Do you have a reading impairment?

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If you are a student with a reading impairment, you can get access to talking books and other support from the Library. In this interview with Åsa Falkerby and Solveig Lundin, two librarians who help students with reading impairment to access Legimus, we talk about the increasing demand for talking books and what is required to get a Legimus account as a student.

In the interview, it was described how reading impairment is a rather wide concept which many students recognize and identify themselves with. According to Åsa and Solveig, many students describe how they experience a lack of focus and difficulties to concentrate when reading lengthier texts. For the same reason, the demand for talking books has increased in recent years.

Today, many beginner university students do not always seem to be used to reading advanced, longer texts. As discussed during the interview, it sometimes may appear as if many students are more used to acquire knowledge by way of audiovisual media from school. During the interview, we asked ourselves whether this could pose a challenge when these students enter university.

What is required to get access to talking books?

To receive a Legimus user account, you must experience reading difficulties which are not merely due to the unfamiliarity with reading. The kind of reading impairment that warrants a Legimus account for talking books, are dyslexia and various neuropsychiatric diagnoses as well as visual impairment (read more: About reading impairment).

If this applies to you, do not hesitate to take part of the support that is available to you. It is a good idea to find out what course literature you will need as soon as possible and explore the various tools you can use to facilitate your studies, Åsa and Solveig point out.

Contact the library

You are welcome to contact us via email to consult one of our special needs librarians. Please describe your reading difficulties as clear as you can since this will allow us to better estimate your needs. As Åsa and Solveig explain, you will get to meet us at the library for more information about how Legimus works. The library also wishes to highlight TorTalk, which is a practical and simple to use application for reading scientific articles out aloud on your computer.


By: Cia Gustrén, librarian, Campus Norrköping Library

Introducing Byggmästare John Mattson Library – on Lidingö

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What did you say? Byggmästare John Mattson Library? On Lidingö?
Yes, in Stockholm, or on the island of Lidingö to be precise, is LiU’s smallest campus, equipped with its own library.

Situated on Campus Lidingö is Malmstens Linköping University (a division within the Department of Management and Engineering) which offers three bachelor’s programmes: Furniture Design, Cabinetmaking and Upholstery. These programmes have their origins with Carl Malmsten, a designer who started the school that is today Malmstens in 1930. A lot has happened at Malmstens since then. Some education programmes have been added, and some have been cancelled.

Byggnader vid Malmstens Linköpings universitet

Malmstens Linköping University. Photo by: Maria Leijonhielm

Carl Malmsten himself is most famous for furniture designs such as the Windsor-style chair model Lilla Åland and the armchair models Samsas and Farmor. Not equally well known is that he had an interest in pedagogy, which probably stemmed from his own somewhat difficult experiences at school. The pedagogy that is practiced at Malmstens today still has things in common with Carl Malmsten’s motto “hand and mind in creative combination.”

In the autumn of 2000, Malmstens became part of Linköping University. Since then, it is possible to study craft and design in an academic environment at Malmstens and acquire a bachelor’s degree and thereby qualify for master’s studies. At Malmstens, practical and academic elements not only exist side by side but rather dance together in harmony. To learn by doing and to continuously reflect upon one’s work is a hallmark of Malmstens.

What about the library then? When Malmstens outgrew its facilities on Södermalm in Stockholm, an opportunity arose to acquire new facilities perfectly adapted to its needs through the real-estate company John Mattsons Fastighets. Byggmästare John Mattson’s Memorial Foundation was established. The foundation donated funds to the library and is also a contributor to a professorial chair and awards scholarships to students who have excelled in their degree projects. The scholarships are usually handed out every year on Carl Malmsten’s birthday on the 7th of December.

Byggmästare John Mattson Library holds literature in design, craft, materials such as wood and textiles, as well as an array of publications about artisans, designers and artists. It offers a range of Swedish and international journals on these topics as well.

Ett runt bord omgivet av stolar och bokhyllor

Byggmästare John Mattson Library. Photo by: Maria Leijonhielm.

The library also houses Åke Livstedt’s Collection. Åke Livstedt, who donated his collection to the library, was an art and cultural historian with a keen interest in twentieth century design, and especially the Home exhibition at Liljevalchs in 1917, the Stockholm exhibition in 1930 and the H55 exhibition in Helsingborg. The collection comprises print material – searchable in Libris – and items such as porcelain and glass artifacts.

In the library, there is also a piano (recently tuned) that was designed and built by Georg Bolin, who was a teacher and headmaster at the former Carl Malmsten apprenticeship school.

Byggmästare John Mattson Library is open to the public as a reference library on Wednesdays between 1 pm and 5 pm. Only students and personnel at Malmstens Linköping University are eligible to borrow items.


By: Maria Leijonhielm, Senior Coordinator at Malmstens Linköping University

Translated by: Peter Igelström

We search, we find… The Search Team at Linköping University Library

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In this blog post, we would like to introduce you to the library’s Search team and share some of our experiences and best advice about how to refine your searches in order to find what you are looking for.

Behind every literature search there is not only a host of algorithms but also a human being. Is it not the searcher who could be said to have most experience of what is searched? Because after all, the searcher is also the one who finds – or put differently, the searcher knows what could possibly be found.

However, a researcher sometimes needs to get on track with his or her searches. This applies to PhD students and senior researchers alike. That is why the Search team at LiU is here to help you sharpen your search skills. No matter where you are in the research process, you are welcome to contact us – but it is an advantage if you have prepared a research inquiry to get as much as possible out of your session with us.

It is also important to have realistic expectations. The library can provide guidance in systematic literature searches, which means that we do not conduct searches for you but show you how to search as efficiently as possible yourself. The library can help you to search more efficiently, but doing searches often requires a lot of work. After all, well-structured searches are more than a quick Google search.

The Search team’s members are Joakim Westerlund, Magdalena Öström, Kerstin Annerbo, Marie-Louise Axelsson, Isolina Ek and Cia Gustrén.

Creativity and hard work

Joakim Westerlund provides search guidance for researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in various search topics and areas – both larger, systematic searches, introductions and repetitions for new as well as experienced researchers in the field of medicine.

Joakim has worked with searches of different kinds, within different subjects and with different intensity during the whole of his career as a librarian, which is now 24 years. His professional search expertise is within medicine, but he also has a background within technology and the natural sciences.

Joakim emphasizes that creativity, or sometimes “thinking unusual thoughts,” is important but that searching also means hard work. It is a challenge, which also makes it all the fun.

The value of collaboration

Magdalena Öström guides and supports researchers in literature searches within the social sciences (law, economics), behavioural sciences (psychology, pedagogy), natural sciences and technology.

With many years of experience from different units of the University Library as well as the Library of the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), she has developed an eye for the field of interdisciplinary studies. Professional life has also given her the insight that researchers’ specific subject expertise along with librarians’ skills in information searching, provide added value to the collaborative work of searching for information in a more structured or systematic manner.

Different experiences and backgrounds

Kerstin Annerbo has worked at LiU for more than 20 years. Her current position is mainly directed towards research support. As a member of the Search team, she guides and teaches in information searching and search-related issues within most subjects except law and medicine.

Kerstin agrees that searches require creativity as well as systematicity and patience. Subject specific knowledge and language skills will help, as well as familiarity with search resources, search strategies and techniques. But the primary subject expertise is in the hands of the researcher. This is what makes for good collaboration between researchers and librarians.

The different backgrounds and experiences of the members in the Search team, who also cooperate and work together, is a strength as well. Kerstin, and the rest of us too, wish that more PhD students and senior researchers would find it easy to contact the us whenever they have search-related questions, whether they are minor or of a more comprehensive kind. Or why not book a session with the library for your research group or department?

The importance of documentation

Marie-Louise Axelsson at Campus Valla Library offers search guidance within the behavioural sciences, social sciences and humanities, whereas Isolina Ek at Medical Library mainly guides researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and offers introductions to reference management software like EndNote. Isolina has worked as a librarian within the area of health care for more than 20 years, both at the university library and the hospital’s library.

Both Isolina and Marie-Louise underscore the importance of careful documentation for every search. This affects the final result of the search process. A literature search must be done in several batches, with several complementary searches that add to each other. Documentation facilitates that process. It is also important to document searches for your own benefit, since it is virtually impossible to reconstruct a search afterwards, unless you have saved it and documented how you went about it.

Information searches impact research results

Cia Gustrén has worked as a librarian in the Search team at Campus Norrköping Library since January 2022. Except for being a librarian, she has spent more than 20 years in the academic world and received a doctoral degree in media and communication studies in 2021.

Cia mainly provides search guidance within the humanities, behavioural sciences and social sciences. Above all, she has learned that information searching of the more structured or systematic kind can be a crucial fundament for research as well as the formulation of a research inquiry and eventually research results. Librarians are skilled information searchers and Cia highly recommends researchers to consult the library for good advice whenever they need it.

Her advice is to try different search terms and strategies in order to find those that yield the desired result. Searching is far from a linear process – it can vary depending on which databases or other resources you use. Also, let your search take the time and effort that it requires.

That was a quick introduction to the Search team. Do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions. You can reach us through the form Search support for researchers.

Kind regards,
the search team at Linköping University Library


Collect articles and handle references with a reference manager

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Linköping University Library offers introductions to EndNote and Zotero. These reference management programs serve the same purpose and have similar functions, but are different in design and layout. A reference manager simplifies the process with collecting documents and inserting them as references in word processor documents.

When using a reference manager, there is no need to make lists of documents found in databases and you won’t have to enter references to these documents manually in your texts. This saves time and simplifies the information seeking process.

To clarify, it is not primarily the documents themselves that are collected in a reference manager, but metadata, which is information about documents (such as title, author, publisher, year of publication etc.). A document in this context can be everything from a book and a scholarly article to a working paper, a conference paper, a book chapter, or a newspaper article.

Zotero versus EndNote

The Zotero software can be downloaded for free at the Zotero website. There, you can also download Zotero Collector, a tool for quick and easy download of documents from databases and websites. Zotero Collector is a plugin which is installed in your browser.

This feature is one of the advantages with Zotero compared to EndNote. The latter software has a similar plugin, but this will only help you find PDFs that are possible to download. If you use EndNote, you need to locate the metadata file connected to each document yourself. These are so called RIS files that can typically be found under “Export” or “Cite” in databases.

In contrast to Zotero, EndNote is a subscription-based software, but available at no cost for LiU students and staff via MinIT. A disadvantage with EndNote is that if you want to continue to use it after leaving LiU, you need to pay for a subscription yourself.

More functions

When it comes to additional functions, both EndNote and Zotero offer options to adapt and edit a wide range of reference styles, including the possibility to custom your own style. In both reference managers, you can share your document library with others, allowing group work and collaboration.

Both allow using cloud services, i.e. saving online documents and syncing them with files in your document library in the downloaded (desktop) version of the reference management program. Zotero can be used with Google Docs, which is not the case with EndNote.

A disadvantage with Zotero is that the freely available version has a limited storage capacity of 300 MB. But if there is no need to collect PDFs in Zotero, this will not be a problem. An alternative is to store your PDFs on your own computer or in a cloud service available to you.

Which one should I choose?

In your choice of reference manager, you need to consider the practical functions of the program, your options regarding access, and if it is necessary for you to use the same program as your collaborators. The academic writing process can be tricky and difficult to navigate, but with a reference manager it will be somewhat easier.

More information about EndNote, Zotero, and reference management:
Citation technique and styles

By: Niklas Ferdinand Carlsson, librarian, Campus Norrköping Library

Translated by: Peter Igelström

New library e-books

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Linköping University Library purchase and subscribe to e-books from various publishers. All library e-books can be searched in the search service UniSearch. The great majority of them are in English and if a book is required reading at a course at LiU, the Library will acquire an e-book version whenever possible.

If you wish us to buy a book that is not part of the library collection, you are welcome to submit a purchase suggestion via the Request book form at Interlibrary loans and purchase suggestions.

If you have any questions about e-books or other library media, get in touch with us via email, or our live chat at the Library web.

Some examples of newly acquired e-books:


By: Maria Svenningsson, Valla Library