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The library really is your friend but like all friends you need to give it love and attention. It’s just like that one friend you have who is clever and beautiful but also like, totally deep and complicated and if you don’t make an effort to really understand, they’ll walk off in a huff and hide the books you need. We all have a friend like that right? So here’s some top tips about hanging out with your new mate and getting what you need.

FINDING BOOKS WHEN YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT:

This always seems like it’s going to be so easy but we’ve all found ourselves wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles on the verge of tears because the book you need should be RIGHT HERE but it’s not and it’s all a conspiracy against you and you alone. The library services home page (https://www2.ljmu.ac.uk/lea/index.asp) is the starting point for all my tips so acquaint yourself with it now. Click ‘Search Library Catalogue’ under Quick Links on the right hand side. Type a word or words there. When you have found the book you need from the search results click ‘Location’ on the right. You are looking for something like this: 813.54 MOR. The signs outside the door on each floor of the library tell you where everything is, so go and have a look. Go on…..

Ok, now you know that Beloved by Toni Morrison is on the 1st floor and you’ll find it in no time. There are helpful signs up all over the place and on the shelves themselves and you just keep looking until you match up the numbers, it’s so simple!!!!!!!!!! If you are like me and don’t *get* numbers or if you find the spot on the shelf where your book should be and it’s not there, go to the desk and ask a library person. They are all nice and have had special eye training and can see things that the average human in a library cannot. They will find the book. If they don’t it doesn’t exist and you’ll have to start the search for a new book and you know how to do that now don’t you? You’re welcome.

FINDING BOOKS WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT:

You can use ‘Search Library Catalogue’ to look for books you might find useful by searching keywords like ‘trauma’ or ‘realism’ or ‘sausages’ and the process is then the same as above. Searching ‘sausages’ doesn’t bring up much, just to warn you. There are all sorts of advanced search options too. Play with them and then come and tell me how they work. Or ask a nice library person, they are magic geniuses. You can also just wander around looking at the shelves until you find something helpful. Also, always look at what’s on the shelf next to a book you have found, you’ll find lots of related material there. Look in indexes and contents pages for the keywords you’re looking for.

USING THE EVIL COMPUTER ROBOT TO FIND JOURNAL ARTICLES:

On the library services home page there is a big search box called ‘Discover’. ‘Discover’ is the source of all your power. It may also be the cause of many of what I have just decided are called ‘lantrums’: library tantrums. I am going to gently guide you through ‘Discover’ now because once you’ve stopped screaming at the screen it really is the best thing you ever used to learn stuff (except for everything else).

All you do is type the name of an author or text you want sources on into the box. Then click a thousand links and sign into the system a million times to prove you really are a LJMU student (it might be only once, I can’t remember). Once you have been accepted as ONE OF US you’ll be shown a list of articles and books on whatever you’ve searched for. On the left hand side under ‘Limit To’ I would suggest ticking ‘Print and online fulltext’. This narrows your list to articles that you can open via links and print off. If you don’t tick that box I guarantee a lantrum within five minutes. You can also tick ‘Library Catalogue only’, which does as it says on the tin, then follow the above steps to find your text. It takes a bit of practice to get used to but play around with your search terms. Add a theme or subject as well as the book title or author, to your search, for example you’d type: Charlotte Bronte, feminism. Another handy tip is if you are searching for articles on Jane Eyre for example, typing “Jane Eyre” in quotation marks rather than just Jane Eyre will get you results about Jane Eyre the book and eliminate all results for every time anyone ever typed ‘Jane’. Discover is a complicated art form and you may need a dictionary and some emotional support to get through it but that’s what T.E.A and those beauties on the library helpdesks are for.

THE PERSON WITH ALL THE ANSWERS:

Your most useful contact in the library will be Sheena Streather, the subject librarian for English (official, fancy title: Academic Liaison Librarian). You will hopefully have met her during your induction, and you can call in to see her for any library related help you may need. You can arrange an appointment with her, or just talk to her if you see her around. Sheena knows everything there is to know about using library services, so if you’re struggling or just fancy upping your library game, get in touch.

Her contact information is this, and you should use it sometime:

Tel: 0151 231 3104

Email: S.K.Streather@ljmu.ac.uk

OTHER FUN THINGS TO DO IN THE LIBRARY:

-Have a lantrum near the Starbucks machine.

-Arrange to meet friends at ‘The Smints’ and laugh at how long it takes them to realise you’re talking about the tables by the comfy chairs that slightly resemble the shape of a mint.

-Have a lantrum near the printers because they just don’t treat ya right.

-Ask the nice library staff things because they are nice and will help you do all the things you need to do in the library.

LINKS TO LIBRARY RELATED STUFF:

Library Services Homepage

Official instructions on how to use library services

Booking the seminar and group rooms in the library (click ‘sign in’ at the top)

Library on Facebook

Library on Twitter

Library on Blackboard The Library tab has loads of useful resources and information, so have a click around.

 

-Katie and T.E.A

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