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Durham University

University Library

Durham University Library

You will find some changes to the services that you may be used to from our libraries and collections, due to the effects of Covid-19. You can read an overview of the changes in our welcome blog post, and you can visit our Welcome to University Library and Collections 2020-2021 Guide for full details of what to expect and our available services.

You can now access our Space Bookings system for bookings to visit the Library for our Stay and Study or Browse and Borrow services.

Search Discover to use our excellent online resources and see Online Services for how we can help you.

Questions? Ask DULib!

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Current Library News

Library Resources: Dissertation Advice

For any students doing their dissertation this year, we can offer the following help and advice in relation to library resources:

1) Consider what we have – When undertaking a dissertation, it is always important to consider what materials and resources you are actually going to have access to. This could be in terms of accessing a physical collection such as an archive, or being able to use a particular database. This year more than ever, it is very important to ask yourself ‘will I be able to access what I need?’ when deciding on a topic. Do not assume that your supervisor will know. Be sure to check what you can access as part of your planning process, before you submit your research proposal. If you need to access a certain physical archive, will that be possible? Even if you feel restrictions surrounding access to physical resources won’t apply to you as you’ll be using online resources, consider instead: is there a particular database or resource you need, and is it one that the library already subscribes to? This is a hugely important consideration. Databases and other electronic resources are extremely expensive to access. Please don’t assume that either we have access to everything, or that we can suddenly provide you with access to something we don’t have.

2) The Document Delivery Service - We recognise that it’s going to be a lot more difficult to visit other libraries this year. So in order to help you out we’re offering up to 10 free requests from our Document Delivery Service to all final year undergraduates writing their dissertation.

The Document Delivery Service can help obtain material that is not available in Durham University Library, but which is available in other libraries. This might include journal articles, books or book chapters. Remember:

  • Use your requests carefully for things you really need. Once you have used up your 10 free requests, there is a charge of £5 per item for any additional requests
  • Plan ahead! Requests are likely to take much longer than usual due to increased demand, so make sure you submit any requests in plenty of time

3) Take a tutorial – As part of our wider Research Skills guide, we have a suite of interactive tutorials designed to help you find, search and manage information resources for you dissertation. There are six modules that cover:

  • An introduction to dissertation research
  • Using the catalogue and Discover
  • Basic literature searching
  • Bibliographic databases
  • Accessing full-text online
  • Referencing

4) Help and Support – Our subject guides provide you with a good starting point when it comes to understanding what is available in your subject area, and our Faculty Librarians are here to help you. They can give guidance on searching for and finding information, which resources to use and how to manage what you find. 

(28 Oct 2020)

Increased timeslots available for study spaces

We have increased the number of bookable timeslots available to you for study spaces across our venues on campus and within the wider city. 

All our study spaces are only available if you have pre-booked them. 

As of this week, you are now able to book the following number of timeslots per calendar week (Sunday – Saturday): 

Bill Bryson Library: 

Teaching and Learning Centre: 

Leazes Road Study Space (pre-booked only from Monday 2 November): 

Hotel Indigo (pre-booked only from Monday 2 November): 

  • up to three slots per week for individual study spaces

All bookings are restricted to one type per day. 

Liz Waller, Director of Library and Collections, University Librarian, said: ‘We are continuously reviewing our services, and welcome feedback from you as to what has worked well and what you’d like us to improve. Current demand has meant that we’ve been able to increase the number of timeslots for our Stay and Study service. We will continue to monitor this over the coming weeks and will make changes in the future to take account of demand.

Our aim is to maximise access to our buildings for as many as possible while keeping you and our staff safe.'

For more details of our available study spaces and how to book, please visit our Study Spaces guide. If you have any queries, please contact our Virtual Enquiry Desk

(27 Oct 2020)

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Overnight chat support operates between 8:00pm and 8:00am.

Further information on Questionpoint, our overnight chat support service.