New Year, New UniSkills: What we learned from our Student Advisors

With Spring fast approaching, the Winter break probably feels like a distant memory now. For many of you, this also means deadlines will be looming, and you’ll want to be getting those assignments finished to the best of your ability. For this reason, we thought it would be the perfect time to remind you about our New Year, New UniSkills Student Advisor ‘How to…’ videos.

Books on a shelf with what, who, how, why, where, when on the spines
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Are you graduating in December?

If so, Learning Services would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in your future accomplishments, be that further study or starting out on your chosen career path.

Image of the exterior of the Catalyst Building

Did you know that you can still access library resources after graduation?

Apply for an Alumni membership of the University Library after graduation to access our learning spaces, selected electronic resources and to borrow library stock from any of our sites.

If you have any books of your own taking up space at home don’t forget we are collecting for another #PassTheBook textbook giveaway next year. Drop in any unwanted books at Ormskirk, Aintree or Manchester and we will ensure they go to a good home!

If you have any queries please contact us via Ask Us.

Congratulations to you all and enjoy your graduation! 

Learning Services

Coffee and a good book…

The Costa Book Awards launched 45 years ago (previously known as Whitbread Book Awards 1971-2006) to encourage, promote and celebrate the best contemporary British writing.

Today’s awards don’t require you to be British but you do have to reside in the UK or Ireland for at least 6 months a year, of each of the previous three years, and your book submission must have been published initially in the UK.

Uniquely, the Costa Book Awards celebrate five different categories independently: First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Books. From these category awards an overall annual winner is selected to receive an additional £25,000 prize and the coveted title of Costa Book of the Year!

Over the past decade we have seen winners in the form of novels, poetry and biographies and this year a children’s book has been crown the Costa Book of the Year 2015.

Costa Book of the Year Winner – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
The Lie Tree - Costa 2015 Winner

This gripping dark tale of murder, lies and secrets can be borrowed from the University Library.

Be sure to check out our Costa Book Awards display in the University Library foyer (next to the returns machine) for other Costa shortlisted titles.

Category Winners

 First Novel Award Winner – The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley

Novel Award Winner – A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Biography Award Winner – The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf

Poetry Winner – 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson

Children’s Book Winner – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Or it will be once your assignments are handed in and you make a head start on that January revision!

To help you on the way to success the University Library is open non-stop right up to midnight on Friday 18th December and we only close for Christmas on the 24th December.

During the festive period we will be offering additional opening hours to ensure you have somewhere peaceful to escape the leftover turkey and have some quality study time.

Closed: 24th – 27th, 31st December and 1st – 3rd January – for more information visit our opening hours pages.

Visit us between Christmas and New Year to take advantage of all we have to offer…

  • Networked PCs, loanable laptops and free eduroam Wi-Fi
  • Access to 200,000 items including books, journals and audio-visual resources
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Bookable individual and group study rooms
  • A range of study zones – group work, quiet work and silent study
  • Access to help and support – staff will be available at the welcome desk
  • 24/7 access to PCs in the LINC – available 365 days a year!

Of course if you aren’t ready to face life outside your pyjamas just yet you can always visit us virtually…

  • eResources are available via our Learning Services web pages and Library Catalogue – you can access 97,000+ eBooks, 40,000+ eJournals and specialist subject resources 24/7.
  • Contact Learning Services via our 24/7 Live Chat
  • Search our Learning Services knowledge base Ask Us for the answers to many common queries including using Turnitin, Harvard Referencing and much more.
  • Get support with academic writing, assignment planning, critical thinking and much more via our Uni Skills offer.
  • Give us a call 01695 650800 during our opening hours.

The University Library normal opening hours will resume 8am on Monday 4th January straight into midnight opening and our 24/7 hours begin again Monday 18th January – what more could you ask for this Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Learning Services 🎄


Man Booker Prize Winner 2015

On Tuesday 13th October an author, who only 10 years earlier considered giving up writing all together, was awarded the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction – congratulation Marlon James!

The Jamaican born winner endured almost 80 rejections of his first novel, John Crow’s Devil, before it was published in 2005. Three novels later and A Brief History of Seven Killings has won Marlon £50,000, a designer bound copy of his book and a phenomenal increase in readership!

So it just goes to show if you have passion inside you – never give up!

A Brief History of Seven Killings is not for the faint hearted, indeed it comes with a warning to his own mother – “maybe my mother should stay away from part four of the book” – but the detail and imagination set him worlds apart from your standard murder mystery!

The story is a fictional version of events that take place over three decades (70s, 80s and 90s) around Reggae superstar Bob Marley. Set initially in Jamaica the story travels across time, and continents, during a treacherous and unstable period of history delving into the darkest depths of drugs, guns and the changing history of his hometown.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is on order and will be available to pick up from Ormskirk University Library shortly…

Marlon James-A Brief History of Seven Killings

The Man Booker Prize was first awarded in 1969 and has been awarding annually ever since. If you are interested in finding out more, or even entering your own work for submission, the criteria is as follows…

“Any novel originally written in English and published in the UK in the year of the prize, regardless of the nationality of their author. The novel must be an original work in English (not a translation) and must not be self-published.”

The runners up in the 2015 awards were:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy

The Fishermen by Chigozie John Obioma

The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

Using our new look library catalogue

Visit our new look library catalogue and you will notice a few changes so we thought you might like a mini guided tour of the new features.

Accessing the library catalogue…

You can access the library catalogue direct
catalogue homepage NEWcatalogue log in boxesOr via Learning Edge using My Library Account Summary
BB My Library Account Summary

Renewing your loans…

We have introduced a new rolling loan system so you may never need to renew your books again!

Unless someone else places a reservation on a book you have on loan you can keep it as long as you need it. Your books will be automatically renewed 2 days before their due date and you will be sent an email informing you of all the successful renewals (including their new due date) and details of any items that are reserved and will need returning within 2 days.

Top tip: If you do need to return any items it is always worth logging into your library account before bringing them back to see if you can renew them manually. If you are able to renew them manually it means the reservation has been satisfied by another copy of the book and you can keep your copy a bit longer.

Placing a reservation…

It couldn’t be simpler to place a reservation in our new library catalogue!

Search for the book you want and once you have found it:-

  • If you are not logged in select Reserve and you will be prompted to log in.
  • If you are logged in select your collection location and then select Reserve.

Top tip: If you cannot see your home site library in the drop down list of locations it means your item is available on the library shelves right now! This means you can come in, locate the item and take it home with you today!
Library Book - reservation zoom detail
If you would like further assistance accessing or using the library catalogue and its many features please get in touch via Ask Us or 01695 650800.


Learning Services go the extra mile!







As a holder of the Customer Service Excellence award for 8 years, Learning Services are committed to continuously improving our facilities, resources and services to ensure your learning experience is the best that it can be.

We were delighted to receive some excellent feedback from our latest Customer Service Excellence assessment in January 2013.  Not only are we still fully compliant in all elements of the award, but we received 3 compliance pluses!  Compliance pluses are awarded when a service goes that extra mile.  We were awarded compliance pluses for our insight into how customers use our services, resources and facilities, our approach to staff development and our use of mobile technologies.

The assessor also highlighted the following as areas of strength:

  •  Learning Services has a very good understanding of the needs of all of its customer groups and has used this understanding to develop and improve services to them.
  • There are good levels of customer satisfaction across all areas of service delivery and, where in some academic Faculties and Departments these are lower, support has been available to help to improve satisfaction levels.
  • There is a real culture of customer focus that stems from Managers down to, and upwards from, front line staff.
  • Staff recognise the value of good customer service and the impact that their roles have on front line service provision, demonstrated through the speed with which resources become available for student borrowing.
  • Staff are empowered to develop services both within their own areas of expertise and as members of wider teams and working groups across all areas of service delivery.
  • Staff seek out new solutions to problems, for example, developing mobile solutions to accessing services.
  • There are well established systems in place for monitoring and reviewing performance in respect of service delivery outcomes and the timeliness of delivery.

Do you agree with these statements?  As always we would love to hear your feedback about what we do well, and what you feel we could improve:

For more information about the Customer Service Excellence award contact:

Helen Jamieson, Customer Services Manager

[email protected]



Red (sweatshirt) Alert!

Have you noticed our student assistants, resplendent in their red sweatshirts who are based at the Ask desk on the first floor of the University Library, Ormskirk?

Research at other universities has shown that students can benefit from ‘peer to peer support’, hence the move to introduce student assistants into the library.

Students themselves have indicated that if they have got a query they would prefer to ask their peers first before they would approach a member of staff.

According to The University of Manchester,
‘There is strong evidence that Peer Support has a positive influence on students’ experience of their time at University, both academically and socially.’

The student assistants are trained in the use of library and learning resources, study skills and basic IT functions. They can also help students to understand the physical layout of the library.

The student assistants offer an additional layer of support to complement the work of the staff at the Ask desk and the flexible IT support staff.

Next time that you are in the University Library say ‘Hello’ to our student assistants and if you have a query, don’t be afraid to ask.

For more information please contact [email protected]

Give us your feedback! We want to know about your experience of using the library…

Learning Services are committed to continuously improving our facilities and services and one of the ways we do this is by listening to your feedback.

Please take a minute of your time to answer some questions about your experience of the library.

Complete our 60 second survey here:

Your feedback will help us to improve our services to you.

Entries will be entered into a prize draw to receive one of ten funky USB wristbands.


Helen Jamieson, Customer Services Manager

The University Library…a place for study

We are working hard to ensure that the study spaces within the University Library are meeting your needs….but we need your help!

This is a very busy time in the Library with students studying for exams and trying to complete assignments, so we would like you to think about what type of study you need to do, choose an appropriate area, and abide by the rules within that area.


For Silent Study

Use the Silent Study Room on the 2nd floor of the Library


For Quiet Study

Use the 1st and 2nd floor of the Library


For Group Study

Use the ground floor of the Library and the Library group rooms


For Social Space

Use the 1st floor of the HUB


If you do experience inappropriate behaviour from other students, please report this immediately to a member of staff.


Helen Jamieson
Customer Services Manager