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Library and Computing response to Covid-19

Frequently asked questions about library and computing services and resources currently available to students and staff during Covid-19

Library and Computing Services continue to work hard to maintain access to resources and support for all students while following national and local guidelines to protect the health of our staff, students, and the wider community.  We've pulled together the following frequently asked questions about library and computing services and resources available to students and staff during Covid-19.

Please refer to our Learning Resources Centre page for more information on services available.

Are the LRCS open?

Can I study in the LRC?

Do I need to get a Covid test before I visit the LRCs?

Do I need to wear a face covering in the LRCs?

What support is available if I am self-isolating and unable to come onto campus?

What measures are in place in the LRCs to keep safe whilst studying?

What help and support is available in the LRCs?

Can I eat and drink in the LRCs?

What study spaces are available?

Can we study in a group?

What about the books I have on loan?  Book borrowing and returning.

What if there are paper copies of books on my reading list?

I have completed my studies at University – what shall I do with my books?

How do I access the Online library resources?

How do I access print material that is not available for loan through or available as an ebook?

Can special access to the LRCs be made to retrieve print books not available as ebooks?

Can I still request inter-library loans?

What library support is available for using resources and online learning?

Are services in the Study Success Hubs available online? 

Can I borrow a computer from the University?

How can I access specialist software if I'm not on campus?

Can I still print my work on campus?

How can I carry out group work remotely or connect virtually with other students?

Can I still contact the Helpdesk?

How can I keep up to date? - Social Media 

Are the LRCs open? 

  • The de Havilland and College Lane LRCs are open 24/7 for Herts students and staff only.  Unfortunately, we remain closed to external visitors at this time. 
  • SCONUL access members (bands A, B, and C) with a current UH Membership card are welcome to visit from 15 November 2021. 
  • Please continue to check LRC opening hours for any updates to opening hours.
  • The numbers permitted in each LRCs will be strictly controlled.
  • Please see our Learning Resources Centre page for a summary of the services and resources available.
  • If the LRCs are full you can use one of the temporary alternative study spaces available on both campuses.

Find out more https://ask.herts.ac.uk/learning-resources-centres#COVID19_update

Can I study in the LRC?

Yes.  The LRCs are open to current UH students and staff. 

Do I need to get a Covid test before I visit the LRCs?

Yes, please.  To keep others safe, plan ahead and book your free coronavirus test before visiting the LRCs.  You can also collect lateral flow test kits to take home.  See the University website for information on how to book a test: https://www.herts.ac.uk/coronavirus/covid-19-testing-at-herts 

You must not visit if you test positive or if you have any symptoms.  

Do I need to wear a face-covering in the LRCs?

Yes.

Following the updates about the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, the University has taken the decision to make face coverings mandatory inside all University buildings from Wednesday 1 December, unless you are medically exempt or sitting down in a hospitality venue such as a food outlet or restaurant. This is to keep you and our community safe.

What support is available if I am self-isolating and unable to come onto campus?

If you are self-isolating we are here to support you and help you stay connected to your studies while you are unable to come onto campus:

  • Book and laptop loans – if you are self-isolating and unable to return your item on the due date please contact the Helpdesk on 01707 284678 or helpdesk@herts.ac.uk so that your loan can be extended.
  • Extensive digital book and journal collection available via the Online library and you can request a scanned copy of a print book chapter or journal article if an electronic version is unavailable: ask.herts.ac.uk/request-a-scan
  • Access a lab or LRC PC anytime, anywhere – use our remote desktop service to access specialist licenced software on University computers that you need for your studies. herts.ac.uk/software-availability-at-uh#remote_desktop_access 
  • Online study skills support – our Library SkillUp (Canvas module) has lots of useful help on topics such as searching, reading, referencing and evaluating. Chat, 1:1 Ask a librarian appointments and online study skills sessions available herts.ac.uk/libraryskillup
  • Additional online resources  - find self-guided resources to develop your digital skills in the Digital Skills unit of the Library SkillUP module  and for subject specific resources; images, video and audio resources; and general reference materials see ask.herts.ac.uk/how-to-find-online-information-resources-for-your-subject  
  • Get help and support - our Helpdesk is open 24/7 for library and computing help and support and you can also find information and answers to common questions on ask.herts.ac.uk.

Find out more about the University’s self-isolation advice and support for students www.herts.ac.uk/coronavirus/self-isolation-advice-and-support-for-students

What measures are in place in the LRCs to keep safe whilst studying?

The safety of our library users and staff is paramount and we have prepared your learning spaces, services, and facilities to ensure they are a safe environment for you to study.

  • We are controlling numbers within the building and are closed to external visitors and for events. 
  • We have regular enhanced cleaning of spaces and hand sanitising gel will be available for you to use as well as sanitising wipes for you to clean your workstation and self-service printers before and after use. 

The University expects all its students and staff to act responsibly by following the safety measures that are always in place. Individuals who do not follow the measures pose a risk to other members of our community and may be referred to the Dean of Students for additional support.

What help and support is available in the LRCs?

  • LRC Information Points are available on all floors of the LRCs to look up books or find answers to common questions on AskHerts
  • Welcome Desk on the ground floor of the LRCs open Monday to Friday 11:00 – 16:00 for face to face enquiries.  Please note that the Welcome Desks remain temporarily closed in January 2022 following the Christmas break as we prepare our learning spaces, services, and facilities ahead of Semester B to ensure they are a safe environment for you to study.
  • Study Success Hubs for face to face study skills support 
  • Helpdesk support available 24/7, with face-to-face appointments available.  Service updates available on status.herts.ac.uk
  • Security staff are available in each LRC to deal with emergencies and first aid.

Can I eat and drink in the LRCs?

Yes, you may, but please be considerate of other users and cleaning staff.  
Find out more on our LRCs page

What study spaces are available?

See what spaces and facilities are currently available in the LRCs.

What about the books I have out on loan? - Book borrowing and returning 

What if there are paper copies of books on my reading list?

You can now browse the bookshelves and use our self-issue machines.
You can also use our reservation service for books out on loan or on the shelf (not applicable for reference only items)
We work with your module leaders to ensure essential books, journal articles, and databases are also available online.  

  • If you still require material that you cannot get hold of please contact your tutor or the Helpdesk.
  • We also have a Request a Scan service.   If an electronic version of a library book is unavailable, you can request a scanned copy of a print book chapter, if we hold a physical copy in the LRC (Learning Resources Centres). Copyright restrictions will apply.  

Don't forget to access your module reading list via your Canvas module for all your essential, recommended, and background reading for your course. 

I have completed my studies at University – what shall I do with my books?

How do I access the Online library resources?

How do I access print material that is not available for loan or available as an ebook?

Use our Request a Scan Service:

  • If an electronic version of a library book or journal is unavailable, you can request a scanned copy of a chapter or article, if we hold a physical copy in the LRC (Learning Resources Centres). Copyright restrictions will apply.
  • Find out more: https://ask.herts.ac.uk/request-a-scan

Can I still request inter-library loans?

Print loans are currently unavailable but article and chapter requests are available. 

  • See our Inter-library loans page for more information.
  • If you have an existing loan that is due back before your scheduled return to campus please contact ill@herts.ac.uk.

What library support is available for using resources and online learning?

  • Library SkillUP is available online to support students with skills in searching for information, reading, referencing, and evaluating sources. 
  • Using Library SkillUP you can chat online with one of our Information Managers and our Academic Engagement team (Monday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm), book a 1:1 appointment or join one of our online study skills support sessions. 
  • Additional online help and videos are available on StudyNet Online Library pages 

Are services in the Study Success Hubs available online?

  • Our Study Success Hubs, including Academic English and Maths support, will be providing a range of online and face-to-face support during 2021/22.  
  • Study Sucess Hubs will be open for face-to-face support by Libary Staff from 27 September 2021.
  • Please click on each service under the 'Find Out More'  section to access details of their online services. 

Can I borrow a computer from the University?

How can I access specialist software if I'm not on campus?

  • The remote desktop service enables you to remotely use a University Windows 10 lab or LRC PC (and the software that's on it)  whether you are living off-campus or in campus accommodation. 

Can I still print my work on campus?

  • Self-service printing and copying is available using one of the print, copy, scan devices found around campus or in the LRCs
  • Document services also provide a wide range of general and specialist printing, copying, and binding services.
  • Find out more: https://ask.herts.ac.uk/printing-on-campus

How can I carry out group work remotely or connect virtually with other students?

Can I still contact the Helpdesk?

  • Yes, our Helpdesk service is still available 24/7.  Please contact us for any Library or Computing related enquiries.  
  • If you are new to the LRCs and need help getting started visit our library induction module on the Library SkillUP where you can also chat online with your Information Manager
  • AskHerts – search here for the answer to a wide range of frequently asked questions
    https://ask.herts.ac.uk/

How can I keep up to date? - Social Media