Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Vacation information


A special Christmas package of information to help you get through the festive season!

Michaelmas Term 2013 ends on Friday 6th December. All books on loan from the Balfour Library must be returned by this date, or can be renewed for further periods unless they have been requested by another reader. Saturday morning opening has now finished until next term.

Please see the library website at: for more information on how to borrow, return and renew books on loan from the Balfour Library.

Vacation borrowing for undergraduates:

Borrowing is permitted for the whole of the Christmas vacation.

You can borrow up to two books for the vacation period from 9:00am on Thursday 5th December. This is on a strictly first-come, first served basis. You may not reserve books before borrowing them. The book(s) must be returned by midnight on the first day of the Lent Term (14th January 2014). Vacation borrowing applies to Overnight Loan books and Open Shelf books.

Please remember that you will need to have registered your University Card with a member of library staff before you will be able to borrow books.

You may be interested to know that the University Library and the Central Science Library (on the New Museum site) also offer vacation borrowing for undergraduates, please see their websites at and respectively.

Did you know that you can use university libraries near where you live, during the vacation?

Cambridge University Library participates in the SCONUL Vacation Access scheme (Society of College, National and University Libraries).

Undergraduate students and postgraduate students following taught courses at the University of Cambridge will normally be granted reference use of other higher education libraries free of charge during the vacations of the host institution. If you request admittance to another library you should be prepared to present proof of your current membership of Cambridge University (normally your University card).

The scheme does not provide for borrowing, nor for access to electronic sources of information.

You are strongly advised to check the web page of the library you wish to access, or telephone in advance of your visit, in order to be sure about vacation dates, opening hours, and any other documentation that may be required.

See the UL’s website for more information, here:

Don’t fancy taking home all those heavy books or loads of paper to read over the vacation? Use e-books and e-journals from home instead:

The simplest way to find and access e-journals and e-books is through the online library catalogue LibrarySearch at

If you perform a catalogue search for a book or journal and there is an electronic version of it available, the title will have [electronic resource] following it. This record will contain a direct link to that e-book or e-journal.

HINT: To refine your search results to showing only e-journals or e-books click on the appropriate link under the ‘Refine’ section on the right-hand side of the page.

There is also an up-to-date list of all e-books available that you can browse by subject here
You can see all the zoology and neuroscience e-books that are available in the University on the Balfour Library’s new Pinterest online pinboard here:

There are even more collections of free e-books available to you that won’t be found through LibrarySearch however. Please see the ebooks@cambridge website for further information on all the e-books available in the university, how to use them, and how to download them onto your e-reader or other mobile device, at:

It is strongly recommended that you check the catalogue to see whether you will actually be able to access particular e-journals or e-books remotely BEFORE you leave Cambridge. Check the exact full text coverage on the catalogue record for e-journals.

Finding journal articles while you’re away from Cambridge:

See the eresources@cambridge website at: for access to particular citation databases, such as Scopus and Web of Knowledge. See the 'Access Route' link next to the journal or database title to check this. Some online resources are not accessible outside of the University network so you may wish to download or print off articles from these before you leave Cambridge.

You can also try LibrarySearch+ at, a new type of catalogue that can be used to search at article title level. This will link you directly to the full text of the article, if it is subscribed to by the University.

IMPORTANT: Away from Cambridge, you will not be able to get the full text of ejournal articles through searching PubMed or Google / GoogleScholar, or directly from the journal's homepage for example, as you will not be recognised as being a valid member of the University of Cambridge and will not be allowed to download them. The recommended route as above should guarantee you the access to the content you are entitled to.

To access e-resources away from Cambridge you will need your Raven password:

You will be prompted for this once you click on a link to access the e-book or e-journal. You only need to enter the Raven login once per session so you won't have to keep logging in and out each time you need a different e-book or e-journal.

Troubleshooting online access:

Finally, if you are having trouble accessing e- resources remotely using your Raven password please see the guidance provided on the Central Science Library's 'Raven FAQs' website at:

Christmas and New Year closing dates:

The Balfour Library will close for Christmas at 5:00pm on Tuesday 24th December and will re-open at 8:30am on Thursday 2nd January. The library will be open as usual throughout the Easter Vacation however, see our opening hours at

                        We wish you a very Happy Christmas!

Jane and Jill