A View from the Library Reading List Team

Did you know that as you stride around the library looking for a book, there’s a hive of activity going on beneath your feet? Find out more about your reading list team… By Danielle Dafforn

The reading list team are people you may not have met on your study trips, and perhaps you don’t even know of the existence of this department. But, these are the people who order the books you will later read. We don’t wear uniforms, but glide by like ninjas in our library lanyards. We’d love you to know a little more about what the team do.

Finding rare resources

The job allows you to find a lot of fascinating online resources that we think are interesting for any student, no matter what they are studying. For example, have you ever wondered who was on trial at the Old Bailey in the 19th century for hitting Queen Victoria over the head while she was out in her carriage? Who hasn’t! The proceedings of this ancient London Court up until 1913 are available online for free and make for fascinating pub trivia answers .

The University of Warwick also provides access to Box of Broadcasts an amazing on-demand TV and radio service for education which holds an archive of interesting programmes spanning many channels, it’s incredible how much you can find there.

Lists, wonderful lists…

Another big part of what the team do involves updating and editing Talis Aspire reading lists for your studies. Of course, the specialist academics on your course will decide which books are most useful for you to read, but people in the basement of the library employ some Poirot-style detective skills in locating rare and hard to find resources and sourcing them for your list. When it comes to books for your course, the ones that are marked ‘essential’ are ones the university believes you should purchase, ‘recommended’ are those you should read but a copy from the library will be fine, and ‘further reading’ are for broadening your knowledge of the subject and researching for assigned work.

Geeky facts about ISBNs

Don’t go to sleep! We promise ISBNS are useful for you, but they’re also a big part of our toolbox. Like an ID number for books, they are unique to the book and specific to every edition, so like fingerprints, they belong to only 1 edition! Look for the number containing 10 or 13 digits on your nearest library book and search it in the online catalogue, it will come straight up. But, did you know that these handy numbers were only introduced in 1970, and you won’t find them on anything older than that?

Ordering Books to support your studies

If you think the library would be even better with that book on The Top 50 Ways to Watch Paint Dry, but we somehow don’t have it in stock, you can use the online form to request that we buy a copy for your studies or course. We look at every request, guaranteed, and do our best to order the right things as fast as we can. You might well find the book popping up on the shelf on your next study visit.

Keen to find out more?

The Library website has a huge amount of information, but Talis Aspire is a key area. Dig in to your reading list for the year and don’t forget to mark the books you’ve finished versus those you want to read with the handy ‘read status feature’. We’ve got a whole blog post coming on Talis Aspire so keep an eye out for that in October! You can also follow the library on Twitter  or Facebook for regular updates on everything that’s going on.

Images sourced from: www.pexels.com

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