Using the library is an essential part of the student life. In this section you will find general information about the library and its support services.
Many students in the Autism&Uni surveys mentioned the library as somewhere they really enjoyed being, whether they needed some quiet space to get away from it all or find some help or just to get some work done. The library staff can help you make the most out of your time at uni. They can help you with finding, choosing and using library resources, amongst many other things.
There is also a team dedicated to supporting you with your academic research, writing, presentations and developing other areas that can affect your work like time management, using the software needed for your course and sorting out any issues you might have with maths, referencing and so on.
The Library is also more than a physical place full of stuff (and the people who work in it) – of a lot of the resources you need for your course are online and need to be accessed via the Library’s website as they don’t always appear in search engine results.
You can also manage your library account online, which can help with anxiety around forgetting your library PIN, not being sure how many books you have borrowed or ending up with library fines. There is also an extensive collection of e-books so that you can access texts from home.
How could this affect me?
Places to study (and quiet spaces even when not studying)
The University Library is one of the largest academic libraries in the country and boasts an outstanding research collection, incorporating an astonishing 2.7 million books and scholarly periodicals, and more than 16,000 electronic resources. The collections are located primarily in the Main Library, with subject specific site libraries for medicine, fine art, and dentistry. You will find a number of libraries on campus and can find out more about them here.
There are different types of study space within each library so to find out what is available for each, check out the links for the library you want to use. There are group study areas (usually the bright and noisy places), silent study and bookable group meeting rooms. Within the main library, there are two rooms for silent study, one on the second floor and another on the third. You don’t need to book – just enter the room.
Contact us directly via our Just Ask online chat service.
For access to library collections and more, visit FindIt@Bham.
Student skills enhancement
The Academic Skills Centre helps all students to fulfil their full academic potential by designing and providing a range of academic skills support initiatives, through face to face or eLearning. Activities include Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), and the Postgraduate Teaching Assistants supporting Undergraduate Study Skills programmes.
A recent innovation is Skills4Campus, a new interactive study skills resource available at the Academic Skills Centre.
What to do next?
Visit the main library
Find the location of the library building (R30) on the campus map.
Use the location guide to work out in advance the location of the books that you will want to use.
Check the opening hours and identify a good time to visit, when it will not be too busy.
Questions to think about
Do you know which library to use for your subject area?
Are you currently working on an assignment?
Have you worked independently anywhere other than at home/halls before?
Have you tried techniques like mind mapping to work on a topic?
Additional information and links
The Academic Skills Centre is where undergraduate students can develop general academic, writing and mathematical skills.
Within the Academic Skills Centre you may also find Research Support which includes information on Open Access, data management, research metrics and thesis guidance.
Information on citing rules and guidelines is in iCite which includes links to the Harvard style together with other major styles.
If you need any help deciding which services are useful for you, you can talk to your disability adviser and discuss including the adjustments you feel are necessary in your Reasonably Adjustments Plan (RAP).
Support for people with hidden disabilities (PDF). For example autism.