How it works: Returning books

How it works: In a series of blog posts we try to make the library more understandable to our users. What’s happening in the library? What is the purpose of different machines? What rules are there and why? Read and get some explanations and tips regarding the library!

The foundation of the whole idea of Library is to borrow the books, nowadays libraries do (and are) a lot of other things as well, but to borrow books to people is often seen as the library core. The term borrowing something implies that you also need to return the same something: A borrowed book must be returned. In recent years, the management of this aterlamning(returning books) are increasingly taken over by machines. Today we’re going show you the library’s automated book return machine.

At the outside of the library (but inside the university building) is a green treadmill sticking out from a hole in the wall. This is the public part of the automated book return machine. This is where you return your borrowed book. You place the book on the treadmill and the book disappears into the wall. But what happens then? The following film is shot while standing opposite the position where you return the book:

The book continues on the treadmill, and is then sorted into one of five carriages depending on which floor the book should be located on. Which of the five carriages that is right for your book is decided by information about the books location in the library, stored in a chip inside the book. The initial sort is only a rough sorting, the staff at the library sorts each of the carriages more thoroughly, before the books are placed on the right shelf in the library again.

One of sorting carriages is for books that there’s a “problem” with. Books that are returned way passed the due date of the loan, or books that are reserved by someone else. These books require manual intervention and are always handled by staff at the library.

The automated book return machine also activates the alarm on all returned (the alarm is deactivated when you borrow a book).

The automated book return machine at our library is quite small, it only has five differens sorting carriages. At other, bigger libraries the machines can have many more sorting possibilities – for example: Check out this film from Boulder Public Library that has a rather big sorting machine.

Text, picture and movie: Katharina Nordling

From London with love!

This afternoon we will talk at the Internet Librarian International conference here in London. Our contribution is called Good customer relationships: proving value every day – the sequel.

We were here at the same conference in London 2015 and talked about the ongoing project we were doing at the library then. Now we are back to talk about the continuation that followed that project.

Perhaps it is one or two of you who remembered that for a long time (for a whole two years) we put “sticks” for every question you asked us? It was part of a project where we measured every question we received at the library and divided them into 10 different categories; loan issues, reference questions, questions about printers and copiers, referral questions, how to find in the premises, etc. We wanted to see what kind of questions you ask us. We worked for 106 weeks and received 56,411 questions!

We encountered quite a few exciting things, such as getting the most IT questions at lunchtime, most queries in the mornings, and asking us more at the beginning of the semester than at the end. We also know that 58% of the questions were library issues (ranging from loans, search books, Harvard reference to search in databases-questions). 22% were computer-related issues (printers, copiers, accounts, Word questions etc) and 20% were about to find rooms, book group rooms etc.

These are the results we will present to other library colleagues from around the world this afternoon. And all the data we are here talking about today are all of you – thank you for all questions!

Wish us luck!

Best London Greetings from Tove & Christel

If you want to know all our results, please contact us!

Test two practical databases!

HS Talks – The Business and Management Collection and Sage Research Methods are two databases that the library wants to recommend as they look a bit different from many of our other databases. They contain lots of film material, case studies, interviews and various practical tools which can be valuable for both students, teachers and researchers in their ongoing work.

HS Talks is aimed primarily at those interested in business administration, leadership, accounting and marketing. It contains over 900 recorded lectures, case studies and interviews in these subjects. The readers have prominent positions at universities and companies in a number of countries. There are long and short lectures and the service is easy to use. You can watch movies on the computer (both PC and Mac) and mobile devices (Android and iOS). HS Talks is one of the library’s permanent databases that you can access  to as usual via our database page.

Sage Research methods focus more on you as a researcher, PhD and student in general.  Also on anyone who wants tips on how to plan ytheir work/the research process. It is a tool that helps you with method courses, essay writing and dissertation. There are short video and real case studies and data sets for certain methods. We are currently testing this database until October 31, so please try  it and let us know what you think! You find it on the page for trial access to databases.

Text& Picture: Lena

Hi Lena Svenson!

In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your staff! We asked Lena a few questions.

Bild på Lena SvenssonWhat are your main duties?
I work at the Department Collection Services here at the library, and I would say I have three main tasks. I help students who, for various reasons, are in need of recorded literature. I also work with Interlibrary Loans, i.e. I send books and articles to other libraries. Furthermore, I help our distance students to get the material they need sent home from the Library.
Since it is the European Dyslexia Week this week I would like to pay attention to the help offered here at the university. If you feel that you have a reading disability, you have the right to have your literature recorded.

For how long have you worked here?
The University has been my employer since in 1989. I worked at the Financial Department for a few years before coming to the Library in 1992. For 27 years I have been working in three different library systems and if I have calculated correctly, my current Library Director is the sixth in order.

What do you do when you’re not at work?
I like to cook and have dinner with good friends. Training, creative activities, travel, Wordfeud, Sudoku and reading are examples of what I would like to do when all other household work is done.

Do you have any book tips you want to share with us?
Elakt spel by Jan Mårtensson is a really good detective story. To get a little different perspective on life, I can recommend Armlös, benlös men inte hopplös by Mikael Andersson. For me, Linda Olsson’s Nu vill jag sjunga dig milda sånger really challanged my patience. I had to start over a few times before I coluld read it. Now, I like it very much! Linda’s style of writing is a bit special, I think.

What do you like most about your job?
To meet all wonderful  people and to search for articles.

Text: Christel Olsson & Lena Svenson
Photo: Klaz Arvidson


Dyslexia- what does it mean?

Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties, means that you have difficulties with reading and writing and is a permanent disability.

Reading and writing difficulties can be caused by many different factors. Among other things it can be caused by visual and hearing problems, any type of language disorders, emotional problems or cultural and/or linguistic under-stimulation.
Dyslexia can be an inborn trait or have incurred by a injury or illness.

Today you can, from an early age, detect dyslexia and get help. In Sweden it is speech therapists, special education teachers or psychologists who perform reading and writing difficulties investigations.

Once one has been diagnosed, one can through training and adaption tackle the problem.

Some brief facts about Dyslexia:

  • A common assessment is that 5-8% of population in the literate world have reading and writing difficulties of dyslexic art.
  • Dyslexia is more common among men/boys that women/girls.
  • Dyslexia is not related to level of intelligence.
  • Some famous Dyslexics are: Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Pablo Picasso and Selma Lagerlöf.

The cause of Dyslexia is not completely understood and there are several definitions of Dyslexia. The most common definition comes from The International Dyslexia Association. It says:
“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” (2002)

If you want to read more about Dyslexia we have right now, in the context of the European Dyslexia week, an exhibition on the 2nd floor of the Library. We also have books for borrowing in the exhibition.

If you want to know how you can get help through the University, you can contact Susanna Hagelberg who is University Dyslexia Counsellor, or read more at

Text and Picture: Tandis Talay

Study techniques- How to read your course litterature the best way

Helén Svensson is one of five Study Counsellors at the University, on whose desk questions about study skills ends up. Is there anyone who has the inside track on how to best use their time as a student, it is Helén and her colleagues.

On the third floor in the corridor opposite to the student desk you will find a happy and energetic Helén and when asked about how the concept study technique should be described, she answers undoubtedly:It is all about attitude! The use of different techniques to improve your learning ability. It’s about scanning, stress management and planning.

Do you have some good general tips for students regarding study techniques?

Go to the lectures and read on before! If you do that, you will get an understanding and than you can be alert and ask questions at the lectures instead of sitting and not understanding much of what the teacher says. You get a head start and easier to learn.

– Project Planning! This means planning in a good way. Use the calendar and write lists. Multiple projects can be run at the same time. It makes it easier to make schedules of what needs to be done.

Another important thing is the driving force. One should ask the questions: Why do I study this program? Why am I here?
How should you read a course book?

– One method may be to look for a model, we call it an “effective reading model” for reading course books, and as we talk about in our courses in study technique:
Begin with the summary reading, ie read front and back of the book, the preface and the table of contents. If there are summaries after each chapter, read them first. You get a good idea and you will get an understanding of what the book is about.
After that you go to the quick reading. This means reading the book quickly without paying attention to details. You could say add a fifth gear.
–  Last is time for the in-depth reading. Since you have already got an understanding of the content, you know which chapters are worth reading properly. It is only in the in-depth reading that you highlight the most important parts or take notes on the edge of the book (if it is your own book of course).

– It is not enough to emphasize the importance of repetition! We are talking about the “forgetful curve” and it is important that you repeat early and several times before you forget everything. Do not let it go several days before repetition.

What are your top tips for the students when it comes to reading the course literature?

 Read the curriculum! There is often a clear breakdown of what is required for the examinations, but also what to learn. Also look at the objectives of the curriculum.

Read a lot! Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. If it is difficult to read scientific articles read magazine and newspaper articles on the same topic so you get an understanding of the subject before and learn the concepts. This will usually gets you interested and it becomes easier to get the information.

The University organizes three-hour courses offered on the various programs in study weeks  3-7. There have been some drop-in times and November 20th is the next time, if you missed it. On the University’s website there are information (in Swedish) about study techniques in addition to the courses given.

Text & Picure: Lena Wadell


Get to know Primo!

When looking for books, articles or other material, a good way to start is with the library’s search engine Primo. It is the big search box on the first page of the library web site. In Primo you will find most of the books, articles, essays, reports, dissertations, etc. which are available in the library collections – both printed and electronic.

Everyone who has a library account, also has an account in Primo. When you are logged in you can, for example, do this:

  • See your loans and reservations
  • See information and settings for your loan account
  • See any delay fees
  • Save your searches
  • Monitor searches

It is good to always log in before you start searching in Primo, this makes it easy for you to keep track of “your things”. For example, if you want reserve a book, you must be logged in for this to work.

We have made three short instructional films on how to use Primo in the best way.  They are in Swedish but you can still get an idea on how to search yourself.

See your borrowed books in Primo
Searching for books in Primo
Searching for articles in Primo

If you need help searching, can’t find what you’re looking for or have other questions, remember that we are happy to help you at the information points on level 2.

More information about Primo can be found on the library web page.

Text: Christel Olsson
Movies: Sara Hellberg