Here’s 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

How it works: Books not available in the library

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!

At the library we have a lot of books, but there are of course books that we don’t have as well. However, the fact that we don’t have a particular book shouldn’t prevent you from reading it. If you need a book we don’t have – we will do our best to get hold of that book for you.

There are two different ways in which we obtain books, the first option we have is to buy the book. If we choose to buy a book, we order it from one of our suppliers, and as soon as the book has arrived and is ready to be lent to you, we’ll send you an e-mail. The format of the book (e-book/printed) depends on whats available. If we buy a printed book you will find the book at the shelf for reserved books in the library. When you are done with the book, you return it and the book will be a part of our collections – ready to be user by another student or teacher.

The second option for us to obtain a book is to make an interlibrary loan. This means that we will borrow the book from another library, and then we lend the book to you. So you will borrow another library’s book, but you do it through us. We order the book from another library, they send us the book, and as soon as the book arrives we’ll send you an e-mail notifying you that the book is waiting for you. When you come to the library to get the book, you’ll find it at the Information Point at the entrance. After you are done with the book, you return it to us, and we send the book back to the other library. If someone else would like to borrow the book at another time, we need to borrow it again.

So what is it that determines which of the above options we choose to get the book for you? In fact there are a number of factors that play into the selection, for example: Is the book new? Is the book’s subject relevant to any of the university disciplines? If the answer is YES to one of these questions it increases the likelihood that we buy the book. If we however believe that it is likely that you are the only one interested in this book, or if the book is old and impossible to buy, we choose to make an interlibrary loan.

Our goal is for you to get access to the books you need whether we actually have the book or not. Therefore it is always worth contacting us if you need a book we do not have, we promise to do our best to find the book for you.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Picture: Mostphotos

Automatic renewals – here’s how it works!

When you borrow a book at the library, the loan will be automatically renewed if it’s possible – here’s a description of how the procedure works.

An automatic renewal is a renewal that’s made by the system. No one has to do anything, nor you or a librarian. However the system is stopped from doing a renewal of the loan if someone else has made a request for the book, or if the loan period has reached the maximum limit.

It all works like this:

You borrow a book at the Library; the loan period is either 7 or 21 days (depending on if it’s a course book or another book). When it’s two days left of the loan period the systems checks to see if it’s possible to renew the loan, then one of the following scenarios happen:

  1. No one has made a request for the book – the loan is renewed and you get a new loan period for 7 or 21 days (depending on if it’s a course book or another book).
  2. The loan cannot be renewed; you will be notified by e-mail and the original due date remains.

If scenario 1 happens, the same procedure will repeat two days before the new loan period ends.

In practice this means that you can keep the book until you get notified by e-mail that it’s time to return the book. But if you are going to use that practice – you need to check your e-mail address regularly, because in the end it’s you who are responsible of returning your books on time.

Text & Picture: Katharina Nordling

Reservation for book in Primo – here’s how it works

If you have been searching for a book in Primo and it turns out to be on loan (and you don’t need the book the same day), you might want to make a reservation for the book. Now you can easily make reservations on your own in Primo; here is a brief description of how it works:

1. Search for the book in Primo on the Library web page. When you locate the book in the hit list – click on the book title.

2. Log in to the system with your UB-account.

3. Click the Request link. It will only be available if all copies of the book are on loan. If there are copies available in the Library, the link will not be there (because it is not possible to reserve books when there are copies available for loan).

4. Click the Request button. If you want to, you can change the date for how long the request will be active (an opportunity if you know that if you don’t get the book before a certain date, you don’t need the book at all).

5. Once you’ve clicked Request you will get a notification that the request was activated. If you don’t get this notification – please contact the Information Point.

6. As soon as the book is available for you we place it on the shelf for reserved books. It will be placed alphabetically by your last name.

7. Now you’ll receive an e-mail notifying you that the book is waiting for you at the library. The book will be on the shelf, waiting for you for five days, the last pickup date will be specified in the e-mail we sent you.

8. Once you found the book, you borrow it in the machines next to the entrance as usual.


Notice: You cannot make a request for a book that you’ve already borrowed, or a book that you already have an active request for.

Text & picture: Katharina Nordling

Automatic renewals – here’s how it works!

Automatic renewals are one of the things included in the Library’s new borrowing regulations, which take effect Friday 31 March; here is a brief description of how automatic renewals work.

An automatic renewal is a renewal that’s made by the system. No one has to do anything, nor you or a librarian. However the system is stopped from doing a renewal of the loan if someone else has made a request for the book.

It all works like this:

You borrow a book at the Library; the loan period is either 7 or 21 days (depending on if it’s a course book or another book). When it’s two days left of the loan period the systems checks to see if it’s possible to renew the loan, then one of the following scenarios happen:

  1. No one has made a request for the book – the loan is renewed and you get a new loan period for 7 or 21 days (depending on if it’s a course book or another book).
  2. The loan cannot be renewed; you will be notified by e-mail and the original due date remains.

If scenario 1 happens, the same procedure will repeat two days before the new loan period ends.

In practice this means that you can keep the book until you get notified by e-mail that it’s time to return the book. But if you are going to use that practice – you need to check your e-mail address regularly, because in the end it’s you who are responsible of returning your books on time.

Text & Picture: Katharina Nordling

Climate fiction – a highly topical genre

Climate fiction is a growing literary genre that developed out of the threat we know from today’s climate change. A sort of realistic science fiction with disaster elements. The concept was given back in 2007 but no genre has not broke through for real before it had a catchy acronym and a few years ago it finally came – “Cli-Fi”!

It’s about fiction that somehow reflects today’s global warming and give us an interpretation of how our future would look like. Can this literature affect our view on climate change? Maybe we feel more engaged when we skip the scientific talk and are thrown straight into a literary act that could be about ourselves?

Cli-Fi does not give us all the answers but a range of potential future scenarios to consider, it evokes emotion. What happens for example, if that part of the country where I live is flooded, forcing me to move or find other ways to live. Where the living conditions and the rules of the game suddenly change? This highly topical subject attracting different types of readers and is also grateful for cinema. The concept of Cli-Fi is up & coming and hopefully we will soon be able to read more Swedish authors in the genre.

dsc_0023Please read the interview with Dan Bloom, who invented the term and who created the web The Cli-Fi Report (CFR).

If you want to read some Cli-fi novels published in recent years and maybe even some older that also qualify in the field, we have some tips. Some are available in the library:

Meg Little Reilly We Are Unprepared (2016)
Paolo Bacigalupi The water knife (2015)
Camilla Sten En annan gryning (2015)
Kim Stanley Robinson Green Earth (2015) The shortened processing trilogy of Science in the capital consisting of Forty signs of rain (2004), Fifty degrees below (2005) and Sixty days and counting (2007).
Catarina Rolfsdotter Jansson Malmö Manhattan 1994 2024 (2014)
Monica Byrnes The girl in the road (2014)
Margaret Atwood MaddAddam-trilogy with Oryx and Crake (2003),The Year of the Flood (2010) and MaddAddam (2013)
Jesper Weithz Det som inte växer är döende (2012) E-bok
Emmi Itäranta Teemestarin kirja (2012) in english Memory of water
Barbara Kingsolver Flight behavior (2012)
Ian McEwan Solar (2010)
Maggie Gee The Ice People (1998)

Text & picture: Lena Holmberg

Request a book – here’s how it works

Sometimes the book you need from the library is already on loan, but if you don’t need the book immediately, and you can wait until the person who has borrowed the book has returned it, you can make a request for the book. A request is easily done on your own, and here is a brief description of how you do it:

1. Search for the book in Summon on the Library web page. When you locate the book in the hit list – click on the book title. reservation_summon_eng  2. When you’re at the page with more information about the book, make sure no copy is available in the library – then click the link Make a Request.

reservation_post_eng3. Log in to the system with your UB account.

4. Activate the request by clicking Submit. If you want to, you can change the date for how long the request will be active (an option if you know that if you don’t get the book before a certain date, you don’t need the book at all).

reservationer_reservationen_eng5. Once you’ve clicked Submit you will get a notification that the request was activated properly. If you don’t get this notification – please contact the Information Point.

reservationer_reservationen_gjord_eng6. As soon as the book is available for you we place it on the shelf for reserved books. It will be placed alphabetically by your last name.IMG_32457. Now you’ll receive an e-mail notifying you that the book is waiting for you at the library. The book will be on the shelf, waiting for you for five days, the last pickup date will be specified in the e-mail we sent you.

8. Once you found the book, you borrow it in the machines next to the entrance as usual.


Notice: You cannot make a request for a book that you’ve already borrowed, or a book that you already have an active request for. And if you make a request when there’s a copy of the book available on the shelf – you will just end up in line for the books that are already on loan. So in that case it’s better for you to just come to the library and borrow the copy that’s available.

Text & picture: Katharina Nordling