Full details of the University's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Services and Resources 

Aberdeen University Library Service has made some important changes in response to new Covid-19 restrictions in mainland Scotland. University updates this week explain how important it is to leave home only for essential purposes. We are therefore asking you only to visit the Library if you have an essential need. Our online services should be your first option; we have huge digital collections and are continuing to increase them. If you do have an essential need for print items, we ask that you use our click and collect service to collect them, and then return to study in your own accommodation if at all possible.

We are providing limited study spaces, only in The Sir Duncan Rice Library in the first instance, if you have no other suitable study space available to you. For the week beginning Monday 11 January we will be open 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. We will keep our hours constantly under review and will also plan to open our libraries in the Taylor and Polwarth buildings when it is safe to do so.

If you do visit The Sir Duncan Rice Library, please be aware that all the rules we put in place in 2020 still apply. These measures exist to ensure that we are keeping both you and our staff safe. Please support us by taking time to read them and please observe them without requiring Library staff to remind you.

Additionally, there is now a further rule as a result of Scottish Level 4 Covid constraints: You cannot access books on shelves. You must request any item you require by using the Click & Collect service. This is a Scottish Government requirement at this level of COVID restrictions.

A reminder that You must wear your face covering at all times. This remains the case, as it was last year, but we want to stress how important it is to wear it even when seated, and to wear it properly (not under your nose). This is not simply a ‘Library rule’, it is a legal requirement in libraries in Scotland and is an essential part of protecting staff and students against the new more transmissible variant.

If you are unable to wear a face covering, you must wear a lanyard, and it must be clearly visible to our staff.

We recognise the enormous value of the Library to our students and are working extremely hard to offer you Library services during this very challenging time. Please help us by taking care to understand the rules and only visiting in person if you have an essential need. Please see our FAQ for more details of how our services are working at the moment, and email library@abdn.ac.uk if you cannot find answers to your questions.

If you have queries or comments specifically about our COVID-19 measures, please get in touch with coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Please see below for the latest information on:

Frequently Asked Questions

Mainland Scotland is now in COVID-19 level 4.

Are the Libraries open?

The Sir Duncan Rice Library is open 10:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday from Monday 11 January. 

Current Library Occupancy of The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Only visit the Library if you have an essential need to do so – our online services should be your first option. Please see our FAQ: How can I access the Library's digital resources when off-campus? 

Study spaces are limited, and print items can only be accessed using our Click and Collect service. Please see the relevant FAQ for further details. (This is due to a new restriction introduced by the Scottish Government – readers must not directly access books or other library materials on shelves).

Our Medical and Taylor Libraries are currently closed. 

How can I use the collections of the Special Collections and Museums?

In response to the Covid-19 restrictions now in place across mainland Scotland, important safety changes have been made to our research service. The Reading Room is now closed to researchers, but we continue to support research by our online enquiry service, including Scan & Send. As we have more limited access to collections than in normal circumstances, please allow for a longer turn-around time.

Further information is available from the Wolfson Reading Room FAQs

How can I access the Library’s digital resources when off-campus?

Please use Primo to access the online resources that the University of Aberdeen pays for. See our Library guide on Accessing e-resources

You will need to log in to access most of our resources using the Shibboleth/Institution Login process, as outlined in the guide above. A very small number of digital resources require the use of the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), also outlined in the guide above.

In addition, many digital providers have opened up access to additional resources to support the global Higher Education community. Connection details and instructions for these additional resources – free books and journals – are provided in the Temporary Access to Additional E-Resources section below.

This short video outlines how to access our electronic resources when studying off-campus. Please note that you may be asked to sign in with your computer username and password. 

It’s difficult to access electronic books and journals that I have used before. Why?

Electronic books and journals are currently in high demand. Websites may be slower than normal. Please try again later.

If the difficulty persists, contact the Information Consultant for your discipline.

Where can I access materials to help with my assignment/dissertation?

Please use Primo to access our online resources.

See our Library Guides:

Primo Quick Guide

Primo – how do I find a book using Primo?

Further guidance on accessing and using digital Library resources is available in our Find it Fast Wiki.

For subject-related and search enquiries the Information Consultant for your discipline is happy to help.

How can I contact Library staff?

You can phone our Information Centre on 01224 273330.

You can also contact us by email:

The Sir Duncan Rice Library: library@abdn.ac.uk

Taylor Library: lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

Medical Library: medlib@abdn.ac.uk

For subject-related and search enquiries please contact the Information Consultant for your discipline. Contact details for ICs are available here.

Special Collections Centre - Wolfson Reading Room: speclib@abdn.ac.uk

Gallery: scc.events@abdn.ac.uk

These email accounts are supported 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. 

I would like to phone someone with a query. Can I do this?

Yes, you can phone our Information Centre on 01224 273330.

You can also contact us by email:

The Sir Duncan Rice Library: library@abdn.ac.uk

Taylor Library: lawlib@abdn.ac.uk

Medical Library: medlib@abdn.ac.uk

For subject-related and search enquiries please contact the Information Consultant for your discipline. Contact details for ICs are available here.

Special Collections Centre - Wolfson Reading Room: speclib@abdn.ac.uk

Gallery: scc.events@abdn.ac.uk

These email accounts are supported 09:00-17:00, Monday-Friday. 

Is the Library offering a Click and Collect Service?

Yes, we are offering a Click and Collect Service, allowing you to request titles using Primo for pick up at The Sir Duncan Rice Library. 

Readers can request items in the usual way by logging in to Primo. Staff will then fetch the items and issue them, and readers will be informed by e-mail when they are available for collection. We will endeavour to fill any requests received by 09:00 by 11:00 on each working day, Monday to Friday. You will receive an email notifying you when the item is available for collection.

Please note that this service is currently for items that are not on loan. Reference items are excluded. Items held at other branches may take a little longer to provide. Items which have just been returned will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours, in line with international guidance, before they can be issued to another reader – this will be indicated on Primo.

The Library is not currently posting materials to readers, so any requests through Primo from Distance Learning students, for materials on our shelves, will be processed as part of this Click & Collect Service.

Collection

Please bring your ID card, as this will be required for proof of identity, and remember also to bring suitable bags to carry your items away, as we are unable to provide these. Use your ID card to access The Sir Duncan Rice Library and come to the Welcome Desk for assistance. If your ID card does not allow you access to the building ring 01224 274505 and await staff assistance. Please ensure you wear a face covering and observe the 2m distancing regulations while you collect and pack up your items.   

Any items not collected within 5 working days will be returned and re-shelved following quarantining.

If you have any difficulties or questions regarding requesting items, please contact libnotice@abdn.ac.uk.

Academic Staff and Postgraduate Research students only – Can I put through an Inter Library Loan (ILL) request?

If you have an urgent Inter Library Loan request, please email library@abdn.ac.uk with full details of the journal article or book chapter and we will endeavour to source a digital version from partners. 

Loan requests for physical items can be submitted, however due to the limited number of partner institutions currently lending, it may not be possible to source these in all cases. We are unable to post physical copies supplied by any ILL partners to you although collection via our Click and Collect service will be available. 

Due to the exceptional circumstances, there will be no cost applied and a voucher number is not required.

Postgraduate Taught and Final Year Undergraduate students only - Can I put through an Inter Library Loan (ILL) request?

If you have an urgent Inter Library Loan request, please discuss with your project supervisor to seek authorisation for the request. Once given, email your request and authorisation to library@abdn.ac.uk. Please ensure that you provide full details of the journal article or book chapter so that we can endeavour to source a digital version from partners. 

Loan requests for physical items can be submitted, however due to the limited number of partner institutions currently lending, it may not be possible to source these in all cases. We are unable to post physical copies supplied by any ILL partners to you although collection via our Click and Collect service will be available. 

Due to the exceptional circumstances, there will be no cost applied and a voucher number is not required.

Can I borrow books from the Library?

Yes. Print items can be borrowed from all libraries (and stores) through our Click and Collect Service. Note that due to new requirements introduced at this COVID level by the Scottish Government it is not possible for readers to directly access books on open shelves. All items must be requested through the Click and Collect service.

You can also use Primo to access our extensive collection of digital materials.

Can I return books that I currently have on loan?

Library books, irrespective of which site library they were borrowed from, can be returned to The Sir Duncan Rice Library during opening hours or by using the external book drop slot. You will need a current student or staff ID card to use the external book drop slot. 

Heavy Demand Returns: For readers who borrowed Heavy Demand items on extended loan over the period when the libraries were closed - now that we are back in term, we would ask you to please return these.

If you have any questions on returning books, please contact Library staff on libnotice@abdn.ac.uk

I graduated in 2020 and still have library books on loan - how can I return them to the Library?

If you have graduated from your course but still have library items on loan, we’d be grateful if you could return them to us – please check our opening hours.  

If you are no longer in the Aberdeen area, or have any queries about this, please contact libnotice@abdn.ac.uk regarding return methods.  Many thanks to the graduates who have already returned items to us.

How can I return Heavy Demand items that were borrowed over the March to July 2020 closed period?

For readers who borrowed Heavy Demand items on extended loan over the closed period – now that we are back in term, we would ask you to please return these items. Contact libnotice@abdn.ac.uk if you have any questions or problems regarding this.

 

Can I recall books currently on loan?

No, it is not possible to recall books from other readers.

Will I be fined for any overdue books?

Fines will not be charged for the period when the Library was closed. For items that were already overdue before the closure of the Library buildings, please contact libnotice@abdn.ac.uk, or reply to any overdue email notice received from the library.

Some digital providers have made their content freely available online due to COVID-19 restricting access to Library buildings. How do I access this content?

Some digital providers opened up access to additional resources to support the global Higher Education community.

Information and connection details are provided in the Temporary Access to Additional E-Resources section below. Electronic books and journals are currently in high demand. Websites may be slower than normal. If you are unable to access an item, or service, please try again later.

If the difficulty persists, contact the Information Consultant for your discipline.

Can I access past exam papers?

You can search for past papers via Primoour digital materials database. Access to past exam papers is restricted to University of Aberdeen members, so you will be asked for your computer username and password.

Temporary Access to Additional E-Resources

In addition to our subscribed online resources [see Find Databases option in Primo], many publishers have made their collections, or portions of their collections, freely available to support teaching, learning and research during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Staff and students can temporarily access more books and research materials than covered by our normal licences and subscriptions. Details on specific collections are given on this page, which will be updated regularly as changes are made to the freely available resources. 

Artstor Digital Library

The Artstor Digital Library features a wide range of multidisciplinary content from some of the world’s top museums, artists, libraries, scholars, and photo archives, including rare collections not accessible anywhere else. New contributions are added regularly.

Content is available from https://library.artstor.org.

Log in through the Institution option.

Access to the database will be available until 30 June 2021. 

JSTOR

JSTOR has opened its extensive collections to subscribers. Connect to JSTOR as normal through Primo Find Databases

Many thousands of additional full text journal articles are now available across a wide range of areas. In addition 26 journal archives in Public Health are available to everyone. Details available at https://about.jstor.org/covid19/.

Access to the additional Journal Articles will be available until 30 June 2021.

The additional free content is not available within our alumni subscription. 

 

 

Open Access E-Resources

There are many resources where Open Access scholarly content is made freely available online without restriction. This content includes books, chapters, articles and many other outputs.

You will find a large selection of these resources in our Open Access webpages, which you may find useful when searching for materials.

Public Library Content

 

In late 2019 a new public library service was launched at The Sir Duncan Rice Library as part of a partnership project between Digital & Information Services and Aberdeen City Council. 

We look forward to welcoming students and staff to the Old Aberdeen Library when we re-open, but in the meantime Aberdeen City Libraries have a free virtual library full of thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eComics and digital resources that University of Aberdeen staff/students can access remotely from their home computer or mobile device. 

Membership of Aberdeen City Libraries is available to people who work, live or study in Aberdeen City or Shire. If you are not already a member, you can join online now and start using the online services immediately. Sign up for free here.

Information Skills

Bookable sessions

Online library sessions will run regularly through the academic year for undergraduate, taught and research postgraduate students. Some will be Question and Answer sessions and others may focus on specific resources to help you find information to support assignments and research. Please look for bookable sessions in abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking, making sure you have changed the search category to ‘Library Information Skills’. 

RefWorks

RefWorks, which is paid for by the University, is a sophisticated tool and our normal on-campus training would be spread over 2 hours. There are complexities involved when training off-campus where attendees are using a multitude of different personal devices rather than being in a networked classroom environment. Instruction on simplified aspects of RefWorks, e.g. how to create a formatted bibliography will be available later in the term and bookable sessions will be added to the course booking system when finalised. As RefWorks requires more investment of time to learn how to use, consider some alternatives or ask class colleagues for recommendations. If you use Word, check out the referencing option. Alternatively, you can use a free web-based option, e.g. Zotero, Mendeley or Cite This for Me. A useful guide to features of other reference management software can be found at 
https://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/documents/guides/final_reference%20management%20software%20comparison_1911_summary%20Feb%2020.pdf

Library guides

There are several Library guides providing instruction on how to use RefWorks. You can find them at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/support/library-guides-101.php#R

Wiki, MyAberdeen and MyPGR

All students: Teaching materials from previous Library skills sessions can be found at http://finditfastlibraryworkshops.pbworks.com

Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate students: Some courses and programmes contain a subject-specific library and information skills element. Check your MyAberdeen site - materials may be held here.

Postgraduate Research students: Library workshop materials are available in the Library folder in MyPGR.