National Libraries Week

Using the library PhD PG student

Happy National Libraries Week! We'd like to say thank you to our wonderful librarians for all their hard work, dedication and passion. Librarians are an important and valued part of our research community. Here are a few of the reasons why...

I'm always looking for ways to help researchers

Nicholas Roberts, Librarian ResearchNicholas Roberts is USW's first point of support for Open Access and Research Data Management 

"I’ve worked with researchers throughout my career and it’s always interesting to speak with people who are developing expertise in a subject or discipline and have a very specific focus. Researchers have very different information needs to other library users, so I am always looking for ways to alleviate some of the demands that come with Open Access, such as checking policies from publishers, assisting with depositing papers for REF and generally ensuring work is compliant.

"I run Open Access and Research Data Management sessions for postgraduate researchers twice a year and do a lot of query work on open access theses and publication planning. While Open Access has been a part of research for a long time it is still new to a lot of people and the complicated landscape of Open Access can be confusing for researchers, especially PGR students and early career researchers. I think people are pleasantly surprised that there is someone in USW who understands the OA landscape and is there to help! 

"I’ve always loved that working in HE is about contributing to an environment that aims at building knowledge and understanding.  Whether it includes teaching, learning, studying, research or supporting any activity that makes up a University community – our aim is to understand the world better."     

I like seeing research projects flourish

Jose Lopez Blanco_Librarian for Humanities and Social SciencesJosé is the librarian for humanities and social science

“I find all research projects interesting and love the idea of contributing to them, albeit in a very small part. I'm currently undertaking a Doctorate in Education, so I understand postgraduate research students very well!  It’s always good when researchers contact us at the start of their project. These first steps when researchers are still shaping their ideas are so important and a librarian can really help at this stage. 

“Many researchers are surprised at how much time they can save with our help. They need to ensure their literature is up to date and they have covered all databases in order for their research to remain original and current; librarians play a key role in this. Literature reviews are another area where we can help, and we’re experts in database searching and information appraisal, so can put together search strategies, set up literature alerts and manage your references. I’d like to think that librarians will be there during your research journey as a neutral ally. And for those that live far from our campuses, even overseas, remember that we’re here for you too!”

We're experts in systematic searching

Louise Wallace_Librarian Lou is the librarian for Care Sciences, Health, Sport and Professional Practice

"Librarianship is a very misunderstood profession (i.e we stamp books all day long and go shhhhh!) and a lot of staff and students aren’t aware of the support that Librarians are able to offer them with their research.  We work very hard to try and make ourselves visible; teaching, promotional campaigns, being active on social media etc… but it is difficult for us to reach as many people as we’d like.  A lot of emails I receive begin with ‘Sorry to disturb you’.  Please don’t be, it’s my job.

"Call me strange, but I really enjoy literature searching and with researchers it is really good to be able to help with systematic searching and use the more advanced features of the library databases.  I enjoy the process of brainstorming keywords, identifying appropriate searching techniques and which databases to use and documenting everything. USW researchers, both staff and students, are a wonderful bunch and I love being able to support them with their work."  

We can help at every stage of your research

Librarian Gill Edwardes - Treforest_30573.jpgGill is the librarian for Early years, Education, Psychology, Social Work, Counselling and Psychotherapy

"Most people have a very traditional view of what we do and it usually involves dealing with print books and keeping people quiet in the library! While we do work with print books, we also manage online resources and helping people to navigate information available online. The expertise of a librarian lies in their ability to search for and find quality information in any subject area. I can draw attention to information sources that a researcher may be unaware of and teach them how to use it. I assist researchers undertaking systematic reviews with developing their search strategies and search terms. I advise on referencing, the use of the bibliographic management software Endnote and open access publication options.

"I enjoy getting to know all about a researcher’s topic and assisting them with different things at various stages of their research. You get the opportunity to build a long term relationship with researchers in a way that you don’t always do with undergraduates."

I love finding new resources and ways to save time 

Sharon Latham_librarian Sharon is the librarian for Construction and Surveying, Computing, Electronics, Engineering and Applied Science

"Having studied for my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees part time alongside work, I understand the pressures that many PGR face. A big part of my role is helping people find what they need - and also finding what they didn’t know they needed! I love how varied my job is from day to day. Even now, whilst working from home I am interacting with lots of different people, from engineers to biologists.

"The teaching part of my job is an area I particularly enjoy - helping students develop their research skills, manage their research findings and learn to use our various subscription databases, books and eBooks. Being a part of someone’s success is an amazing feeling."

Librarians can open up new areas of discovery

Catherine Finch, LibrarianCatherine is the Faculty Librarian for Business, Accounting and Finance

"I always like to introduce researchers to resources and services aimed at them - such as EThOS, a British Library online repository of PhDs; access to other university libraries in the UK, such as Sconul Access; Scopus, Elsevier’s abstract and citation database and Endnote, which can help with keeping track of citations and creating bibliographies. Through these, I can hopefully provide a stepping stone to more discovery and insight."

As a librarian supporting Creative Industries, I get to help researchers discover both text and image, as well as introducing them to the collections that are special at USW.  The joy of the job is that there is no way of predicting what people will be researching, and the multi-disciplinary nature of the Faculty means that researchers will always ask the question you were least expecting, which keeps you on your toes.

Angharad Lewis, Librarian FCIAngharad is the Faculty Librarian for Creative Industries

"Our online resources are invaluable to postgraduate researchers.  Finding and utilising good quality information is the goal, and the librarians at USW are here to help achieve that. Whilst online resources and collections have been foremost in our minds in the last few months, being away from campus has underlined the importance of a library space and engagement with the physical collections, in the research process."