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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Services and Resources 

All of our libraries are open to staff and students, with reduced seating capacities. There is currently no access for members of the public. We have extensive digital collections that can be accessed online, and our shelves can be browsed so that material can be borrowed. We are also maintaining our Click & Collect Service for those that would prefer to access our physical collections without browsing our shelves.

We recognise the enormous value of the Library to our students and are working extremely hard to offer you Library services during this challenging time. 

Please see our FAQ further down this page 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

 

Safety rules on using our libraries

If you do visit our libraries, please be aware of the rules we have put in place, to ensure that we are keeping both you and our staff safe. Please help us by taking time to read and observe the rules without requiring Library staff to remind you. 

Important Reminders:

  • You must wear a face covering at all times in our libraries. 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.
  • If you are unable to wear a face covering, you must wear a lanyard, and it must be clearly visible to our staff.
  • No food or drink, other than bottled water, is permitted in the libraries at this time.

 

Opening Hours and Access

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

  • Open for our students and staff Monday-Friday, 08:00-22:00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 & Sunday, 11:00-22:00. 
  • You will need your Student/Staff ID Card in order to access the library entrance door
  • Please note that you may be asked to queue if the library is at capacity. A COVID-compliant queue will be in operation in the building and if necessary, also an outdoor COVID-compliant queue.
  • The Hardback Café is open: Monday - Thursday, 09.00-19.00, Friday, 09.00 - 17.00, Saturday & Sunday, 13.00 - 16.30
  • The Special Collections Centre Reading Room will be bookable for research access by our students and staff. Further information is available from the Wolfson Reading Room FAQs.

 

The Taylor Library

  • Open for our students and staff Monday-Thursday, 09.00-22.00, Friday, 09.00-20.00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 and Sunday 13.00-22.00
  • You will need your card in order to access the library entrance door
  • Maximum occupancy is reduced in line with national guidelines. If our safe maximum capacity is reached, there is no facility for queuing, and you will need to return at a quieter time.

 

The Medical Library in the Polwarth building at Foresterhill 

  • Open for our students and staff Monday-Thursday, 09.00-22.00, Friday, 09.00-20.00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 and Sunday, 13.00-22.00
  • You will need your card in order to access the library entrance door
  • Maximum occupancy is reduced in line with national guidelines. If our safe maximum capacity is reached, there is no facility for queuing, and you will need to return at a quieter time.

Please note: Due to the windows being open within both the Taylor and Medical Library, to minimise any COVID-related risks, colder temperatures may be an issue. Users may benefit from wearing additional layers due to cooler conditions depending on the weather. 

 

Please see below for the latest information on:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Libraries open?

All of our libraries are open to our students and staff.  We are unable to provide access to members of the public.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library is open for our students and staff Monday-Friday, 08:00-22:00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 & Sunday, 11:00-22:00. 

The Taylor Library is currently open for our students and staff Monday-Thursday, 09.00-22.00, Friday, 09.00-20.00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 and Sunday, 13.00-22.00.

The Medical Library is currently open for staff and students Monday-Thursday, 09.00-22.00, Friday, 09.00-20.00, Saturday, 09.00-22.00 and Sunday, 13.00-22.00.

We have reduced capacity in all of libraries, however, students and staff can browse the shelves and the Click and Collect service is available. Study spaces are available at single study desks. There are no areas for group study available.  

Current Library Occupancy of The Sir Duncan Rice Library and the Taylor Library. 

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

In-person bookable access to the Special Collections Centre Reading Room is available for Aberdeen University staff and students. Appointments should be made in advance and are available Monday to Friday. Research support is also possible through our enquiry service, including Scan & Send.

Further information is available from the Wolfson Reading Room FAQs.

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: specialcollections@abdn.ac.uk

Enquiries about exhibtions and events: uoacollections@abdn.ac.uk

Museums: museum@abdn.ac.uk

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

Can I attend online teaching sessions while sitting in the libraries?

Our libraries are only able to provide space in which to engage in online teaching sessions if headphones are worn and there is no need for students to speak. Otherwise this will disrupt the study of others, and we have no suitable sole occupancy spaces at any Library site (The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Taylor Library, or Medical Library).

The University is looking into the scope to provide alternative spaces for this where the student has no alternative. Further information will be made available in due course but in the meantime, any questions should be referred to coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Are there group study spaces available in the libraries?

In order to maintain a safe study environment for all students and staff there are reduced capacity group study spaces available in our libraries. That includes bookable and non-bookable areas.

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: specialcollections@abdn.ac.uk

Enquiries about exhibtions and events: uoacollections@abdn.ac.uk

 

Museums: museum@abdn.ac.uk

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

Is the Library offering a Click and Collect Service?

We continue to offer a Click and Collect service for those who prefer not to come into the library at present, allowing you to request titles for pick up at The Sir Duncan Rice, Medical and Taylor 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 by 11:00 on each working day, Monday to Friday.

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.

The Library will consider posting books if you have an essential need and where there is no other option. Please contact library@abdn.ac.uk for further details.

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 Student ID Card to access our libraries and come to the Ground Floor Welcome Desk for assistance. Please ensure you wear a face covering while you collect and pack up your items.   

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

If you have any difficulties 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 recall books currently on loan?

Yes, it is possible to recall books from other readers via Primo.

Can I return books that I currently have on loan?

Library books can be returned to The Sir Duncan Rice Library, the Taylor Library or the Medical Library during opening hours. When our libraries are closed, you can return books at The Sir Duncan Rice Library 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: If you borrowed any Heavy Demand items on extended loan over the period when the libraries were closed, 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

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 open, we would ask you to please return these items. Contact libnotice@abdn.ac.uk if you have any questions or problems regarding this.

 

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.

Will I be fined for any overdue books?

Yes, our fines have been reinstated.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

If you have an Inter Library Loan (ILL) request, please contact the Academic Library Representative for your discipline to request a voucher number for each item you wish to request via ILL. 

Once you have the voucher number(s), please visit the ILL Request section of Primo and complete the online form, adding as much detail as you can before submitting the request. You will be notified by email when the items is available, or if there are any further questions we need to ask.

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

If you have an Inter Library Loan (ILL) request, please contact the Academic Library Representative for your discipline to request a voucher number for each item you wish to request via ILL. 

Once you have the voucher number(s), please visit the ILL Request section of Primo and complete the online form, adding as much detail as you can before submitting the request. You will be notified by email when the items is available, or if there are any further questions we need to ask.

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 2022. 

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 2022.

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. 

Students and staff are welcome to use the Old Aberdeen Library which is based on the Ground Floor. Additionally, 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, once they have signed up to join. 

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.