Joined Offsite yet?

The start of the academic year is always so busy, with people either starting new courses, or returning to their studies after the summer break.

Offsite is Leeds Beckett Library’s service to support distance learners in their use of the library. Many of you will have joined Offsite already, as part of getting loads of things sorted out at the start of term. A massive 218 people have joined Offsite since the start of the academic year, in fact! Thank you to those of you who have already been in touch.

If you’re a distance learner and you’ve already joined Offsite but can’t remember what we do, or if you haven’t heard of us at all, here’s a brief summary of what we can help with:

  • library and IT support to Distance Learners and students based off-campus
  • being a virtual equivalent to popping into the library for help
  • accessing and logging in to electronic resources (such as ebooks, ejournals, databases)
  • any queries about your Library account (inc. fines, renewals)
  • accessing other university libraries
  • posting books out to you (if you’re in the UK or mainland Europe)
  • providing copies of journal articles and book chapters
  • pointing you towards other useful library services, such as specific subject support through your Academic librarian, or Skills for Learning, who can help you develop your academic skills

You first need to register with Offsite, but that’s quick and easy to do – simply log in to MyBeckett, go to the Library tab and you should find a section for Offsite. There’s a brief online form to complete, then we’ll reply to you really quickly. You can also check out our web pages for more information.

If you’ve any queries, please do contact Offsite – we’re really happy to help and there are no questions too small to ask! You can also contact the main library for help if you wish.


Putting pen to paper: help with academic skills

With deadlines looming, thinking about tackling your academic work, either for the first time or after a period away from academic study, can be quite daunting. Please don’t worry! The Library’s Skills for Learning team provide a range of support so that you can brush up on your academic skills and become confident handing in assignments 🙂

Have you seen their range of skills guides, available to read online or print off, on the Skills for Learning webpages? They include, for example, the Little Book of Essay Writing, and Quote Unquote to help with your referencing.

Little Books

As Offsite students, you can view recordings of workshop sessions also available on the Skills for Learning webpages. See the Critical Thinking recording to help understand why it is important to build structured analysis in your work.

You can also search for a specific topic, such as “presentations”, in the A-Z.

Don’t forget the Skills for Learning podcast series that may help you with analysing quantitative data for example!

If you are having difficulty accessing resources, finding information or you have a query about a reference, we would be more than happy to help you further. Please do contact us via chat (see our webpages), email ( or telephone (0113 812 6778).

Did you know you can keep track of our news via the Offsite Facebook page and Twitter?

Good luck everyone!

Studying Building Services Engineering? Check out help and resources for your study!

Check out your Building Services Engineering subject support page which can be located from the Welcome page for Building and Construction.  Check out the relevant resources, information, help and guides.

Here you will find a list of key book titles, journals and databases and a very helpful presentation on ‘Finding and using Library resources at Leeds Beckett University’ from your Academic Librarian Jennifer Winterburn:

Just click on the tabs along the top of the page to explore each section.




Use the Search Discover box on the Welcome tab to find resources for your subject using keyword searches for information on a topic.  For further help please click on the Discover guide on the Welcome page or click on Help with Discover for FAQs on how to use this this search tool.


If you have any questions please contact the Offsite team, we are happy to help.

Come and join us on the Leeds Beckett Distance Learning Community – you will find updates, information, guidance, hints and tips and more.

Leeds Beckett Distance Learning Community is a place for all Leeds Beckett distance learning students, across all courses, to chat to each other and to ask questions to the Distance Learning Unit.

Sign up here to become part of the community.

New book renewal system starts today!

The Library is getting a new book renewal system, starting today!

The Library is making changes today to its loan periods and fines, and this will affect all Library borrowers, including distance learners. The new system is called auto-renewals and we hope it will help Library users to manage their loans more easily.

So what will happen from today when you have an item issued to you?

All items issued to Offsite-registered students will initially issue for 3 weeks; this date will show on your library account the day after the item is issued. If the item isn’t then requested by anyone else, it will keep auto-renewing week by week. This automatic renewal will repeat until:
• the item has reached the maximum number of auto renewals (a total of 26 weeks)
• the borrower is leaving Leeds Beckett and their account expires
• the item is requested by another user placing a Hold on it

What happens if someone else requests one of the books I have on loan?

After the initial 3 weeks that you have a book, if an item that you have on loan has a hold placed on it by another Library user, you will be emailed at your University email and asked to return the item – Offsite-registered students then have 14 days to return the item before it becomes overdue. If the item does go overdue, then overdue fines will begin. Overdue fines will be charged at £2 per day, to a maximum of £10 per item.

What does this mean in practice?

  • If no-one else wants the books which you have on loan, then they should renew automatically, up to a total of 26 weeks
  • If you keep a book once it has been placed on hold by someone else, then fines will be charged at £2 per day
  • It is therefore really important that you check your student email frequently, as this is how the Library will let you know if you need to return any items
  • It is possible to forward your student email to a different email of your choice – please see these instructions

What happens to my existing loans?

Items which were issued before Tuesday 10th October have now converted to the auto-renewals system. After their due date is reached, they will start to auto-renew on a weekly basis, to a maximum of 26 weeks. If someone else places a hold on one of your loans, you will receive an email to your student email, and you will then have 14 days to return the item before you start incurring overdue fines. Please check your Library account to find out the due date or contact the Library if you have any questions.

Why is the Library starting this new system?

The Library is making these changes because auto-renewals will save students effort and also save them thousands of pounds in fines (this has happened at other institutions with auto-renewals). We’ve also talked to the Students’ Union and they’ve told us that one of the things that really annoys students is when someone hangs onto a book after a hold has been placed on it. Lots of other University libraries have changed their loan and fines system and their experiences show that if the fine is higher on a requested item it’s more likely to be returned on time, and that there are fewer fines charged overall. It will hopefully also help students to manage their loans as, unless someone else has requested a book, books should renew automatically.

But I used to have books issued by Offsite for 4 weeks!

We realise that, for Offsite students, the initial loan period is a week shorter. However, we hope that the auto-renewal system will compensate for this slightly shorter initial issue period and that students will find it easy to manage their Library accounts under the new system.

Please don’t worry about these changes – there are always Library staff to help you. Please do contact us if you have any queries

Finding, using and accessing eBooks

Hello everyone.  We hope you are settling in OK. These first few weeks really fly by!

You might even be starting to think about accessing Library resources so you can start reading and researching.

eBooks are a great digital alternative to a print book, especially as they can provide you with instant online access to your resources whenever and wherever you are! You can find eBooks by searching Discover or the Library Catalogue – these can be accessed through MyBeckett.

In your Discover search, look for the eBook icon




In the Library Catalogue, select the purple link to open this electronic resource, for example:


You can either read eBooks online or download them for a short period of time, after which access to the eBook will automatically expire.

For more information on eBooks, how to find them and use them, why not see our eBooks webpages?

If you have a query, please do get in touch with us:

We’re always happy to hear from you, and happy to help.