The "Locate on shelf" button in the catalogue lets you find a book with the tap of a button.

While you can always put in a Click & Collect request, sometimes you just want to walk in and walk out with the book(s) you want. Here’s a quick three step guide to finding books for yourself.

"My own garden: the young gardener's yearbook" by Mrs Loudon. A toxic little book found in Leeds Library rare books collection.

Anyone who had read Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel “The name of the rose” might have thought poisoning people by contaminating a book with a deadly toxin is the stuff of fiction but books manufactured in the nineteenth century were often made with the most hazardous of substances. Green covers achieved using arsenical dyes and anti-fungal agents added glues make some books from this era positively dangerous to handle without gloves.

Finding books might involve a learning curve but borrowing and returning books is easy. The self-service kiosks in the Atrium let you borrow an entire stack of books at once at any time the library is open, which means anytime 24/7 during term-time! Pile your books up on the glass plate, tap “Borrow” on the screen, scan your university card against the black fob on the front until the kiosk recognises you, then wait a moment until all the books are listed on screen.

A group of school leavers visited us as part of their National Citizenship Service to design and carry out a social action project and created a community display that represented their interests as young people, to make an impact on the academic community at the University of Portsmouth. View images of the display here on the Library blog or come in and see the display for yourself in the Library Atrium.

Reading for pleasure for just 30 minutes a week is associated with many benefits, from increased life satisfaction, self-esteem, better sleep, creativity, and happiness to improved social skills. It helps us rediscover all of who we are as we recognise feelings and situations faced by characters, reminding us of our common humanity and helping us remember and reconnect to all that we are and not just those aspects of ourselves we feel reduced to by the doubts and anxieties of the moment. So where can you most easily find things to read for pleasure?