What we do

My brother is getting married this weekend, and along with revising my best man speech (gulp), I’m also anticipating a lot of relatives and newly minted in-laws asking the perennial question; what is it you do again?

sign for GCU Archive Centre in foreground. Behind can see red lockers

GCU Archive Centre reading room

As ever, I’ll smile and reply that I work as an archive assistant. They’ll nod, pause and then ask, but what do you do? And that’s where it gets tricky.

Continue reading

Discover your library – tours running 16th to 27th September 2019

Saltire Centre walkways

Sign up for a Library tour Monday to Friday, 16th – 27th Sept.  

First tour 10am, then on the hour, until the last tour at 4pm. Tours last only 45 minutes. You will be able to:

  • find the resources you need for your course
  • get started using our huge online library of ebooks and journal articles
  • borrow books and laptops and renew your loans
  • get help from the library staff
  • find the best study space for your needs

We encourage you to come along and get the best start for your studies.

Download the GCU 2019 induction app or book directly on Eventbrite.

New Westlaw

There is a new version of Westlaw, the law database.   You can access it via the Database A to Z or the Law subject guide.

If you have used the previous version of Westlaw you will find new Westlaw familiar, but it has more features and is easier to use.  The publisher has provided step-by-step help guides which you can find here.

Help is also available from your academic librarian. 

The publisher will be withdrawing the previous version so please update your bookmarks and links.

Screenshot of new Westlaw platform

 

Getting social in the archives

The life of a project archivist can sometimes be quite isolated.  You can spend hours on your own in the archives arranging and cataloguing records. But sometimes a project comes along where you get to interact more with people, as I have discovered working on the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland).

Colour photograph of Project Archivist working at a desk with bundles of papers with Archive Centre banner in the background.

Working on records in the Archive Centre

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Archive Centre holds the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland) which is a national archive of records from organisations and individuals involved in the social enterprise movement across Scotland.  Continue reading

Summer shelving project

Big changes are coming to the library this summer, making it easier for our students and staff to find the books and journals they’re looking for.

In response to student feedback, the mobile shelving on levels two, three and four of the Saltire Centre will be converted to static shelving. The books and journals currently held on the mobile and existing static shelves will also be integrated, meaning library users will no longer have to go to different sets of shelves to see all of the material on any one subject.

Robert Ruthven, Director of Library Services, said: “Our students have told us that they find the mobile shelving off-putting and difficult to use. This is also reflected in the low usage of the material that’s held in this shelving.

“We’re, therefore, moving these books and journals to static shelving, meaning the material that’s currently ‘hidden’ in the mobile shelving will be easy to find by users as they browse.

“This is a huge project for the library, which involves moving almost every book and journal in our collection.”

The work will be carried out over the summer months, which is typically a quieter period for the library.

To keep disruption to a minimum, work will be carried out on one floor at a time, starting on level four in May, after the exams have ended. Each floor will be closed and the material held on that floor will be unavailable to users for about four weeks while the work progresses. The work is due to be complete by early August.

Robert said: “To give our users as much access to our physical collection as possible, we’re encouraging them to borrow early in advance of the floor closures. We will not charge fines on items borrowed over the summer period and we’re investing in additional e-books. Our inter-library loan service is also available to all students and staff.”

The mobile shelving on Level 0 of the Saltire Centre will not be converted to static shelving. Instead, its electronic-management system will be upgraded and it will be used to house low-use items that have not been borrowed for more than ten years. At the end of the project this material will be available on request and will be fetched by library staff.

The mobile shelving in our Archives Centre, which holds the University’s archives and special collections, is also being upgraded to securely house these resources for many years to come.

Inter-library loan service update

If you need an item to support your research, teaching or coursework and we don’t have it in stock you can request it through our inter-library loan service.  We have now introduced a quicker, easier method of placing requests through Discover and you can track the progress via your library account.

To place a request, either:

  • Carry out your search and select Expand My Results Beyond GCU Library Collections;

choose the Get it tab where available and sign in;

click Inter-library loan request, you will be taken to the request form which will be automatically populated with the information about your chosen item.

or

For a trial period, we are extending this service to all GCU staff and students.

Full information is available on our web pages.

Please let us know what you think of this service by completing our feedback form.

Gifts that keep on giving

To meet someone gifting to the Archive Centre is (at least for this writer) in parts agreeable, humbling, and slightly nerve-inducing – exacerbated manifold if the materials are of personal or sentimental value.

The neatly folded and dry-cleaned blazer which Doreen Blanche brought to the reading room had belonged to her late mother and was the first of its kind received to Glasgow Caledonian University Archive Centre. Pale blue with purple stripes, it was worn by students of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science – colloquially and affectionately referred to as the ‘Dough School’. Later renamed The Queen’s College, Glasgow, it is a founding institution of GCU.

Continue reading