available for use after 13 September.
  • We apologise for any inconvenience or disruption this may cause. We will monitor use of the remaining Library desk spaces throughout the period and provide more silent study spaces elsewhere in Malet Street, if needed.

Noise disruption - Library first floor - 12-17 August. Posted - 06 August 2021.

  • There will be some disruption in the Library between Thursday 12 August and Tuesday 17 August while bookshelves are moved on the first floor.
  • A small part of the book stock (001-169) will be unavailable during this time and you will not be able to book seats in this area (seats 1 to 18).
  • We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.   

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.

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.

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.