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Politics, International Studies & Philosophy: New HAPP Students: Getting Started

Key points for new students at Queen's

Welcome to Queen's!

As a new student there are 4 things you need to know now:

  1. How to find content : the Library online
  2. How to navigate around the McClay Library - and how to use the Libary to borrow books, study, scan or photocopy material
  3. How to get help or make contact with us
  4. How to keep safe in the Library building

The Library Online

The Library Online

  1. Everything you need to explore the Library at Queen’s is online.
  2. Browse the Library webpage to find information on services, getting help and studying in the Library.
  3. Check this Subject Guide for tips on using your reading list and links to useful resources

As an undergraduate student at Queen's you may be expected to find resources such as journal articles, books as well as primary sources to help you with your assignments.  There are a number of information sources available to help you with this.

To get started, refer to your module handbook or reading list provided by your tutor. This will provide details of all the essential and additional material you need to read for your assignments. Much of this material may be available to you on Canvas, but in some cases you may be expected to find them yourself using the Library at Queen's. This guide will get you started finding books, book chapter and journal articles.

If you would like a refresher on academic expectations and working with scholarly material at university the best place to start is with our short Transition Skills online course. This will outline what is expected of you at university.

The McClay Library


Face coverings are a requirement in the Library



  • Always bring your student card with you to the Library
  • The McClay Library operates a controlled entry system
  • Use your student card to gain admission to the Library building



Study spaces in the McClay Library



  • Study spaces are located throughout The McClay Library
  • Note Silent and Whisper Zones
  • Note desk labels: to help promote social distancing safety measures some spaces are currently out of use
  • Do not eat food in the Library. Only bring in drinks with lids
  • Photocopiers and scanners are located on each floor of the Library. Upload money onto your Student Card to pay for printing. Scanning iis free, but you need a £1.00 balance to operate this service. You will need to use your card to release printing.




  • Although many book in the Library are available as ebooks, some titles are only available as print books.
  • In subjects such as HAPP print remains an important format from which to access content.
  • Undergraduate students may borrow 15 books at a time. Find out more on the Library webpage. 
  • Use contactless self-service borrowing stations located on all floors of the Library
  • To enable book quarantine, please return items to the Ground Floor returns area. 

Getting help and making contact

Compass image -  getting help

  • Library Chat: monitored by Queen’s Library staff. A good first port of call if you are lost online. Find Library Chat on the Library homepage.
  • Library Help FAQs : quick, focused answers to common questions.
  • This subject guide: content updated by your Subject Librarian. Included links to resources and tips on how to get best use out of the Library.
  • Your Subject Librarian, Deborah Wilson Make initial contact via email. Email queries, questions or comments or arrange to meet for a one-to-one skills session via MS Teams

Keeping safe in the Library

Face coverings are a requirement in the Library

One way sign

A number of protective measures have been put in place to ensure your health and safety in line with public health guidance on physical distancing, hygiene and controlling the potential spread of Covid-19.

You can find up to date information on the Library webpage by clicking on the Quick Start Guide to the Library


Books on the Library shelfThe Library aims to stock copies of all books specified on reading lists. To find books, go to the Library website and use Library Catalogue to search for a specific book title, or type in a topic to view all books in the Library about that topic.

The catalogue will show the locations of all print copies of books that you can borrow. It will also include links to any books are available for you read on-line in e-book format.

If a book you need does not appear in our catalogue, please email your Subject Librarian, who will investigate purchasing the book.


Print journals on the Library shelf

Alongside the journal articles available to you via Canvas. you can also find articles by going to the Library website and clicking on the Article Search tab. Type in a topic (or a specific article title), and click Search.

Article Search will look in all the journals subscribed to by the Library, and display a list of articles relevant to your topic. Read, and download, an article by clicking on the link that appears underneath the article details, and following the links through to the relevant publisher's website, logging in with your student number and password if prompted to do so. Most articles will be available for you to print or save in PDF format.

If you want to search within one specific journal, rather than across all the journals subscribed to by the Library, go to the Library website and click on the E-Journals A-Z link. In the E-Journals A-Z, search for the journal you need. If the Library subscribes to the journal, it will appear in the list of results. To access the journal website, click the Full Text Access link that appears underneath the journal details. You can then search the journal website for articles on your topic, or browse the list of all available issues to find a specific article