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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Library Reopening and Access to Services and Resources 

Start of term update:

We have worked hard to reorganise our library spaces and services to ensure that they are COVID-19 safe for our staff and students. This work has followed Scottish Government guidance and has involved Library, IT, Estates and Health and Safety professionals at the University. In order to allow safe access to resources and study spaces we have had to make a number of changes and the arrangements are outlined here. Please take the time to review these changes before you visit. We will continue to review our approach and welcome your feedback.

Silent Study Rooms are now open!  42 additional study desks have been made available in our Silent Study Rooms, increasing capacity in The Sir Duncan Rice Library to 246 study desks. 

Please remember to wear a face covering at all times when visiting and abide by the Covid Campus Pledge.

A short video is available on Using the Libraries.

Opening Dates and Times

All our libraries are now open to registered students and staff, with reduced occupancy to ensure social distancing.

Hygiene

We are increasing the amount of cleaning being done throughout the building and introducing regular touch point cleaning. We ask our users to help by washing hands regularly, using sanitiser on entrance and elsewhere (it is provided on all floors) and using wipes to clean keyboards and printer/scanners. We also ask that no food or drink (except bottled water) be brought into the building.

It is also a legal requirement that face coverings are worn all the time you are in the building, unless using the café (see details below).

The Special Collections Reading Room

Our Scan & Send Service will continue to operate, enabling digital rather than physical access by researchers. Images will be provided for research, rather than publication purposes, and large-scale digitisation will not be possible as we focus on supporting numerous requests. We will try to prioritise photography and scanning according to the urgency of need.

From Monday 14 September, in-person bookable access to the Reading Room is possible for University of Aberdeen staff and students.  Research visits will be limited to enable social distancing and enquiries should be made at least one week in advance.

More details of our services are available.

Access to books and resources

Books and other printed materials are available to browse and borrow but need to be placed on the quarantine trolleys provided after use, unless being borrowed.

We will also continue to provide our Click & Collect Service to allow you to order items for collection at the entrance.

Service Desks

In order to protect staff and students we aim to keep interactions to a minimum. Library staff should only be approached if absolutely necessary and when they are behind screens at service desks.

Café

The Hardback Café is now open with appropriate safety arrangements in place.

We are really looking forward to welcoming students and staff back to The Sir Duncan Rice Library, but please work with us by taking care to understand the requirements, being patient about these new procedures and following all the guidelines.

This will help us avoid the need to impose further restrictions and make it easier for the Library staff working in the building. 

A summary of our new building use requirements

These signs will be displayed on digital screens in the Library, to remind you when you enter the building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please observe the following rules when you visit:

  • Remember to bring your staff/student card as access to The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be provided via swipe card through the card-controlled door to the left of the main sliding entrance door. Card scanning at the security gates is compulsory to meet Government Test and Protect obligations.

  • Use hand sanitiser on entry and exit and wash hands or use sanitiser during your stay 

  • Wear your face covering at all times or display your lanyard or show your exemption card if you are unable to wear a face covering 

  • Maintain two metre social distancing and follow the designated one-way routes 

  • Clean surfaces, PCs and Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) after use with the wipes provided 

  • Place any handled books which you do not subsequently borrow on the trolleys provided 

  • Only approach Library staff who are seated behind support desk screens 

  • Note that no food or drink other than bottled water is permitted in the building. 

Once in the building

  • Lifts to be used by one person at a time, so please leave more time to move around the building

  • Only study spaces marked with a tick can be used, allowing 2m distancing 

  • The water stations on each floor will be available

  • Only water can be consumed in the Library, no other food or drink can be consumed in the Library

  • Due to the current restrictions and physical distancing, assisted evacuation from upper or lower floors is not possible. However, study spaces have been provided on the ground floor for users who cannot safely access other floors. 

Please speak to a member of staff at the Welcome Desk if you have any concerns or require assistance.

Heavy Demand Returns

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.

Graduates with Outstanding Loans

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!

Please see below for the latest information on:

Information Skills

MyAberdeen

Many courses will include subject-specific library materials – check for these in the relevant section of your Course. 

Bookable sessions

Online library sessions will run regularly through the term for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students starting week commencing Monday 12 October. Some will be Question and Answer sessions and others may focus on specific resources to help you find information to support your assignments. Specific online sessions for postgraduate research students will also be available although these will start later in the term. 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

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

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 31/12/2020.

Equinox Publishing - journals

Equinox Publishing, who publish approximately fifty titles, have made all journal issues published in the last 12 months freely available to all. New issues will also be opened until the COVID-19 situation abates. Subject areas: Archaeology & History, Linguistics, Popular Music and Religious Studies.

Journals are accessible from www.equinoxpub.com/home/journals/ 

Click on Journals > Journals Home Page > select the subject area. Click the journal title link. Scroll to view details of recent issues and PDF options.

Access to the additional Journal Articles will be available until further notice.

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 31/12/2020.

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

 

 

Microbiology Society – journal content

Temporary free access for everyone to all journal content from the Microbiology Society.

All seven journals can be accessed at www.microbiologyresearch.org.

Access to the journal content will be available until 31/08/2020.

The Royal Society

The Royal Society have made all their content freely available. This content is relevant to science disciplines.

No log in is required. To explore their journals, visit https://royalsociety.org/journals/

Access to the content will be available until further notice.

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

 

Late last year 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Libraries open?

All our libraries are open to registered students and staff, with reduced capacity.

See opening hours

  • Current Library Occupancy of The Sir Duncan Rice Library and Taylor Library
  • It is not possible to view Current Library Occupancy of the Medical Library
How can I use the collections of the Special Collections and Museums?

We are now providing a Scan & Send service to provide images of items in the collection for researchers. Currently this is available for material housed in the Special Collections Centre and the Special Collections and material, but once our staff have access to other museum stores similar arrangements will be developed for the Fine Art, Zoology, Geology and Herbarium collections. Please email requests and queries to speclib@abdn.ac.uk or museums@abdn.ac.uk as appropriate.

Researcher access to the Wolfson Reading Room in the Special Collections Centre is available for University of Aberdeen staff and students. Please email speclib@abdn.ac.uk to request an appointment or with any queries. Priority will be given to time-limited research access requirements, and subject to availability.  Requests for appointments should be made at least 1 week in advance. For more information, please see the Special Collections web pages. A similar service for the museum collections will be arranged as soon as possible.

If you would like to discuss opportunities for delivering teaching with collections, please email Lisa Collinson l.a.collinson@abdn.ac.uk
 

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 above.

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 all of our libraries. 

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 am by 11am on each working day, Monday to Friday. You willl 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.  If you are collecting from The Sir Duncan Rice Library please 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 reshelved following quarantining.

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

Can I borrow books from the Library?

Yes. Items can be borrowed from all libraries

We are also operating a 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, can be returned at all libraries during opening hours.

Outwith opening hours library books can be returned by using the external book drop slot at The Sir Duncan Rice Library, irrespective of which of our library sites you borrowed the book from. 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.
 

Can I recall books currently on loan?

Yes, it is now possible to recall books from other readers. Please be aware there may be delays in getting items back and they will be subject to quarantine on return.

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. Current loans will be subject to fines as normal.

I graduated this year 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!

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 are opening 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 above. 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.