We took some stuff up to Aberdeen for Shaun, and paid a visit to the Sir Duncan Rice Library at Aberdeen University.
I had only ever seen it from the outside, and wondered about the design.
From the inside, it becomes obvious – the different shaped columns break up what would otherwise be quite monotonous concrete. Along with the floor to ceiling windows, it makes for a very nice atmosphere in which to study.
There are many breakout areas/group study rooms.
The toilets are superior.
The interior design is very creative.
How pleasant it must be to study in this building.
After seeing how many staff seem to work in the library (there are information points on all floors, plus various offices, plus a management area), I asked Shaun how many times he’d had contact with the librarians. The answer was zero, though he said he’d been invited to an introductory session in first year. He had not been made aware of how they could help.
At the time of writing, there’s no contact person mentioned on the subject page relevant to his course. There’s no explanation as to what the Electronic databases link on that page means. The geology ‘Useful Web links‘ page lists BUBL, which has not existed for some time. The Links for Mineralogists link on the same page closed in 2009. The GEOSCAN database link fails. There’s a link to Intute, which has not been updated for a long time. The most recent of the four Reference works listed was published in 2001. For goodness sake, library web pages are supposed to help students, and not have rubbish links.
The Geology – Books and Journals page says: We subscribe to a large number of full text e-journals in this subject area. An alphabetical list is available via Primo [no explanation of what Primo is on this page, or the page that it leads to]. Well, surely a subject list would be more helpful. I tried to find one via the link, and I had to then click on ‘Category’ [Category???], then ‘Earth Sciences’ then ‘Engineering Geology’ then ‘Go’ and finally got a short list.
I then went back to the Library home page and tried searching for myself – ‘Roddy MacLeod’ in the Search Our Collections search box. There were 4 results, none by me, however when I then clicked on the Journal articles, e-books and more tab [though surely this should be included in Search Our Collections] , there were 135 for Primo Central [no explanation as to what Primo Central is. Is it different to Primo?].
Here’s my search. The first result was a paper I co-wrote:
WattJournals: Towards an Economic and Lightweight Search Tool Alternative for Libraries To Help Their Students and Researchers Keep Up-To-Date
Santiago Chumbe ; Roddy Macleod
Code4Lib Journal, 2010(12)
Hmm. Disappointing that there is no full-text, given that I know that Code4Lib Journal is Open Access. But wait – when I clicked on the Details tab, there’s a View full text link, and it takes you to the full text.
How utterly confusing!
I went back and looked at some more of the 135 papers on the list.
New Review of Information Networking, 1998, Vol.4(1), p.151-152 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Hmm. I wrote that Introduction, but my first name is not Rodericka. There are other papers in the list of 135 that don’t mention me in the citation or the details. So, why are they there?
My conclusion is that Aberdeen University has a lovely building in the Sir Duncan Rice Library, but that their web pages need a lot of attention, and maybe their staff should be reaching out more to their students.