Beyond the Library

Will you be working on a dissertation or project this summer or next year? Worried that the Library might not have access to the specialist books and other resources which you need? Wondering how you can find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held in other libraries?

Wonder no more! There are three main ways you can find and access books and other resources held elsewhere:

1. Search

You can search the catalogues of over 100 UK and Irish academic libraries, national libraries and other major research libraries via COPAC. For a more in-depth and up to date search, you can also search individual academic library catalogues online. Need to look further afield? Search library catalogues internationally via WorldCat.

2. Visit

We have more information about how you can visit other libraries, locally and nationally, here. The SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to use other academic libraries around the country, but you need to register online first (and be sure to check the access arrangements for any library you are planning to visit, as they may alter during the year).

3. Obtain

If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it, via our Books on Time service. If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, please apply via our inter library loan service.

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay. 

Spotlight on …. UbuWeb

Have you tried using UbuWeb yet?  You’ll be surprised at the amount of ‘stuff’ in there!

First of all, what is UbuWeb?  UbuWeb is a completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts. It hosts a wide range of texts and audio-visual materials.  A few examples include:

Conceptual Writing:            

“Poetry expresses the emotional truth of the self. A craft honed by especially sensitive individuals, it puts metaphor and image in the service of song.” Read how Craig Douglas Dworkin continues his explanation of ‘The UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing’ and have a look at examples such as John Baldessari’s text “I will not make any more boring art”

Outsiders:  

Here’s how the editors describe this section: “Formerly known as UbuWeb’s Found + Insane section, we’ve redesigned and renamed it Outsiders, reflecting broader cultural trends toward the legitimization of Outsider work, be it in the visual, musical, or literary arts. Beginning with the mainstreaming of Folk Art (now known as Outsider Art) and the work of Jean Dubuffet in the mid-twentieth century, and moving into the present with the recent well-received museum retrospectives of visionary art of the insane (Adolf Wolfli and Henry Darger), there appears to be an insatiable hunger for this raw and emotionally-charged work”

UbuWeb Contemporary:  

Read about the works presented by over 100 (to date) contemporary practitioners including one of our own Fine Art graduates, http://www.ubu.com/contemp/copeland/index.html  who’s also listed among UbuWeb’s Top Ten!

Podcasts:   

Produced by the Poetry Foundation, listen to podcasts of, for example: interviews with artists; the sound of Fluxus; women of the Avante-garde; the malady of writing, to name but a few.

Why not give UbuWeb a try – you’ll be surprised at how much ‘stuff’ there is!

(You can get to UbuWeb from the Fine Art Subject Guide http://www.ubu.com/).

Learning and Teaching Conference: Library activities

You’ll find links to the relevant Library resources below.

As time is limited, your handout gives you suggestions as to which sections you may find it useful to explore, and what sort of feedback we’d welcome, but please feel free to explore as you wish!

A. Academic skills resources

B. Research skills resources

Aimed at UGs/PGTs: please explore our dissertations/projects guide.

Aimed at PGRs: please explore the new online format for our HSS8002 information and library skills module. We’ve created a dummy version of HSS8002 for today’s workshop. You should be able to access the dummy course directly via this link. If not, log in to Blackboard, click Courses, and then type HSS8002 in the search box. Now click on the link to HSS8002conference.

You can also read our LTDS case study about this project.

C. Reading lists online

D. Employability guide

 

 

Put Your Skills to the Test: Escape Room Mini Game

Time to put your skills to the test!

As part of our ‘Level Up Your Academic Skills’ event we will be running an exciting ‘Escape Room’ mini challenge across three different locations this week.

In teams of 2-3 people you’ll be tasked with solving a series of puzzles against the clock, with the fastest team set to win a prize!

To take part, drop by our Academic Skills displays at the following times:

Walton Library – Tuesday 19 March from 13:00-14:30

Philip Robinson Library – Wednesday 20 March from 10:00 – 12:00

Marjorie Robinson Library – Friday 22 March from 10:30-12:00

Taking you to the next skills level

Have you heard about ASK? It’s the University’s one-stop-shop for academic skills.

Are you concerned about being accused of plagiarism? Having some difficulty with statistical analysis? Struggling to write a persuasive argument in your essay? Feeling like you’re not able to manage your lecture, seminar and assignment workload? Or perhaps you are a master procrastinator who needs to just crack on with some work. The ASK (Academic Skills Kit) can help!

Signposting you to the services, resources and support available across Newcastle University, it will help you identify where to go for advice and support to improve your study habits and develop skills that are invaluable for University and what comes after.

ASK directs you to the correct place for support and includes online resources such as quizzes and videos, to help you better understand where you may need to grow.

Why not start with the myth busting quiz developed by the Writing Development Centre for some quick tips on how to study well?
Image of study myths quiz

Build your bag of tricks and special skills

We’re probably all familiar with the fact that the library is where you find the books, but this month, why not explore all of the other types of information that can add to your academic skills bag of tricks. The library’s Resource Guides draw together the best resources available, organised by the type of information rather than subject area.

So if you are trying to find historic newspapers, company financial data, market research, standards or images you will find a resource guide for all of that!

Market research resource guide homepage

The guides are updated all the time as we add new subscriptions to our collection or identify online resources that we think will be useful for teaching and research. You’ll find the Resource Guides on the library website and as quick links on every Subject Guide https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/resources-and-study-support/subject-guides/.

Resource guide quick links from the subject guides

We’ve also highlighted the Resource Guides that are most commonly used for your subject area in the Specialist Resources section.

Specialist resources quick links image

So next time you need to find a newspaper article, a government paper or some statistics to analyse, visit the Resource Guides to help you identify where to look.

Study Well@NCL – What we’re doing in the Walton Library.

As you may have already seen Study Well@NCL advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces because we know it can be stressful especially at certain times of the year.

Extended Opening Hours

Here in the Walton Library from 7th-25th January 2019 we’ll be extending our opening hours opening from 8:30 until midnight, seven days a week. You can check our extended opening times on the library website.

Noise Alert Service

We’ll also be monitoring our Noise Alert phone very closely during this time. Wherever you are in the Walton, you can text us at 07891 484764 and we’ll investigate the source of the noise issue as soon as possible.

Housekeeping

During busy periods staff will be checking to see:

  • where seats are available.
  • that bins are emptied.
  • that bathrooms are clean.
  • that walkways are kept clear.

How you can help

  • Choose a study space suited to your preferred choice of study, we have silent, quiet and collaborative spaces to chose from.
  • Do be mindful of the food and drink policy within your chosen study area.
  • We might not always know straightaway if there’s a shortage of towels in the bathroom or if a bin in a group study room needs emptying. Just give us a quick heads up if you notice something that needs our attention and we’ll be right on it.

Looking after yourself

We encourage all Library users to take regular study breaks. Taking the time to get a drink of water or some fresh air can make all the difference to your study session.[1] However, to be fair to all Library users, we’re asking that breaks away from your study space are no more than 30 minutes.

Colour your Campus

On a much lighter note, we’ll be providing pens, pencils and special medical-themed colouring sheets for you to relax and unwind with. Studies have shown that colouring can reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults.[2] So while you’re taking a study break, why not pause and Colour Your Campus? Even better, hand your completed sheet in to a member of Library staff with your name or Twitter handle on the back and we’ll enter it into a draw to win some fabulous Library prizes.

We hope that Study Well@NCL provides you with a peaceful and productive study environment and allows you to achieve maximum studying satisfaction. We welcome feedback on how we can change or improve Study Well@NCL. You can Tell Us What You Think’ online or get a form in the Walton Library.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please contact the University Student Wellbeing Team or NUSU Student Welfare. They’re there to help.

We wish you every success with your exams – Study well.

References

[1] Flett, J., Lie, C., Riordan, B., Thompson, L., Conner, T. and Hayne, H. (2017). Sharpen Your Pencils: Preliminary Evidence that Adult Coloring Reduces Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety. Creativity Research Journal, 29(4), pp.409-416.

[2] Selig, M. (2019). How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain? 5 Surprising Answers. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019].

 

 

Cook up your references more quickly by managing your information.

Banner image for referencing promition

The amount of information we gather and read on a daily basis can be really overwhelming. If you are reading for seminars, essays and dissertations, you can quickly lose track of the websites you visited, articles you downloaded and books you’ve read. But there are some quick and easy ways to manage the information you find, to be a little more organised and helping you reference it further down the line.

1. Pin your favourites in Library Search 

Click on the pin icon for the records of any items that interest you as you go, and add all of the books, ebooks and articles you use for your work to your Library Search favourites. You can tag items with a label for the theme you are researching or even a module code or assignment, to help you group them together and find them when you come to do your referencing.

Images showing the option to pin items and searches to your favourites

2. Use the cite button

In Library Search and subject databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest, as well as Google Scholar, you will find the option to copy or download a simple reference. This can then be copied and pasted into a work document to form the start of your reference list. With a little tidying up, you will have the basic information you need to compile a reference and save yourself the time of recording the full details manually.

But be warned – these references are never perfect! They often include information that you don’t need or have missing punctuation and formatting, so you will need to give them a quick tidy up. Use referencing guidance such as Cite Them Right to help you spot any errors.

Image showing the citation button in Lbrary Search

3. Use your search history and save searches

How often have you found the perfect article, clicked onto a different page or moved onto a different task, only to forget what it was called. Or found a load of useful articles but then forgotten how you filtered your results to find them?

This is where your search history an be really useful. If you log into Library Search, you can view your search history and save any useful searches by clicking on the save query pin icon.

You will find the option to save your searches in most of the subject databases too. To do this, you will often need to register for a personal account on the platform. Once you have saved your search, you can also do more advanced things, such as set up an alert that emails you whenever new articles are added to the database that match your search criteria.

4. Use a reference management tool 

Reference management tools allow you to build and maintain your own library of references. You can enter reference information manually or you can import them directly from Library Search, Google Scholar and subject databases. You can also upload the full-text pdfs, images or notes to the reference, so that everything is kept safely in one place. When you begin to write, the software will allow you to “cite while you write”, adding your in-text citation and building your reference list for you.

The University has a subscription for EndNote which is available in all University clusters, via RAS and as EndNote Online. You’ll find information about how to get started with EndNote on our EndNote library guide. 

Watch our short video to find out more …

The Great North Museum: Hancock Library:

My name is Helen Greenwell. Last year I graduated as a History student from Newcastle University. Welcome to the Great North Museum Hancock: Library where I work as a volunteer!

The library consists of four collections:

As Newcastle University students, you can borrow books from the Cowen collection and you can use any of the books from SANT or NHSN while you are in the library. We can scan or photocopy any of these books if you wish to leave the library.  You can become a member of SANT or NHSN in order to borrow their books, and students can receive a bursary from SANT so don’t worry about the cost, just ask one of the library team!

Our rare books collection is phenomenal and you only have to ask to view any of the volumes that are located in there. All of our stock is included in the University’s Library Search catalogue.  The library team has a great knowledge of the books that the library holds so even if you aren’t sure what you want, help is always at hand. You can explore history in this library and find books that you might not have even thought about.

The books in the library focus on archaeology, local history, and natural history, which include a lot more topics than you might initially think. If you’re stuck on a topic for your dissertation, why not pop into the GNM: Hancock Library  and see if there’s any subjects that you fancy writing about. You’ll be able to have access to primary sources, rare first editions of books, and even books from the 1500’s!

Newcastle Poll Book 1780
Photographed by Helen Greenwell

This library is small, but that means it’s personal. With a dedicated team of volunteers and Ian, the librarian, at your disposal, you will have quick access to a wide range of unique and fascinating texts.

Besides all the amazing books in this library, it’s also a great place to study, generally quiet and not too busy. There is plenty of space and computers linked to the University network to use, as well as power outlets and wi-fi access so you can bring your own laptop.

Come and ring the bell!

New resources: Natural and Environmental Sciences

This summer we have been very busy buying new journals, databases, eBook collections and print books in hot topics of interdisciplinary interest across Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Here is what we have purchased for Natural and Environmental Sciences:

JOURNALS
EBOOKS AND DATABASES

Click here for a list of all of the new resources we have purchased for the SAgE faculty.