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Friday, 29 January 2010

Western Bank Library Tours

Western Bank LibraryFollowing the completion of the Western Bank Library redevelopment project we'll be offering guided tours to all staff and students. These tours will be an opportunity for you to ask questions about the new facilities, learn more about where our various collections are housed, in what areas you can expect to find silent study and how we plan to use the exhibition space etc.

Student tours are due to commence week beginning February 8th and are open to everyone. There'll be two sessions a day, starting at 11am and 3pm, and all you have to do is show up at the library five minutes beforehand. Make your way up the 1st flight of stairs from the main entrance on Level G and we'll be waiting on Level M.

For more information about the project take a look at our webpages or contact library staff by email library@sheffield.ac.uk.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The New IEEE Xplore

During mid-February IEEE will be launching their new look Xplore, with new search tools and better results:
The new IEEE Xplore makes finding the trusted research you need easier and faster.  With its robust, new search engine and personalization features, you'll spend less time researching and more time developing and pioneering technology.

Until then however you're invited to 'experience the new IEEE Xplore digital library' with a sneak preview:

Xplore Demo



The improved search capabilities include:

  • Smart “Refine this Search” capabilities, which allow you to refine or expand results by multiple facets;

  • Convenient type-ahead shortens searching time;

  • Functional search breadcrumb trail lets you easily remove search elements;

  • Automatic search suggestion intuitively corrects spelling;

  • Post-search sort options provide results display flexibility;

  • Global search box on every page lets users start a new search from anywhere.


And, there'll be new personalisation features that allow you to set search preferences using multiple criteria and save searches to create new alerts.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

QR Code Competition

Paul Tobin (Left) and Dami Bakare (Right)During October/November 2009 the university library ran a competition (sponsored by JISC) to win an iPod Touch. Students were asked to comment on the library blogs, suggesting ways the library could use QR codes to support services. The range of responses we received has given the project group plenty of food for thought and they would like to thank all for your participation.

The lucky winner, Dami Bakare (a third year dental student), was drawn out of a hat by Paul Tobin, President of the Student Union, before Christmas and was presented with his prize early this week.

To read more about QR codes - what they are and how to use them - take a look at the library news page and have a practice with the codes found on our blogs. Any further comments about the library's use of QR codes are always welcome or if you'd prefer to email suggestions you can contact us at library@sheffield.ac.uk.

For more photos of the presentation have a look at our Flickr photostream and check out the article in Forge Press.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Western Bank Extended Opening Hours

During the Winter exam period (January 10th - February 4th) the Western Bank Library has extended opening hours. With the redevelopment work now in its final stages (effecting Level 3 and the impaired-mobility access route on Level G) you'll find plenty of silent study spaces and our upgraded network means greater wifi access.



























Opening hoursStaffed service hours
Sunday10:00 - midnight14:00 - 18:00
Monday - Thursday09:00 - midnight09:00 - 19:00
Friday09:00 - 21:0010:00 - 19:00
Saturday10:00 - 18:0014:00 - 18:00


Friday, 8 January 2010

Happy New Year

Whilst we've all been enjoying the holidays others were busy breaking records. Fabrice Bellard, a computer scientist, claims to have computed the mathematical constant pi to nearly 2.7 trillion digits using his desktop computer! Taking over a terabyte of disk space the calculation took 131 days to complete and check - that's 3115 hours longer than it took the previous record holder Daisuke Takahashi to calculate pi to 2.6 trillion digits on a supercomputer 2,000 times faster than Bellard's desktop. Wow.

In other news did you know that the United Nations has proclaimed 2010 as the year of biodiversity? This year is set to disappoint a 2002 goal agreed by 120 countries to achieve a 'significant reduction' in biodiversity loss and so in October there'll be a summit hosted in Nagoya, Japan to establish a new strategy to reduce the current rate of loss by 2050.

And finally if 2010 is set to be the year you finally get out of here and you're interested in off-shore wind power, you'll be pleased to hear that the go-ahead has been granted for a major expansion of offshore wind farms around Scotland. The installation of 1,000 new turbines generating nearly five giga watts of power is going to need workers! There's the possibility of a range of jobs being created in manufacturing, research, installation and operation.

So I think 2010 has already got off to a good start eh. In more library related news the Western Bank redevelopment is entering its final stages and I'll be updating you later about drop-in tours being offered to students needing some guidance around the new workspaces. In the meantime I'd encourage you to check the library website for all the latest news.