How can the UCA Library help you?

The Library isn’t just somewhere you can get books. It’s somewhere you can do your work on your own or with others, escape sensory overload and get some help with studying. This section of the toolkit will introduce UCA Libraries and the services they can offer you.


Many students in the Autism&Uni surveys mentioned the library as somewhere they really enjoyed being, whether they needed some quiet space to get away from it all or find some help or just to get some work done. UCA has specialist library staff who understand autism and want to help you make the most out of your time at uni. They can help you with finding, choosing and using library resources, amongst many other things.

There is also a team dedicated to supporting you with your academic research, writing, presentations and developing other areas that can affect your work like time management, using the software needed for your course and sorting out any issues you might have with referencing and so on.


How could this affect me?

Places to study (and quiet spaces even when not studying)

UCA has libraries at each campus.

As well as books, journals and DVDs, you will find plenty of spaces to study.

There are different types of study space, so even if you go in and find it a bit noisy, it’s not like that everywhere. There are group study areas (usually the bright and noisier places), quiet study rooms, and some of the Specialist Advisor offices.

You will find suites of computers (PCs and Macs), and booths where you can plug your own laptop in, as well as printing, copying and binding facilities.


Face to face support

The Gateway Desk

Each library has a Gateway Desk where you can book appointments with the Specialist Advisors, and book rooms to meet with mentors. The Gateway advisors can also help you with your library account, and direct you to the Learning Development Tutors and Learning and Teaching librarians.

Learning Development Tutors

The Learning Development Tutors can help you with –

  • understanding project briefs and assignments
  • reading and writing on your course
  • organisation and time management
  • critical thinking, analysis and reflection
  • language development for your course
  • presenting your ideas
  • getting the most from your lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • visual practice

The Learning and Teaching Librarians can help you with –

  • finding and evaluating research sources
  • accessing online resources
  • using the Library catalogue
  • suggesting books/resources for the Library to buy
  • how to search the web effectively
  • how to reference and compile bibliographies

Managing your library account – and uni life – online

myUCA isn’t just for keeping up with your coursework and timetable. The myLibrary tab at the top has lots of useful information and also helps you to see what books you have out. You can search for material such as books and DVDs, access electronic resources such as ebooks and check out course reading lists.

myUCA is where you will find all your unit material, and where you will get course updates and announcements.


What to do next?

Make sure you know where the Gateway Desk is

Practical tips

Succeeding as a university student is about making the most of the opportunities you are given. Students in our survey said they regretted trying to cope for too long without accessing all the help they were entitled to, or finding spaces that worked for them.

Sometimes other people know more about what’s out there than you do, so it’s okay to not know exactly what you want from Student Services – Go to the Gateway and find out what help is out there.

Questions to think about

Who do you need to contact for advice?

Could the Learning and Teaching Librarians help  you with your research techniques?

Have you worked independently anywhere other than at home/halls before?

Have you tried techniques like mind mapping to work on a topic?

Additional information and links

About the author

Article written by Jackie Hagan, Learning Support Coordinator, UCA Rochester