Posts about: Arts and Media

Lights, camera, action.. information sources for film

9 April 2020

Finding films to watch

Those of you with subscriptions to Netflix, Disney, Sky etc. will have access to a huge number of mainstream films.  However, the Library also provides some excellent sources for films old and new, both mainstream and more alternative.

Box of Broadcasts – This is a treasure trove for film buffs.  It’s a vast collection of programmes broadcast on TV and radio over the past 20 years or more.  Many thousands of films have been aired on TV, and the recordings are available in this database.  This blog describes how to use Box of Broadcasts to find a particular film. read more

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Finding newspapers using the Library

21 February 2020
Tracy Breheny
Tracy talks about newspapers, why they can be useful and explains how you can access them.

Newspapers can be a useful source of information when undertaking your research.  They can contain useful historical and current event information and commentary, as well as being interesting to read! Depending on what you are studying, there can benefits to reading and using newspaper articles in your research:

  • They can allow you to see what people thought and how people viewed an event when it happened;
  • They can provide multiple points of view and different opinions about a topic or an issue, and sometimes offer comparisons.
  • They can help you to look at the historical detail of an event, the context around it and they can enable you to follow things over time;
  • They can contain commentaries or retrospective articles about events.

Whether used as a primary or a secondary source, newspapers can provide valuable information. However, they can contain bias or be reflective of one side of an argument, so you need to bear that in mind and critically evaluate information you’re not sure of if you are using it for your academic work. read more

Sage Research Methods Videos

9 May 2018

Looking to undertake some research this year? Need some expert help and guidance? SAGE Research Methods is the essential online resource for anyone doing research or learning how to do research. With more than 800 books, reference works, journal articles, and videos, it provides information on writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings. SAGE Research Methods’ coverage spans the full range of research methods used in the social and behavioral sciences, plus a wide range of methods commonly used in science, technology, medicine, and the humanities.

You can

  • Embed videos onto your blackboard sites
  • Choose from different types of videos, from case studies, interviews and tutorials
  • Helps you to write up methodology for publication in the best research journals

Why not watch this short video for an overview of this great resource


You can access this content from both on and off campus here.

Getting through a boring book…

17 November 2017

Hope is one of our English students. She is blogging about reading boring books!

Reading is great…mostly, and if you’re on an English based course like I am, you’ll know that reading is not so much a fun, leisurely pastime as it is a necessity. I don’t know much about other courses reading requirements, but what I do know is that at one point or another, we all have to read a pretty boring book…or two…three…ten?

The problem here is, that when you read for fun, if the book doesn’t grab your attention straight away, or a couple of chapters in you just cannot for the life of you get into it, you can simply put it down and pick up the next on your list of want-to-reads. When you’re required to read for a course, however, it’s not that easy (unfortunately).

I study English Literature, and for one of my modules, I am currently reading Emma by Jane Austen, and after battling my way through Moll Flanders and (most of) Evelina, I feel a little bit like I’m dragging my feet through quick sand. Anyone else?

So, for that reason I’ve taken a break from my dear friend Emma, to jot down some ways to pull myself, and you, through those ridiculously boring books we all have to read.


  1. Just try it.

    Okay, so, number one is to give the book a serious go. Some stories take an unholy amount of time to get to the point. Have a rule. Mine is 60 pages. If by page 60, I’m still bored out my wit, then the next steps might help.

  2. Set goals.

    Grab your calendar, or your planner, or whatever it is you use, and start by figuring out how many days you have before you absolutely HAVE to have the book read. Now divide the number of chapters equally amongst the daysyou have, so that you have a clear goal of. For example, if you have 7 days to finish a book, let’s say The novel has 54 chapters, that’s 7 chapters a day, which yes, seems like a lot, but when you then realise that each chapter is only (roughly) 5-8 ish pages, that’s only really between 35-56 pages a day, which is perfectly manageable! Not only that but having a stop point gives you something to look forward to, rather than just idly reading and wondering when it’s going to end.

  3. Put. Your. Phone. Away.

    Yes, you read that right, ditch it. And your laptop, your iPad, your PlayStation and whatever else you are currently using to put off that terrible book you have to read. Put everything on silent, put them in a drawer or another room, turn the TV off and get to reading. Having distractions around you and readily available will only make your life harder. Trust me, Call of Duty, Fifa and even Crash Bandicoot can wait.

  4. Get a good night’s sleep.

    How many of you have tried reading when you’re tired? It’s not going to happen. You’re going to be falling asleep at the wheel, struggling to concentrate, getting frustrated, and you’re probably going to be even less interested in what you’re reading than you were to begin with! Try to get some early nights, eat breakfast, and try not to be too that won’t help either.
    BONUS: This is good for your overall physical and mental health too!

  5. Take breaks.

    Once you’ve got a goal for each day, that doesn’t mean that you have to reach that goal in one go. If you have to read 7 chapters in a day, break it up, let your mind wander and think about other things in between your reading sessions so you won’t get so sick of it so quickly. Do some baking, watch an episode of The Great British Bake Off, eat some cake, find a new cookie recipe.Yes, I like baking. And cake. And Paul Hollywood.
    But back to the point. Don’t overdo it all in one go.
    BONUS: Cake

  6. Highlight, underline, or annotate your book.

    I know this sounds like a bit of a silly one, but trust me it works. When you come across a quote you like, or a point you find interesting, highlight it in your favourite colour (obviously only do this in your own books!). This will draw your attention to that particular quote or paragraph on the page, and that’s what will stick in your mind. Make the best of a bad situation and find small things that you do like in a text that you don’t. As well as this, actively looking for words that you aren’t sure of can give you a break from reading to look it up, and also make you feel like you’ve gained and learned something from the read. A sense of accomplishment in one form or another is always a good way to pull yourself through.

  7. Summarise.

    After each chapter you read, grab a pen and paper and just scribble down some bullet points; what was the chapter about? Did you find anything particularly interesting? What were the key points? Which characters were introduced/involved in the chapter? It doesn’t have to be a full blown textual analysis, just a quick list of referable points, so that when you come to want to think or refer back to a particular point or event in the narrative, you can scan over your points and find the chapter it’s from.
    BONUS: This will also help you retain more information from the novel!

  8. Figure out why you don’t like the book.

    Is the plot poor? Are the characters badly described? Are the points and themes explored in the narrative not interesting? Is it something in the way the book is written? I realise this might seem like you’re focusing on the negatives of what you’re reading rather than trying to, as I mentioned earlier, make the best of what you have, but this will be a really useful set of ideas and points if you later have to analyse and criticise the text. You already have a starting point!

  9. Comprehension questions are your best friend.

    Still bored? Well, when you (finally) finish, rather than jumping straight on to Facebook and doing a quiz to find out which Disney princess you are or which Hogwarts house you belong in, (although I am partial to reinforcing my dream of being Belle and playing tricks on the muggles with my Slytherin buddies) try and find a quiz based on the book you read. Trust me there are tonnes!
    BONUS: You could even write the quiz for yourself as you go along. Write a question or two for each chapter, and when you get to the end, try to answer them or quiz a friend who has read the same book!

  10. Treat yourself.

    WOOOOO! You finished! GO YOU! Now get some ice cream, cake, sweets and chocolate and binge watch some Netflix  (I highly recommend Stranger Things, Once Upon a Time and Fresh Meat). Forget all about that terrible book you just spent the last 7 days trudging through. That is, until you have to do an assessment on the damn thing.




IF ALL ELSE FAILS, build a fort out of blankets, and fill it with pillows. Now Gather as much junk food and fizzy drinks as you can carry, turn off all the lights and add some fairy lights. Forget the rest of the world exists and just read.

Happy Reading! read more

Want to watch a good film? – Try Box of Broadcasts

12 May 2017

Did you know that you have access to an enormous number of films via Box of Broadcasts?

By Joanna Wilson
Academic Support Librarian

Box of Broadcasts (often referred to as BoB), contains recordings of TV and radio programmes, including recordings of lots of films.

Whether you want to explore the work of a particular director, watch a film from your favourite genre, analyse a classic film, or just take a break from your studies, you can check whether a film is available to you via BoB.

Connecting to Box of Broadcasts –

Go via Library Search, which gives access to all the Library’s resources.

  • Connect to the University’s Library Search (via this link, or use Google by searching for Library Search Salford)
  • Sign in to Library Search with your network username and password
  • Type Box of Broadcasts in the search box.
  • Box of Broadcasts should be the first item in the results list. Click on the online access link.
  • If you haven’t used BoB before you will be asked to set up a profile – it’s quick and easy, but make sure you use your university email address.
  • read more

    Fake News

    7 April 2017

    Be a savvy news consumer – Joanna gives some useful reminders.

    Fake news has become a hot news topic! We all want our news to be accurate, truthful, and honest, so how do you sort out truth from lies, or identify exaggerated stories, or facts reported out of context?

    The simplest strategy is to make sure you get your news from a variety of sources – don’t get stuck in your own media “bubble”. Be critical and analyse any news you share on social media.  We all have a responsibility not to spread lies.

    There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some things to think about –

  • Beware sensational headlines. Not every shocking headline is associated with fake news – but it’s a warning sign.
  • Be very cautious about stories intended to prompt an extreme emotional response, particularly anger. Verify the story from other known, reliable sources.
  • Check whether other “mainstream” news sources are reporting the story.
  • Take a look at the domain name. Does it suggest a bias, or potential unreliability?
  • Check out the “About us” tab, or look at the contact details. Is the content attributable to a “real” person, or an identifiable organisation? Do they have a particular agenda? Look for more information about the author or organisation.
  • Look for supporting evidence. Use a fact checking site if appropriate (,, etc). Follow up links to research studies, or data sources. Ask yourself if they are authoritative. Look for other reports about the same study. Remember fake news doesn’t have to be “made up”. Facts reported selectively can be dangerously misleading.
  • read more

    LS:N – reminder of a great resource in Design

    20 February 2017

    Andy Callen

    Read why Andy thinks LS:N is a great electronic resource.

    Just wanted to remind you about the excellent electronic resource for all Design subjects, LS:N Global. LS:N is a trend prediction database that complements the use of WGSN (for Fashion) and Mintel (general business reports). It is extremely useful for business information and analysis, it has up-to-date and easily readable articles that can inform your written work, and great illustrations to inspire your creative work. LS:N is also potentially very useful for other subject areas such as Business and Management.

    It’s the kind of database that is best explored by clicking on all its links, but particularly recommended are:

  • The Search function if you’re looking for a particular topic; there are also Filters to limit your search further. Try a search for youth to get results on youth fashion and the importance of youth trends in influencing design.
  • The Trends link for the consumer trends that drive innovation and change in design.
  • Inform for the opinions of industry experts, which would be especially useful for your assignments.
  • There is a Glossary at the bottom of the screen that gives you definitions for the terms used in the articles.
  • read more

    Finding scores and sheet music

    17 February 2017

    Need to find scores and sheet music via the Library? Joanna tells you how.

    Finding printed music in the Library

    The Library holds over 2000 printed music items, most of which can be borrowed. They are shelved on the top floor in Clifford Whitworth Library, or in our store.  Use

    Library Search read more

    Information sources for Journalism – useful databases

    27 January 2017

    Databases for Journalism students 

    Library Search is a great way to start a search for information on a particular topic, but if you want to use a specialist database, we have a huge range of sources that can provide you with information.  The list below is just a small selection.


    • Academic Search Premier – general full text journal article resource, good for a wide range of subject areas.
    • Arts & Humanities Index – titles include both scholarly journals and selected trade and consumer titles relevant to applied arts and cultural studies. Subject strengths include music, theatre, film and cultural studies.
    • Broadcast – a weekly online (and print) magazine covering the UK TV and radio industry. Useful for broadcasting news, commissioning, analysis and opinion.
    • Box of Broadcasts – provides access to an archive of TV and radio programmes from UK broadcasters. Allows you to request recordings of programmes yet to be broadcast (from the next 7 days).
    • Business Source Premier –journal articles, reports and books on business topics
    • Communication & Mass Media Complete – covers all aspects of communications, including media technology and social impacts.
    • Performing Arts Periodicals database – journal articles on all aspects of artistic performance, including film and broadcasting.
    • Nexis – full text press articles from regional, national and international newspapers and magazines.
    • Web of Science – despite its name this is a very useful and comprehensive resource for all social science topics – often worth checking.
    • Public Information Onlinecontains information from the Westminster and the UK’s regional parliaments/assemblies, plus a range of non-parliamentary material.
    • Westlaw includes articles from legal journals. (Remember to select Journals before you search, unless you are also looking for other legal material.)
    • read more

    Want a book, but it’s not at the University of Salford Library?

    11 November 2015

    You want it, we'll get it

    If you want a particular book, but we don’t have it in stock at all at any of the University’s libraries, it doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Try our You Want It, We’ll Get It service – fill in the short e-form at . In most cases we’ll buy the book for the Library, and you’ll be notified when the book is ready – no cost to you personally! You can also find the link on the Library webpage.