Wednesday, 10 December 2008

It's the season to be jolly

Seasons Greetings!

Up to and including Monday 22nd December, we'll be open as usual. On Tuesday 23rd December, we will be open until 17:00 hours and then we'll be closed for the holidays.

We hope to ensure that the atrium will be available whilst the LRC is closed but as essential building work is scheduled for the 24th December to 5th January, there may be times when it is not. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary journeys in bad weather, please check by contacting the Security Team on 0131 474 0000.

We'll be back at the LRC and open as usual on Monday 5th January.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Atrium now open 24/7

Some people call it the atrium, others call it the terraces - I even heard someone refer to it as the airport lounge!

Whatever you know it by - the area on the way down to 'Food For Thought' - is now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 42 terminals are available for you to access electronic resources once the LRC is closed for the evening as well as an MFD to print, photocopy or scan.

Don't forget - you'll need to show your smartcard to Security after 9pm!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

We're on YouTube

As you may be aware, we had new speedgates installed over the summer which are taking some time to get used to. We've created some 'How to...' videos and posted them onto YouTube.

Entering the LRC through the Speedgates -

Exiting the LRC through the Speedgates -

For those of you looking for back issues of journals and are hesitant or weary of using the compact/revolving stacks, we've also created a few 'How to...' videos to help you:

How to move a single shelf -

How to move multiple shelves -

Safety features of the revolving shelves -

Friday, 3 October 2008

Instantly ask us...

We're trialling a new enquiry service. You can instantly ask us your database, ejournal or ebook query via the Subject Enquiries Meebo widget which sits on our home page.

The green light shows when we're online to answer your query.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Need help with IT?

Not sure which drive your memory stick is plugged into? Do you need to know how to change your network password?

Bring along your IT queries to our drop in session this friday between 2.15 and 3.15 in Room 1:124 and we'll do our very best to solve it for you.

Hopefully anyone who was having problems setting up their internet connection in Halls have now got it sorted. If, however, you are still having difficulties then come along to the Service Desk and we'll be happy to help you.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Write and Cite Version 4 now available

The new version of QM's guide to the Harvard System of Referencing is now available online at:

or you can buy a printed version from the LRC Service Desk for £2.00.

In compiling the new version, we have responded to all the comments received from staff and students over the last couple of years. New features include:

  • main sections rearranged in a more useful order
  • expanded advice on referencing electronic formats
  • clarification on referencing electronic journals
  • advice on covering a wider variety of formats including physical objects and images

Please let us know what you think - comments and feedback are always welcome.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Speedgates are now operational

The new speedgates have arrived and are now fully operational.

This means to enter and exit the Learning Resource Centre, you have to have your smart card or visitors card with you at all times.

Take the left hand lane and place your card on the glass reader of the central island and the gates will open to allow you enter or exit.

If for some reason the gates do not open please see staff at the Reception Desk who will be able to update your smart card.

Monday, 25 August 2008

New speedgates

The long awaited speedgates are arriving this week and are scheduled to be installed on wednesday 27th and thursday 28th August.

Obviously, for health and safety reasons, the main entrance to the LRC will be closed. An alternative access point is via 'The Bridge' (just beyond lifts on Level One passed the entrance to Student Services) so no need to panic and we're still open 09:00 to 19:00.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Students logging on to WebCT

From Monday 14th July 2008, the WebCT password for students will change to your network password - the same one you use for Webmail, the Student Portal and Remote Access.

This means that after the 14th July, if you change your network password then your password for WebCT will automatically change also.

If you've forgotten your password and need it reset, you will need to:

  • ask in person at the Service Desk in the LRC or
  • email or
  • phone 0131 474 0000 and ask for 'Learning Resource Centre' or 'LRC'

Friday, 27 June 2008

Changes to the way you access electronic books

Access to ebrary - our electronic book collection - has changed. You are no longer prompted to enter your ATHENS username and password. Instead, access is direct through recognition of the IP address.

If you are on-campus, this means access is seamless through the staff or student desktop. Search for an ebook in iLink or Quest or the ebrary database as before and simply click on the URL, 'connect to this ebook via ebrary' or book title (in ebrary).

For those of you off-campus, this means that you will now have to log-on to the network remotely before being able to access ebooks the same way as those on-campus as above. Details of how to log-on to the remote desktop can be found via:

By logging on to the remote desktop, you will have seamless access to ebooks as well as databases, the majority of ejournals, Reference Manager and SPSS without any need for additional usernames and passwords so it is worthwhile spending 5-10 minutes setting it up.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Put out to pasture

We've weeded some of our old stock which is now available for you to purchase in our Book Sale. With the arrival of the new shelving for Current Journals, the Book Sale shelves were moved to the West Wing and can now be found opposite the Postgraduate Study Room.

For your browsing pleasure, a selection of older edition textbooks and fiction have been put on a trolley near the Service Desk.

Speculation is rife over whether more fiction or textbooks will sell. Prices start from 50p so come along and have a look...

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Going on placement over the summer vacation?

Are you going on placement over the summer vacation? Would it be helpful to access other university libraries? If the answer is yes, come and see us at the Service Desk and we can issue you with a SCONUL Access card.

SCONUL Access is the largest scheme of its kind in the UK and Ireland. Staff, research students, part-time, distance learners, students on placements and taught postgraduates can apply for borrowing privileges under the scheme. Don't worry if you do not fall into these categories as reference-only access is possible - and sometimes all you need!

A large majority of universities have signed up to the scheme such as Edinburgh University, Glasgow University, Stirling University, Robert Gordon University as well as Manchester University, Birmingham University and many more... For a full list of participating libraries go to:

Application forms are available from the Service Desk or can be downloaded at:

Please bear in mind that this form needs to be authorised and signed by a member of LRC staff before you go!

Friday, 16 May 2008

We're still here

Summer is nearly here and whilst some of you may be jetting off to sunnier climes, we're still here.

The academic year does not technically end until the 23rd May so we'll be open as normal up to and including Sunday 25th May. You can return your books, pick up a SCONUL Access card if you need to use other libraries during the vacation or print off your flight confirmation before you go.

From Monday 26th May to Sunday 14th September we will be open:

Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 19:00
Saturday and Sunday: 09:00 to 17:00

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Many thanks to all of you who entered the competition to name our new search engine. The competition closed on monday and out of all the entries the name "Quest" was chosen.

Three lucky winners suggested the name so they will each receive an iPod Nano.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

We did it!!!

The sky was blue, the track was muddy and we all managed to pass the finish line.

So far we have managed to raise an amazing £540.00 for Cancer Research UK which is fantastic. We'd like to thank everyone for their encouragement and support.

If you'd still like to sponsor us, the site is open until the 25th May:

Thanks and best wishes,
Laurie, Sheila, Jo, Fiona, Avril, Pam, Marjorie and Nik

Friday, 9 May 2008

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)

Students and academics looking for visual arts images now have access to a stunning collection of over 100,000 images with the launch of VADS - the online resource for visual arts. The image resources are free and copyright cleared for use in UK Higher and Further Education and thus provide a valuable resource to students and academics which can be incorporated into lectures, seminar presentations and essays.

Access is available directly via or through the Library Services website by clicking on the 'Databases' button on the Library toolbar and skipping to 'V'.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


We're trialling a new database called AgeInfo. It's an information service about old age and ageing that is provided by the Library and Information Service of the Centre for Policy on Ageing.

AgeInfo provides the following searchable databases:

  • A bibliographic database of over 40,000 books, articles and reports from the specialist collection on Social Gerontology held at the Centre for Policy on Ageing
  • Detailed information about 4,000+ organisations active in the field of 'Old Age' and 'Ageing' from the United Kingdom, Europe and World-Wide
  • An international calender of events listing courses, conferences, meetings, training sessions and other events soon to take place in the field of 'Ageing' and 'Old Age'

Access is via our Trial Database page ( where you will find details of the username and password that is required. The trial is available till the end of May 2008.

Have a go and see what you think. Please email Mary Alice Monaghan at or Barbara Houston at with any feedback.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Library Ladies Race for Life

Some of our female staff members at the LRC have formed a team and are entering this year's Race for Life at Hopetoun House on the 11 May at 11am.

Events like Race for Life are an important way in which Cancer Research UK is able to fund its life-saving work into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer.

Please show our 'Library Ladies' your support by cheering us on race day or sponsoring us at:

Monday, 21 April 2008

Name our new search engine - and win an iPod Nano

We're the first university in Scotland to provide our users with a new exciting way to search the Library catalogue:

The Aquabrowser service not only displays the usual search list but it also creates a visual map of associated areas of interest. You can then refine your search options by a specific subject, format, or year, etc.

We need you to think of a name for this new service. There is a New Apple iPod nano 4GB silver for the person who comes up with the best name. Email with your entry.

The winner will be selected at the end of the competition. The competition is open to all staff and students of QMU and ends on Monday the 12th of May 2008.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Having trouble opening your files on campus...

We're guessing the worst thing that could happen to you if you are a student working on an assignment is that you spend hours pounding away on the keyboard at home and when you bring the file in to the university on your memory stick or on a CD, the file cannot be opened. We know this because we have seen many students come to the Learning Resource Centre in such a predicament.

But there is a simple way to avoid this from happening. Word processing applications such as Microsoft Word 97, 2003 or 2007, Open Office, Microsoft Works and such like contain an option that would make transferring your work from your home computer or laptop to the university as easy as ABC.

All you have to do is to remember to save the file as a type that can be opened with Microsoft Office 2003, which is the application that we use here at QMU. Just be sure to select the type as shown below:

Monday, 14 April 2008

Early opening

You asked, we listened and now we are pleased to announce that the LRC is open at 08:30 hours on weekdays.

All self-service machines such as self-issue, self-return and MFDs will be switched on ready and waiting. So if you want to return your books before your lecture or before grabbing a coffee then you can do. You can also top up your printing credit at the AVM machines.

Normal service starts at 09:00 hours so if you have any query regarding an overdue book or library fines then you'll have to wait until then.

Please note that for health and safety reasons, the early opening is dependant on having a sufficient number of LRC staff in the building so there may be the odd occasion where it's not possible.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Academic Search Elite

We're trialling a new database called Academic Search™ Elite. It is a multi-disciplinary database containing full text for more than 2,000 journals.

More than 100 journals have PDF images back to 1985. The database includes PDF images for the great majority of journals; many of these PDFs are searchable or scanned-in-color.

Full access details can be found on the Trial Databases page: Please note that your ATHENS username and password is required for off-campus access and that the usual access routes apply for when you're on-campus.

The trial is available until the end of July 2008. Let us know what you think of it by filling in the Trial Feedback form or emailing Barbara Houston at

Monday, 7 April 2008

A green database

We've recently added GreenFILE - a freely available bibliographic database on environmental issues - to our databases page.

GreenFILE indexes scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports. This resource offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment. Drawing on the connection between the environment and disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health and technology, GreenFILE serves as an informative resource for anyone concerned about the issues facing our planet. The database contains nearly 300,000 records, full text for selected titles and searchable cited references for more than 200 titles as well.

Find the link to our databases page on the Library toolbar on the home page and select 'G' or scroll down to 'GreenFILE'.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Desert Island Books

As part of the Tartan Week celebrations, the East Lothian Public Library Service are hosting an evening of 'Desert Island Books'. Well known, award winning, local author Peter Kerr chairs a panel of leading Scottish writers and celebrities:

Alistair Moffat - formerly Director of the Edinburgh fringe and Director of programmes for Scottish Television; mastermind behind the hugely successful Borders Book Festival; author of the Reivers - major TV tie in for the recent TV series and The Wall (as in Hadrian's) - another six-part networked TV series to be presented by Alistair and Paralympic gold medallist Dame Tannie Grey-Thompson, due for broadcast next month.

Gillian Galbraith - until recently Gillian was an advocate specialising in medical negligence cases and was the legal correspondent for the Scottish Farmer magazine, as well as writing on legal matters for the Times. 'Blood on the Water' is the first in a new crime series featuring Detective Alice Rice and set around Edinburgh. She has drawn on her professional experience as an advocate and has already attracted much praise for her debut novel.

David Robinson - Literary editor of the Scotsman. David has interviewed so many writers and read even more books, I have no idea how he can possibly come up with just three choices. He reckons that the books that have made the most impact on him, certainly wouldn't be the same as his favourite, and almost definitely wouldn't be the same as the ones he'd take to the desert island!

You'll have to wait until Monday to find out what Peter, and all the other panellists, choose in the end.

Tickets cost just £5.00 and are available from any East Lothian Public Library. A glass of wine or soft drink, crisps, olives and oatcakes and cheese are included in the ticket price and there will be a break during the evening to allow the audience to replenish their glasses at the hotel bar.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Drinks but no soup

You can now bring in coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soft drinks into the LRC as well as bottled water. However, soup is considered a meal and therefore food so is not permitted.

Please don't be offended if you're asked to take your food out of the LRC. The Food Court and Atrium areas are not too far away for you to take your bacon roll, jacket potato, soup or sandwich.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Second meeting of the Reading Group

To the uninitiated - like myself - Reading Groups or Book Groups are not all about reading and discussing the book of the month with other book lovers. Oh no, it's all about the munchies. Members bring in baked goodies or bought snacks to share and then get round to talking about the chosen book!

Over some delicious homemade biscotti and traditional shortbread at the first meeting, we learnt how it all works. We decided on 'The Curious Dog in the Night Time' by Mark Haddon to read for the next meeting. It's not homework though so if you don't have time to finish it or you discover after 20 pages that it's not your cup of tea, there is no need to panic.

We borrow the books from East Lothian public library and in turn lend them out to members of the group. Out of the books available, the books with the most votes for future meetings include:

  • 'Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

  • 'A History of Tractors in Ukranian' by Marina Lewycka

  • 'My heart is my own: the life of Mary Queen of Scots' by Joh Guy

The second meeting of the Reading Group will be on the 10th April at 5pm with venue to be confirmed nearer the time - everyone is welcome!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

We're on Facebook...

For those of you not in the know, we're on Facebook, the social networking site. You can find us at: or by searching for "Queen Margaret University Learning Resource Centre".

We're in the process of adding to our page so come and have a look. Leave a message on our wall and let us know what you think. As well as the traditional information such as opening hours (yes we are open over Easter) and links to our webpage, events such as the next Reading Group meetings and exhibitions have been added.

Various library-type applications such as 'Suncat' (where you can search for journal titles in libraries across the UK) and 'Worldcat' (where you can search for all sorts of printed matter worldwide) there are fun applications too.

We're participating in the Library 365 Project on Flickr, collating photographs of the LRC over 365 days. 10 photos are picked at random for view on our page with a link to the Flickr website to see the rest. If you have any photos you'd like to submit to the project or to our Facebook photo album, email and put "Library 365 Project" in the subject line.

If you've already got a Facebook account, you can show your appreciation, become a fan and receive updates of what we're up to.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Reading Group

Come along to the first meeting of QM's Reading Group. Find out how it all works and vote for which books the group reads next.

'The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time' by Mark Haddon and 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruis Zafon have been selected to start us off.

Find us on thursday at 5.00pm to 6.30pm in room 051.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

BBC Motion Gallery

The BBC Motion Gallery gives access to more than 300,000 hours of video content from the BBC archive spanning more than 70 years, with 50,000 clips ready for download. Footage has been derived from broadcast programming and, in many cases, from programme rushes. Much of the content has never been seen before. The Gallery exclusively contains a number of additional archives including ABC, CBS News, Huntley Film Archive, Japan Broadcasting Corporation and more.

The main subject areas for this resource are news, sport, history, lifestyle, travel, science and technology, and the natural world.

The JISC service allows all staff and students of subscribed institutions to access a vast collection of clips for use in presentations, lectures, coursework and media.

Access: Log into iLink the library catalogue and search for BBC Motion Gallery, access instructions are included in the catalogue record.

Duration: Until 28th March 2008

Monday, 3 March 2008

Introducing the new "Off-Prints Collection Service"

We’re introducing a new Off-Prints Collection Service at the LRC. It’s offered as an alternative for items that are not eligible to be scanned and uploaded into WebCT modules under the CLA Trial Scanning Licence.

For staff: If you have an article that you would like to make available to your students but it has been published in the United States or elsewhere outside the UK and therefore scanning is not permitted, the Off-Prints Collection Service may be the answer. Normal copyright regulations will apply – only one article per issue of a journal or one chapter or 5% of extracts from a book.

The LRC must hold the original of the journal or book. If an electronic copy is held, a paper copy cannot be included in this collection. However, if the article or chapter is not held by the LRC or is not eligible for copying under the Copyright Licensing Agency’s Licence, it may be possible to request a copyright cleared copy for inclusion in this collection.

This service allows up to three photocopies of an article to be kept, for consultation by students and will be held behind the LRC Service Desk. If you would like to make a request, please complete the online request form which can be found in the “Information for Academic Staff” section of the LRC website or via:

For students: This is a new service that is coming soon.. Listen for announcements from your tutors that items are available in the Off-Print Collection, keep a look-out for new entries in the iLink catalogue and notices on the plasma screens.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Review your favourite films in our DVD list

Did you know that we have nearly 1000 DVDs in stock at the LRC to borrow?

Instead of browsing the shelves in the Academic Reserve Room, go to the DVD list on the Library Services toolbar (on the website) where you can browse the collection alphabetically or search by title.

Once you've found your film title, click on 'details' and you''ll find the shelfmark, availability and the options of rating the film and/or submitting your own review.

This week's top 5 rated films are: 'Mulholland Drive', 'Lost Highway', 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'The Idiots' and 'Baise-Moi'. Is your favourite in the top 5? If it's not - get voting!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Social Policy and Practice trial database

We have arranged a trial to the bibliographic database Social Policy and Practice, available until 8th March 2008 which is accessible via our Trial Database page: (

Social Policy and Practice is a bibliographic database with abstracts covering evidence-based social policy, public health, social services, and mental and community health. The database is particularly strong on social care of the young and elderly. The majority of the material originates from the UK but there is also European and US material.

Some 50% of the references are to grey literature - including semi-published reports, working papers, local and central government reports and material from the voluntary sector and charities. The database is oriented towards applied research and practice which compliments the more theoretically-based databases.

Social Policy and Practice brings together data from four databases (listed below) that are integrated under one search interface allowing access to around 200,000 records.

  • Planet from IDOX
  • Acompline from the Greater London Authority
  • CareData from the Social Care Institute for Excellence
  • AgeInfo from the Centre for Policy on Ageing

Please log into iLink (with your Library ID and PIN) and search for Social Policy and Practice. Click on the Catalogue Record tab where you will find the username and password required for access.

We're interested in any feedback on this database either via the Feedback Form on our Trial Database page or by emailing Mary Alice Monaghan, Alison Kilgour or Barbara Houston directly.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Coming up

Now that we've got a prominent home on the Library Services toolbar on the LRC website, I hope that we'll get more readers.

In the coming weeks, we hope to announce more details of the DVD list (also found on the toolbar) where you can submit your own film reviews and rate your favourite films and the first meeting of QM's very own book group. We'll also be asking you to submit your own photos of the LRC to the Library 365 project on Flickr ( and to check out our page on Facebook (

Monday, 18 February 2008

Using business databases...

This thursday, discover which databases are more suited to business subjects and how to make best use of them in our 'Using business databases' workshop. Learn how to find full-text articles in Business Source Premier and Emerald and much more.

The workshop runs from 12.15-13.15 at one of the IT labs in the LRC. Places can be reserved by emailing:

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Trials to new online resources for Business and Enterprise

Library Services have organised trials to various online resources for use by staff and students in the School of Business and Enterprise.

There are 4 databases covering business journals, trade news and news services and 2 e-book collections in Business and Management.

All trials are on campus only and last until the end of February. All are accessible via our Trial Database page at ( please have a look at the various resources and send any feedback to Alison Kilgour or Barbara Houston.

ABI/INFORM Global™ is one of the most comprehensive business databases on the market. It includes in-depth coverage for over 2,860 publications, with more than 1,885 available in full-text. ABI/INFORM Global offers the latest business and financial information for researchers at all levels.

Lexis/Nexis Global News and Business provides global information from thousands of sources allowing you to access the most comprehensive and authoritative business information and news from around the world.

European Business ASAP - use this database to find articles on: Finance, Acquisitions and Mergers, International Trade, Money Management, New Technologies and Products, Local and Regional Business Trends, Investments and Banking - all with a European slant.

General Business File ASAP™ delivers every type of business information including: full-text journals, investment reports, directory listings and newswire releases, as well as indexing of three national newspapers.

Oxford Scholarship Online - Business and Management - this collection brings together the best academic work on business and management and includes work by economists, sociologists, psychologists, political scientists and historians, as well as business academics.

Biz/ed Premier is a new, unique subscription-based resource offering access to core business textbooks, research articles and other related materials aimed at developing critical appraisal skills.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Friday afternoon

Finally set up after a busy day! After selecting layout style, setting permissions and all the relevent necessaries - coming up with a name was a stretch for my imagination. Any suggestions will be gratefully received...

It's been a busy week with building up our Facebook page and adding new photos to the 'Library 365 Project' on Flickr.

Today is Caroline Donaldson's last day. Caroline worked at Leith Campus as a Weekend Librarian before undertaking a Research Support role here at NewCraighall. We wish her well in her future endeavours - and she has promised to keep in touch and read our blog!