Being an OU student
Being an OU student

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Being an OU student

6 The OU Library

Through the online Library [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] you’ll be able to access quality-assured and trusted resources that are selected and assessed by subject specialists and academics. The extensive range of journals and magazines, academic books, newspapers, dictionaries and encyclopaedias are just some of the resources you’ll be able to use to:

  • find information for your assignments or projects
  • explore further reading for your module
  • carry out in-depth research or explore specific subjects.

You may not need to search for resources in the early stages of your studies but the Library also has resources to help you to develop skills that will support you as you study, at work or in everyday life.

Watch this short video introducing the OU Library services.

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_v2_vid4.mp4
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Transcript

WOMAN 1
Right. So I need something from The OU Library. I don't know where to start.
MAN 1
Don't worry about it. It's really, really easy.
WOMAN 2
It might feel new to you, but honestly, you'll get used to it in no time.
WOMAN 3
You'll be like a kid in a sweet shop after a while.
WOMAN 1
OK. But if it's online, how do I get a book?
MAN 2
Being online is the best bit.
MAN 1
Just type into Library Search what you're looking for, click on a resource, and there's your ebook.
WOMAN 2
Oh, it's more than just books. There's literally a world of information out there. I've used music tracks.
WOMAN 4
I read a newspaper from 1894. I was on my way to work, and I found it on my phone.
MAN 2
I used a video from VE Day on one of my assignments. My tutor loved it.
MAN 1
I was trying to find an article. So I used a list of library resources pulled together by the librarians just for my subject.
WOMAN 1
Wait a minute, why can't I just Google it?
MAN 3
Well, you could. But if you use the online library, you know what you're getting is reliable and accurate.
WOMAN 4
And a lot of the info has been chosen by librarians or academics. So you're more likely to find something that's perfect for your course.
WOMAN 3
Yeah, I used some statistics for a project about diabetes I found on the internet. It turned out to be about 20 years out of date.
WOMAN 4
My tutor told me how important it was to know if I could trust the information I was using. So I've done one of those online training sessions.
WOMAN 1
It's starting to sound a bit complicated.
WOMAN 2
No, I've done a few of those training sessions. Just have a go. They're really worth it.
MAN 3
Why don't you have a look in the Library website?
WOMAN 2
There are some really helpful guides on there.
MAN 2
I learned to spot the difference between good and bad information.
MAN 3
I found an activity on using Google more effectively. It saved me a lot of time at work.
WOMAN 1
So I will do something too then.
MAN 1
I would. It's a great way to get started. And the librarians are ever so helpful.
WOMAN 4
And they know what they're doing.
WOMAN 3
Yeah, just click on one of the sessions with the guides. They are really straightforward. And they're going to help you find different things much more quickly.
MAN 1
There you go.
WOMAN 1
Aw, smashing.
WOMAN 3
And you don't even need to wait for a training session. There's a Help Desk 24/7. So help is available all the time.
WOMAN 1
Thanks very much. Honestly, you've all been really, really helpful. But you're not really here in me kitchen, are you?
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

You can find a link to the library in the top navigation links that you'll find across StudentHome and your module website(s).

Getting started with the online Library

You’re probably familiar with libraries as a place to borrow and return books but you may not have used them for academic research before.

Don’t worry: there’s plenty of support available and you’ll be introduced to this over the course of your studies. You can find lots of self-help resources on the Library website under ‘Getting started’.

Library Helpdesk staff are available seven days a week to help you make the most of the online Library and advise you on finding and using information for your studies. There is a 24/7 chat service or you can email your query or speak to someone.

Download this video clip.Video player: bous_1_s2_library_moore.mp4
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Transcript

KATHERINE MOORE
Hello, my name is Katherine Moore. I work at the Open University Library as part of the Inquiry Services team. Working on the Inquiry Services team, we get a wide range of questions from staff and students about lots of things. So we get questions about finding information, how to evaluate what you've found, and how to reference what you've found. In terms of finding information, it might be that you want to find a particular item, so maybe a particular e-book. Or it could be that you've got a topic that you just want to know more about. If that's the case, we can point you in the right direction of the best library database. It could be that you want a hand with something simple like how to set up Google Scholar. So it can surface the lovely library resources we subscribe to on your behalf. We also provide help with evaluating the quality of the information that you found so that you can double check it's right for academic study. And of course we provide help with referencing. You can contact the Inquiry Services via email, telephone, and web chat. The great thing about web chat is it's available all the time. So whenever you're studying, there's someone to help you.

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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The Library also runs live online training sessions throughout the year which are designed to help you make the most of online library resources while you’re studying, when you’re at work, or for everyday life. They also run live Facebook events, and have recorded guides to help you use library resources to benefit your studies.

Explore events that are coming up in this next short activity.

Activity 6 Library training events

Allow about 5 minutes

Go to the Library homepage and locate the next event. Then explore the recorded events that are available.

There is no need to watch any of these at the moment. The thing for now is know where to find them and what kind of subjects are covered.

If you struggle to find a recording, have a look at the discussion below where there is a step-by-step guide.

Discussion

STEP 1: Click on the ‘Library’ link on StudentHome.

STEP 2: Click the ‘Training and events’ tab on the Library home page.

STEP 3: Click the ‘Using Library Search for your assignment’ link in the ‘Training and events’ box.

As well as the OU’s own library you also have access to other university libraries. You’ll find out how to use them in the next section.

BOUS_1

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