(Virtual) gifts for the 12 days of Christmas and beyond…
Well, we’ve made it! There’s just a week to Christmas and we’re full of festive cheer here in the Library, with seasonal jumpers, virtual Christmas lunches and general jollity galore. And being the generous bunch that we are, what better way to spread some of that holiday spirit than by giving you a selection of gifts to enjoy not only during the festive season, but all the way through 2021 too. After all, as Charles M. Schulz once said, “Christmas is doing something a little extra for someone”. So whether you need some extra tools to help you with your studies or are wanting to just take some time out to relax this winter break, look no further than our carefully curated collection of virtual Library gifts!
Gift One: BoB
Kicking everything off is our old friend Box of Broadcasts (or BoB for short). This is a fabulous resource which allows you to stream and record TV and radio programmes dating back to the 1990s from over 75 free-to-air channels including BBC One, ITV and Film 4, to name just three. With an archive of over two million broadcasts, there’s definitely plenty of content to keep you busy, no matter what kind of shows you’re into.
Gift Two: LinkedIn Learning
Next up is LinkedIn Learning. If you’re looking to develop an existing skill or even learn a completely new one, then this is the one for you! Ranging from 3D printing to filmmaking and presentation skills to critical thinking, there’s a wealth of online tutorials to help you get ahead academically or professionally or just to give you inspiration for that brand new hobby. You might as well make the most of the extra time at home after all!
Gift Three: Referencing guide
Coming in at number three is our referencing guide. Now this might not be the most exciting gift you’ll receive this Christmas (although some of my colleagues on the referencing team may beg to differ!), but it’s a strong contender for the most useful. Whether you’re struggling to reference a specific source, need some general help with citations or your reference list or even want to refresh your knowledge with an online tutorial or video, the guide’s the place to go :)
Gift Four: Digital Theatre Plus
Our fourth gift is Digital Theatre Plus. Missing the buzz of live theatre? We’re giving you the next best thing with a whole range of recorded performances from the West End, Broadway and beyond. With everything from musicals and plays to dance performances, it’s the perfect way to while away a winter’s afternoon, with the added bonus of no toilet queues, overpriced food and drink or ridiculously tall people who’ve just so happened to book the seat in front of you!
Gift Five: MMU Library YouTube playlists
For our fifth gift we present to you…our YouTube playlists. Didn’t even know we had a YouTube channel? Well now you do! Whether you want to learn more about fake news, discover how to find books and journal articles or need a quick tutorial on using one of our databases, you’ll find a playlist to help. If you find them useful, then why not show us some love by subscribing to our channel?
Gift Six: Subject guides
Our subject guides are the next gift out of our proverbial Santa’s sack. Ever wished you could find all your subject resources in one place? Well look no further! Each one has been lovingly curated by our subject librarians and contains handpicked links to the best databases for your studies as well as to specially selected help guides that will help you get ahead in your course. And the best thing of all? They can be accessed 24/7, no matter where you’re spending the winter break.
Gift Seven: BorrowBox
Gift seven is the fabulous BorrowBox. Fancy getting lost in a book over the holidays? Then this might just be your new best friend! Just click on the link and get access to a whole world of Manchester Public Libraries eBooks. You can borrow, browse, read or listen anywhere and everywhere you go and running out of reading material will definitely be a thing of the past!
Gift Eight: Finding Sources of Information guide
Struggling to locate the information you need for your block two assignments? Then you’ll definitely want to check out our eighth gift; it’s our Finding sources of information guide. No matter whether you need help in planning your search, want to find a specific book or journal article or are interested in locating information on a particular topic, this guide will show you how.
Gift Nine: Convert It!
Gift number nine is our amazing Convert It! service, and it’s a real hidden gem. If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s a really easy way to convert documents into a wide range of alternative formats. You might want to change your lecture slides into a Word document, for example, or convert something into an MP3 file that you can listen to on the move, and Convert It! makes it all possible. It can be used to cater to your preferred learning style, support you with any additional needs or even help you with your foreign language pronunciation, so it’s certainly a gift that keeps on giving!
Gift Ten: Kanopy
Christmas TV not floating your boat this year? Then just take a look at Kanopy! It’s one of the newer additions to our database collection and is a wonderful resource if you’re into films and documentaries. Containing over 30,000 documentaries, critically acclaimed classic and indie films and award-winning foreign films, it’ll hopefully make those “there’s nothing to watch” moments a thing of the past.
Gift Eleven: InfoSkills workshops and screencasts
Our penultimate gift to you is our InfoSkills workshops programme. We run a whole range of free online workshops throughout the year, all of which are specially designed to help you with your studies and beyond. With workshops on everything from EndNote Online and MMU Harvard Referencing to evaluating information and managing your digital identity for your professional life, there really is something for everyone. Can’t make a live workshop? Don’t forget our on-demand InfoSkills screencasts! There’s one for every workshop we offer, and they’re all available whenever and wherever you need them.
Gift Twelve: EndNote guide
And last, but by no means least, is our brilliant EndNote guide. Ever wished that you could take the pain out of writing and organising your references? Then EndNote is the tool for you! It works with Word to create both your in-text citations and your reference list, and is the only reference management software to support MMU Harvard. Want to find out more? The guide contains all the info you need to get started including step-by-step registration instructions, a whole host of useful videos and handouts including a recorded EndNote webinar and the all important EndNote FAQs.
Now, I know I said there were only 12 gifts, but I would like to leave you with one more. It’s just a reminder that even though the Library staff will be taking a break from 7 pm tonight until 11 am on 2nd January, there’s still lots of online support available to you 24/7, and the Library building itself will remain open, except for the bank holidays. We’re also far from the only place that you can get University support from over the winter break, as all of the following services will also be available to you:
· Out-of-hours IT Helpline will be available 24/7 on 0161 247 4646 or via LiveChat at manmetchat.mmu.ac.uk
· Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing –available Monday — Friday, 11am — 4pm, except bank holidays
· Togetherall platform — 24/7 virtual mental health and wellbeing support
And now that’s been said, all that remains is for me to wish you all a lovely, restful and very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year on behalf of us all here at the Library. We hope you have a fabulous time whatever you get up to and are looking forward to seeing you all in 2021!