Thursday, May 31, 2012

A summer of social media (for beginners!)

Have you ever been curious about social media and online tools?  Many of us are vaguely familiar with terms such as blogs, mind maps and cloud storage; however, we don’t have time to learn about these tools and how they might be useful to us. 

This summer, the library will run a blog series for ITB staff who are social-media-beginners.  We will blog about 10 topics over 12 weeks, in a similar way to the successful 23 Things programme (a peer training site for librarians). 
                   5 June    ...... What is blogging?                             
                   11 June  ...... Using social media to build current awareness    
                   18 June  ...... Using online tools to organise yourself
                   25 June  ...... Networking online                        
                   2 July    ....... Catch-up week
                   9 July    ...... Using online tools to share and collaborate
                   16 July  ...... Creating mind maps
                   23 July  ..... Using online tools to present information 1
                   30 July  ...... Using online tools to present information 2
                   6 August  ...... Catch-up week
                   13 August  ...... Finding and using images
                   20 August  ...... TeachMeet: peer sharing and training

The bravest of you may even choose to blog along with us, and share your experiences during our summer of social media!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy Summer!

Hope everyone has a fantastic summer

... whatever you get up to ...

And best of luck to everyone who is finishing at ITB today!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We're open all summer!

Don't forget the library is open throughout the summer.
Whether you're studying, looking for a good book or wanting to check your email!
Keep an eye on the blog or Facebook for opening hours...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Lost anything this term?

The Student Information Desk holds onto lost property throughout the term; it will be disposed of at the end of this month.  If you have lost anything, now is the time to claim it...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Remember to return your library books!

As you complete exams, don't forget to return any library books you have borrowed.  As some of you will remember, exam results can be withheld when students have outstanding library books or fines on their accounts.

You can return your books at the library desk or via the self-issue machine.  We will be opened until 8pm on Monday and Tuesday (21st-22nd), until 6pm on Wednesday (23rd), and until 5pm on Thursday and Friday (24th-25th).  The library will also open throughout the summer holidays.

If you wish to return your books when the library is closed, just leave them in the Returns Box outside the main library door.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feeling overwhelmed... ?

Exam Weeks can be overwhelming at times.  While nervousness is to be expected, sometimes our anxiety can undermine us.  This is when we need to pause and reflect.
  • Are we keeping things in perspective?  Will the world actually end if things don't go well?
  • Do we have realistic goals?  Are we expecting too much from ourselves?
  • Do we give ourselves credit for all we know? 
  • Are we taking care of ourselves?  Are we eating well, keeping hydrated and getting enough sleep?
Remember, one of the best ways to confront our fears is to talk about them.  If you feel overwhelmed, confide in someone.  A chat with a friend or a family member or a lecturer can help to put things into perspective!  Or learn about ITB's Student Counselling Service here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taking exams in your stride

For most students, exams are a part of life.  After a semester of learning about a new topic, students face a structured test of what they have learned.  This, to say the least, can be daunting!

Looking at it from a different perspective, exams can be seen as an opportunity.  After a semester of attending lectures, reading and forming opinions, exams can be seen as a chance to show all that you have learned.

Students don't usually know the form that the questions on their exam paper will take.  So, read the question carefully.  Consider the relevant information that you have heard or read or learned.  Jot it down on a rough sheet of paper.  Use these ideas to structure an answer to the question that was asked.

Remember - exams are a snapshot of applied knowledge on a particular day.  They simply measure how well you can take the information you have learned and apply it to a particular question.  Concentrate on what you do know rather than worrying about what you don't! 

Best of luck to everyone who is sitting an exam today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ditching the computer...

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 starting working 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 leeks and write in blue or black ink.
  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, May 14, 2012

Be brave!

Are you starting your exams today? If so, today is a day for positive thoughts!  Most of us find exams challenging.  But, as they are part of student life, we must learn to cope with them.  Three important things to remember as you start:

  • Be relaxed: it is normal to have the jitters before an exam; in order to feel calmer, breathe in slowly and deeply.
  • Be confident: negative thoughts can creep in when we are nervous; concentrate on what you do know rather than worrying about anything else.
  • Be organised: read the paper carefully; jot your ideas down on rough paper and structure your answer before you start writing.


Good luck from everyone in the Library and SID!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summer exam tips

Your examinations are nearly here...But don't panic!!!
 Here are a  few tips to help you through them...

Know when and where the exam is 
This may seem obvious, but it often happens that students miss exams because of not knowing where and when it is on. So…it is up to you to read your exam time-table carefully. Take note of the date and time of the exam and where it is on.

Bring pens, pencil, eraser, ruler and anything else you need 
This too, might seem very obvious. But it is surprising the amount of students who think that stationary will be provided in the exam hall. It won’t be, so come prepared. Also, remember to bring your student card for entry to the exam hall. Be sure to read the exam regulations regarding what you can bring in to the hall.

Know how long the exam is and how many questions you have to answer
It is important to know what is expected of you in the exam. Plan and use your time wisely. Work out how long you have to dedicate to each question. There is little point in spending an hour answering one question worth 20% and only twenty minutes working on a question worth 60%.

Know the exam regulations 
Pay attention to the rules of the exam hall before entering. Listen to what the invigilator says at the beginning of the exam. Know, for example, the penalty for bringing a mobile phone into the exam hall and whether or not you can leave the hall on finishing writing.

Read the exam paper  
Read the exam paper. Then, re-read it. Choose the questions that you are best prepared for.
It sounds silly, but there are hundreds of cases every year of students not getting the marks they deserve because they failed to answer the question they were asked. This is usually down to them not adequately reading and understanding the question before starting to write. It is advisable to underline the key words in the question.

Before starting, ask yourself ‘what is it that I am being asked for ? It is also helpful to have a separate sheet for rough work and to scribble your key ideas down.

If you are faced with a mental block don't panic! Breath deeply, relax and re-consider the question slowly and carefully. Think about the main topics you covered in class, and consider what appeared on past exam papers - you will not be asked about something that you haven't been prepared for in your lectures.

Do the best you can!