With a list of literary works on modern museology and historiography and living in a non-English speaking country and not wanting to spend a fortune on buying books (ebooks) from Amazon, my best option seemed to be the University Library. In this blog post I will share my experiences – especially as I have a librarian degree hidden somewhere in the attic 🙂
But first, let me speak about more personal issue, a conference. I am a researcher of Hungarian motoring history for 21 years now. I would not say I am a professional, but I have written a couple of books, dozens of articles and I am now giving lectures on this topic. The latter, the university lecturing gig is about both international and Hungarian motoring history. When I created the content of my course, I found something very interesting: a motorised three-wheeler, built in 1888 by Edward Butler, an Englishman. His <a href=http://www.3wheelers.com/butler.html“”>Petrol-Cycle</a> included a spark plug and a spary carburetor. And this is when warning bells started to ring. There is a consensus in Hungary regarding the spray carburetor: it was first invented and patented by two Hungarian engineers, Janos Csonka and Donat Banki in 1893, but due to circumstances, their work is not acknowledged worldwide. However, the first patent by Butler was dated from 1887. I contacted the British Patent Office and obtained a set of copies of the original patent. Well, it looked eerily similar to the Csonka-Banki carburetor, but it was predating them by six years! I started to show the drawings around and though many thought me as a traitor, eventually I was invited to a conference, titled “Latest results in technology history research”, organised by the Hungarian Federation of Technical and Scientific Societies. It was held earlier this week and my presentation was quite sucessful – it seems I will be invited back for further conferences. Additionally, the long-held belief that Csonka-Banki invented the carburetor will slowly be dispersed.
In the meantime I started collecting books from the University of Leicester. It is not a smooth sailing. First, you need a library number – which is not the same as your library card number. And you need a PIN. Okay, I found those and logged in. Then for some reasons, the system logged me out. Ultimately I was able to find some volumes. Some of them were in available in electronic format, others were not. As a distance learning student I prefer e-books, but I know that I can also lend a lot of paper-based books easily. Well, not quite so. So far none of the books are available for lending. Okay, then let’s see the e-books. I clicked on “electronic version” in the library catalogue and it took me to another site – where I needed to log in with my username and password (my library number and PIN is not good here) Eventually I managed to log in and started reading. I was happy and wanted to put the book on my e-shelf. You need to log in with your e-mail address and password (remember, this is the 3rd login attempt and this is the 3rd login variation). And this is where the system refuses me. I can’t bookmark any of the e-books. I have no clue why it refuses my attempts, but this is where I stand today. But at least I can enjoy the literary works, so who’s complaining :)?
4 responses to “A conference and getting confused in the library”
I am so delighted that you found my great uncle’s invention the Petrol Cycle. The internet is so wonderful that each time I do a search for anything about Edward Butler I find there are people out there interested. I know very little about motors but as I search and read more it seems that his invention was well before its time in many aspects. The spray carbureta being one. The Science Museum in London has more information on him – not sure if The Science Museum counts as a motoring museum for your PhD – fo which I wish you all the best in your studies.
You’ve not offended anybody at all – we just want to make sure that your experience of using the library is as smooth and easy as possible 🙂
There are two separate logins because at the current time we have 2 different systems and sets of software behind the scenes that hold the information about the library resources. The library catalogue search is unable to accept the university IT account log-in. However, the software that operates the search via the Digital Library can use the University log-in. We are very sorry for the difficulties and confusion this causes and there are plans to change this so that only the University log-in is required but as it is a significant piece of technical work I am afraid we do not have a timeline for this yet, but please be reassured that it is being looked at, and we thank everyone for their patience with this.
I am unsure what the third account is that you are referring to? Do you mean that when you are looking at eBooks you are being asked to log in at that point, in order to save items? If so, this will be the choice of the publisher who hosts the eBook site. Unfortunately we do not have any control over the information they require from you, we just subscribe to them so our users can access their resources. If you let me know which eBooks you are looking at I can have a look at the host site and see what they require.
I hope this has made things a little clearer. Please feel free to get in contact again if you have any more queries.
Lauren, thanks for your response.
Let me clear up a few things here. My collegaues always accuse me of Twitter-communication: my instructions are very short, very rapid and not always easy to comprehend :). So the library part of the blog post should have been longer.
I can log into the library, the digital library and I have some titles which I can read now. The thing which I don`t really understand is that why I need three different logins for three different applications (library, digital library, my account in the digital library). Maybe waiting for an explanation from the library would have yielded a more positive post. I hope I did not offend anyone.
The only thing which I can’t use is the “My account” function within the Digital Library. I can’t login for some reasons.
I work at the University Library and I am sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing issues with logging into the library catalogue and eResources.
Your library number should be on your student card, along with your student number. The library number begins 075.
On the Library homepage (http://www2.le.ac.uk/library) there is a link the Digital Library off-campus login, if you log in here this should ensure that you remain logged in for your entire session.
If you would like to let us know the titles of the eBooks that you have been having issues with at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll be more than happy to help.
Good luck with your studies!