The magical care of books at the Education Faculty Library

The Faculty of Education Library Team perform magic in many ways, including taking care of more than 55,000 items on behalf of our readers.  If you have ever wondered how we keep our library books in such good condition read on…

To Prevent our books from damage whether it be from wear and tear or severe weather conditions, we cover all paperback books and put dust jackets on hardbacks.


Constant Vigilance is needed to keep our books in as good a condition as possible for the future. All books are checked for markings and damage when they are returned before making their way back to the shelves.


In some sad cases an Emergency Response is needed so we work a little magic to restore any damaged or defaced books back to health.

Where books are feeling a little ‘bent out of shape’ or ‘caught in the rain’ with water damage, there is always a clamp on hand to help.


We always hope that our readers will not deface our books by writing in them as we have to remove these marks by hand which is very time consuming and can in turn cause damage (sadly there is not much we can do to remove pen or highlighter!). We do get in contact with our readers when defacing happens to encourage everyone to love our books and to look after them as carefully as we do.


Remember that help for books will always be found at the Education Library for those resources that need it!


When is an ebook not an ebook?

The new iDiscover catalogue lists two different types of ebooks – those that are e-legal deposit titles which can only be accessed from computers within certain Cambridge Libraries and those titles that can be accessed from anywhere.  To distinguish between the two, follow our guide below.

The wording in grey in the image below indicates that the book can only be accessed from specific computers in certain libraries in Cambridge:


The Education Faculty Library has one of these computers on Lily Pad 2, and from here you are able to either read the material online or print up to a chapter/10%.


We realise that using e-legal deposit titles in the Education Library is not going to be possible or convenient for many of our students, especially those studying at a distance from Cambridge.

However, if you let us know what it is you would like to read, we can probably help as we often have access to the material another way, either in print or as a ‘proper’ ebook that can be accessed away from Cambridge.  If we don’t, we are happy to consider purchasing it.

Ebooks that can be accessed from anywhere look like this on the catalogue and you’ll just need your Raven password to access them via the green wording below:


Remember that all Education ebooks can be accessed via the database on the Faculty Library Moodle site and all of these are ‘proper’ ebooks which you can consult anywhere.

Will you be my borrower?

Chocolates, roses, and secret admirers are traditionally associated with Valentine’s Day but what about books? Hopefully you will have seen our friendly books dancing their way across the Library window this week – if you missed them, check our Facebook page for pictures. The Faculty Library Team love matchmaking students with their perfect book, in print or digital – with over 55,000 items in the collection our expert knowledge can save you time & effort. Here are some more suggestions for your book blind date – see below for a variety of titles to spark your interest or use in the classroom:

teachinglearningloving Teaching, learning, and loving: reclaiming passion in educational practice edited by Liston, D. & Garrison, J.

This essay collection is filled with interesting ideas from scholars on the connections between reason and emotion in teaching and learning and is relevant to teachers of all age groups as well as researchers, educators, and policy makers. You love what you do, we know that, but this book will help you figure out why.

Find this book at 371 LIS   elephant

The elephant in the classroom: helping children learn and love maths by Jo Boaler

This offers suggestions on how to teach maths well, plus how to help children in the home, with a new approach that teaches children to reason and problem-solve. If you’re looking for new ways to engage learners in your primary or secondary maths classroom, this could be the book for you!

Find this book at 510/7 BOA

Educational resources are specifically for use within schools and as teaching aids. These texts are distinguished by a yellow classmark label on the spine as well as being displayed on the catalogue like this: edres forest

Forest of feelings: understanding and exploring emotions by Carol Holliday and Jo Browning Wroe

This is a resource to help explore and understand emotions with children. The book follows Ben’s journey through the Forest of Feelings, where he encounters the emotions of anger, sadness, fear, jealousy and happiness. This resource includes an introduction to understanding and exploring children’s emotions, and advice on how to best encourage each child’s emotional development and promote emotional well-being in children. It includes teacher’s notes, activities and circle time ideas centred on the emotions found within each chapter.

Find this book at 920/72 WRO (yellow label) feelings

The feelings artbook by Ruby Radburn

This resource provides activities and worksheets to promote emotional literacy through the medium of drawing, helping anyone who spends time with children. The book is organised into three sections: self-esteem, emotions and empathy. These activities work to encourage a positive sense of self in children, to help them identify and define a wide range of feelings and to consider the feelings and preferences of others. All activities include aims, outlines and follow up ideas and can be download from the accompanying CD-ROM.

Find this book at 920/7 RAD (yellow label)

The Education Library holds an extensive collection of children’s literature and these selections are perfect for brightening up a grey February day! Guess_How_Much_I_Love_You_Cover_Art

Guess how much I love you by Sam McBratney

Always guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of any adult reader and to prompt many laughs and cries of again from children, this is a classic children’s book which is a lovely bedtime read.

Find this book under MCBRATNEY in our children’s fiction section.

LoveThatDog Love that dog by Sharon Creech

This is a heart warming story of Jack, his dog, his teacher and words. His teacher inspires him to be able to express himself and tell the story of his beloved dog.

Find this book under CREECH in our children’s fiction section.

Which title will you be taking home? Tell us which Education books you love most ( or join us on Monday 16th February for a slice of cake in exchange for your recommendations!

Photo by aubergene @ Flickr

‘Lessons’ from Library Life

We are delighted that Sophie Clarke, Invigilator at the Faculty of Education Library, has written the following guest blog post.





Sophie joined Cambridge University as an undergraduate student in 2008, where she studied English at Selwyn and then returned to complete her Masters Degree with the Education Faculty on Children’s Literature in 2013, after which Sophie has stayed with the Faculty as a PhD Student and currently works in the Faculty of Education Library in the evenings.



Top 5 things I have learned from working in the Education Faculty Library

  • The catalogue is confusing

Frequently readers come to the desk asking to request a book, or stating that they cannot find a book even though it is marked as available. This is because LibrarySearch’s only purpose in life is to be deliberately obtuse and to ensure that readers will not find the correct book. See my guide to defeating the catalogue here !

Top tip – if you are looking for something on a reading list go to the interactive lists on the Library Moodle site & then you won’t have to search the catalogue!

  • I am a master at giving old books life

When books have been used a lot, they start looking a bit ragged (people have bent the covers, wear and tear on the edges, pencil under lining &c.) This is where the library invigilators step in – we re-cover all the books that are deemed to not be quite as tip-top as we’d like them in sticky back plastic. This means I am now a dab hand at covering books without getting air bubbles trapped (a great addition to my CV) and my arm strength is amazing from cutting the special double thick plastic we use to size. We also check every book which is returned for water damage, pencil and pen marks, and folded corners. Then we try to repair it – rubbing out pencil, tippexing pen, clamping books to straighten out folds and water creases. This is time consuming and quite boring work, so if people could look after their books just a smidgen more, that would be amazing as I’ve dealt with enough mistreated books to last me a lifetime now.

  • Shelving is hard

For this I must apologise. We re-shelve trolleys of books at a time and we do always try 100% to shelve everything absolutely correctly. However sometimes we have mad moments and shelve items incorrectly – 301 BIL under 301/01 for example. We will ALWAYS try and find your book if it can’t be located and will search similar and nearby sections to see if it’s been mis-shelved. Also, if you see an invigilator muttering under their breath while they’re wheeling a trolley of books along, they are probably chanting the alphabet to themselves as they shelve to make sure that everything goes in the right place.

  • The Faculty library is a nice place to work

As a PhD student I work in the library a lot. As an invigilator I see other people working in the library a lot. It’s a great place to work academically and professionally thanks to the lovely readers and the amazing library staff. However sometimes when we clear up at the end of the day, we find ourselves tripping over empty coffee cups, finding sweet and crisp wrappers, falling over large bags that have not been left in the boxes by the Issue Desk. The lack of grease, crumbs and trip hazards for a clumsy person like me is greatly pleasing. It would be so great if it stayed that way all the time.

  • I do not know everything

I know, this one’s a real shocker. If it’s children’s fiction, children’s literature criticism, literacy or research methods, I can probably answer your queries or at least point you in the right direction. For anything else, I will help you search for relevant articles and books. I will do my utmost to help you find the resources you need in the quickest and most efficient way. But ultimately, I do not know everything, and so quite often your query may be passed on to the full-time Library Team (meaning it may be an overnight wait until you receive a reply). This ensures that every reader gets the best response we can give, so I’m sorry if you see me in the evening and I can’t answer your question – I promise I am trying my best.

Magic moments with Moodle


 Just like that well known tin of Christmas sweets, we hope that the Library Moodle site will provide you with magical moments over the vacation and beyond!


Tailored Library support for your studies at the Faculty is provided in each course section – just click on your course title to access information relevant to you.

If you are wondering where to start with your research why not dip into our research methods guide which provides an sweet2introduction to qualitative, quantitative & mixed methods, interviews, questionnaires, surveys, visual research methods, action research and much more…

sweet3One of the best treats in the Library Street Moodle tin is our database of education ebooks. This provides you with an online library of nearly 500 titles in the field of education which is available 24/7 – just browse the subject headings to find ebooks relevant to your course or research.

Don’t forget that ejournals can also provide you with 24/7 access to a wealth of research. If you need any help in searching sweet4for ejournal articles using the education databases then just contact the Library Team to book a 1-2-1 research session or text (07860 023928), email ( or call us (01223 767700) for assistance.


Use our step-by-step guide to conducting a systematic review of journal literature to establish what has been written in your field. The guide helps you with planning your search, selecting a database, evaluating your results, managing your references and keeping up-to-date with research.

The essential Faculty Guide to referencing is also available via sweet6the Library Moodle Site and includes examples of how to reference books, websites, articles, conference papers and more.


sweet7Many of the reading lists contain links to ebooks, ejournal articles and other online resources and we have already updated the lists for next term so do check the Library Moodle Site if you would like to get ahead!

This term has been full of magical moments for the Library Team and we hope that you have had a successful term too.

With very best wishes for the festive season from

Angela, Emma, Louisa, Hazel, Amy & Lauren

It was wonderful to hear from you….


519 people filled in the really short library survey for 2014 – that’s almost 45% of the Faculty which is wonderful! The four lucky winners of the Amazon vouchers have been randomly chosen and some have already collected their prize.

The Library Team

We had an amazing response to questions about the library team: 99% rated the team as excellent or very good in terms of helpfulness & approachability, and 98% rated the skill & knowledge of staff as excellent or very good. We are delighted with this outcome, not to mention overwhelmed by the many lovely comments that were made, and we will do our very best to ensure this high level of service is maintained in the future.


Despite Education ebooks being some of the most popular in the University, with several titles in the top 10 most used each year, 79% of respondents still prefer print when reading a whole book and 18% don’t use them at all. The main reasons given were difficulties in using ebooks, a dislike of reading on screen, and difficulties in retaining information read online; these are particular issues for people with reading difficulties or dyslexia.

Many people commented that they liked to use both ebooks and print for different purposes: ebooks are good for searching and referencing but print is preferred for sustained reading and retaining information. It will be a challenge to maintain access to information in both formats in the future but we will do our best to continue to meet the differing needs of our library users.

Social Media

More than 60% of respondents are either unaware of or aware of (but do not use) Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or this blog! This is something which we suspected and now that our feelings are confirmed the team will be discussing ways in which we can ensure we communicate effectively with our community in the future. However, people who do use our social media sites seem to find the information helpful – less than 3% found what we are communicating ‘not useful’.

Twitter iconPinterest iconFacebook icon

Overall we have a wealth of information to evaluate which will be really valuable in helping us to help you, so thank you very much!

thank you

Escaped pages from Ways into Hinchingbrooke Country Park: An exhibition in the Faculty Library

A guest blog post by Ruth Sapsed, Leadership for Learning Network Coordinator and Director of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination.

Drawing on a ten week project with local school children, the Guide invites you to see Hinchingbrooke Country Park as never before: through the real and fantastic journeys of a class of four- and five-year-olds, through their stories, secrets and speculations.

fantastical booklet MASTER cover-4_Page_1

fantastical booklet MASTER cover-4_Page_2

The exhibition now in the Faculty of Education library offers a number of ‘escaped’ pages – glimpses, beginnings, maps, reflections.  It is not the complete book, nor is it a story that can only be read one way.  The pages are offered, like the park itself, as places of exploration, in which you can wander, day-dream, notice, remember.  You will see how the children met different elements and also how they explored the park with their bodies and senses, with imagination and daring.  There are fantastic maps to follow – visible and invisible traces through the woods, lines drawn on paper, words that connect one place to another…

Young children are inexhaustible and profound explorers of the wild, yet the voices that explain our landscapes are usually adult.  This first in CCI’s series of Fantastical Guides seeks to re-position children’s voices in our public descriptions of place – to celebrate their expert knowledge, to encounter their wild imagination.

The full guide can be read online or purchased at

The Fantastical Guide and this exhibition were made possible through support from the Ernest Cook Trust, Cambridgeshire County Council Early Years Service and Jesus College.