Earth Hour 2014

Tomorrow is Earth Hour and whilst we’d love to participate in the library, sadly health and safety prevents us from turning off our lights. However, as we are open 24/7 and the lights are switched on anyway, why don’t you switch off at home and come join us in the library tomorrow night?

Image from flickr user sunnybeats under a Creative Commons license.

Earth Hour lasts from 8.30pm until 9.30pm on Saturday 29th March 2014 and it aims to raise awareness about issues that affect our planet. It is a commitment to recognize that what we do in our homes, workplaces and places of study can have an impact on the environment and the planet. It is one hour to symbolize a commitment to change.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding participation in this event then please check out Earth Hour’s useful FAQ, which covers information about its conception through to any safety questions you might have. We hope to see some of you in the library tomorrow night!

The library remains committed to the Green Impact initiative and continues to promote greener practices within the library. You can help us in our commitment to reduce energy consumption and waste through small changes such as; using the designated recycling bins, switching off laptop chargers when fully charged and using your own mugs at the cafe. The library cafe will also give you a 10p discount on your hot drinks if you bring your own mug.

Visitor access during April and May 2014

Due to the upcoming examination period we have made the difficult decision to close access to visitors during April and May 2014. 

Like most London libraries, we struggle with space and cannot provide as many study spaces as we would like to. During the same period of time last year we had a very high volume of users in the library, which meant that there were not enough designated study spaces for everyone to use. It was not uncommon to find students working in corridors and on the floor whilst waiting for desks to become free. Due to this situation, we have decided to prioritise our limited study spaces for our own students over the examination period.

Crowded Train

Students rush to find study space

Image: State Library of South Australia via flickr

We are therefore not admitting visitors or processing any new membership applications during this time. This includes, but is not limited to, users from other academic institutions, University of London colleges, SCONUL members and Reference users.

We have no future plans to further limit visitor access to the library other than during this short period of time. Goldsmiths Library has a comparatively inclusive access policy on the whole and, for example, does not limit SCONUL user access by band, as well as participating in many reciprocal access schemes with other institutions and this will continue into the foreseeable future.

Visitors who wish to use our Special Collections or Archives during this time can still visit the collections by appointment.

We hope that our visitors understand that this decision has not been made lightly and that it does not greatly inconvenience them.

Some alternative libraries:

Deptford Lounge – The Deptford Lounge is a public library, which is a 10 minute walk away. It is free for anyone to use and has nice surroundings as well as limited study space.

British Library – As a legal deposit library, there is very little in the way of resources that the British Library doesn’t have. It also has study space, though this can be very busy all year round.

Senate House Library – This library is free to University of London students and staff and has options available for members of the public to join as well. Senate House Library has great resources and friendly staff, as well as being well situated in central London with good travel links.

E-Resource of the Month – Zotero

ZoteroWhat is Zotero?

Zotero is free open source reference management software created by George Mason University. It is a community-based project – improvements and updates are made and tested by members. Zotero is not owned by multinational companies, like other referencing software is. It can be integrated with web browsers through plug-ins, and once the plug-in is installed, whenever you use resources such as library catalogues, bibliographic databases (e.g. JSTOR, Google Scholar) or even websites, the full reference information of your results can be saved to your Zotero library. A Word plug-in will insert citations and bibliographies into your essays.

How do I access Zotero?

You can access Zotero from its website. It’s not linked from the library A-Z of e-resources page, as it’s not a resource limited to academic students. Anyone can use Zotero, and you don’t even have to register an account with your university email address, so you can keep your references after you graduate!

Using Zotero

First, create an account with Zotero. Then use the ‘download now’ icon on the main page to download the plug-ins for Firefox and Word. It’s recommended you use Firefox, even if you have to install it, since this is the only browser you can use to allow the Word plug-in to work. You’ll also see ‘Zotero’ appear in the bottom right of your browser – use this to open Zotero. When you search the library catalogue or any other electronic resource or website, you’ll notice an icon in the address bar, that will allow you to ‘bookmark’ the references you wish to. These will be saved to your library.

When you write your essay, make sure the Zotero toolbar is available. If not, try Tools>Add Ins or File>Options>Add Ins (depending on which version of Word you have) to select it. When you wish to enter an in-text citation, click the first Zotero tool, ‘Zotero Insert Citation’, then choose your citation style. Click on the ‘Z’ icon and choose ‘classic view’ to show your entire library. Choose the item you want to cite. Repeat this throughout your essay. To create a bibliography, choose the third Zotero tool, ‘Zotero Insert Bibliography’, which will create a bibliography for all the citations you’ve used, in the correct citation style.

More documentation about using Zotero is available on their website, or please contact Kevin Wilson, subject librarian for Media, Computing and IMS, for more help using Zotero.