Improving your library in uncertain times. Part 1: Resources


Improving your library in uncertain times. Part 1: Resources

It’s reflection time of year again. When I wrote this blog last year, I used the heading in an unprecedented year, but let’s face it first half of 2021 wasn’t much of an improvement on 2020. The future is looking better though, and it has been great to offer a full library service again and most importantly see so many of you making use of our libraries. The last year has really highlighted to me, that a library isn’t a building, it isn’t books, PCs and printers… It’s a community and it’s been wonderful to have a thriving library community again. In short… we missed you.

All the Library and Learning Resources team have a strong belief in asking for your feedback. It was gratifying to start being able to canvas your feedback face to face again, starting with a Shape Our Library event held in November and we have more events planned over the coming months. If you’re an undergraduate in your final year it’s vital that you make your voice heard through the National Student Survey.

A lot of change has of course been driven by the pandemic and in the case of resources this meant making more available online so you could access the resources you needed from home. We are still prioritising Your Digital Library when buying new learning resources. We are purchasing more e-books, online databases and more. Let’s look at more changes we made last year to help you through 2021 starting with resources.


In June 2021 we saw a major new addition to your digital library with OverDrive an e-book and audiobook platform. You can read e-books or listen to audiobooks from OverDrive using your computer or you can download the Libby app to your phone or tablet.

If you’ve not tried it yet, the Libby app is available here for Android and here for iOS. Using Libby, you can do everything you can on the OverDrive website: browse, borrow, return, and reserve items, as well as downloading them to read or listen to. When you first download Libby, you’ll need to sign in with your CCCU account using the “Sign in with a library card” option. Once you’re signed in, you’ll have full access to all our OverDrive resources.

We have a brief guide to using OverDrive, or you can get more help from the official OverDrive help pages or for more help with Libby, please see the official Libby help pages.

We’ve been asking students what they think of OverDrive and the Libby app and you can discover the thoughts of Leanne Holmes or Rhiannon Limbert on the Library blog.

NHS Core Content Resources

In October 2021 we implemented the NHS HEI OpenAthens scheme in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Social Care. The scheme provides eligible higher education students with authenticated access to NHS Core Content resources such as e-journals and databases provided by Health Education England (HEE) and NICE. We also have access to the online training platform which we’ll look at in a couple of weeks, when we focus on student support.

Suggest an e-book

“I’d like somewhere online to make suggestions for book stock”

Shape Our Library

Providing a service where you could request resources was on our radar based on your suggestions before Covid-19 and it quickly became a popular service. Last academic year were able to buy spend approximately £20,000 on e-books based on your suggestions. Over the summer we reviewed the trial, made improvements to the form and our own workflows to make the service better. In October we relaunched suggest an e-book, you can make suggestions for e-books to be added to the library collection using the suggest an e-book service. You can make a suggestion through the online form. To find out more read the news article from October.

LibrarySearch Improvements

e-book and audiobook access

Based on your feedback we streamlined how you access e-books through LibrarySearch. No more scouring the results screen for a hyperlink to grant you access. We’ve added a new “Link to CCCU e-book” button for each e-book listing. Access to your e-book is now a simple button click away. Just make sure you’re logged into LibrarySearch to easily gain access.

LibrarySearch screenshot showing new "Link to CCCU e-book" button

We It’s not just access to e-books though, you can now follow the same step for accessing audiobooks too. Just use the “Go to CCCU audiobook’ button located in the same location.

Link to CCCU audiobook

Find out more on the library blog.

Accessibility improvements

In November we launched new accessibility features to LibrarySearch this includes new navigation buttons as the default so useful for anyone needing assistance or anyone who likes to jump around the results page with ease.

Free document delivery

The document delivery service allows you to request items from other libraries when they aren’t available through LibrarySearch. The document delivery service usually costs £2.00 per request for undergraduate students but throughout all of 2021 we have been offering this service to all students for free. This has been extended until the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.

The restrictions on the number of document delivery requests you can make each year remains the same.

Document delivery requests can be made through LibrarySearch.

Find out more on the Library blog.

Supporting campaigns that matter to you

We’ve been buying resources to help support #CCCUBH365 events, LGBT History Month, Pride, guest speaker events and many more. Over the summer we worked with the University’s Reading for Pleasure Ambassadors to promote reading for pleasure throughout the summer and made a selection of great fiction books available through OverDrive. In September we worked with the University’s LGBTQ+ community to curate an e-book collection to celebrate Pride. If you missed author Natasha Brown’s talk at the University last year, you can still read her thought provoking debut novel on OverDrive.

Thank you for reading the first part of my 2021 reminiscences. Come back in two weeks where I’ll be taking a look at the changes we’ve made to the physical library spaces, facilities and services we provide.

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