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


Information seaching on the schedule

Do you know what some librarians do in the library besides being available in the information points? If you are studying a program, there is always a schedule where there is information search in the library or Information Literacy. Many of the students who have been to the workshops have gained one and another Eye-opener

In the library we are these five librarians who educate students in information literacy. From the left: Birgitta Karin Sara Christel and Lena.

We plan the occasions together with the teachers for all program students, and the education takes place in three stages. We often have both lecture and workshop so the “tools” to seek their information can be used directly. What is meant by information literacy or information searching? Well, it’s all about finding out right in the library, searching efficiently online, and in databases, how to see different types of articles for source criticism and reference writing.

Among the students who came at the scheduled times, responding to our evaluations, we have received the comments:

“Very good with both theory and practice, many useful search terms and methods for finding information faster and more efficiently”

“Nice to know where to look !! “Now I can search much better”

“Awesome! got many useful tips! and great work afterwards “Looking for more ways and getting better on searching” “superfun!”

“Did me motivate to start searching for articles!”

“Very good and useful information, clearly presented!”

“The exercise was relevant and the questions made me reflect and want me to develop”.

“Relevant databases, I learned how to find topics”

“Reference writing is top notch! Can save a lot of time. Then it is absolutely important to define and combine keywords to help you find what you’re looking for ”

“How to use the subject headings! I did not have a clue before! ”

Here you can read another blog post about the information literacy education:

Text & Picure: Lena Wadell

Before the holidays – leave your books and borrow Read for fun!

The semester is soon coming to an end and before you leave on your Christmas break, it may be a good idea to return your books. You can also renew them over the counter to make sure that you are guaranteed 14-day loan period. Read more about our borrowing rules.Then you don´t have to worry about ending up in the situation that someone else wants to borrow one of your books when you do not have the opportunity to return them.

Take the chans to borrow some reading during Christmas. Did you miss ”Biblioteket i vimlet” outside the red dining room on Lucia day? Don´t worry! We have pocketbooks we call “Read for fun”. They are located on the second floor in the library, we also have lots of good detective stories and novels on the fourth floor.

Welcome to the Library!


Text: Lena Wadell

Picure: Colourbox

Hello Karin Süld!

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 librarians! We asked Karin a few questions:

What are your main duties in the Library Karin?

– I work with education in information seeking, source criticism and reference management, primarily for students at the Swedish School of Textiles. The teaching is organised so that each moment includes both a lecture and a workshop. The planning and evaluation of each moment is done in collaboration with the teachers of the various programs.

Another part of my work is to staff the library’s Information Point where students, staff and the general public can come to get help with small and big issues, ranging from finding at our premises to searching for information.

For how long have you worked here?

– I have worked here since the mid-90s, for a while, then! The work has changed a lot over the years. Among other things, education has increased and become an integrated part of the education. This has contributed to making the librarian role more of an educator than before. And, it’s impossible not to mention the digitisation, which has changed the work both in content and in approach.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

– Then I am with my family and my friends. I also like being out in the forest, fix in the garden, watching movies and reading. My husband and I are building a new house and moving to the country, so it will fill a lot of our spare time for a while.

Do you have any book recommendations you want to share?

– A book I would recommend is The detour by Gerbrand Bakker. It is a story about a woman who suddenly and without explanation, leaves her home in the Netherlands and settles in a house in the Welsh countryside. Her days seems to be mostly work in the garden and care of a number of geese who happens to be on the farm. There is much that is mysterious and odd in the story. A young man shows up, unclear why and who he is. The woman’s husband is looking for her along with a Dutch police. The US 1800-century poet Emily Dickinson figures, such as the woman who previously lived in the house. Gradually, however, the picture of the Dutch woman and her story becomes clearer. It is a quiet and at the same time exciting book with an unexpected ending.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

– To meet the students, take part of their work and their issues and together with them work the way through the information jungle. Collaboration with teachers is also very fun and interesting; it gives me a good insight into what is going on in the different courses at the Swedish School of Textiles.

Text: Karin Süld and Lena Wadell
Picure: Lena Wadell

Source criticism – how to think!

In today’s information society, we are flooded by information from everywhere. Then the source criticism is more important than ever. Each person who has access to a smartphone or a computer, is today a publicist and all information is not always reviewed especially when it is published on the Internet!

Isolated business woman write something

The easiest way is to summarize source criticism is to think in questions of who, what and why? Information can include unconscious rumors, deceptive marketing or political misinformation.

There is no strict method to go after, it is more of a holistic assessment on case-by-case basis. The most important thing is that you, as a reader or recipient of the information, ask yourself a few questions. The classic criteria are: Time, dependence, authenticity and tendency.

The most important questions you should ask yourself is: Who is behind the information? Is it a private person, political organization, a company or a group with specific interests, you should be vigilant, and the next question becomes particularly important:
What purpose has the text? / For what purpose is it written? Is the informant intending to sell something or do the informant want to influence you in any direction?

Shortly: Who says what to whom and for what purpose?

The next important question you should ask yourself is: When is the text written? If you want to have current information, timing is particularly important. For example, if you want the price on something. If you rather would have historical information old information might work just as well.

Remember that source criticism is especially important when you are seeking information on the Internet!

Text: Lena Wadell
Picure: Colourbox

Information search – More important than you think!

You may have seen on your schedule that you will come to the library for information search. You may think it sounds boring, redundant, or that it is something you already know. – is it really so? Sara Hellberg is one of five librarians here who teaches information search and here she gives her view on why you shouldn´t skip it.


“For example, if I need to buy milk, I know that I need to go to grocery store and not to the bakery. It’s a bit the same with the sources. We show how they find information that they can not find on Google”

How often have students information search on the schedule with you Sara?

– Normally I meet them three times during the program, but it depends a bit on how it fits into the courses. The first occation is usually the first semester. The third and final occation, usually before the thesis when they need to seek scientific articles.

Why do you think it is important that the students come?

– We have planned the content together with the teachers on the basis of the program and the course’s uniqueness. The lessons are based on what students need. Much can be found on Google but we show sources that may be difficult or impossible for them to find that way. Depending on what you’re looking for, you go to different places. For example, if I need to buy milk, I go to grocery store and not to the bakery. Maybe I can get some milk in the bakery if it´s critical, but if I need some mincemeat -Thats where it stops! It’s a bit the same with the sources. We show them how to find sources they can not find on Google.

We provide tips on how to use the library smart and how it works in practical terms. Library puts millions on licenses and subscriptions to electronic resources, in addition, we present a smorgasbord, where we have sorted out what they need to complete their tasks. If you have missed an opportunity, it is highly recommanded to come before the essay writing!

What are your experiences of how students perceive education before they come to you? 

– Some think they already know, but when they come, it turns out that there is a lot of useful information that they learn. Many come just for rehearsal. Some students have no expectations at all, especially when they come for the first time.

And what have you got for comments afterwards?

– Most of them are happy afterwards and says that they learned something they can enjoy. One comment I hear repeatedly is: “I had no idea that librarians did know so much!” or another comment: “There was a lot that was new, I did not know!”

Some comments cut from the survey data from the library’s training sessions:

  • Really good and instructive! The penny dropped.
  • Good explained when one asks questions, relevant information at just the right time.
  • I discovered a new database cool!
  •  Really good info, door openers!
  • Finally I can use this library properly, before I was just confused!

Text and Picture: Lena Wadell

Karin is passionate about the Library´s sustanibility work!


Karin Ekström , who normally is a keen cyclist is also the library’s representative in  the environmental group . She works actively with sustainable development both at work and private. The library’s sustainability work goes into the business support and now work goes into a new phase. A new local action plan with concrete targets for the next period is to be written.

The university has an implemented certified Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) that includes the whole University. There is an environmental group within the Professional Services where Karin is the library representative for some years.  Now stands the work of following up the activities of the Action Plan for the door. You have to see what remains of the goals and write new ones for the next period . This means looking at the activities that need to be written for a new local plan.

– It is a job that takes time because it can be difficult to find activities that not already is done said Karin .The focus for the University of Borås is a sustainable campus and it is primarily issues of climate change energy and sustainability requirements in purchasing and procurement work is campus issues. One specific goal is to reduce energy consumption by a total of ten percent per square meter. Another example is to increase the use of distance learning.

– Everyone should be on the train says Karin emphatically. A concrete goal we want to achieve in the next period is to reduce paper consumption by 15 percent compared with 2016. This will be done by more digitization and increased control of printing.

When Karin get the question if she can mention a few things that the library does today for sustainability work , she is quick to respond:  – Printing System “Print and Collec”t is a great thing that is made, and reducing paper consumption significantly by the students themselves actively choose what to printed. Another thing is when librarians are teaching; No written materials is given to students. Everyting they need, they can read on the digital learning platform Ping-Pong.

Although the budget is tight when it comes to sustainability efforts Karin has taken the initiative: – I organized environment coffeebreaks with inspirational lectures when I was new in the environmental group says Karin .

One was about consumption. One Staff member with experience of having one year without purchase, came and lectured . A study visit to a hairdresserwas made. The hairdresser demonstrated that there are alternative products. Another time was a representative of fair-trade in an environment coffeebreak.

How does the future hold and what are the requirements ?- One goal is to introduce sustainable development as a common thread in the teaching of information search, says Karin . There is also a desire that we should get the funds to buy more databases in sustainable development and then pay attention to our users through the teaching and meeting with them.

Finally, I ask what Karin personally make at home what regards environmental issues and she answers emphatically :- I’m a dedicated cyclist! Not having to take the car every day feels good. Karin also compost, produce soil and grow vegetables and that you could call sustainable development in a nutshell!

Text & Photo: Lena Wadell