Ask the Library
Also referred to as: Electronic Enquiry Service, Online Enquiries
Ask the Library is the Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources Electronic Enquiry service for students studying at the University. You may ask any library related question, for example, questions on locating library materials, accessing electronic resources, guidance on referencing, etc. When completing the form please ensure you give your Birmingham City University student email address so we can reply, and as much detail as possible regarding your enquiry. This might include all the keywords you have used to search a database and a clear statement of your search topic. We will try our best to respond to your queries within 48 hours (Mon-Fri, excluding Bank Holidays)
Click here to go to the Ask the Library form.
For renewals information or if you need to speak to a member of the Library User Services staff, please click here
For forgotten Athens usernames and passwords please click here
The Athens authentication service enables a single password to be used for a range of databases and services. It is not in itself a database service. It is used extensively by UK Universities and the NHS. All current Birmingham City University students who are registered with the Library and have their network username from Faculty IT have an Athens username and password. To find out how to construct your Athens username and password, please click here. Please ensure that you give your Birmingham City University email as the response address.
For information on non-Athens id's, usernames and passwords please click here.
Boolean Operators are AND, OR and NOT. Used in searching databases and the internet they allow two or more concepts/keywords to be related to each other. Click here for further information on using Boolean Operators in practice.
Borrowing from the Library
As a student you may borrow a total of 12 items at a time. The standard loan period for students is 5 weeks, but there are 2 and 1 week, 1 day and 4 hour loans as well for material in high demand. Copies of some items at Kenrick can only be borrowed by part-time students, and there is also material which can ONLY be used within the Library, which includes journals, theses and reference books. Please see the relevant Guide to either the Kenrick Library or Mary Seacole Library for more information.
Loans can be returned to any Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources service point.
Students are required to pay fines for overdue material - this helps to encourage you to return items promptly thus ensuring stock circulates quickly amongst everyone who needs it.
For further information on Library User Services:
Mary Seacole Library click here (PDF)
Kenrick Library click here (PDF)
Other Birmingham City University, Libraries click here
Contacting the Library
There are a number of contact points for the Libraries depending on your question or service you wish to access. For further information on how to contact Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources please click here.
You should ensure that any copying you do of materials is carried out in compliance with current Copyright legislation and the Birmingham City University licence, the terms of which are outlined alongside the photocopying machines in the Library. Users of electronic services should ensure that any material obtained is solely for their own use for non-commercial research or private study, and undertake not to supply a copy to any other person. These terms apply off-campus (at home or anywhere not part of Birmingham City University) as well as on-campus.
For further summary details of what is permissible under the provisions of the Copyright Acts and the terms of the Birmingham City University licence please click here.
Distance Learning Services
The Birmingham City University, Library User Service offers a range of services for distance learners. Please note that Distance Learning courses are different from those with students who learn at a distance. If you are unsure if your course is validated as a Distance Leaning Course please click here.
Part-time post-graduate research students are able to take advantage of Access West Midlands and UK Libraries Plus schemes to access Library materials from participating University Libraries. Full details are available from the Borrower Schemes web page.
Postgraduate research students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification, part-time, distance learning and placement students and full-time postgraduates are able to take advantage of SCONUL Access to access Library materials from participating University Libraries. Full details are available from the Borrower Schemes web page.
The Library is always happy to consider donations of books and journals, although we reserve the right to decide whether or not to retain such material for stock or to dispose of it according to Library guidelines. Please contact Peter Ebrey (books) or Ann Stairmand-Jackson (journals) if you are considering donating material to the Library.
Also referred to as: Databases
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources provide access to a wide range of electronic databases covering all aspects of the Faculty of Health teaching and research programmes. Databases index, abstract and, in most cases, provide links to the full text of journal articles. Subscribed to databases include Care and Health Law (on-campus only), Midwifery and Infant Care, CINAHL, Medline and ASSIA. For a full list of databases please click here.
Also referred to as: e-books
e-Books are digital versions of print books - available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week from any location in the world.
E-books can now be accessed in different ways :
1) via the library catalogue - as with print books there will be an entry on the catalogue.
2) Also you can go to http://library.bcu.ac.uk/footerd.htm#MYILIBRARY where you can browse our complete collection - which is continuing to grow!
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources also make available via UCEEL book chapters requested by your tutor. These can be identified via the Library Catalogue or your course reading lists.
Also referred to as: e-journals, full-text electronic journals
An electronic journal is an online version of a journal. The Library subscribes to a large number of electronic journals. To check whether a journal is available electronically consult the Library Catalogue or the A-Z of Full -Text journals available from the Electronic Services section of the Library Homepage. Most electronic journals can be accessed from home as well as on campus. For Off-campus access an Athens username is required.Some of the full-text electronic journals are linked from the ASSIA, CINAHL and Medline databases. Using these is the easiest method to locate material in the electronic journals.
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources uses University provided student email, as does the Faculty of Health, to communicate with students. To obtain an email address you need to be registered for your Network Username. Click here for information on how to obtain your University e-mail address.
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources use e-mail to help keep you informed. New services and changes to opening times are regularly advertised via student e-mail. We can also use e-mail to let you know when your books are due for return or have become overdue. Birmingham City University provided e-mail accounts are also a secure method of corresponding with you when personal information might need to be exchanged. This is the only electronic method that will be used to notify you of your Athens Username. For further information on how the Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources uses e-mail, please click here.
Please use your student e-mail address whenever you use the Ask the Library or Forgotten your Athens Username or Password? forms.
To send an e-mail using your student account click here.
A limited number of previous Faculty of Health exam papers are available via UCEEL. The majority of Divisions have not made their previous exam papers available.
External Borrower Schemes
As well as being able to borrow material from other libraries through the Inter-Library and Learning Resources, postgraduate research students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification, part-time, distance learning and placement students and full-time postgraduates at Birmingham City University are entitled to join some other university libraries through the SCONUL Access Scheme. For further information on this scheme please click here.
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources welcomes feedback on services and provides a number of routes through which this can be done.
In the Libraries there are Suggestions, Compliments, Comments and Complaints forms available at the Enquiry points for students to use. There is also an electronic version of the form on the Library Homepage. To access this click here. The Library guarantees a response to any form submitted either electronically or on paper providing contact details are supplied.
Feedback from Faculty conducted student module / course evaluations is also welcomed. Boards of Study, on which there is Library representation, can also be used by students to ask questions and comment upon Library and Learning Resources.
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources produces an Annual Report summarising developments and progress in the previous year. To read the reports click here
Finding items in the Library
The online Library Catalogue tells you which items are in stock, which Library holds the item, where in the Library they can be found and which items are out on loan. This includes books and journals as well as other media.
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources uses a classification (shelfmark) scheme to sequence the major part of the stock in the Libraries. The scheme starts with 000 (Computer Science, Information and General Works) and ends with 999 (Extraterrestrial Worlds). Each of the broader categories subdivides to specific subjects.
616.9 Other Diseases
616.9940231 Cancer Nursing
The numbers build as the subject becomes more specific. Each title is given the same shelfmark regardless of the Library in which it is placed. Thus a book on disease will be found at 616 in both Kenrick and Mary Seacole Libraries.
The Libraries also have a number of special collections so occasionally the shelfmark will be given as, for example, Official Publications. By clicking on Show details where the copies are listed on the catalogue, the exact shelf location can be found.
Other special collections such as Quick Reference are marked by a QK before the shelfmark. For further information on shelfmarks, click here (PDF).
Mary Seacole Library
Journals are arranged alphabetically by the title of the journal and then by date, volume and issue. Journals are kept in the Reference area.
Journals are arranged by broad subject area and then by date, volume and issue. Journals are kept on Level 2.
To see a virtual tour of the Kenrick Library click here
To see a plan of the Mary Seacole Library click here (PDF)
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources charge fines on all overdue loans. For further information on these click here.
There are a number of methods to avoid incurring fines. For further information on these click here
Inductions & Information Literacy Skills for Students
Being able to access and exploit Library provided services effectively is a skill which will considerably enhance your studies. You need to be aware of not just what the Library offers but also how you can access that information. Library staff are timetabled to see new student groups at all levels for a 60 minute introduction to Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources. These are not tours of the Library but classroom based, delivering basic information on Library and Learning Resources and an overview of the services we provide.
You also need literature searching or information literacy skills. These can considerably improve the learning experience and help you to complete assignments to the required standard. Library staff are able to offer a wide range of sessions from a basic introduction to literature searching through to subject or database specific programmes. These sessions are designed to not just help in developing your skills but also give you confidence in using Library and Learning Resources.
Inter-Library and Learning Resources
If the Library does not stock a book or a journal article which you require we may be able to borrow it from the British Library or (in the case of photocopies of articles) from another library. Please ask at the Kenrick Library Enquiry Desk (Level 2) or the Mary Seacole Library Enquiry Desk in the Reference area for more information. Restrictions to these services apply.
At all times, requests for photocopies should comply with the relevant Copyright legislation and the Birmingham City University licence. For further information click here.
IT Support for Students
If you have non-Library IT questions (including use of Word, PowerPoint etc and Network Usernames) you should contact the Faculty of Health TLSS helpline on Ext. 7100 or via email (email@example.com). For full details of the Faculty IT Services click here
Joining the Library
Once you have fully enrolled and have obtained your Student ID Card you will be sent a Library PIN to your student e-mail address http://owa.bcu.ac.uk. This should not be disclosed to anyone. It is for use with your borrower number, which can be found above the barcode on your ID card.
For students on a temporary enrolment you can still register with the Library. You will need your Student ID Card and Temporary Enrolment slip to do this. Your registration with the Library will last as long as your temporary enrolment. When you become fully enrolled you will need to come to the Library with your Full Enrolment slip and inform the Library User Services staff so that they can update your Registration.
Mary Seacole Library
Between April and June the previous years collection of journals are sent to be bound. These are completed in batches every two weeks so that the entire collection is not away from the Library at once. Electronic access to many of the titles is still available.
During July and August the previous years collection of journals are sent to be bound. These are completed in batches every two weeks so that the entire collection is not away from the Library at once. Electronic access to many of the titles is still available.
The Kenrick Library has an open access wireless network (Birmingham City University Open Access Network). It is possible to bring your own laptop in to the Library and connect to the network providing it is suitably equipped. You will need to make some changes to your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari etc) settings. For further information on this click here.
The Mary Seacole Library has an open access network. It is possible to bring your own laptop in to the Library and connect to the network providing it is suitably equipped. You will need to make some changes to your web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari etc) settings. For further information on this click here (PDF).
The Mary Seacole Library also has laptops available for use in the Library. Please ask at the Library User Services Desk for more information on these. For a copy of the Laptop Loan Terms and Conditions please ask at the Library User Services or Reference Enquiry desks.
Library Borrower Number
Your Library Borrower Number is above the barcode on your student card. You will need it to renew your loans and to access UCEEL in conjunction with your Library PIN.
The Library Catalogue, which can be accessed both on and off campus from the Library home page, gives details of all material held by Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources. It can be used to locate books, journals and other media, and it provides the facility to reserve items or renew loans and check your Library record. When performing a search the catalogue will not only check the holdings of the libraries, but also UCEEL.
There are links from the catalogue to reading lists (TalisList), UCEEL and other electronic resources. There is also a guide to using the Library Catalogue available in the Libraries and electronically. Click here to view the electronic guide (PDF).
Click here to go to the Library Catalogue.
Click here for more information on Finding Items in the Library including an explanation of shelfmarks
Library Computer Terminals
To use any of the terminals in the Library (with the exception of the Library Catalogue), you will require your Birmingham City University Network Username and Password supplied to you by the Faculty of Health TLSS. All of the Library terminals provide access to the internet and have Microsoft Office installed. To use the Library based printers you will need a Uniform account.
The Mary Seacole Library also provides group work areas offering wall mounted large flat screens with integrated computers for the editing and presentation of PowerPoint slides group access to the internet. To use this facility ask at the Mary Seacole Library Reference Enquiry Desk.
We invite you to make the most of Library and Learning Resources and resources. All Library users are asked to respect the Library environment and fellow users. Complete Library Rules and Regulations are available in the Libraries and electronically. Click here (PDF) to view the electronic version.
Library Home Page
Please take a while to familiarise yourself with the Library Home Page; it contains a wealth of useful information. From it, you can access the Library Catalogue, find information about the resources the Library offers, Library publications, Opening hours, electronic and lending services etc.
Click here to go to the Library Home Page.
Keep up to date with developments in the Library by using the What's New pages.
Click here for Mary Seacole Library What's New
Click here for Kenrick Library What's New
Click here for Library and Learning Resources What's New across all our libraries
Your Library PIN will be sent to your student e-mail address.
Your Library PIN is given to you on a yellow slip of paper when you activate your library registration. You will need it to renew your loans and to access UCEEL in conjunction with your Library Borrower Number.
Similar to the PIN you receive from banks, it should not be disclosed to anyone.
The Library produces many guides to its wide range of services. Click here to view the current Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources publications.
The Mary Seacole Library also produces a range of publications to support and enhance the Library teaching programme. For a list of these with links to the publications, click here.
Mary Seacole Library Teaching Room
The Mary Seacole Library Teaching Room holds up to 50 and includes multi-media and computer equipment. All Library teaching for groups of students of less than 50 at Edgbaston Campus will normally take place in this room. Students may also book this room to practice group presentations.
All mobile phones MUST be switched to SILENT when entering the library but it is now possible to hold conversations on your phone in the comfortable seating area opposite the Help Desk in the Mary Seacole Library or on the back staircase in the Kenrick Library. If you use your phone elsewhere in the library, staff or Security will ask to see your student card and record the incident. You are required to show your student card if requested.
Moodle is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which enables teaching and learning to take place via web based modules. The Faculty of Health has its own Moodle, a link to which can be found on the student portal.
The Library has created a generic, non-assessed Library skills module called Birmingham City UniversityfulLibSkills, an introductory level, online course, comprised of six modules. Each one takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes to complete. By working through the modules you will gain a deeper understanding of how Library and Learning Resources can enhance and ease your studies.
Click here to go to Birmingham City UniversityfulLibSkills You will need your Student Network username and password.
My Library Record
My Library Record enables you to renew your loans online, see a list of items on loan to you, check your loan history for the last six months and see any outstanding fines or inter-library loan requests.
To access this service, click on the My Library Record tab at the top of the Library Catalogue. You will need your Library Borrower Number and PIN. Click here to go to My Library Record.
For a guide to using My Library Record, click here (PDF)
Network Username and Password
Your Birmingham City University Birmingham Student Network username and password can be obtained from the Faculty of Health TLSS on production of your student card.
Perry Barr Campus: Room 401 Baker Building
Westbourne Campus: Room 362 Seacole Building
The Student Network Username is required for use of all Library computers (except the Library Catalogue).
You can access an increasingly wide variety of electronic resources (Library Catalogue, UCEEL, Reading Lists, Moodle, Student Portal) from off-campus (from wherever you can access the internet). Some of the databases and full-text electronic journals require the use of a username and password when accessing off-campus.
For more information on Usernames and Passwords please click here.
A vast amount of non-governmental organization, parliamentary, governmental information and documentation is available in printed or electronic formats. Much of this can be found on the internet. This material is shelved separately in the Mary Seacole Reference Library as the Official Publications collection. This collection contains material from, amongst other sources, the Department of Health, the Rowntree Foundation, and NICE. All of it is clearly designated as an Official Publication on the Library catalogue. For further information on finding the exact shelf location click here (PDF).
Much can also be found easily on the internet by using the Google Advanced search engine. For information on how to make effective use of this resource, click here (PDF).
Library opening hours may vary on different campuses and during vacations. For standard Library Opening Hours please select:
Mary Seacole Library
For other Birmingham City University Birmingham, Library and Learning Resources opening hours click here and select the Library
As well as being able to borrow material from other libraries through the Inter-Library Loans Service, research postgraduates at Birmingham City University are entitled to join some other university libraries through the SCONUL Access Scheme. For further information on this scheme, click here.
Students on placement in the NHS may also be able to access Trust Libraries.
Regardless of the length of your course and how often you have to come to the University for lectures etc, you may need an Athens username to access databases and full-text electronic journals. You may also be entitled to access libraries local to your place of residence. Click here to find out more about this service.
Passwords and Usernames
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources use passwords and usernames to protect your personal information (this includes renewing your loans), subscribed to databases such as CINAHL and electronic full-text journals. While on-campus many of the subscribed to services are protected by the University Network security and therefore do not require you to enter a username. However, to ensure security off-campus we have to use passwords and usernames. Click here for more information on Birmingham City University Birmingham passwords and usernames.
PDF or Portable Document Format files are commonly used to provide a copy of a document in a format that looks like an original print. Thus articles, book chapters and exam papers on UCEEL are in this format as are most of the full-text articles linked from databases, Library publications and documents placed on the Department of Health web pages.
A PDF reader is required before these files can be read. All Library based terminals have a PDF reader. If, when you click on a PDF file it refuses to open then it is likely you do not have one on the computer you are using. If this happens in the Faculty of Health computer rooms then contact TLSS. If you are at home then you will need to download a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free download with clear instructions Click here to go to the Adobe download page.
Photocopying and printing
There are multi-function machines in all Birmingham City University Libraries, where you can photocopy and print. You will need to set up a student PIN. Click here for further details.
There are also cash loaders and change machines near to the machines.
For further information on photocopying and associated charges click here.
All photocopying must be made in accordance with the relevant Copyright legislation and the terms of the Birmingham City University licence. For further information click here.
Pop-ups are the second windows that automatically open (pop-up) when accessing some web pages. Often used for advertising they are also used by banks and other services as a means of improving secure access and adding additional controls/access in a second window. PDF files are often opened in a second window thus allowing you to quickly return to the linking page.
A number of Birmingham City University Birmingham, Library provided services use pop-up windows (including UCEEL). The internet browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari etc) you use may be set to block pop-up windows. Most of these services allow you to see pop-ups from particular internet addresses without also allowing all the advertising pop-ups to be let through. The service help-screens will tell you how this can be done.
The Library offers a wide range of printed resources including books, journals, British Official Publications, quick reference material and statistics, The Library Catalogue contains details of all material held in the University Library at all campuses. It shows where items are located, whether or not they are on loan and for how long they can be borrowed. Books may be reserved from another campus library.
Also referred to as: TalisList
Library and Learning Resources provides the Reading List Catalogue to make reading lists available electronically. An electronic Reading List enables direct links to the Library Catalogue and to web based electronic resources such as Department of Health publications and the Faculty of Health Student Portal.
The Reading List Catalogue saves you time. With an electronic reading list you no longer have to spend time in the Library searching for every reading list item in the Library Catalogue or on the web. That is done for you so all you need to do is make a note of the shelfmark and find the item on the shelves or link directly to the web based resource.
Click here to go to the Reading List Catalogue. You can use a module number, title or tutor's name to search the catalogue.
For more information on interpreting reading lists, click here (PDF).
The Faculty of Health has a published set of Referencing Guidelines written by Library and academic staff, designed to help students organise their references for projects and assignments. Help and advice on referencing is also available as part of the excellent 'Essential Guide' authored by John Colby and his colleagues in the School of Computing and Information.
Loans may be renewed up to 99 times providing they have not been reserved by someone else and you have no outstanding fines. Renewals can be made at the self service terminals, by using My Library Record from the Library Catalogue or by using the dedicated automated renewals line (0121 331 5278). You will need your Library Borrower Number and PIN to do this.
For Library User Services enquiries please contact 0121 331 5278, press 0 to speak to a member of library staff and then either 1 for the Mary Seacole Library (Westbourne Road) or 2 for the Kenrick Library (Perry Barr).
Advice on advanced literature searching skills for those undertaking higher degrees or sponsored/contract programmes is available by contacting Stephen Gough (Mary Seacole Library) or Christiana Titahmboh (Mary Seacole Library).
Restoration of Borrowing Rights
If you have lost your borrowing rights, click here to find out how they can be restored.
Re-submission / Re-Sit Students
The Library is not automatically informed when students have to resubmit work or re-sit examinations at the end of their course. Because of this you will have lost your borrowing rights on the original course completion date. To extend a period of registration you need to collect from the Help Desk an "Application for Special Borrowing Entitlement" request form which has to be completed by you (including signature), signed by the course tutor and returned to the Library.
Services to Users with Disabilities
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources is committed to providing an inclusive learning environment for all students. For more information on services to users with a disability please click here.
Hearing loops are available at all the service points in the Kenrick and Mary Seacole Libraries and the teaching room in the Mary Seacole Library.
The Mary Seacole Library has a a fusion of digital camera and the screen reader software that captures printed documents and reads them aloud. Unlike scanners, LiveReader is instant and uses a touch screen dispensing with the need for mouse and keyboard. This is of value to dyslexic or visually impaired Library users who can use it to read library materials or as a means of assisting with proof-reading their original material. For further details contact the Mary Seacole Library Enquiry Desk.
Silent Study Space
Also referred to as: Study Carrels, Silent Study Area
A glass enclosed area of the Mary Seacole Library is designated for Silent Study. Users are asked to refrain from speaking or using any electrical equipment such as mobile phones (including text messaging) or personal music players via headphones at a volume where others can hear. If anyone is disturbed by noise being made by another user, please come to the Reference Enquiry Desk
At both the Kenrick and Mary Seacole Libraries there are also Study Carrels. These offer individual study space. For further information please ask at the Enquiry Desks.
Also referred to as: HOMER, Student web pages
The Student Portal is provided by the Faculty of Health so that students can go to one place to find such items as timetables, information regarding placements, referencing guidelines, course documents and Moodle. Click here to go to the Student Portal
Students on Placement
While on placement you will still need access to Library and Learning Resources. Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources provide a range of methods for students to be able to keep using the Library and Learning Resources. To see which services are available please click here. Students on placement are not Distance Learners as defined by the University. For more information on Distance Learners click here.
Students on placement in NHS may also be able to access Trust libraries. For more information on individual NHS Trust libraries, click here.
The Enquiry/Help Desk staff at all campuses are able to deal with most types of enquiries - if more specialist help is necessary they will refer enquiries to the appropriate professional Librarian. Staff and Students can visit the Enquiry Desk in person at either the Kenrick or Mary Seacole Libraries, as well as by telephone. You can also email a question to the Electronic Enquiry Desk.
Subject Guide to Resources
The Library Subject Pages have been created to guide you to the most appropriate information sources for your studies. Click here to go to the Health Subject pages.
Technical & Learning Support Services (TLSS)
TLSS provide a variety of IT and allied services to support the work of students and staff within the Faculty. For further information please click here
Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources holds theses at Masters and Doctoral levels undertaken by students and staff of the University. Details of these can be found on the Library catalogue. They are available for reading within the Library.
Individual or small group (no more than 3) tutorials can be arranged on any of the services provided by the Library. This includes advice on literature searching techniques for higher degrees and research. If you would like to arrange a tutorial either as an individual or as a group at a mutually convenient time then please click here .
UCEEL (University of Central England Electronic Library)
Also referred to as: Digital Library, Electronic Library, Digitization Service
UCEEL is the University's Digital Library; a repository for all material (journal articles, book chapters, images, video and audio files) which requires copyright clearance before being made electronically available via the Library Homepage and not otherwise available electronically from another source. UCEEL is not the access point for searching the journal literature of health. For this databases such as CINAHL or ASSIA should be used.
UCEEL can be searched using the Library Catalogue or directly from UCEEL's own search pages. To access UCEEL you will need your Library Borrower Number and PIN.
Click here to go to UCEEL
This page last updated by the Birmingham City University, Library and Learning Resources (Health) Team