Autumn Term has begun, and we’re delighted to welcome all new and returning students to the library!

We always want to make sure students receive the best possible library experience and that our services reflect the University community’s needs. Here’s a small insight into what we’ve been working on:

Wellbeing and Leisure Collections:

While the library provides access to hundreds of databases, you may not realise how extensive our collections are! Built from suggestions by staff and students, we’ve created Wellbeing and Leisure Collections. We wanted to recognise the importance of leisure reading, and that library resources shouldn’t only be for studying.

The Wellbeing and Leisure collections are hosted on the ebook and audiobook platform, OverDrive – which can be accessed through the library catalogue – and allows users to borrow ebooks and read or listen to them through your browser.

You can also access the wellbeing collection through the Libby app that you can download to your own device. If you are signed up with your local public library, you may already use this app to access their collections and you can search for and add the University of Essex collection to this.

We’re always looking for additional suggestions for our collections, so you can submit your recommendations to us via our library website.

LibKey Searching Tools:

The library offers access to a plugin for your web browser, called LibKey, that lets you access articles while browsing the web.

When you search or come across articles and journals, LibKey will try to log you in and grant you access via the university. If the library doesn’t have access in its catalogue, it will do the next best thing: try and find a free (and legal) copy of the article you’re trying to access.

On top of this, it allows you to perform DOI searches, getting you to the articles you want as quickly as possible.

All you have to do is download the plugin to your browser, let it know you’re a student at the University of Essex, and you’re away!

Changes to Study Spaces:

For returning students, you might have noticed something a little different about the ground floor study facilities at the Albert Sloman Library (Colchester Campus). The Library Reading Room was converted over the summer into two new computer labs, called IT Lab L and the Library Learning Room.

These two new IT facilities are multi-use, and you may find that some of your classes and lectures are even scheduled in IT Lab L! When not in use for teaching, these two rooms will still be available as the biggest study zones on campus, the screens outside the rooms will let you know when they are available. And don’t worry, IT Lab L and the Library Learning Room will be available for study 24 hour for all the night owls.

If you need a space to study during 9am to 6pm (when IT Lab L and the Library Learning Room are most likely to be in use for teaching), don’t worry, there are over 1000 study spaces available in the Albert Sloman Library on floors 1 to 5 on either wing and our lobby areas, with a silent study zone on floor 5, and postgraduate students can still make use of the Postgraduate Reading Room on the ground floor.

The IT labs campus wide are available as study spaces when not in use for teaching (check the screens on the walls outside these labs for usage), or you can hunker down for a long study session in any of the other dedicated study spaces on campus. These include:

  • The Limehouse (5S.3.4, on Floor three, accessible from the 4SE entrance on Square 4)
  • The Orangery (5S3.4, behind Zest café)
  • The Tony Rich Teaching Centre, ground floor (situated between The Hex and the North Towers)
  • The 3.400 Corridor (Level 3, accessible via stairs and lifts from Square 2)
  • The 2.400 Corridor (Level 2, accessible via stairs and lifts from Square 2)
  • The North Teaching Centre, Lobby areas on the ground floor and floors 1 and 2

You may also have dedicated study areas in your department.

Make sure to familiarise yourself with the Places to Study at Colchester Campus webpage which has the most up to date information about what study spaces are available for study use.

Get in touch:

Is there anything else you would like more information on? Don’t forget you can contact us via our library website.