Monday, January 14, 2019

The art of picking a great book...

How do you choose a really good book to read?

... do you defy all advice and judge it by it's cover?

... do you search the backcover for an interesting storyline?

It is 1948 and a newly-married Hortense Joseph has just arrived, from Jamaica, with high expectations of life of in London. But London has suffered many years of war and does not measure up to her storybook notions. Along with her irrepressible husband, Gilbert, Hortense rents a room in the home of Queenie Bligh, whose husband still hasn’t returned from the war. Queenie’s neighbours are unhappy that she taken in Jamaican lodgers but she has other things on her mind.

... do you fall in love with a great character and have to read more?
“Now, the man that answer the door was not Winston. True, him look like Winston, him talk like Winston and him dress like Winston. But Winston was half a twin. Identical as two lemons on a tree. This was his brother Kenneth. To tell him apart, try to borrow a shilling. Winston will help you out but pester you all over London till him get it back. Kenneth, on the other hand, will persuade you to give him a shilling, assuring you that he could turn into into a pound before the week's end.” -- Gilbert Joseph

However you choose your books, come browse the fiction shelves in the library. We have a world of different covers and plotlines and characters.

Just the thing you need to relax during the inter-semester break!

Monday, January 7, 2019

5 things to remember when sitting exams...

Exams are a stressful time!  Having a plan before you go into the Exam Hall can help.  Here are some of the things you can plan for:

1. Read the exam paper slowly and carefully.  Ensure that you understand the instructions before you start writing.

2. Look at the points available for each question, or part of a question, e.g. if there are three questions - worth 20%, 20% and 60% - you need to plan to spend most of your time on the last question.

3. Answer the question that was asked.  Sometimes it can be tempting to write down everything you know about a topic.  It is important to read the question carefully and answer what was asked.  Look at directive words, e.g. are you being asked to list information, to describe a theory or an idea, to evaluate a concept & give your opinions...

4. Plan your answer before you start writing.  Jot down your ideas, on a separate sheet of paper, and consider how you are going to structure your argument.  What order will you put your ideas in?  Does your introduction include all your main ideas? Is your argument clear and logical?  (if you must submit this piece of paper, write "rough work" at the top of the page and the marker will understand that it is not part of your answer).

5. Leave time to re-read your answers.  Leave 10 minutes or so to re-read your answers before you finish.  This will allow you to catch any obvious mistakes.  Reviewing your work reduces the number of spelling and grammar mistakes, and allows you to change any obvious errors.  This makes a good impression on the marker.

... and if you "blank"?  Don't worry.  First of all, this happens to lots of people!  Take a deep breath and jot down any relevant information, no matter how basic it seems.  Jotting ideas down often reminds you of how much you know and stimulates related thoughts!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Happy weekend!

Well done to everyone who sat an exam this week.  Do you need to fit in some revision time this weekend?  If so, consider scheduling your time so that you can fit in time for both revision and relaxation.

Image result for student juggling

Decide on specific study times 
Find a place to study that is separate from the place where you relax or socialize.  Try to minimize the distractions in your study space by, for instance, leaving your phone outside, switching your internet connection off while studying etc.  Learn to single-task, i.e. focus on your studies during study time to help with concentration and memory.

Take your breaks
It is important to take regular short breaks while you study.  This helps you to focus fully while you are studying and to relax fully while you are not.  When you are not studying try not to think about it.  Evidence shows that eating, sleeping and exercising well contributes to effective study.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Adapting to handwritten exams

In our everyday lives, most of us type more than we write. Students, in particular, often do most of their coursework on computers. So, how can we adapt to hand-written exams?

Here are four things to remember:
  1. Hand-writing requires a little more planning. Typists often start writing straight away; they know that they can edit the document later. It is more difficult to edit hand-written scripts. Therefore, writers must be organised! Before you pick up a pen, take the time to plan your answer. Jot down your ideas on rough paper and structure your argument before you start.
  2. Hand-writing can be a slower process than typing. Rest assured that your marker is aware of this! A written exam probably won't resemble a typed assignment, so don't expect it to. However, the slower speed of writing gives you a little more time to think as you write, which allows you to edit-as-you-go.
  3. Some of us have ferocious hand-writing! Although most markers are understanding of poor hand-writing, they must be able to read and understand your work in order to mark it. As you write, ensure that your writing is legible. Bring a couple of pens into the exam hall in case one leaks.
  4. In exams we need to correct our own spelling and grammar. As part of the planning and edit-as-you-go process, we must be conscious of our spelling and grammar as we write. If you are unsure of a spelling, jot it down on rough paper; sometimes correct spellings are more recognisable when written down. And leave a little time at the end of the exam to re-read your paper; this is a great way of catching obvious errors.
Best of luck to everyone sitting an exam today!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Are you doing a research project this semester?

Do you have an important project to complete this semester? Are you starting to do original research? Compile a literature review? Conduct interviews? Learn about quantitative and qualitative research methods?

If so, there are lots of books in the library that can help you. As research is such a broad topic, these books are shelved in various places. Have a look at some of the examples below or search the library catalogue.

General Research

Research Methods

Writing up your Research



Social Care

Sports Management

Friday, September 28, 2018

Music to our ears...

It's a beautiful Friday morning here in ITB and the weekend is on its way.  Like music to our ears...  If you have a few minutes to kill, this fantastic TED-Ed video is worth a look.  The Art of the Metaphor:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Borrowing library books is child's play!

Have you borrowed a library book yet?  If not, here is some useful information!

What do you need?
You just need your student card.  Your student card is also your library card, and you are automatically a member of ITB Library when you start college.  Just come to the library desk with your student card and the book you wish to borrow.

How many books can you borrow at a time?
Students can borrow up to 8 books, or items, at a time.  As well as books, you can borrow films on DVD, laptops, calculators, headphones etc.

How long can you borrow items for?
Most text books can be borrowed for 2 weeks at a time; these are long loans.  
In order to make the library books accessible to as many students as possible, some loan periods are shorter.  At the start of each term we ask your lecturers to recommend core texts for short loan.  The first copy of each recommended title is library use only; these books cannot be borrowed but they are always available in the library.  All other copies of the title are short loans; they can be borrowed for 1 week at a time.

What if you want a book for a little longer?
When a book is returned late, or after the due date, there are overdue fines.  Avoid this by renewing your books on or before the day that they are due to be returned.  We will renew your books up to 5 times so long as no other student has reserved them and they are not late.  Laptops and other equipment cannot be renewed.

Still have questions?  Email us at