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The Library for English students

How can the Library help you?

Collections and support

We are absolutely committed to helping you to carry out research, to support your essays, dissertations and projects. The Library is here to support you in your studies, providing copies of reading list texts (not enough for one each, unfortunately!), as well as other materials that may be of use for the independent research you do for your essays and dissertations. These include printed books and journals, held in the Library, and lots of e-books, e-journals and other materials available online. Please note that you will still need to buy your own copy of the primary texts for your modules, in most cases.

Cambridge CoreLink opens in a new window: the platform for Cambridge University Press e-books, including their Companions, Shakespeare Survey and some other presses.

Oxford Scholarship OnlineLink opens in a new window: the platform for Oxford University Press e-books.

ProQuest eBook CentralLink opens in a new window: over 150,000 academic e-books from a wide range of publishers.

SpringerLinkLink opens in a new window: includes thousands of literature e-books from Springer and Palgrave

Taylor and Francis e-book platformLink opens in a new window: over 15,000 e-books from Taylor and Francis.

  • There are other free, open access resources that you can use. These include:

COVELink opens in a new window (The Central Online Victorian Educator, a scholar-driven open-access platform that publishes peer-reviewed Victorian material).

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)Link opens in a new window: Online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)Link opens in a new window: A non-profit platform for Open Access academic books.

OAPEN LibraryLink opens in a new window: A non-profit platform for Open Access academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Open Library of the HumanitiesLink opens in a new window: A charitable organisation and publishing platform that hosts Open Access academic journals in the Humanities.

Support for postgraduate research

Do you want more books, or help finding the right resources?

The Academic Support Librarian for English is Sarah Akhtaruzzaman and the Library rep in the English Department is Sarah Wood. Please do email either of them if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the Library, e.g.:

  • You want help finding materials on a particular topic
  • There is a new book that you would like the Library to buy
  • You would like the Library to buy more copies of certain books

You can also use the Library's online suggestion form, to request new books. This also goes to Sarah Akhtaruzzaman, to approve the request (which she will do, provided it is relevant for your course!).

You can also contact a Library Associate to voice any concerns, make a request or give your feedback on any aspect of the Library. These are English students who work with the Library to improve our services in response to student feedback. They, and we, would love to hear from you!

"You said ... we did"

We are very keen to get your feedback on the Library, so we have set up a "You said... we did" section. When you give us feedback, we will respond on this page. Please help us to continue to improve the Library service!

You said...

We did...

We want more books!

We set up the "More Books ... Your Books" scheme to encourage students to suggest books for the Library to buy.

We can't get access to primary texts

We changed the loan period for primary texts, in consultation with the English Library Associates and the SSLC. All primary texts should now be 3 day loans, to make sure that the maximum number of students can access each copy.

The Library has limited resources.

We set up the Library Associate scheme to give you the chance to voice any concerns, make specific requests and give detailed feedback. We really want to hear your views of the Library - good and bad!

We don't like single-user ebooks!

We bought a multi-user copy of the ebook in question, and promised that (whenever possible) we would buy multi-user ebooks.

The Library Search system sometimes says PDFs are available but the link is broken.

There was an issue with links to Project Muse PDFs from Library Search, which we have now rectified. If this wasn't the problem, or if it starts to happen again, please do let us know, and we can make sure this gets fixed. (Please also give us details of the article you are trying to open, which will help us to pinpoint the problem).

More books! More ebooks.

The Library has a specific amount of money to spend on books to support English, and we prioritise materials on reading lists or books requested by current staff and students. Please do let us know if there are particular titles you would like us to buy, or particular sections or subject areas where you would like us to build up stock.

Not enough copies of texts required for courses.

The Library aims to ensure that there is at least 1 copy per 10 students of core reading list items (with a minimum of 3 copies in total). This is designed to suit secondary readings, but cannot possibly accomodate demand for primary texts, where every student needs a copy of the same text for the same week. In these cases, please check with your tutor to see which texts you are expected to buy. Second hand copies of most texts are available to buy on Amazon, and are usually fairly cheap. If there is core secondary reading where you feel demand is too high, please give me the details and we will try to buy more copies.

Sometimes only books available are 3 day loan and short loan - inconvenient.

We have 3 day loans and short loans to enable as many students as possible to access materials that are in high demand. Short loans can be booked, so you can borrow them at a time to suit you. On a Friday, you can get them until 11am Monday morning...

We do appreciate that most students have a preference for the standard loan, but we also have to ensure that books are available for the maximum number of students.

More study space.

We know that the Library gets very full at peak times, and ideally we need a new Library with much more study space. One day...! In the mean time, I wonder whether the issue is with there not being enough of a particular type of study space (quiet, silent, group etc)? It would be useful to know which, as the balance of existing study areas is potentially easier to address in the short term.

I would have liked a guided tour of the Library in the first term, so I could navigate round easier.

This is interesting to hear, as we are currently considering the induction we provide to first years in the Library. Currently, there are "Get Started" tours of the Library available in weeks 1-2. There is also a very short introduction to Library Search for English students as part of a 10 minute induction talk in week 1, but this perhaps needs to be expanded, or delivered later in the term. It is always a good idea to ask Library staff if you have any questions or difficulties using the Library. If you need help researching a topic for an essay, you can also always email Kate direct and book an appointment.

Hard to navigate.

See response above. Would these things help? Do let us know!

Navigating Encore system - maybe an introductory workshop to it would be helpful.

There is a very short introduction to Library Search as part of a 10 minute induction talk for English students in week 1, and as part of the "Get Started" tours, but this perhaps needs to be expanded, or delivered later in the term. It is always a good idea to ask Library staff if you have any questions or difficulties using the Library. If you need help researching a topic for an essay, you can also always email Kate direct and book an appointment.

We could certainly hold a separate introductory workshop on Library Search, although attendance in previous years for voluntary, drop-in workshops has been very low. If demand is there, we will hold one! Do let me know what you would most like us to cover.

Sometimes books aren't there when it says they are.

It's very frustrating when that happens, but please do make sure you always find a member of Library staff and ask them for help. Often a book has just been checked back in and is on a trolley waiting to be shelved. If so, they should be able to track it down for you. If they can't, they will know to start hunting for the book. If the book can't be found, we will order a replacement.