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BOOKENDS April 2020, Volume 3, Issue 3

FEATURE ARTICLE: Distance Services & Support

As everyone knows, the Coronavirus is forcing all of us to use new methods for learning and teaching during this semester. We at the KU Libraries are committed to helping everyone in the KU community as you deal with this situation. We want to make sure that you know about all the resources that are available to you via the library.

Electronic Resources

The library has access to more than 60 electronic databases that contain thousands of full-text journals. These are all available both on and off-campus. You can see the complete list of databases at our  E-resources page: You can search for any individual journal titles at the Publication Finder. And you can search all of our resources in one place via our OneSearch tool. 


The library has access to hundreds of thousands of Ebooks that can be accessed from anywhere through sites such as Ebook Central, Ebsco Academic eBooks Collection, Ebsco Engineering Books Collection, and Knovel. You can also search for Ebooks within OneSearch by limiting your results to full-text and books.

Document Delivery

For any journal articles that the library does not have full-text access to, we will get a copy from another source at no charge to you. Just email your requests for these items to Be sure to include as much of the citation as you can to speed up the process. Items are frequently delivered to you in less than 24 hours.

Acquisition of Ebooks

If there is a book that you need, we will, as far as possible, acquire an electronic copy of it for you to use. Just submit your request to

AskUs (Online Reference Desk)

The librarians are available to answer your reference questions online via the AskUs online reference service. The AskUs service is available on all of the library’s pages, including the homepage, in the AskUs section immediately under the Quick Links. This service is available whenever the library is open. After hours, you can still submit a question to us via this system and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Individual Consultations Online

If you are having any problems accessing or using any of our resources, a librarian would be glad to set up a one-to-one video conference to help you work through your problem. Just contact us at AskUs or email us at to arrange a session.


The library will host online workshops about any of the library services for you or your students upon request. Just submit your request to us at

LinkedIn Learning (formerly

LinkedIn Learning provides an online library of over 200,000 high-quality video tutorials and courses on topics relating to computing, business, management, marketing, education, elearning, design, web development, animation, and audio. It includes many helpful courses on Educational Technology that should be especially helpful at this time. The system uses the university’s Single Sign On, so just log in with your KU email address and you will be taken to the SSO page.

As always, the library team is here to help you in any way that we can. You can find out all the ways to contact us at the library’s contact page or by emailing us at



Distance Learning resources are crucial to our users at this period of time. We have thousands of Ebooks that treat distance learning and education topics. These are accessible through this link.

All faculty, staff, and students have free access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly called, a premier professional training site. LinkedIn Learning offers thousands of classes on dozens of topics that would be useful to our community, especially at this time. There are courses covering educational technology, working at home, being an effective leader remotely, and many more. 

In all, there are more than 15,000 classes. So whether you are interested in business, education, developing your creative side, or learning more about technology, LinkedIn Learning has courses for you. Many of the courses have professional certificates that you can receive upon completion. 

To access LinkedIn Learning, just go to, or go to the library's E-resources page. The site uses the university's Single Sign-On server to authenticate, so just log in with your KU email address to get started.

You can find a complete set of instructions for accessing and using the site here. And as always, if you need some help, please contact us at the AskUs page or via email at


During our current times with the lockdown and isolation, we are depending fully on our electronic resources. Some of these e-resources come in the form of electronic journals, electronic books, online databases through varied digital formats such as Adobe Acrobat documents (.pdf), WebPages (.htm, .html, .asp etc) and others.

KU Libraries have access to more than 60 electronic databases that contain thousands of full-text journals amongst other resources. These are all available both on and off-campus. You can view the complete list of databases on our e-resources page.  You may search for any specific journal title or even by discipline through the Publication Finder. The powerful OneSearch tool found on the library portal's main page is your One Stop Search engine for all ku library resources.

We are keen on checking on a daily basis that all links to databases are working effectively. Please do contact our e-resources Librarian, if you encounter any issues.

To access e-resources off-campus, do the following:

  1. Go to any resource through e-resources or while searching in OneSearch.
  2. Click the link provided, and type your KU username and password, the same for accessing KU network. 


Librarians do more than just handle books. We educate, we organize, we facilitate and counsel students who need help with their research skills.

"Let me tell you about a typical day for me at KU libraries. By the time I arrive at work, there are e-mails waiting for me to handle, ILL requests, LibChat queries related to extending loans, workshops, theses access, links to articles and book requests. I also keep a vigilant eye on calendar to remind me of my appointments for information literacy sessions, which are exciting times for delivering knowledge while interacting with our valuable students. Once these have all been dealt with, I have a couple of minutes to rush to a department meeting to discuss issues related to scheduling staff, service statistics and updates on preparation for tasks we are assigned to."

"After this, it’s time for me to cover the reference desk from 11am to 1pm. In this role, I get to help students directly with their research skills. They ask me many questions about research skills, and this becomes quite intense the closer we get to assignment submission time.  By 1pm, a lunch break with a fellow librarian is what I truly need to recharge my thoughts and energy!"

"The day is not over yet, however, and in the afternoon I spend time helping a stressed-out student, who is panicking about her up-coming assignment. We spend some time finding ways to sort it out, working out strategies to help her find the information she needs. The smile on her face and words “thank you Ms” touch my soul and I consider this encounter the achievement of the day. The feeling of being a support system to our students is all what matters. To me, it’s all about wanting and needing to give unlimited support."


Writing books on UAE military and police history is no easy sailing. Let's hear what Dr. Yates has to say on his experience doing just that!

"In 2019, I published two books on UAE military and police history and in 2020 another book on this topic will come out. All of these books have resulted from 8 years of research. I’m frequently asked how I did this given both the perceived sensitivity of the subject, and the lack of information in the public domain."

"There is a general perception that writing on the UAE military and police history is sensitive and should be avoided. However this perception is incorrect, as the UAE is proud of the history of its security forces, and is actively promoting that history. For example, Major Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi Police has been leading the police force’s history program and one of the program outcomes has been the establishment of the Al Ain Police Museum which opened in 2019. This museum complements other police museums around the country. Another example is the willingness of the Commander of the UAE Navy, Major-General Sheikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, to provide me with assistance in the writing of a book on the history of the Abu Dhabi Naval Force, and his willingness to write the book’s foreword."    

"The second element – relying on primary research – has been critical, as much secondary literature is shallow, is not comprehensive, lacks nuances, and can even be factually incorrect. To overcome this, I have to rely on two forms of primary data – interviews and documents. I have probably interviewed more than 120 people, both in the UAE and overseas as the security forces of the 1950s to 1970s contained large numbers of expatriate officers. These people have been a wonderful source of photographs and documents, both of which are important as they provide dates and details which people often forget when they are recounting their experiences. I have also spent dozens of weeks in a number of archives both in the UAE and around the world collecting material. Valuable primary material can also be found in UAE history museums, such as the Ajman and Umm Al Quwain local history museums, which have small but unique collections of photographs, uniforms and documents. I also located several unpublished autobiographies and collections of correspondence from former security officers."

"The final key to my success in writing histories has been the use of standard social science research methods. For data collection, this involves recording and where necessary transcribing oral interviews, and developing a reference system to record and retrieve archived material. In terms of data analysis, triangulation has been absolutely central. Triangulation involves constantly cross-checking information, and assessing its veracity. If there was a contradiction or doubt about some gathered information, additional evidence was sought. More weight in terms of facts, such as dates and sequence of events, was given to archival documents than interviews. Greater weight was given to evidence supplied by actual participants in an event rather than on those giving second-hand accounts. To improve accuracy, interview notes and chapter drafts were distributed to the interviewees and others for review. This improved the quality of the work as people then had time to reflect on what had been said and how it had been interpreted. It was observed that a number of interviewees asked their colleagues to check facts and conclusions. The final key to my success was to recognize and adjust for the problems of relying on interviews and historical documents. In the case of interviews, people may have poor recall of events or answer on the basis of what they believe is socially appropriate. They may also respond in contradictory ways due to their ability to hold conflicting conceptions and beliefs simultaneously. For archival material, a recognized limitation is that information may be missing as not everything was recorded or saved. Another problem is that written material may have been exaggerated or contain errors of omissions designed to advance the author’s agenda." 

"I have been privileged to be able to research and write some of the first detailed and comprehensive histories of the UAE military and police forces. I am pleased that this work has helped to highlight the unique and rapid development of these forces, and has added to the UAE’s rich history."