Category Archives: Forum Library

More study spaces added today!

Good news – we’ve added an extra 30 study spaces to the Forum Library. The desks are temporary and will be upgraded (new furniture is being ordered). Most are on Level -1, but there are a few on the other floors as well.

As well as these, there are some other higher height tables on the floors that could be used as standing desks for those of you who prefer it.

Coming soon: new study spaces in the Forum Library

We’re really pleased to be in the process of installing almost 50 new study desks in the Forum Library, just in time for the exam period.  The new study spaces will be located in the Lasok Law Library (Forum Library Level -1) and on Level +1 outside the Neil Cross group study room.

We recently added new study desks in EXpress Collections, now even more are on the way!

We recently added new study desks in Express Collections, now even more are on the way!

While these spaces are being cleared and the new desks installed you may experience some disturbance in the vicinity of these spaces between now and April 17th. We apologise for this but are confident that the end result – more study seats in the ever popular Forum Library – will be worth it.

If you’re looking for silent study space in the next week it might be worth avoiding these two areas of the Library. Why not use the silent study room on Level 0 which is well away from the areas affected? Other great quiet spaces to study on Steatham Campus this week include Research Commons, The Loft or the Amory Study Centre. Find out more about these and other available spaces on our website.

Vacation Information 2014

Christmas is coming! Whether your response to this is “Hooray” or “Humbug” it’s a good idea to plan ahead this time of year. So here’s what you need to know about our Library Services over the coming weeks.


Opening hours:

You can check our full opening hours for all Library sites on our website here.

The Forum Library: will be open on a self-service basis 24/7 to registered staff and students throughout the break.

 Forum Library

Self-service/Library staff available


Mon – Fri 08:00 – 20:00  20:00 – 08:00
Sat – Sun 10:00 – 18:00  18:00 – 10:00
24 – 26 Dec, 1 Jan


*During self-service hours you can:

  • Use the library for study
  • Use the computer and print facilities
  • Borrow and return using self-service machines

You must have your Unicard to enter the building and to borrow items.

Vacation opening hours for Research Commons are 09.00 – 17.30 Monday – Friday and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekends up until 23rd December. The building will be closed from 24th December  – 2nd January inclusive so why not study instead at The Forum Library during this time?

Vacation opening hours for St Luke’s Library are 09.00 – 17.30 Monday – Friday and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekends up until 23rd December. The building will be closed from 24th December  – 2nd January inclusive but 24/7 study space is still available over at The Forum so why not head there instead?


You are welcome to borrow our books over the vacation, although we always advise against taking Library books abroad. If you do take our books home with you then you need to note the following. Our recall policy is in place until the 12th December (the last day of term). This means books can be recalled and the due date shortened up until that date. Further information about our Recall Policy is available here. We will send you an email if your books are recalled, and you will have 7 days to return them – by post if necessary. If your items they are not recalled before the 12th December, then they will be due on or after the 5th January 2015.

As for renewals, you may continue to renew throughout the break  unless someone else places a request or recall on the books. We expect borrowers to return books as soon as possible to ensure fair access to all our resources for all students, and it is fine to return recalled items by post if you are not going to be back for 5th January.

If you are concerned about keeping your record up to date over the vacation, why not use our scan to email facilities to make PDFs of key sections before you go? Don’t forget we  have an extensive collection of electronic resources that can be accessed online from anywhere, so it may not even be necessary to take the print copies away!

Have a great Christmas, however you choose to spend it.

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.


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!


Extra Library study spaces during revision time

We hope you’ve had an enjoyable Christmas! Now New Year is looming and unfortunately so too are the January exams. Here in the Library we recognise that the run up to exams is time when Library study spaces are in particularly high demand. This is why during revision periods we increase the number of study seats available in the Forum Library by making the seminar rooms on Level 0 and level +1 part of the Library.

A View of Forum Level +1. The Forum Seminar Rooms will be dedicated for silent study from  2nd January. Enter them through the Library.

What this means for you:

More quiet study spaces in the Forum Library with capacity increasing to over 1000!

From noon on Thursday 2nd January access routes to the Forum Seminar rooms will change. You’ll need to enter and exit these rooms through the Forum Library using the doors by the computer clusters which will then be open. There will be no access to these rooms from the Forum end by the Alumni Auditorium.

The seminar rooms will remain a part of the Library until 12 noon on Sunday 12th January.

Don’t forget there are plenty of other revision spaces available for you during this busy period. Why not take a look at the full list here?

Study smart by respecting fellow revisers

During times of high pressure study it’s more important than ever that you respect fellow Library users and help reduce stress for those working around you by following Library behaviour guidelines. If you are in a silent space please respect the rules and if you need to talk move to a designated group work room or to one of our breakout spaces.

Also, if you are taking break of up to 60 minutes don’t forget to fill in one of our “Taking a Break” cards, available from holders around the Forum Library. If you will be gone longer than 1 hour please clear the desk to allow others to use the space. Library staff will be roving throughout our spaces and are here to help, so if you are being disturbed by noise, need help finding a seat, or if there’s anything else we can do to help just ask!


Forum Locker Keys

Located by Costa and by the Guild rooms, The Forum lockers offer a range of storage and loan options: borrow a locker key from the Library’s  Express Collections area to use a locker either to store your bag while you are on campus, to safely store and charge your laptop or to borrow a netbook for use on campus – all for up to 24 hours at a time.

Issue your key in Express Collections first then access the locker

We’re pleased that our locker key service has proved so popular over the past 12 months, but whether you’re a locker key regular or a brand new user it’s worth taking a few minutes to remind yourself of how to use this facility and make sure you’re doing so correctly.

You can borrow Forum Locker Keys from our Express Collections area, please remember:

  • You may only borrow 1 key at a time
  • The Locker key must be correctly issued to your library record before using locker
  • The key is issued for 24 hours only and we expect the locker to be used on a daily basis only, and then the key returned

To use the Forum Netbook Locker Keys

  1. Choose a green key, for a locker with a netbook inside
  2. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt. The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  3. Find the correct locker number in the Forum and unlock, the netbook and charger will be inside
  4. Use the netbook for working (on campus only: remember the device will not work if taken off site)
  5. Return the netbook to the locker, plug charger into power supply and lock it inside
  6. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt

To use the storage locker (all have power supply), decide if what size locker you need

  • Choose a red key, for a medium/large storage locker big enough to store a backpack (or rucksack)
  • Choose a purple key, for a small storage locker big enough to store a laptop and notebook

and then you need to:

  1. Issue the key to your library record using our self-service machine and get a receipt The item will be due for return in 24 hours time, e.g if issued at 11.00 on a Tuesday it will need to be returned before 11.00 on Wednesday.
  2. Find the correct locker number in the Forum
  3. Use the locker, these all have power if you want to charge phone or other device
  4. Empty the locker when finished and lock it
  5. Return the key to Express Collections, using the self-service machine and get a receipt
Further information can be found on our webpages.

Don’t forget netbooks are also available from St Luke’s Library, please ask at the desk there if you wish to borrow one.

If you have any questions or require further support in relation to borrowing locker keys please speak to Library staff. If you would like to make a suggestion or offer further feedback on the locker key facilities please do .

Taking a Break Scheme: the story so far

Our “Taking a Break” Scheme has been running in the Forum Library for several weeks now. Hopefully you’re all getting used to seeing cards like this around the Forum Library:

You can find these cards in yellow-backed holders all around the Library. They’re also available at the desk by the Library reception, so why not grab one as you enter so you’ll have it ready when you need a break?

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. Don’t forget to take any valuable items with you or put them in a Forum Locker.

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


How did we develop the scheme?

Before we introduced the scheme , we did a lot of research about what other HE organisation were doing about the problems of people saving seats while they are away.  In libraries of a similar size to ours, it can be almost impossible to successfully enforce any “no saving seats at all” rules.  We needed to think around the problem in another way.

We met with the Student Guild and they were clear that we needed a student led scheme that increased awareness and allowed some flexibility.  They also feel very strongly that the library should increase the number of study seats available over time.  We were pleased to announce additional seats at the start of this academic year  – and don’t forget that during the revision period the number of available seats in the Forum Library will increase again as the Seminar wings on Level 0 and Level +1 switch to become library spaces.

We also met with individual students who had complained about the problem of saving seats and together (with all this input) we came up with the “Take a Break” idea, as promoted.

Feedback so far:

Thanks to everyone  who has taken the time to get in touch with Library staff and share your thoughts on this scheme. Your feedback is appreciated and we’ve been pleased by your support. Here’s a selection of youe comments so far, as well as  responses to some of your questions and concerns.

“Great Idea”
I think this ‘Take a Break’ Scheme is a fantastic idea!”
“Hopefully these new guidelines will be a good step”  
Having worked with the university on the “Taking a Break” initiative, I am pleased to see it introduced! – (comment from Alex Louch (Guild VP Academic Affairs) – quoted in Exepose

Your concerns:

“Good idea, but only if everyone uses it

Our response: Our front line team are working very hard to implement this new system and we think it may take at least a full academic year (or more) for the scheme to prove its worth.  The Student Guild are also behind the scheme.  It is a big change and needs sufficient time to become part of the culture.

“an hour is too long “

Our response: Both the Library and the Guild are keen to achieve the right sense of balance and to encourage healthy study habits. It is good practice to take breaks when working to get fresh air and to eat. Students need (at most) an hour to get lunch, especially if they have to buy food, queue or use the toilet.  Also, students can leave for shorter periods; one hour is the maximum permitted time away.  Library staff will do more work to promote this message.

“it isn’t fair for people to leave a desk at all; if students need a break then they should give other people the chance to use the desk.”

Our response: we appreciate this concern, especially at times of highest demand but there are a number of reasons why we feel it would be unhelpful not to allow breaks:

Our consultations revealed many reasons why students need to spend extended periods of time in the Library:

  • Some courses require students  to spend a large proportion of their time in individual study (as opposed to in contact hours with academic staff). Many of you have told us that you prefer to spend this in the library as here you feel most motivated to get on with the work.
  • Some students live off campus (or travel in on public transport) and it would not be practical for them to come in for short periods.  They may need to work for long periods, fewer days per week.
  • Many students explained that they need “library days” where they can work consistently on certain projects over extended periods.

All of these are reasons why we feel it’s important to support extended study periods in our spaces. But we’re keen to do so in a healthy way, which includes allowing our users to take short breaks.

We hope Library users will continue working with us to make this scheme a success.

If would like to share your thoughts on the “Taking a Break scheme” then please fill in one of the comments cards you’ll find around the Library or .