Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 19 April 2018

My Essay is Due on Monday! Some Calming Words ...

So you've got an essay deadline fast approaching? Are you cool, calm and collected? Or does your head feel as though it's about to explode?!

These suggestions might help you:-

  1.  If you can't make it in to the library, then electronic resources are your friend.  Your best friend.
  2. If you are having difficulty with e-resources or referencing, you could maybe try watching these short videoclips:-
  3. To use CataloguePlus, remember to click the Search Catalogue Plus button first.
  4. To use e-resources offsite, remember you need to identify RCS from a list of institutions before you enter your own login.
  5. For more assistance please email and your enquiry will be forwarded to the most appropriate team-member.
  6. Have you got a good introduction and conclusion? Have you answered the question? Do your paragraphs follow on logically?
  7. A quick 15 minute break away from your computer or a walk round the block won't find you more information, but it will enable you to take a deep breath and think more calmly.
  8. If you're really stuck, take a notebook and write a diary entry to yourself: "I'm stuck because ...", "I still need to address the question of ....", "I need to make sure I link x to y ...."  Writing down what the problem is, will help you clarify it.

Impact! Suggestions for the Researcher

Anyone involved in research, particularly if they're applying for funding, will be concerned about research impact.

A good place to start is, run by Professor Mark Reed of the University of Newcastle. Plenty of great ideas, suggestions, even free training.

One of the big academic publishers, Emerald, has recently produced a Real World Impact manifesto, which is also worth reading, with case studies demonstrating good practice.

Do share any other helpful links!

Are you a Harpist with Historical Leanings?

We've been advised of an interesting conference run by the Historical Harp Society of Ireland on 15-21 August in Kilkenny.

More information:

SCOIL na gCLÁIRSEACH -Festival of Early Irish Harp 2018

The Society is now taking bookings for the 2018 Scoil na gClairseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp, 15–21 August 2018 at Coláiste Pobail Osraí in the medieval city of Kilkenny, Ireland.

Book before 15 May 2018 for an Early Bird discount of €25 on the week rate and / or sign up with a friend who is new to the festival and you will each get a Bring a Friend discount of €25 on the week rate.

Players: Join for the complete festival programme, from 8.45 a.m. to 6.45 p.m. each day.
Listeners: Join for part – or all – of any day to listen in on Players' sessions, workshops, lectures, masterclasses and concerts.
Field trippers: Join for a day in Dublin, inspecting historic harps close-up, guided by world experts, on Tues. 21 August.

** * **

What's it all about? Informational video HERE
Read about the 2017 festival HERE and see the 2017 timetable HERE
Booking information HERE

Email: Call: +353 (0)86 8623430

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Read Yourself Better

Have you come across bibliotherapy?  Maybe better known as self-help?  

A couple of years ago, we bought a few books that came under the category of bibliotherapy, self-help or student support, and indexed them so they'd be easy to find.  We knew at the time that these weren't the first self-help books we'd bought, but we didn't try to identify all the others that we'd already got in stock. 

Today, we can offer students and staff quite a range of materials to help with the kind of personal challenges that crop up surprisingly often, whether it's anxiety, depression, dependency or other types of problem.

No replacement for a professional consultation, obviously, but sometimes a good book is a worthwhile thing in itself.  Do take a look.  There are probably more in the library, but this is more than a good start!  

Bibliotherapy in the Whittaker Library

Students at RCS are urged to contact our Student Counsellor, Jane Balmforth, or seek other professional help, for any concern that's making things difficult.

Girls at the Piano, by Virginia Lloyd

We've just heard of a brand new publication by Australian Virginia Lloyd, taking a historical AND contemporary look at girls and their relationship with the piano.  Are we going to buy it?  Of course we are!
Read the publishers' blurb here.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Watch Out for Musica Scotica! Upcoming Events ...

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling - we've got Scotland (almost) covered.

Wednesday 4 April, 7.30pm, Concert at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow:  performance of works by Robert Johnson (as a prelude to the launch of the volume)  - read an interview with editor Elaine Moohan, in The Herald, here.  NB there is a pre-concert talk at 6.30 pm, well-worth attending!

6–8 April, IAML UK Annual Study Weekend, Edinburgh, at which we will have a bookstall. Conference programme here.

20-21 April, Musica Scotica's Conference, at the Tolbooth, Stirling. Conference details and booking form, click here.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

When To Visit The Whittaker Library

We're open 9-5 Monday 26 -Fri 30 March.

We're closed (sorry!) the long weekend Sat 31 March - Mon 2 April inclusive.

We reopen Tuesday 3 April, and we'll be open 9-5 for the weeks Tuesday 3 - Friday 6 April, and Monday 9 - Friday 13 April.

No weekend opening until Saturday 21st April.

Scottish Composer Julian Wagstaff

In the post today, we received leaflets about Julian Wagstaff's online catalogue, and also leaflets about the CD of his chamber opera, Breathe Freely.  We'll display the leaflets, but it seems sensible to flag up Julian's website online as well.

Quoting from Julian's website, 

"Composer Julian Wagstaff was born in Edinburgh in 1970.
"He worked as a translator and interpreter in the German language, as well as a television researcher and computer programmer, before turning to music as a profession in the late 1990s. His interest in language, political history and the sciences continues to be reflected in much of his music and in his theatre writing..."

So, here are some links for you to explore:- - opera video-clip excerpt

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Dictionary Definitions (Bagpipes, Scottish Tunes ...)

An early nineteenth century Englishman was compiling a music dictionary.  Here are some choice examples of his definitions!  Bagpipes, Scottish Tunes, Trolling ... it's all there!  (Trolling is not quite what you would expect ...)

Who was he?  Thomas Busby, and the book was A Musical Manual, or Technical Directory (1828)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Complicated Triple-Stopping

Complicated triple-stopping?  Once you've learned it, please rub it out before returning your music to the library!  (Such a small thing to ask!)

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Two Videoclips - Learn About RCS E-Resources and Referencing

No-one would deny that libraries pay a key role in supporting learning.  So last year, Karen did a PG Cert project to find out whether students felt they needed more support in getting the most out of our library and information provision.

Particularly for distance learners, more dependent on electronic resources than most full-time students, it seemed that accessing e-journals and e-books was sometimes a frustrating exercise, so that was one topic crying out for extra instruction.  

So, too, was the whole business of referencing, or citation.  (They're the same thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!)  The RCS Effective Learning team is happy to help.  But so, too are your ever-present Performing Arts Librarians!

Karen produced two trial videoclips, and tested them on the whole cohort of students taking our distance-learning PG Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, or Masters in Education.

We wanted to share them with you, but circumstances meant we couldn't.  For a start, we introduced a new library system with "Catalogue Plus" offering vastly improved access to electronic resources.  Suddenly Karen's first videoclip had become obsolete!  Secondly, one of the referencing software packages that Karen had been recommending, made major changes to user subscriptions.  She can no longer recommend it.

To cut a long story short - she has made new videoclips to replace the project trial ones.  They only take a few minutes to watch, and if you need more information, please do visit the library portal pages, or get in touch with the library staff.  Don't suffer in silence - just ask!

    Monday, 12 March 2018

    DIY Bagpipes

    A piece of nonsense for Monday morning.  Want your own set of bagpipes? Can't afford them?  Here is the answer.  Dig out your old school descant recorders ... 

    How to Make Bagpipes out of a Garbage Bag and Recorders

    Next, we'd like to learn how to make a piano accordion ... 

    Thursday, 8 March 2018

    Digital Theatre Plus Celebrates International Women's Day 2018

    We are shamelessly sharing a mailshot sent to us by one of our biggest subscriptions, Digital Theatre Plus.  It comes from their Community Manager, Alesha Tatum Howe:-

    Digital Theatre+  wants to take this moment on International Women's Day to celebrate the contributions made by women on stage, backstage and behind the scenes.

    At Digital Theatre+, their curation of the 900+ resources on the platform includes a commitment to diversity. This means you and your students have access to productions, interviews and study materials from famed practitioners and academics, including from the industry's leading women.

    What to watch on International Women's Day
    A fascinating exchange between Harriet Walter and Professor Carol Rutter – an in-depth discussion of ‘Shakespeare’s Women Today’ and female roles, Shakespeare’s language and musicality, gender-blind casting, sexuality in performance, and a whole lot more.
    Our insightful interview with Complicite Co-Founder Annabel Arden and Artistic Director Catherine Alexander.
    DT+'s treasure trove of interviews with some of the most skilled and creatively courageous women in theatre. Just some we recommend watching today include: Juliet StevensonImelda StauntonJulie WaltersZoe WaitesMeera SyalVicky FeatherstoneAlecky BlytheKatrina Lindsay and Imtiaz Dharker.
    There are some many inspirational women featured on DT+, but we hope you enjoy these recommendations with your students and colleagues on this significant day. Let us know what you and your students enjoy watching on Twitter!

    Happy International Women's Day.

    Monday, 5 March 2018

    Historical Harp Society of Ireland - Festival of Early Irish Harp

    Festival of Early Irish Harp 15-21 August 2018

    We received a circular about a summer festival that our harp players might enjoy:-

    The Historical Harp Society of Ireland says that they are, "delighted to announce this year’s Scoil na gClairseach—Festival of Early Irish Harp: the world’s premier festival dedicated to the early harp of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands. It takes place 15–21 August 2018 at Coláiste Pobail Osraí in Kilkenny, Ireland. We have a juicy line-up of concerts, workshops, lectures and masterclasses, which will shortly be available to see at"

    Tuesday, 27 February 2018

    UK Music Librarianship Conference 6-8 April (IAML UK and Ireland)

    Had you considered music librarianship as a career?  Or do you work with music in libraries already?

    Just a wee reminder that the registration deadline for full and day attendance of the music library conference in Edinburgh 6-8 April is tomorrow, 28 February 2018. 

    A special offer for non-residential single-session is now being made avaible at £30 per single session. This may be of interest to colleagues in other related sectors like general librarianship and musicology. The draft programme is available on the IAML (Uk & Irl) website,
    The deadline for single session attendance is 29 March 2018.