Network upgrades: July 2016

As part of a major project to improve the design, performance and resilience of the University data network, Information Services will be carrying out essential upgrade work during July 2016.

These upgrades will necessitate short periods of down time and some at risk periods, but every effort will be made to minimise any disruption to IT services.

The upgrades scheduled will affect services at the following dates/times (Check your local time here)

If you have any queries or require further information about this work please contact the IS Helpdesk at

Academic staff – call for reading lists…

Stack of Library BooksReading lists for items for the start of semester 1 should be received by 22nd July 2016.

This will allow time for us to check stock and order additional or new titles as required.

Books on reading lists

Send your reading lists to with the following information:

  • Title of course
  • Details of the items needed (e.g. author, title, ISBN, publisher, year, edition)
  • Number of expected students
  • If an item is a key or core text
  • Item(s) to be placed on the 3 hour loan system
  • If there is a reason to provide a print rather than an eBook copy as we will be checking all requests for eBook availability

Please note that if you also need copies of titles to be available at the Dubai and/or Malaysia campuses please contact their libraries directly as they will be placing their own orders for stock. They can be contacted at and respectively.

Items on reading lists can also be requested using the Book request form at Suggest a book (the form may need to be opened in a new window depending on the browser used). Select yes from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?

Items to support wider reading

To request items to support student’s wider reading for research, dissertations, theses, projects etc again use the Book request form at Suggest a book and select no from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?. These items are automatically forwarded to your Library Representative for approval and will not be purchased until he or she has approved them.

Requests for items required for the start of semester should be received by 22nd July 2016 – requests received after this date cannot be guaranteed for the start of semester.

If you have any questions please contact Ellen Peacock, Aquisitions & Metadata Manager ( Ext 3573)

Information Services Quiz Winner (2)!

We were delighted to host a visit from the 2nd cohort of pre-sessional students to help them find out more information about the  library and IT resources and services they will use in their studies.  This was followed by a quiz with one lucky winner chosen from the correct entries.  Congratulations Yaifa!


Vision update

The Blackboard software upgrade was completed successfully giving us accessibility and security updates as well as bug fixes.

The functionality of the system remains the same but the user interface has been given a cleaner, more modern look.  You’ll notice this the next time you use Vision.


If you have any queries please contact

Discovery user guides

The new Discovery is live today!


To help you get started see the user guides on our webpages:discovery2

How do I get help if needed?
Ask at the Service Desk in your campus library or contact us by email or phone

Discovery – keeping your saved searches, search alerts and folders

If you have saved searches, search alerts or items in your Discovery folder you need to take action now to save these, before the move to the new version of Discovery .  The old version of Discovery will not be accessible after 30th June 2016 and saved searches, alerts and folders will be lost, so we recommend that you download these before 29th June.

To do this, go to Discovery and sign in to your My EBSCOhost account:

  1. download any items you have saved in your folder
  2. take a note of any search alerts or saved searches, so that you can recreate these in the new version of Discovery.

discovery downloads

This only affects the personalised searches and folders you may have saved in Discovery.  Library resources and journal articles will continue to be available after 30th June and most people will not need to do anything.

Please contact if you have any questions about this.

Well done new HWU graduates!

graduation dayCongratulations to all students who are graduating this summer – we hope you enjoy the ceremony and the celebration with your family and friends.

If you are leaving us remember that you can continue to use our library services as an alumni – see Borrowing from HWU libraries for more information (look under Who can join HWU library).

With our very best wishes for a happy and successful future.

Vision upgrade – 25th June 2016

Blackboard, the software which underpins our VISION Virtual Learning Environment, will be upgraded on Saturday 25th June between 1 am and 2 pm BST (you can check your local time at

Vision will be unavailable during this time.

Times at our campuses are

Campus Start Time End Time
UK 01:00 BST 14:00 BST
Dubai 04:00 GST 17:00 GST
Malaysia 08:00 MYT 21:00 MYT


Benefits of the upgrade will include: –

  • Accessibility updates
  • Bug fixes
  • Improved User Interface
  • Security updates

If you have any queries please contact

Skype for Business meetings – top tips

skypeforbusinessimageWith Skype for Business on our desktops, we’re now holding more online meetings than ever.

A key benefit of a Skype for Business meeting is its convenience. You can join the meeting from anywhere, without needing to travel or set off early – savings in time and travel costs could be huge.

However, just because you might not need to put in so much effort to get there, doesn’t mean that your attendance at a meeting doesn’t need some preparation.

Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your meetings go as smoothly as possible.

1.  Arrive promptly

To help ensure that your meeting starts on time both you and the participants should: –

  • join the meeting early (by at least five minutes) so everyone is ready to start on time
  • do a sound check and get used to the interface before the meeting start time
  • check how you look on your webcam (if using) to ensure that the lighting and webcam angle are set at their best

See Set up Audio and Video in Skype for Business

2.  Use good quality, noise-cancelling headsets or equipment

We can help you obtain suitable equipment – whether your meetings tend to be small 121 affairs (where a suitable headset and webcam may be all you need) or larger many-to-many events (we have more sophisticated/expensive equipment that you can borrow for these).

If you are planning to hold meetings where there are more than 20 participants in a meeting room please contact us ( for advice.

3.  Remember to introduce people

The meeting host should make sure that everyone is properly introduced. You can see who has joined the meeting through the control panel so you can ensure that you don’t miss anyone.

If a guest or visitor is attending, take the time to explain their presence and thank them for their time.

4.  You’re on camera!

If you’re using your webcam for the meeting, which we’d usually recommend, be sure to look interested and engaged. Body language may be more limited in a virtual scenario, but your expressions and eye contact with the camera are still important.

5.  Don’t multitask

Don’t get distracted by other work activities or your email while other participants are speaking.

It’s important to give the meeting the same level of respect and attention that you would give to a face-to-face meeting.

6.  Be careful with screen sharing

Skype for Business offers the functionality to share screens with other participants.

If you are going to present or demonstrate something via your screen, we’d recommend that you shut down any unnecessary programs in advance of the call, to avoid the panic or embarrassment of sharing a private email or a sensitive document.

See Meet and share using Skype for Business for more info.

7.  Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking

Open microphones can create a lot of unwanted background noise. It only takes one participant to be typing an email or blowing their nose, before background sounds become distracting.

Once the introductions have been made and the meeting has started, you should only unmute your microphone if you have something to add to the discussion.

See Mute or unmute audio in a Skype for Business meeting or call

8.  Establish a protocol for asking questions

It can sometimes be tricky to find a suitable opportunity to ask a question during a virtual meeting, without running the risk interrupting or talking over someone.

Q and A Manager

Skype for Business has a Q and A Manager that could be useful for this. Use this feature to allow attendees to ask questions and presenters to answer them, with the option of saving the Q&A session to a file. QandA

  • To switch Q & A on during a meeting: Present, More, Q & A
  • To stop presenting Q & A during a meeting: Click Stop Q & A in the Q & A window
  • To re-open the Q & A window: Present, Manage Presentable Content, Present Now
  • To save the Q & A content: click Save As in the present window
  • To shut the Q & A session: Present, Manage Presentable Content, Remove

See Lync Q & A Manager for more info.

Instant Messaging

An alternative could be to use the instant messaging feature for questions.

The host can then present these questions at an appropriate point in the meeting, or at the end.

Show of hands

If everyone is using a webcam participants could raise a hand so that the host can see they have a question to ask.

9.  Encourage everyone to contribute

In an online meeting scenario, it can be easy to forget about some of the participants. It therefore falls to the host to ensure that everyone has been encouraged to share their thoughts.

10.  Finish on time

Keep questions short and sweet.

Get into the habit of finishing an online meeting as soon as all agenda points have been covered, so that discussion doesn’t digress into other areas.

As host, it can often be a good idea to aim to finish five minutes ahead of schedule, and practice achieving this.


Above content adapted from Online meeting etiquette rules you need to know

Information Services Quiz Winner!

We were delighted to host a visit from the pre-sessional students to help them find out more information about the  library and IT resources and services they will use in their studies.  This was followed by a quiz with one lucky winner chosen from the correct entries.  Well done Christina!

quiz winner


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