Author Archives: reg206

Let us know when you take a break

We know that the Forum Library can get very busy during peak times of day, especially as deadlines or exams approach. You’ve told us that it causes problems when other Library users take up more than one space or “save seats” by leaving their belongings and then going away.

In response, we worked closely with the Student’s Guild Representatives and with individual students to come up with guidelines for using study seats in our Library spaces.

Watch out for cards like this around the Library:

Dec 2014 Card jpeg front

What to do:

When taking a break of up to one hour: please always leave a card, fill in the time you left and be sure to return within 60 minutes.

If you will be gone longer than an hour: please clear your desk so that others can use the space.

Remember the Library is a public space! Never leave valuable items unattended; always take them with you or lock them in a Forum Locker

Each card can be reused up to 20 times.

Dec 2014 Card jpeg back

This is a student led scheme 

We hope you will continue working with us to make the “Taking a Break” scheme a success.

If would like to share your thoughts on the scheme then please send us an email or  fill in one of the comments cards you’ll find around the Library.

Donate your fines to Children in Need

Children in Need Day is on the way! This coming Friday why not take the opportunity to donate to a really worthy cause and clear your Library record at the same time?

That’s right, on November 14th we’ll be giving you the chance to donate any Library fines you have outstanding on your record to the Children in Need appeal.

If you haven’t encountered this charity initiative before, Children in Need is an annual fundraiser led by the BBC, that seeks to raise money for disadvantaged children right across the UK. For a glimpse of how money raised in the past has helped children and young people right here in the South West why not click here?


How it works:

  • If you’ve got any outstanding Library fines then, rather than paying the money to us, we will be inviting you to donate the equivalent amount to the Children in Need Charity appeal. We will then clear the fine from your record.
  • Donations can be made in person at any one of our Library desks (in The Forum, Research Commons or St Luke’s) any time during staffed hours on 14th November.
  • Please note, donations must be cash only; we regret that we cannot accept charity donations via credit card or using our online payment system
  •  Library staff will also be collecting, so if you don’t have a fine to pay but would still like to contribute you will be welcome to do so!

Last year, with your help, we managed to raise an impressive £428 for the appeal. Will we raise even more this year? We hope you’ll take this opportunity to support a worthy cause and clear your Library record as you do so!

Top Tips: Cancelling unwanted reservations

Hopefully you all know how to request items that are out on loan. If not, our website talks you through the process here (look under the subheading “Reserving items that are out on loan.”

But do you know how to cancel unwanted reservations? One of the most frequent types of message we receive in our library inbox are emails from students and staff telling us you no longer require a book that has arrived for you. This can easily happen; perhaps you’ve changed your essay topic, found a better alternative resource or even decided to buy the book. Whatever the reason, if you no longer need an item that’s been reserved for you it’s good practice to cancel your reservation as soon as possible so that someone else can use the book.

Although Library staff are happy to help with this did you know you can cancel your own reservations quickly and easily – and in less time than it takes to send us an email – by logging in to your Library Record online either via MyExeter or directly from the Library catalogue. Once you’ve logged in, you will see any requests you’ve made listed as ‘1 (or more) request(s) (hold)’. If you click on this link you will see the details of the item(s) requested in addition to a box labelled ‘cancel’.

cancel reservations capture

When you click on the ‘cancel selected’ box a new page will appear asking whether you would like to proceed or not with the cancellation and you can then confirm your choice. This will free up the book for the next person to use.

Please help your fellow Library users by promptly cancelling any requests for items you no longer require.


Tips for new students

Welcome to all our new students! We hope you’ve been enjoying Freshers’ week.

LIBRARY sign hanging

Here are a few tips to help you on your way as you start getting to grips with your reading lists and with our extensive range of Library resources.

Start using e-books and journals!

  • The Library is so much more than the print resources you’ll find on our shelves. We also have a wide range of online books and journals and the beauty of these is that you can access from anywhere you have an internet connection.
    • The Library Catalogue is the best route through which to access our e-resources.
    • Search results will show whenever a title is available electronically:

Example search results

    • From the above view you just need to click on the title of the resource to view the full record and then click on the appropriate link to access the resource.
    • Login with usual Exeter username and password and now you’re ready to read!


Get to grips with our self-service systems

We understand that you need to study in a flexible way, and we’re here to support that. This is why the Forum Library is accessible 24 hours a day: Library staff are available 08.00 – 20.00 on weekdays and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekend but outside of these hours registered staff and students can still swipe in using your Unicards (see our website for full details plus the opening hours of other Library sites). To get the most out of our 24/7 facilities you’ll need to be familiar with our self-service borrow and return facilities. They’re easy to use and all located near the main Library entrance on Forum Level 0 – do check them out and then you can start checking out books, whenever you need them!


Borrowing machine in the Forum Library

Manage your borrowing online 

Did you know you can always keep track of which titles you have checked out and when they are due back by simply logging in to your Library record online, either through the Library Catalogue or via the Library tab on MyExeter. You can also make renewals this way:

    • Once you’ve logged in you’ll see a list of the items you have on loan, together with the date they’re due for return. You can choose to sort by due date, to see which items need to be returned or renewed soonest.
    • To renew all of your items, click Renew All.
    • If you only want to renew some of them, tick the boxes by the titles you want to renew and click Renew Selected.
    • You’ll be asked to confirm you wish to renew these items. Click Yes to complete the process.
    • The Status column should now clearly state ‘renewed’ and show the new due date. If any items cannot be renewed, a message will appear to warn you of this and the status column will show the reason why.
    • Please note that you can’t renew your items online if they are more than 7 days overdue (7 hours for Express Collections items), or if you have unpaid fines of over £10. In these situations you’ll need to contact the Library in order to renew.

 Check out our website

We wish you all fruitful reading and researching!

What’s new in the Forum Library?

As the start of term draws ever nearer we’re gearing up to welcome all Exeter students – both new and returning – into our Libraries. We’ll be sharing more Library tips for Freshers very soon. This update is particularly for returning students.

If you’re coming back to Exeter for your 2nd or 3rd year then first of all a very warm welcome back! It’s worth being aware of a few changes that have taken place over the Summer in the Forum Library. Read on and know what to expect when you use the library for the first time this academic year.

What’s new?

1). New Security System

We’ve got new security gates at our main entrance and we are now operating a one way system. Enter through the gates on the left and exit through the gates on the right. Please observe the signs on the gates and keep this change in mind.


Upstairs on Level +1 there’s also  a change. The doors on this floor are now enter only. Please always exit via the main gates on Forum Level 0.


2.) New machines for borrowing items



We’ve updated our borrowing machines over the Summer. Our new ones are faster: you can now borrow more than one book at the same time without even having to open the covers. Just place your books on the plate, press ‘borrow’, scan your card, then press “Finish” when the items have issued. You can also use these machines to check the books on your record and make renewals but there’s no need to come in just to do that as you can always manage your borrowing online from anywhere you have an internet connection just by accessing “My Library record.

We’ve also moved the location of the machines. They can now be found conveniently right by the entrance/exit on Forum Level 0 in the Library Lounge area – so you can check out your books on your way out.


3). Upgraded Returns machines


At first glance you might not notice the difference. Our returns machines are still located in the entrance area on level 0. They may look the same but they are much more efficient. No need now to open each book and have the barcode read, just press to start and pop the items through the slot one at a time.

If you’ve had items checked out for a long time then you may find they are not recognised by the machine when you come to return them. If this happens to you please return items to staff at desk. Outside of working hours please return unrecognised items via the drop box just a few minutes away at Research Commons. This is available 24/7 and can be found next to the Library entrance.


Easter Holiday Weekend: we are open!

The Easter Holiday weekend is fast approaching. For many of you, plans for the coming weekend may involve church or chocolate but with Easter falling late this year and exams fast approaching we understand that revision might also be on your agenda. If this is the case then we’re here to support you and the good news is that Forum Library will be open as normal throughout the holiday period with only slightly reduced opening hours at Research Commons and St Luke’s.

You can check the full opening hours for all our libraries on our website. But here’s  a quick at-a-glance guide to help you plan your week.

Forum Library Library Staff available to help Swipe access for current staff and students only
Good Friday April 18th 08.00 – 20.00  

24/7 throughout.  You must have your Unicard with you.

Saturday April 19th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Sunday April 20th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Monday April 21st 08.00 – 20.00

Research Commons Library open
Good Friday April 18th 10.00 – 18.00
Saturday April 19th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Sunday April 20th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Monday April 21st 10.00 – 18.00


St Luke’s Library Library Staff available to help Swipe access to 24/7 study room for current staff and students only
Good Friday April 18th 10.00 – 18.00  

24/7 throughout.  You must have your Unicard with you.

Saturday April 19th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Sunday April 20th 10.00 – 18.00
Easter Monday April 21st 10.00 – 18.00

The Amory Study Centre will be available for use on 20th and 21st April but please note the Amory Study Centre will be closed all day on 18th April, reopening 12.00 noon on 19th April, while essential electrical works are carried out. Please ask Library staff if you need help finding an alternative study space during this time, or why not check out the full list of available study spaces on our website?

Take a Break goes greener!

The Library is Listening!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts on our Take a Break scheme, introduced in November 2013 to help ensure fairer access to high demand spaces in the popular Forum Library.  Generally you told us that you liked the scheme and thought it was a good idea but one concern that several respondents raised was about sustainability.

It’s true that the one use cards were not very green, that’s why we’ve redesigned them! Each Take a Break card can now be used up to 20 times – much better for the environment!

Watch out for the new style cards around our libraries. Please take one and reuse it until it’s full. Just write the time you leave in the next available slot on the back of the card and make sure you return within one hour.

When the card is full don’t put in for landfill make sure it goes in one of our designated paper/card bins  to ensure it gets recycled.

You can read more about the Take a Break scheme on our website. If you you’d like to comment or offer suggestions on this or any of our library policies or services please get in touch – we really do listen!


Library Lounge Collection: further favourites

Here’s the second half of our series of Library staff top picks from our leisure-oriented reading collection located in the Forum Library Lounge.


The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox

Chosen by Hilary Norris, Information Assistant

This is a story of revenge and obsession set in Victorian England.  It is written in the style of Victorian novelists such as Wilkie Collins but with a more modern sense of moral ambiguity. I enjoyed the detailed recreation of Victorian London and I was gripped by the plot from the opening line.

Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark 823.92 COX  




Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

Chosen by Roxanne Crabb, Forum Library Supervisor

Jaffy Brown begins life in the sewers of Victorian London with only poverty to look forward to – until a chance encounter with a tiger propels him into the world of Mr Jamrach, a collector of exotic animals. In Jamrach’s employ, animal-loving Jaffy struggles to reconcile his fairytale-like joy at being able to walk amongst bears, camels, tigers and toucans with the harsher realities of his new job: many of these creatures are extremely dangerous and the conditions of their captivity are cramped and squalid.

When reports of dragon sightings in the East Indies tempt Jaffy to sign on to a whaling ship in the hope of capturing one of these mysterious beasts, the novel morphs from a lively, almost Dickensian, portrait of lower class London life into a work of nautical horror that recalls both Moby Dick and particularly Poe’s Arthur Gordon Pym. The tone is often grisly but this fast paced survival adventure kept me gripped throughout.  Birch unfolds a harrowing but unforgettable story with a diverse cast of characters. Jamrach is apparently based on a real historical figure but I felt the real menagerie here was the ship-bound one: Jaffy’s crewmates are an assortment of misfits who are as memorable, as unpredictable and ultimately as dangerous as any exotic beast.

Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark: 823.92 BIR   



The Sixth Lamentation By William Brodrick

 Chosen by Jo Brewer, Shelving Assistant

Father Anselm is a monk, who was previously a barrister, and this is the first in a series of thrillers that feature him. The book starts with an old man claiming sanctuary at the Priory where Father Anselm lives. The old man is a suspected war criminal and wanted by the police. The story then moves back and forth in time between occupied France in the Second World War and the present day. This is an intricate book, weaving together the stories of several people and it keeps the suspense going right until the twist at the end. Both a gripping and a thought-provoking read.

Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark 828.91 /BROD


If you missed the first half of this series then you can read another three mini reviews as well as a brief introduction to the Lounge collection here.

What do you think? Did any of these titles tickle your fancy? If you’ve borrowed any of the books from the Library Lounge collection and would like to share a recommendation of your own then we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your favourite Library Lounge titles by commenting here or on the Library Twitter: @ExeterUniLib

Library Lounge collection: some of our favourites

Of course our primary aim is to support your research, but did you know we do also stock a number of books geared more towards leisure and recreational reading?  The Library Lounge Collection is shelved  just at the entrance to the Forum Library on level 0. This collection contains a regularly updated selection of books intended to cater to a broad selection of interests and abilities: from graded readers to help international students improve their language skills, to genre-fiction bestsellers, or novels that have been shortlisted for literary awards like the Man Booker or Orange prizes.

Books from this collection can be self-issued in the normal way using the machines located on each floor of the Forum Library. Ask staff you need a hand doing this.

So why not have a browse next time you’re passing by? You might just find your new favourite novel!

Find these and many more titles in the Library Lounge


Here are a few favourites from this collection chosen by Library staff:

The Oath by Michael Jecks

 Chosen by Rachel Dawson, Shelving Supervisor

Michael Jecks is a local author who writes about places we know.  However, as his novels are set in Medieval history we see these towns and cities in a different light.  Michael Jecks’ writing often includes a murder and The Oath is no different.  It’s a more complex book than the others I’ve read by him, as the story is told from the perspectives of different people and eventually they all link up and meet up.  The setting is 1326 – a time of great unrest due to a falling out between King Edward II and Queen Isabella.  Their 14 year old son (who later became King Edward III) is used as a pawn and the knights and peasants find their lives significantly disrupted by the King and Queen’s dispute.  This is a great way to learn about historical events and the lives people lived then, whilst being entertained by an excellent fictional murder mystery.  I left me feeling grateful that however difficult things seem today, it’s a lot easier than living in the 14th Century!

Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark: 823.914 JEC  



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Chosen by Jo Brewer, Shelving Assistant

The circus arrives mysteriously and only opens at nightfall. Within are magical displays and an array of fascinating characters.

This is an amazing and imaginative book where you escape and become immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of a different place. It is a story of illusion, manipulation, love and rivalry. In reading this book you embark on a journey of the imagination and to say any more would detract from the element of magic it contains. All I will say is that I didn’t want the book to end!

Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark: 813.6 MOR  



The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham

Chosen by Finlay Jones, Digital Library Resource Developer

Although perhaps better known for The Day of the Triffids or The Midwich Cucoos, The Kraken Wakes is an excellent piece of 1950’s sci fi horror from Wyndham. The novel follows the events of a three-stage clandestine invasion from aliens who settle in deep sea trenches all over the world, from the perspective of a married pair of journalists.

Although I was initially disappointed that there was in fact no Kraken mentioned, this ended up being one of my favourite elements. Wyndham leaves the alien threat almost entirely unexplained (in fact, it is not even explicitly stated that they are aliens) which allows the reader to invent their own form, motive and methods using their imagination- inevitably much more terrifying. I also particularly enjoyed how long it takes the penny to drop for the general public, with the realisation of the threat left to only a few “scare mongers”.

Stylistically the book is somewhat dated, but the themes covered could be from last week. The bad flooding suffered this winter, the Russian-Crimean situation (although in the book Russia is a simple red herring for the west to blame) and the management/manipulation of the media and media ethics are all echoed in the book.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable read.

 Find it in the Forum Library Lounge at classmark: 828.9/WYN-4  


Would you second any of  these suggestions? If you’ve borrowed any of the books from this collection and would like to share a recommendation of your own then we’d love to hear from you. Let us know your favourite Library Lounge titles by commenting here or on the Library Twitter: @ExeterUniLib

Stay tuned for more Library staff recommendations coming later in the week!


Bookable study desks for research postgraduates

Calling all postgraduate research students!

Looking for quiet spaces to work on Streatham campus? Did you know that you can now pre-book a lovely large study desk and an associated locker in which to store your belongings?

The desks are located in the main reading room of Research Commons, a designated silent study space where you can really concentrate on your research.  Research Commons is housed in the Old Library building on the Streatham campus near the University Chapel and just a short walk from The Forum.

What you need to know:

PGRs can book desks like this one in the Research Commons Reading Room

  • Who? The desks are available to postgraduate research students from all colleges.
  • When? They are available for use during the library’s opening hours (currently 08.00 – 20.00 on weekdays and 10.00 – 18.00 on Saturdays and Sundays, further information here)
  • How long? Desks can be booked for 1 day or for up to 5 consecutive days.
  • What to do? When you arrive collect your locker key from the Research Commons Reception Desk by 10.00 (weekdays) or 11.00 (weekends). If you are going to be arriving later than these times, please confirm that you still need the desk by contacting Research Commons on the day.
  • Anything else? If you need more information about this scheme please contact staff at Research Commons who will be happy to assist. You can call us on  01392 724052 (internal: 4052) or email . A webpage supporting the use of these desks is also available here.

More about Research Commons

Although a particular haven for postgraduates, Research Commons is open to all and is well worth a visit. As well the silent reading room the Library contains a multi-media seminar room,  a café-style break out space with vending facilities and an outdoor terrace area.

The Research Commons houses our Special Collections, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, the Arab World Documentation Unit, Official Publications and print copies of Science Journals. It also contains older and other less used research items. Why not take a look at our floor plans or just stop by for a visit?