Looking out, up and in


After sitting through and participating in 3 days of sessions at ECIL 2016 in Prague while networking with librarians from 51 countries, it was a relief to actually get into a room full of books.

On a visit to the Ministry of Culture (Czech Republic), I could actually smell the books before I saw them: dusty, musty– a librarian elixir. We sighed when we viewed a book with Copernicus’s signature (below) which inspired me to visit a few more libraries on my own.


The Klementinum includes The Baroque Library Hall completed in 1722. Books comprise theological works since 1600 collected by the Jesuits and the site is currently the National Library of the Czech Republic.  It’s certainly ornate, but no photos were permitted —  not a problem because I also visited Strahov Monastery where you can buy a permit to photograph.

The Strahov was founded in the 12th century as a monastery and houses the Theological and Philosophical Halls. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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It seems ornate ceilings were inspirational in past. I wonder if we’re missing something in our downward viewing today. I’m going to make an effort to look up more often, think things through, if nothing else, to relieve the eye strain.

ECIL 2016 was a great chance to look up and out, think, share and consider our place in the library world.  There is an abundance of good practice out there, a lot of shared problems and some excellent research (this was a conference loaded with doctoral research and Phds in librarianship).  What I find in going out is that it forces me to look in. As a part of a wide-world of libraries, the UCL IOE Library’s hard-working librarians do a sterling job of preserving the old, embracing the new and supporting students amidst a rapidly changing landscape. It’s good to go out, but it’s always nice to come home.


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Trial access to Childlink and Child Protection Hub from UCL Library Services

child-linkUCL has trial access to Childlink and Child Protection Hub until 25th November 2016. To access off-site please use Desktop@UCL Anywhere

Childlink is a one stop source of information on children, young people and families. This database focuses on legislation, policies, and practices. Approximately 70% of all information provided on this service relates to the UK, with the remainder focusing on European and International studies.


Child Protection Hub (NSCPH) aims to enhance and share child protection knowledge within the professional communities throughout the UK and the island of Ireland.

Please send feedback on this resource here.

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‘Information Literacy in the inclusive society’ at ECIL 2016

prague-castle-st-vitus-cathedralECIL, the European Conference on Information Literacy, is in Prague from 10-13 October. In its fourth year, the conference is more international than European with almost 300 delegates coming from as far away as Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and the US.  The theme this year is ‘Information literacy in the inclusive society.’

The keynote speaker on day one, Tara Brabazon from Flinders University, Australia, started the conference with a bang. Her speech, ‘3D librarian: information literacy in an accelerated age’, dealt with 3 Ds: digitization, disintermediation and deterritorialization. She sees the flattening of expertise online and calls for librarians to provide a scaffold to help users evaluate the accuracy of information online. An inclusive society requires not only citizens who can search online, but citizens who can critically select and analyse that information.

The rest of the day until 6 pm was spent attending various sessions and participating in Pecha Kucha.  A Pecha Kucha presentation is comprised of 20 slides, 20 seconds each slide so each presentation is quick and focussed. My presentation, ‘Two-way learning with IOE LibQuizzes at UCL Institute of Education,’ was one of 13 in a 2 hour slot. It was a bit of a whirlwind and that was just the end of day one!

With three days ahead, there will be a lot more sessions (180 in total!), library visits and sharing to come. What is reassuring is that we at UCL are part of a diligent and hard-working community of librarians sharing good practice and research. Our countries and contexts might be varied, but we’re mostly reading from the same book.




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Kanopy video streaming at UCL

UCL staff and students now have access to over 26,000 films via Kanopy, an online video streaming resource. Kanopy‘s collection includes thousands of award-winning documentaries, training films and theatrical releases which can be streamed from any location on various devices.

The collection includes a number of leading producers, such as the Criterion Collection, PBS, Kino Lorber, New Day Films, The Great Courses, California Newsreel, BBC and hundreds more.

Features include: sharing films, creating clips or teaching playlists, and the capacity to embed these into the course system.

We are working to get the records loaded as soon as possible so that you can find these films via Explore but in the meantime, you can go directly to Kanopy.

This is one of a series of projects that UCL Library Services is running to directly involve users in the acquisition of content, UCL has deposited funds with Kanopy allowing for licences to the popular titles to be purchased whilst all other films can also be viewed.

Please send feedback on this resource to the  library team.

Sarah Gilmore

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E-books on demand@UCL via JSTOR is back!

30,000+ e-books available via JSTOR for a limited period – read the e-books you want and UCL Library Services will buy the most popular.

UCL Library Services are once again offering staff and students access to a large part of the JSTOR e-book collection. You can now read over 30,000 e-books via JSTOR across a range of subjects and we will buy the most-used titles to add to our e-book collection. The access will end once the money we have deposited has been spent – we’ll keep you notified with updates via this blog. We are working to get the records loaded as soon as possible so that you can find these additional e-books via Explore but in the meantime, you can go directly to JSTOR.

This is one of a series of projects that UCL Library Services is running to directly involve users in the acquisition of e-book content. Go to our Ebooks on demand@UCL webpage to find out more about the various projects.

Anna Sansome, E-Resources Librarian, UCL Library Services

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SAFER Research Journey

UCL has welcomed students with a list of 11 Things to start your UCL Journey. Fittingly, one of these 11 ‘things’ is getting to know the library.

We realise in the library that the journey of research can be a long and winding road: sometimes exhilarating, surprising and frequently frightening. As Dewey writes (1933), full of ‘troublesome knowledge’.

In the IOE Library, we provide a number of guides to help along the way—over 100 IOE LibGuides—all freely available online covering the digital library, library collections, archives, services and a lot of ‘how to’ advice.

After all the changes in the library this summer, we’re promoting the SAFER route to research that covers the basics of: searching, accessing, finding, evaluating and referencing. If you want the short path, try out the SAFER LibQuiz that reviews all five guides at once.


Another bit of help is IOE LibAnswers, a searchable database of previously asked questions and an enquiry service via email, phone, text or LibChat.

In addition to our online guides and enquiry service, we‘re here in person to help on your research journey. Whether you’re completely lost or just looking for a new direction for searching, stop in at our Help Point.  Our opening hours are here on IOE LibGuides.

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Fictional favourite

I studied History at school until A’ Level and am still interested in the way in which is taught. Upon recently rereading one of my favourite books in the Education in Literature Collection, To serve them all my days by R.F. Delderfield, I was struck by how apposite the main protagonist David Powlett-Jones’  views (and therefore R.F.Delderfield’s) about his subject and how it relates to others seem.tstamd book

‘He had always seen history as the Clapham Junction of education. It opened doors on so many other subjects, not only geography, but English prose and poetry, economics, law, religious knowledge and any number of fringe subjects. A brief study of Edward I’s administrative reforms, for instance, whetted the appetite of some-just a few ,here and there-interested in the British jury system.’(Delderfield, 2006.p.119).


Ronald Frederick Delderfield (1912-1972) was an English novelist and dramatist. His family first lived in Surrey but later moved to Devon. After leaving West Buckland School Delderfield worked as reporter on his father’s paper RFD authorThe Exmouth Chronicle. His first play, Spark in Judea, was produced in 1936 but later, after service in the RAF during the Second World War, Delderfield began to write novels. His first was published in 1949. Several of his historic novels involve young men who return from war.  The lives they lead enable the author to delve deeply into English social history from the Edwardian era through to the early 1960s.

The central character in Delderfield’s ‘To serve them all my days ’is David Powlett-Jones. He is a coal miner’s son from Wales who, during the First World War, has risen through the ranks to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. After being injured he is released from a shell-shock ward in 1918 and, on the advice of his doctor, seeks a position at Bamfylde, a private school for boys, in North Devon.

David’s experiences in the trenches have taught him to think of the common German soldiers as people rather than just as ‘the enemy’. It is a viewpoint which colours his teaching of the causes of the war and of the consequences of the possible outcome. After this controversial start to his teaching career David gradually discovers his vocation as a history teacher. He is supported and encouraged by the friendship of the Headmaster, Algy Herries, and the English master Ian Howarth.

The scope of the book is such that it allows for a leisurely development of character. The effects of such events as the General Strike in 1926, the role of women in Labour Party politics and the rise of National- Socialism and anti-Semitism in Germany are explored through family ties and romantic relationships. The end of the book sees David, now Headmaster, contemplating the probable loss of ‘Old Boys’ in the increasingly inevitable future conflict.300px-West-buckland-school

R. F. Delderfield’s time at West Buckland School served as an inspiration for To serve them all my days. The school was founded as the Devon County School in 1858 to provide an education for sons of farmers and the middle classes. It was renamed in 1911/12 and today is a fully independent, co-educational school with a Nursery, Preparatory and Senior Schools and a Sixth Form. Its pupils include boarders and a percentage from abroad. Other famous alumni include Jonathan Edwards, Brian Aldiss and Tim Wonnacott.

The relationship between school and book is a reciprocal one.  For instance Delderfield based his fictional Headmaster Algy Herries upon Ernest Harries who was the Headmaster when he attended West Buckland School. As the school has developed its campus it has named one of its boarding houses, Boyer, after one of the novel’s pupils.

tstamd dvdThere are several accounts of West Buckland School in the Library’s School Histories Collection including West Buckland School by Berwick Coates and  Tales out of school: an anthology of West Buckland reminiscences, 1895-1963 compiled by R. F. Delderfield himself .

The DVD of the popular BBC 1980/81 television series of To serve them all my days (starring John Duttine as David) is also available from the Education in Literature Collection.

Books in the Education in Literature Collection may be borrowed for 4 weeks and DVDs for 1 week. Books in the School Histories Collection are for Reference Only.

Reference list:

Delderfield, R.F. (2006).To serve them all my days. London, England: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd.

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