Tag Archives: how to guides

Welcome to the Library, we’re here to help!


If you’ve just started a course at Exeter this year then congratulations and welcome aboard! If you’re a returning student then welcome back! We hope you’ll be using our Libraries and Library study spaces lots over the coming year. Find out more about the different libraries and study spaces we have available on our website: whether it’s the Forum Library, Research Commons, St Luke’s Library, The Amory Study Centre or The Sanctuary we’ve got spaces and resources to suit your differing study needs throughout the coming year. Library staff are available 7 days a week: we’re always happy to help and we’re keen to help you get the most out of your study experience at Exeter so – however large or small  your question – never be afraid to ask us.

Here’s a short guide to the different ways you get help from us:

Enquiry Desks

Reception desk at St Luke’s Library

Our main reception desks are located in the Forum  Library entrance next to the  Forum Street, and by the entrances in our site Libraries, Research Commons and St Luke’s. During staffed hours (08.00 – 20.00 Monday – Friday and 10.00 – 18.00 at the weekend) there will always a member of staff here who can either answer your questions or put you in touch with the person who can.

Information Central

Information Central is located on level -1 of the Forum Library. A number of Library staff are based here and available to help Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17.00. You’ll find the help desk immediately on the left as you step through the door. Come in and see us!

Meet our Rovers

Can’t find the classmark you need? Not sure how to use the issue machines? Don’t worry, Library staff are on hand! Library Customer Services are an active team working out and about – or, as we call it, “roving” – on the Library floors where you need us most. We wear a white or navy blue uniform and colourful lanyards so we are easy to identify. We can help you search the catalogue, access your library record or deal with a number e-resource queries on the spot, so there’s no need to queue at the desk. Any member of the team will be happy to help so if you see us let us know how you’re doing, and how we can help. 

Email or Phone

You don’t need to come into the building to get help. Why not send us an email: . We check and respond to messages 7 days a week, so don’t hesitate to drop us a line or, if you’d prefer, give us a call on +44 (0) 1392 723867.  

Follow us on Twitter!

Keep in Touch!

Keep up with latest Library news and developments by following this blog throughout the coming year. Or why not follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook? We use social media to share tips, facts, breaking news, fun quotes and competitions, and most importantly to make it easy for you to get in touch, so do speak up if there’s something you’d like to share. Or if you’d prefer to put pen to paper there are comments boxes located around our Library spaces. Questions, comments, suggestions and feedback good or bad we’re always keen to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our service, so do keep in touch.

See you soon, in one of our Library spaces!

Graduating? Check out our Library Resources for Exeter Alumni


Hearty congratulations from all of us in the Library to everyone who is graduating this week! We hope you enjoy your ceremony and well-deserved celebrations.

But did you know that as a graduates of Exeter University can still be a Library member and even access some key collections from extensive e-resources? Here’s how… 

Access to library resources for Exeter Alumni

Electronic resources via ExOnline:

We are currently able to offer access to the following e-resources for Exeter Alumni:


JSTOR journal archives – access to 1,700 journals in a variety of academic subjects




Business Source Alumni  – access to hundreds of full-text journals and reports in the Business subject areas




Access to all University subscribed Sage Journals (in a variety of subjects), along with Sage Research Methods Online and Sage Knowledge Business & Management e-book collection.


To access our alumni e-resources you will first need to register with the Alumni Office. Find out more on their alumni benefit webpages.

Electronic Resources via our Walk-in Access machine:

If you live locally you can also access many of the Library’s electronic resources via our walk-in PC facilities in the Forum Library and St Luke’s Library. Find more information here.

Alumni Library Membership and print collection borrowing:

As an Alumni you are also entitled to join the Library and borrow up to four items at a time from our print collections. A one-off registration fee of £35 applies for this service (except for PhD alumni who are entitled to join for free). To apply for alumni membership, or for more information on this scheme, please visit our website.


So graduation is only the start of your lifelong learning journey, and we look forward to welcoming many of you back to The Forum Library, Research Commons and St Luke’s as alumni Library members!


Top tips for borrowing during the Summer

The end of term is nearly here! If you’re taking off for the Summer then from all of us at the Library, have a great time and enjoy the break! But don’t forget our Libraries will be open every day throughout the summer and that our loan rules continue as normal throughout the vacation period.

What does this mean for you?

Don’t forget to return any books you won’t be using before you leave Exeter

This means for the many students and staff who arrive or choose to stay in Exeter during holiday periods we are here and open to provide help, support, study space and the resources you need. If you are going away from Exeter you are welcome to take books with you (though we advise against taking Library resources abroad) but do keep in mind that you will be responsible for renewing any items you borrow regularly throughout the vacation. You can do this online by logging in to your Library record.  Please remember also that books can still be recalled by other library users.

How do recalls work? 

If a book on loan to you is requested by another Library user, you will get an email informing you of this and providing a new date by which to return it. So it is important you check your email regularly if you are borrowing stock during the holidays. Recalled books cannot be renewed and may be due earlier than the original due date. With normal loan books, you should get a week within which to return the item. This should be sufficient time to return the items by UK post if necessary and you are welcome to do this.  Library books should not be taken overseas.

Our recall policy exists to ensure fair access to our stock for all library users, so don’t forget if the books you need are on loan you can recall them at any time of year. Learn more about how to place reservations here.

As always if you need help, or have any questions about managing your library record do please get in touch: 

5 Top tips for stress-free borrowing during the Summer:

  • Return any books you don’t need before you leave Exeter. Please don’t leave Library resources locked up in your room or office over the summer, it isn’t fair to take them out of circulation if you’re not using them either and they could get recalled by other borrowers.
  • If you do take our books away with you, be sure to renew them regularly (weekly for Short Loans, and every 4 weeks for Normal Loans). Do not take Express Collections items away from Exeter.
  • Think Recall! Any item you borrow can be recalled by another user so please check your email regularly and be prepared to return items by post if necessary.
  • Staff are here to help! If you have any problems or questions about recalls, renewals or anything else please get in touch as soon as possible. We’re available to help 7 days a week throughout the vacation period.
  • Don’t forget, the Library is so much more than just printed books: we also provide access to over 100 research databases, more than 30,000 electronic journals and thousands of e-books. All our electronic resources are available off campus, so you may not need to take hard copies away with you this summer!

Pre-registration Borrowing

Are you planning to start a course at Exeter University from the new academic year (September 2013)? If so, congratulations and welcome! Whether you’re brand new to Exeter, or a returning student  – perhaps you’re a current undergraduate hoping to embark on postgraduate studies – we hope you’ll find your new course of study to be rewarding, stimulating and enjoyable.

If you’re planning to be in Exeter during the summer before your new course starts you may wish to take advantage of our Pre-Registration Borrowing scheme.

What’s Pre-Registration Borrowing?

This scheme allows students who will be beginning a course at Exeter in Autumn 2013 to register with the Library early so you can borrow books over the Summer. The maximum number of items you will be able to borrow at once will depend on the type of course you are undertaking, see here for further details. Exeter Libraries are open every day throughout the Summer, with staff on hand to help, so this could be a good way to get to know our resources or get ahead with your reading before the start of term!

Borrow books before the start of your new course with our Pre-Registration Borrowing scheme

Are there any restrictions?

Please note that this category of membership does not give you access to our to our electronic resources, although if you live locally you are welcome to look at our electronic books and journals on site using the ‘walk-in access’ PC facilities at the Forum and St Luke’s Libraries.  Please ask Library for more information about this.

Is there a charge for this?

No! Pre-registration Library membership is free to all eligible future students.

Sounds useful, how do I register?

Call in to the Forum Library or St Luke’s Library and collect a Pre-Registration Borrowing form. Alternatively, you can print out the form in advance from  this page: please select either the Undergraduate Pre-Registration Borrowing Form or the Postgraduate one according the category of course you will be commencing. The form needs to be completed and then countersigned by the College in which you intend to study. Once this has been done bring  the form to the Library and we’ll supply a membership card that will let you borrow over the summer.

This facility is available from June 14th 2013 onwards. Please contact if you have any further questions.

Why not borrow a Forum Netbook?

Need to work on the go? Why not borrow a netbook (slimline laptop computer) via the Forum Library? If you haven’t discovered the Forum netbooks already here’s a quick guide to how to borrow one and what you can with it.

What can I access?

Netbooks can be used anywhere with a connection to the campus wifi (but they will not work off-site or via a cable connection). Log-in to the device with your university username and password and to access the following: your U: drive file space, internet, email, Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader and the Student Print service.

Did you say I can print from a netbook?

Yes!  So long as you have sufficient credit on your account you can send your documents from the netbook to either the  Xerox_Student_Monochrome (for black and white) or  the Xerox_Student_Colour (for colour printing) queue then swipe in at the relevant printer to release the documents for printing in the usual way.

So if you just need to print and the computer clusters are busy why not borrow a netbook and print from there instead? You can find more information about printing on campus on the Student Print Service webpages.

How do I borrow one?

These loan devices are available through the self-service locker keys system in the Forum Library Express Collections area on level 0 of the Forum Library, just to the left of our main reception desk.

The green keys are for the netbooks, and there are 3 easy steps to borrowing one:

 1. Pick up a green key from the hanging display on the right-hand wall.






2. Self-issue the key using the machine in Express Collections. Follow the instructions on screen or ask Library staff for help if you are not sure how to do this. You will need your University card to borrow. Your receipt will tell you the date and time the item is due for return, so always take note of this. Locker keys issue for 24 hours at a time but they can be renewed online via your library record, so long as nobody else has placed a booking on them.








3. Now take the key to the bank of lockers on the upper level of the Forum. Northside lockers (1-118) are located by the Guild Consultation Rooms. Southside lockers (119 – 236) are opposite Costa Coffee.  Unlock the correct numbered door and the netbook is ready to go! Don’t forget lock up the door again and take the key with you while you are using the netbook.


What do I do when I’ve finished?

When you’ve finished using the netbook you need to do the following:

1. First return the device to its locker. Make sure you plug it in using the socket in the back of the locker space to ensure it’s fully charged for the next user.

2. Ensure the locker is securely locked then return the key to Express Collections. Always make sure you return the key on the machine and get a check-in receipt as proof of return.

3. You can then hang up the key fob back on the correctly numbered hook.

Things to remember:

  • Further guidance on using the netbooks and troubleshooting basic problems can be found on a laminated instruction sheet contained within each locker of this type.
  • Battery life is approximately 4 hours. A warning will appear when the battery is at 20% capacity or lower, but it’s always a good idea to save your work regularly. If the device does switch off unexpectedly you will need to log back in within half an hour to recover any unsaved work from your last session.
  • Netbooks will only work on campus; they switch off automatically if they lose connection to the campus wifi, so don’t take them off site!
  • To ensure fair circulation of these popular items fines are charged if you are late returning or renewing them (£1 for the first hour then 50p per subsequent hour overdue). To manage your borrowing responsibly and avoid fines always check your receipts  and  and contact Library staff as soon as possible if toy have any problems using the online renewal system.


Bookable Spaces 1: Group Study Rooms

In the coming weeks we will be showcasing the different bookable spaces that are available for you on Streatham Campus and at St Luke’s as well as explaining how you can  book them.

Planning some group revision in the run up to exams?

  • There are 14 student group work rooms available to book online using the Request a Room web page and choosing the Student Group Work Areas option.

Group Study Room in the Amory Study Centre

These comprise:

  • 13 rooms on Streatham Campus
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 01
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 02
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 03
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 04
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 05
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 06
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 07
    • Forum SSC Interview Room 08
    • Amory 003 E
    • Amory 003 A
    • Amory 003 B
    • Amory 003 C
    • Amory 003 D
  • 1 room on St Luke’s Campus
    • St Luke’s (Haighton Building) Library Student Presentation Room (student use only)

This really is the main information that you need and, if you forget the link, simply type, “Request a Room” in the main University Search box.

  • To help you retain this information, we suggest booking a room for yourself (and then cancel if not needed).  If you try this you are way more likely to remember the process.

Now, if you want more detail, the real in and outs of the way the system works, there is additional information online and also FAQs, you can find them online

Or just read it all right here in our blog …

Student Group Work Areas (additional information)

Student Presentation Room at St Luke’s

Amory Study Centre

  • Accessed via the main Amory building reception and are located within the Amory Study Centre.
  • 4 x rooms that seat up to 8, screens and laptop connectors available.
  • 1 x room that seat up to 6, desktop PC and additional video recording facilities.
  • Open 8AM-9:30 PM 7 days per week, Monday-Sunday.
  • 1 hours allowance per week, per student.
  • Rooms available on a rolling 28-day basis.

Forum Student Services Centre (SSC) Interview Rooms

  • Accessed via the Student Services Centre in the Forum – Ground Floor.
  • 7 x rooms that seat up to 3 people.
  • 1 x room that seats 8 people.
  • Bring your own laptop or use a loan lap (available from the IT Helpdesk).
  • Open 5pm – 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday.
  • 1 hr allowance per week, per student.
  • Rooms available on a rolling 28-day basis.


(taken from the Timetabling Team’s web pages ):

What is the purpose of these rooms?

To help facilitate group working and studying, related to your academic studies. 


I can’t book more than a few weeks ahead.

Rooms have been made available on a rolling basis, which allows fair access for all students.


 I have tried to book a session but it was declined, why is this?

There is an allowance in place of 1 hour per week, per student. This can be split into two 30 minute sessions if you wish.


 I need some quiet space; can I book the room out for myself?

This space had been designed for group work predominantly; please see the library website for quiet study space information.

How do I feedback about these rooms?
Please report equipment faults to the Exeter IT Help Desk ( or telephone 3934).  General feedback can be sent via the Student Information Desk using



Think Recall

If you’re going away over Easter we hope you enjoy a lovely break, but don’t forget the Library will be open daily throughout and that our loan rules continue as normal throughout the vacation period.

This means for the many students and staff who choose to stay in Exeter during holiday periods we are here and open to provide help, support, study space and the resources you need. But if you are planning to take our books away with you over the break please keep in mind the following:

How do recalls work? 

Books on loan to you can be requested by other Library users, when this happens they are “recalled.” You will get an email about this and a new date by which to return it, so it is important you check your email regularly if you are borrowing stock during the holidays. Recalled books cannot be renewed and may be due earlier than the original due date. With normal loan books, you should get a week within which to return the item. This should be sufficient time to return the items by post if necessary.  Library books should not be taken overseas.

Our recall policy exists to ensure fair access to our stock for all library users, so don’t forget if the books you need are on loan you can recall them at any time of year. Learn more about how to place reservations here.

As always if you need help, or have any questions about managing your library record do please get in touch:

Postal Loans Service

Not in Exeter but still want to use Library resources? You may find what you need among our constantly growing collection of e-resources, but if we only have it in hard copy don’t despair, we can also supply items to you by post.

Here’s the lowdown on Postal Loans:

Which items can I order?

Did you know you can request and return Library items by post?

If you are within the UK, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Eire, Channel Islands or  British Forces Post Office then we can post out Normal Loan (28 day loan) books to you. You will be responsible for renewing and/or returning these items to us. You are welcome to return them by post if necessary. We  can also send out photocopies of journal articles or chapters from books, these will be copies for you to keep and will not need to be returned.

If you are overseas we regret it is not possible to post books but we can still send you photocopies of articles or chapters from books.

What does it cost?

The service costs £2.50 per book request or for every 20 pages of a photocopy, which includes postage and packing.

Return postage for books will need to be paid by the requester.

If you request books by post then you are welcome to send a cheque to cover the total cost of your request. Or you may prefer us to can add the £2.50 charge(s) to your  library account, to be paid over the phone  or using our online payment system via a credit or debit card. Please note if the total charges on your Library account exceed £10.00, you will need to reduce these to under £10 before you can borrow or renew any further items.

How do I make a request?

First check the Library catalogue to make sure we have the item you are looking for and that it isn’t available electronically (we don’t send out items that you can readily access as e-books or e-journals).

To make the request complete a Postal Loans Book Request or Photocopy Request  form.  Please use a separate form for each request and indicate on the form whether you have enclosed a cheque for payment, or whether you would like the charge added to your Library record as detailed above. You can then either post your forms to the Library at the address shown on the form or you can email your request form to .  Please give as much bibliographic information about the items you require as possible and include page numbers if you are requesting journal articles or chapters from books.

How long does it take?

We try to dispatch items as quickly as we can but please allow 10 working days turnaround time, including posting time. 

Can I renew postal loans?

Yes! Postal loan items will be issued to your library record and our normal rules apply. You can renew using the online renewal system up to and including the date it is due so long as the book has not been requested by another user and so long as your total fines do not exceed £10.

For more information on postal loans please see our webpages or ask Library staff.

Open Access Reservations

Is the book you need already on loan?  Normal and short loan items can always be requested and should then be available for you to collect within one week. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this…

How do I request a book?

  • Search for the item you want using the Library Catalogue. If the item is already on loan to someone else you will see a  ‘Request’ button appears on the search result:
  • Click the request button. You will first be asked to log in with your university username and password (or if you are an external borrower, Exeter alumni, fee payer or SCONUL access member you will need to tick the  ‘Login using UoE Library identification UniCard or Library Card instead’  box and log-in using your barcode number and Library PIN).
  • You will now be asked to enter a cancellation date for your reservation. If you know that you won’t need it the past a certain date (perhaps you have an essay deadline) you can enter this date, so if the book hasn’t come back by then your booking will be cancelled automatically. If you have no deadline, or want the book no matter how long it takes, then enter a date here that is far in the future:

  • Select an appropriate date then choose ‘submit’
  • You can now request the item. If multiple copies of the same item are available then it usually makes sense to select that book that is due back soonest. Due dates and any pre-existing holds will show on the right:

  • Click on ‘Request Selected item.’ You should then be taken to screen that will confirm your hold has been successfully placed. Don’t forget to log out of  your Library record!

What happens next?

  • If the item you requested was due back more than a week ahead the loan period will be automatically shortened and the current borrower will receive an email asking them to return it by the new date.
  • When the item comes back you will receive an email from us and you can come in and collect it from the home library of the book, e.g. if it is a book from a collection in St Luke’s you will need to collect it from there. Forum Library books should be collected from the reservations shelf in Express Collections.

  • Find your item on this shelf: it will be filed under the first four letters of your surname and your library card number.
  • Issue the item as normal on one of the machines in this section.
  • We hold the item here for up to one week (or until your not ‘cancel by’ date is reached, whichever is sooner) after this time it will pass to the next person in the queue, or back into circulation if nobody else is waiting.

You can place up to 10 holds at a time and don’t forget you can always cancel holds you no longer require, or check which items you are waiting for, by logging in to your patron record.

Please note you will not be able to request books that are freely available on the shelves, just come in and get them.

If you have any questions or would like help with this topic please contact Library Staff.

A Handy Hint to Help… Keep track of your Library Borrowing

“Is there any way I can get a list of items from the Library I’ve previously borrowed and returned?”

This is a question Library staff hear quite a lot, and the answer is, yes there is: it’s called My Reading History. The bad news is it’s not automatic, it’s something you need to opt into. This is due to data protection issues. However, your borrowing history will be recorded from the moment you opt in onwards, so the sooner you do this the more useful it becomes.

How do I opt in?

  • To opt in, all you need to do is log-in to your Library record online, either via the Library tab on MyExeter or by clicking the patron record button on top right of the Library Catalogue screen.
  • Once you are logged in you will see five buttons to the right of the box with your name and details. Click on the one marked ‘My Reading History.’
  • If you have not already opted in to the scheme you will be informed that you have now reading history currently available and should see a box marked ‘opt in.’ Click on this.
  • Once you have opted in, logging in using the above method  and clicking on the ‘My Reading History’ button will bring up a list of all the items you have borrowed since you opted in. Clicking on the title of any of them will automatically link through to the full bibliographic details of that item as shown in the Library catalogue – this can be useful for last minute reference checking!
Click on the screenshot to view a larger version
  • Once you have a few titles collected in your Reading History list various options will become available to you, such as ‘Export Reading History’ which will allow you to email the list of references to yourself, or save them to a file.

If you have further questions about ‘My Reading History’ or would like a demonstration of how to opt in then please speak to a member of Library staff who will be happy to help you.