Library Research Skills Tutorial About the tutorial
Using Libraries

Key points

This module has helped you to be more effective in your use of libraries. It also provided information about discovering and obtaining access to additional libraries that may be useful in your research.

The key points to remember when using libraries:

  1. There may be a number of collections that you are entitled to use that are of relevance to your research. The conditions governing access will vary so it is necessary to contact the libraries in advance in order to be prepared for the requirements you need to fulfil.
    This will save you time, expense and effort.

  2. You can use the library catalogue to search for materials held by a particular library. Some catalogues now cover a number of libraries (union catalogues), others are also 'portals' into electronic resources. If you are a member of a library you can usually use the catalogue to access your library account, renew books and place requests.

  3. The library staff are happy to answer enquiries and provide training in using the library and its resources, don't be afraid to ask. Contact your subject specialist if you have a subject-based enquiry.

  4. It is important to abide by the copyright laws when conducting your research. The concept of 'fair dealing' allows for a limited amount of copying of copyrighted works (eg one chapter of a book) for non-commercial purposes such as private study.

  5. If you are unable to access a book or a journal article you need for your research, ask if your library can obtain it for you through the inter-library loan system. Provide full bibliographic information and allow plenty of time.
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