Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Football and...libraries??

Being a Brummie, a librarian and an Aston Villa fan, obviously I absolutely loved this story which popped up in my Twitter feed this morning - the new Library of Birmingham will be lit up in claret and blue for the next few weeks in a partnership with the club. According to Villa's website, the club will be providing numeracy and literacy workshops in the Library sometime next year too. Something for those of you interested in football/sport and social inclusion to keep an eye on perhaps.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

The end of term is here and I hope this has been a good one for you. Just a quick note to say don't forget that you can access our ebooks and online journals from home, using the catalogue and DISCOVER as usual. Similarly, if you need any help with study skills, get yourself enrolled on the Study Hub: Online if you're not already - this is a community in BREO and you can enrol on it by clicking on the link in the middle of your BREO homepage - you can access these useful guides and worksheets from home too.

If you're local to Bedford then remember that the library will continue to open 24/7 all throughout the Christmas period (even Christmas Day), although staff will not be available for most of this time - please check the opening hours to see when they will be here.

I'll be around next week, so if you've got any subject-related queries before Christmas, please do get in touch as usual.

I had hoped to finish with a festive sports-related story, but I've been unable to find anything...so you'll have to make do with some Arsenal players in their Christmas jumpers I'm afraid.

Have a relaxing vacation and I'll see many of you next term.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Investigation into match-fixing in English football

I'm sure many of you have heard about this news story already, but I just wanted to highlight it anyway in case it's of interest to those of you in Football Studies/Sports Studies/Sport Management. The National Crime Agency have made some arrests, including some footballers, in relation to allegations of match-fixing in English football. If this is a subject you'd like to look into further, you'll find quite a few journal articles on match-fixing and corruption in football across the globe in DISCOVER.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Bedford Physical Education Archive

As many of you start to think about dissertation topics, I wanted to highlight a brilliant resource here at Bedford which you might not yet have come across: The Bedford Physical Education Archive. The archive contains loads of items and documents from 1903 to the present day, from the UoB Bedford campus' previous incarnations as Bedford Physical Training College, the Bedford College of Physical Education and DMU. What is now UoB Bedford began life as a PE college for women and there is some fascinating material in there (including things like the old PE and games uniforms!) which could be really useful for anyone looking at the history of physical education or sport and social history. The webpages tell you more about what is in the archive, upcoming plans and events, and how to contact and visit them (scroll right down the page to find the left-hand menu to navigate through the different sections). They also have a Facebook page.

They're about to release a DVD about the college during the World Wars, and the roles that the students played; there'll be a launch event on December 1st.

I hope some of you might be able to make use of this fantastic resource. If you have any questions, do get in touch with the archive staff.

Monday, 18 November 2013

House of Lords report on the 2012 Olympic Legacy published

The House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy have today published their report, "Keeping the flame alive: the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy", which suggests that more needs to be done by the government to maintain any kind of effective legacy from London 2012. You'll find discussions of the report on various news sites too, such as this one from the BBC.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Using social media effectively

OK, I will admit it; I spend far too much of my spare time on Facebook and Twitter. I have committed various social media sins, including posting photos of my dinner, creating cryptic passive-aggressive statuses, and live-tweeting television "talent" shows. But as well as all of that, social media can be a really powerful tool for maintaining your current awareness in your subject area; I also use Twitter to connect with other librarians around the world, to ask questions and share experiences, to discover best practice and to find out about new developments, events, opportunities and issues in libraryland, and I've already suggested to many of you whom I've met that you consider doing the same. Maintaining a current awareness of what's going on in your subject can be beneficial not only for your academic work, but for things beyond that, such as being able to demonstrate excellent knowledge of your sector in job interviews. So I would suggest making use of all avenues to do so, especially the free ones. This is why I was really pleased recently when a set of librarians from the Universities of Leeds, York and Manchester released a brilliant "Student guide to social media", which contains clear explanations of various tools available and is full of ideas on how and why to use them for your studies. Have a look; I think you might find it really useful. If you're already using social media for your work, or plan to after looking at the guide, I'd be really interested to hear about what you're using and how.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Using "Big Data" to predict sports injuries

I spotted this article on the BBC News website this morning; Bath Rugby are interpreting and analysing data from their players to try to predict (and to prevent) injuries by picking up on potential issues with the body. Being a librarian, I found this really interesting from an information management point of view, but it also has implications for professional sport, for both the players and the game, and the author of the article (most likely a journalist rather than someone involved in sport) ends by pondering whether this will be a positive or negative thing. What do you think?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Workshops on using DISCOVER and RefWorks

Just a quick post to say that I and the Education librarians are running workshops all this week on using DISCOVER and RefWorks. No need to book, just turn up. You can see what's on when on the What's On calendar on the library webpages.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Welcome (back)!

Hi all

Welcome, if you are new to us this year, and welcome back to all returners. I hope you've had a good summer and that you're ready for the new year. I've now seen all new SSPA students for a library tour and induction; it was lovely to meet you and I shall be seeing some of you again in your lectures very shortly.

I promised I wouldn't fill this blog with library announcements, but I just wanted to highlight a few things that are new this academic year:
  • As mentioned in the previous post, we have brand new, faster PCs in Bedford Library.
  • Professional and Academic Development have created a brilliant new BREO Community called "Study Hub: Online", which contains loads of useful helpsheets and worksheets on all aspects of study skills. It's definitely worth getting yourself enrolled on there and having a look; I think you'll find it really helpful, whatever stage of your course you are at. Instructions on how to enrol are here: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/studyhubonline .
  • In response to student feedback that there wasn't enough silent study space in Bedford library, we have now had work done to turn the whole second floor into a silent study floor. This is going to be a great space. It is very nearly ready, but at the moment the floor is still closed for health and safety reasons, so if you need to get any books from the second floor, please fill out a form at the Customer Service Desk on the ground floor and library staff will fetch them for you.
Finally, please don't forget that I am here to help with using the library, finding information, and referencing, so please do get in touch! https://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/help/ALLs/rachel-bickley.

Have a great term, everyone.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Brand new computers in Bedford Library

Just a quick library update for you...all of the student PCs in Bedford Library have now been replaced by new, faster machines, and they're up and running, ready for your return.

If you've got any feedback on this or anything else in the library, please do get in touch, or complete the feedback form here.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

British Library displays the original FA rule book

On this miserable, murky morning, a friend sent me this link to a story about a temporary new addition to the British Library's exhibits; the Football Association's 1863 minute book, containing the original rules of football (sounds like they're quite different to what is played to now!).

It'll be there until 17th December and you can see it for free in the British Library's Treasures Gallery (which also contains lots of other cool stuff if you're into books or history).

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Universities using Premier League football to attract students?

This story from the Times Higher Education popped up in my Twitter feed this morning, and I thought I'd share as it might be of interest to those of you in Football Studies: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/sector-aims-to-score-with-premier-league-profiles/2006329.article . Apparently some UK universities are trying to forge connections with Premier League football clubs as another way of attracting international students to the institution. Read carefully though; it contains a lot of speculation on the impact of these schemes and, as the article points out, not much evidence.

There's also an excellent example here of incomplete referencing and why that's not good; the writer doesn't give us any of the information that we need to easily track down the Elliott and Soo article mentioned in the second-from-last paragraph, which, if you were going to talk about this topic in an assignment, you'd probably want to read. A little detective work in DISCOVER uncovered it however, so here's a chance to practise your searching skills if you want to try to locate it! Think about which words to put in the DISCOVER search box, play around with your search terms, and remember that you can often read abstracts when you click on the title of an item, to try to work out if it's the article you're after - it might not be obvious from the title. I'm going to let you have a go yourselves first but do get in touch if you can't find it and I'll point you in the right direction.

Finally, I hope that those of you who follow football are looking forward to the new season starting. I support Aston Villa, so "looking forward to" is not quite the term I'd use...

Monday, 29 July 2013

Hello and welcome!

Hello! My name’s Rachel and I’m the Academic Liaison Librarian for the department of Sport Science and Physical Activity here at UoB. What that means is that I’m here to support staff and students in the department with all aspects of Learning Resources, from buying the books for the library that you need for your assignments to helping you to locate information and material for your work. I maintain subject guides which you will find helpful, and I am always available to meet you in person or chat via email if you need any help with using the library – you can find my contact details here – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And do say hello if you see me around campus!

There is lots of info available to you about finding material and using the Library on the Learning Resources webpages, in my subject guides, and directly from me in the sessions I’ll run for you as part of your courses, but I wanted to start a blog for several reasons. I won’t bore you with all of them, but one major part of my thinking is that I want to create a space where I can help you to maintain current awareness within your subject and to develop your ability to evaluate and think critically about the information that you find. So, I’m sure I will sometimes be posting announcements about library services which will be useful to you, but I’m hoping that mostly you’ll see posts from me pointing you towards resources you might not find in DISCOVER; television programmes, reports etc., which can help to inform your subject knowledge and your work.

We’re all human (even librarians), so here’s a little bit about me, so that you know who it actually is who’s blogging at you: when I’m not at work I am usually writing my novel, reading other people’s novels, listening to music, playing netball, going to gigs, going running, going to the pub, or going off on my travels (usually by myself – nothing compares to that thrill of being alone in a foreign country). I’m originally from Birmingham and have lived all over the country; I’ve been in Bedford and at UoB for a few months now and I’m slowly getting used to living in a town rather than a city. Growing up I variously wanted to be a volcanologist, astronaut, writer, storm-chaser, actor, musician, teacher, journalist and prime minister – no, I’m not sure how I arrived at librarian either! I’ve been to university twice, completing a BA in English Literature in 2008 and an MA in Librarianship in 2010, so I have plenty of experience of being a recent student myself, and my favourite part of my job is working with you, the students, and supporting your learning.

I hope you’ll find this blog useful. If you want to ensure you see the latest posts, you can subscribe by email (look for the "follow by email" box at the top of the page) or by RSS (look for "subscribe"). I’d love to hear from you about how useful you find it, what you’d like to see on here, or just any feedback or comments on what I write; please get in touch.