Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 30 August 2013

What We would Tell New Students

We're revising our Whittaker Library guides.  Whatever our staff and students play or sing, there's a guide to our library holdings.  And now we're working on the general guides - all the stuff about what we lend, how long we lend it for, how you can renew things, what happens with orchestral or choral materials ... and so on.  Sure, there's a lot on our website, but folk like to pick up a leaflet when they're in the library, too.

But then I started thinking.  What else would I tell new students?

Keep an accurate list of everything you read.  Keep it electronically, whether with software (Mendeley, Zotero, or Endnote) or just a well-formatted Word list.

Even if you haven't taken notes on a book or journal article, you could make a quick note of what it was about. Even a sentence will do - it might help you later when you're trying to remember what you read, or where you read something!

Always have a notebook handy, or use Evernote on your electronic devices - or some other cloud-based document.

If you're a research student, sign up to Zetoc ( or JournalTocs ( - "Toc" stands for Table of Contents.  These services scan journal contents pages, then you get sent email alerts when new articles are published in your field.  Cool, eh?
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