As the middle of the academic year approaches, many of us are probably thinking now would be a good time to catch up on all the readings we told ourselves we’d actually do this year. However, if you’re finding yourself not knowing where to start, rest assured that the Library has some great resources to help in getting to grips with this type of work load. In this article, you’ll find some great ways to tackle your readings, especially if you struggle with the lack of accessibility surrounding e-reading and note-taking!
By Rebekah Elliot.
The Library is a great hub for discovering different resources to help you with reading and studying. They offer a range of tools, both in person and online, that you can use to better engage with your academic content. The reading you’re asked to do throughout your time at university isn’t always the easiest stuff to get through, especially if this sort of content is new to you or if you struggle with academic styles of writing in general. Fortunately, there are loads of resources out there to help you overcome any barriers you may face in studying. On the Library web page, the productivity tools and assistive software pages provide a range of applications you can use to help you get through your reading, from making and organising notes to adapting your devices to make articles and books more accessible. This includes software like text-to-speech, transcription services, note taking and sharing platforms, as well as screen formatting software to change the font, colour, and size of the text.
Some particularly useful resources provided on these pages include:
Microsoft immersive reader – Provides text-to-speech, line spacing options, colour contrasts, and other features to help reading text. This is also a particularly useful feature for those where English is not your first language or those consuming content that includes multiple languages as translation is also a feature of this software!
OpenDyslexic – A font adaptation that has been created specifically for people with Dyslexia; the font has been designed to help you follow along text easier.
EverNote – A great multimedia platform for compiling notes and creating a space for your academic work that also allows you to work collaboratively with friends and peers.
Read&Write – Software that provides an interactive tool bar that allows you to have web page read aloud, helps define vocabulary, and offers screen personalisation features
Other useful applications include LINER, a google chrome add on that allows you to highlight and make notes on any webpage, useful for making notes directly on content that you are unable to otherwise edit.
The assistive software page is another great resource by the Library that complies a wide range of other similarly useful tools. They also provide download instructions and user guide links to help you navigate the various programs. This is a great place to look for a comprehensive view of what resources the Library can help you with and how to effectively make use of the software you already have through your university accounts.
In person resources can be accessed through the assistive technology and sensory rooms for students who wish to study on campus, free to use for In person resources can be accessed through the assistive technology and sensory rooms for students who wish to study on campus, free to use for In person resources can be accessed through the assistive technology and sensory rooms for students who wish to study on campus, free to use for members of the University throughout the library. The computers in this area are preloaded with a range of the assistive software already mentioned, as well as other great features to create a better working environment specifically for neurodivergent and disabled students; a great resource to utilise when studying when on campus!
If you have any other questions about how the Library can support you in your academic life, please feel free to contact the Library’s accessibility officer Jane Dashwood using the email email@example.com.
Looking for other tips and advice on how to make university and using the Library easier? Have a look at socialising when anxiety takes over or returning to the University after medical withdrawal on the Study Blog.