How can the Library help you with your studies?

The Library isn’t just somewhere you can get books. It’s somewhere you can do your work on your own or with others, escape sensory overload and get some help with studying. This section of the toolkit will introduce our library and the services it can offer you.

Background

We have specialist library staff who understand autism and want to 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.

How could this affect me?

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 university. They can help you with finding, choosing and using library resources, amongst many other things.

 

The library is also dedicated to supporting you with your academic research, presentations and developing other areas that can affect your work like critical thinking, literature searching and sorting out any issues you might have with referencing and so on.

 

The library is also more than a physical place full of books (and the people who work in it) – a lot of the resources you need for your course are online and need to be accessed via the Library’s website or StarPlus library catalogue as they don’t always appear in search engine results.

 

You can also manage your library account online, which can help with anxiety around not being sure how many books you have borrowed or ending up with overdue books. There is also an extensive collection of e-Resources so that you can access texts from home.

Inclusive learning team and webpages

Our Inclusive Learning Team are here to support you during your time at University. You can contact the team by emailing lib-inclusivelearning@sheffield.ac.uk. Our Inclusive Learning webpages provide  a useful overview of services for disabled students, including autistic students. Please be aware that while most facilities are available to all students, to access some of the support mentioned in the webpages, you will need to be registered with the Disability and Dyslexic Support Service

Where are the libraries?

There are lots of different library spaces and services for you to choose from.  We have four main

library sites which all offer something unique and all have a different look and feel so it’s a good idea to visist all of them to see which one you prefer to study in.  They all offer high quality library and computing services as well as study spaces.  They are:

 

There are silent study areas in all of the library sites as well as silent distraction – free study space on Level 4 of the Diamond. Please check out our 360 Virtual tours to have a look around the library sites before you visit.

 

Some students are registered to book Assistive Spaces, many of which are equipped with Assistive software and technology. If you feel that this service would benefit you please contact the Inclusive Learning Team.

 

How do I access support to use the library?

You can access library support in many different ways.  You can approach the library staff at one of the information desks to ask for help with using the library. Or if you prefer you can email, call or text  or chat to library staff using the live chat facility. You can find all this contact information as well as a list of frequently asked questions and answers relating to the library on the Library Help page.

 

Every academic department has a subject librarian who can help you with questions specific to your subject area. You can contact them by email or telephone or book an appointment to speak to them face-to -face.

 

Our library subject guides are also very useful for supporting you with your studies. They contain lots of useful links as well as recommended resources specific to your subject area.

 

There are also Library Information and Digital Literacy workshops and webinars. These can help studenst to develop skills for writing assignments.  There are a wide variety of workshops available including how to use StarPlus, search databases, use e-Resources and reference correctly.  If you think it woudl be a good idea to develop your skills in area if these areas then you could try completing one of the workshops or webinars.

 

The library also provides online support via the Information and Digital Literacy tutorials so you can access help and advice realting to your studies at any time.

 

 

Practical tips

Succeeding as a university student is about making the most of the opportunities you are given. Students in our survey said they regretted trying to cope for too long without accessing all the help they were entitled to, or finding spaces that worked for them.

 

Sometimes other people know more about what’s out there than you do, so it’s okay to not know exactly what you want.

 

Familiarise yourself with the library environment and resources for your course

 

Visit the libraries and find somewhere in your prefererd library that feels comfortable and a productive place for you to work.  You could try visiting the library and different time sof the day to see when it’s quietest (if you prefer a quiet study area).

 

Ask for help and advice if you need it – this could be to help you find resources on your reading list, to help you find further resources on a topic that is of interest to you, or to find a suitable place to study.

 

Make use of the software and tools available that help you to mindmap ideas, or can convert text into audio if you prefer to listen rather than read, or as well as reading. SensusAccess enables you to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media, including audio format.

 

You can book an induction and tour of any of the library sites by emailing lib-inclusivelearning@sheffield.ac.uk  In the tour staff can advise you on the best ways to access resources, and also practical matters such as emergency evacuation procedures.

 

Visit the Inclusive Learning webpages for further information