By now some of you may have already met us in your Canvas modules or in online sessions, but if not you may be wondering who we are and what we do. As the name suggests, the Library’s liaison team liaise with the academic schools at Newcastle University, to help us plan and deliver excellent Library services which meet the needs of staff and students. We’re a friendly bunch: you should get to know us!
What is a Liaison Librarian?
Let Lucy, the Liaison Librarian for Arts and Law, give you a taste of what our role involves.
How can you get in touch with us?
We’re here to help you get the best out of the Library, so if you need help it’s easy to get in touch. Use Library Help to get in touch 24/7, contact the Liaison Team for your subject area or visit your Subject Guide to find out about the resources and help available for you. We recommend you use the subject team email addresses, rather than emailing an individual person. That’s because some of us work part-time, or may be away: emailing the team will ensure you’ll get a prompt answer.
The guides group together all the main library subscriptions we have for that specific type of information, as well as linking out to key external links and resources too. Wherever possible we also include guidance and help on how to get the best out of the databases and links and group the information together into a logical and helpful way. We know how busy life is and we simply want to save you time!
So what you are waiting for, go and check out our fabulously named Resource Guides, because they do exactly what they say on the tin!
We have over 6 million e-books accessible through Library Search, including titles that feature on your reading lists, or those that have been recommended by staff and students. Sometimes we buy them through large bundle deals with specific publishers so we gain access to lots of research titles all at once.
Why use e-books?
e-books are incredibly useful resources as they are available 24/7 from any location, work with most devices and some come with snazzy features such as keyword searching, annotation options, links to other relevant information, and reading aloud facilities to name but a few.
How do e-books work?
As we get e-books from different platforms and providers you might see a different layout each time you access one of our titles but the logic is the same. You can navigate using a toolbar, you can normally turn pages using little arrows at the top or side of the page, you can jump to specific chapters and in some cases, print or download all or some sections of the e-book to read offline.
Unfortunately, one thing you can’t do with e-books is download and save offline a copy of the book to keep forever, there are usually some download restrictions. This is because we have subscriptions or licence access to titles but we don’t own the title. There is something called Digital Rights Management where publishers can control the copying, pasting and downloading of their content, this is linked to issues with privacy and copyright.
How do I access e-books?
Simply navigate to Library Search and enter your keywords to look for a book title as usual. Library Search is the best way to access resources whether you’re on or off campus as it makes sure you’re logged in correctly and can access resources simply and quickly.
Watch this short video to begin searching for books and e-books.
From your search results, choose an e-book which looks relevant e.g. Essentials of Business Research Methods by Hair, which we know is popular book for Business students doing dissertations. If you are off campus, you will need to sign in with your University ID and Password.
Once the e-book has loaded on the screen, hover over the functionality buttons to see what they do. For example; the search option will be useful if you’re looking for specific topics; use the Table of Contents to navigate straight to a chapter you’ve been told to read, or select the paint pallet to change the colour of the background to help with your reading.
Not all titles are available in eBook format for an institutional library to purchase, but if you’d prefer a title in electronic format we can certainly investigate. Just let us know by recommending a book.
Library Search is a powerful tool that can help you find good quality, relevant information quickly. Using Library Search is pretty intuitive but there are some useful search tips that can help you improve and get the most out of your searches:
Keywords and Subject Terms
When you’re searching for information it’s important to use a range of related keywords to ensure you find everything relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re searching for information on ‘Climate Change’ you might also want to search for ‘Greenhouse Effect’ or ‘Global Warming’ too. Thinking of related keywords can sometimes be difficult but Library Search can help!
From your search results page, click on the title of a resource to open the resource record and scroll down to the ‘Details’ section. Here you will find a list of ‘Subjects’, also known as subject terms, used to describe the topics and themes this particular resource discusses. Take a look at this list and add any relevant words to your search string.
There are some other useful features in the resource record page that can help with your searches too:
Browse the virtual shelf
At the very bottom of the record you’ll find a virtual bookshelf, a visual list of the books that can be found next to this one if you were looking in the physical library. As the library is organised by subject some of these titles might be useful for your research too.
Read the abstract
A quick way to tell if a resource is going to be relevant and useful for your research is to read the abstract, a summary of the contents of the resource. On the resource record in Library Search, you’ll find this under the heading ‘Description’.
The Advanced Search function in Library search allows you to create a search that will produce more focused results. It does this by providing a range of search fields and drop down lists that help you build up your search.
Select from the options to:
Limit your search field to the title, author, subject, collection etc.
Apply BOOLEAN operators (AND, OR, NOT) to your keywords
Filter by specific material types, languages and dates to focus your search results to the most relevant resources.
Take a look at the Advanced Searching page on our Finding Information Guide for more on how to combine your keywords, create a search string and improve your search results.
You know Library Search. You use it every day when you’re at University. Why are you going to read a blog post on it? Well, we’re wondering if you’re using Library Search to its full potential. Not sure? Then read on.
Library Search is Newcastle University Library’s discovery tool – essentially it’s how you find resources on the library shelves and access those invaluable resources online. But what else can it do?
Log in. Using your usual Campus ID and password, you can open up the full functionality of Library Search by telling it who you are. It allows you to:
Log into your library account to see what books you have on loan (which you may be finished with and could return to any library site), those requests you’ve placed and any books you have on loan that may have been requested by someone else. The standard library stuff, but it’s important too.
Save items you want to come back to (that’ll save you writing them down somewhere else). Find that favourite item and ‘pin’ it to your record. You can then access a list of your favourite books, journals or journal articles and label (or tag) them as to why you may need them, e.g. Herbology, Professor Snape’s essay, or Field Trip to Hogsmeade. That makes it easy to see what you need to use for each lecture, seminar or assessment.
Permalink. You can share an item with someone if you want to – copy the permalink to the clipboard and send it to someone you know may be interested.
Save your search. If you need to repeat your search then save it within Library Search so you don’t need to remember the keywords and connectors (AND, OR, NOT) sequence. This is important if you are scoping a search and need to record or change your approach. You can also ‘Personalise’ your results to a particular discipline – give it a try!
Set up a RSS Feed (yes, really!). The Rich Site Summary function allows you to be informed of changes to results in your saved searches. Handy, eh? Go to your Saved Searches and simply click the RSS icon.
Receive an email alert when there are new results for your saved search. This can save you time in your research as Library Search will inform you if there is a new publication available which matches your search terms. Switch it off when you move onto a new subject area by accessing your Favourites list and deselecting the alarm bell icon.
Finally, if you’re writing up your assignment and can’t remember the essential elements of a reference, then use Library Search for guidance. The Citation tool will allow you to view a suggested citation and to copy it to your clipboard for use in your work.*
*BUT (you knew that was coming, didn’t you) ensure you choose the correct style and check your citations for accuracy before including them in your work. It pays to know your required referencing style and not to rely on automated or generated references. If you want to learn more about referencing then see our Managing Information guide and Cite Them Right. Cite Them Right is a great resource which will remind you of the importance of referencing, how to reference and will give guidance on how to cite those more tricky materials such as conference papers, newspaper articles, social media posts and more. Finally, there’s a new tutorial with lots of interactive questions so you can test yourself too.
If you know of any tips or tricks in Library Search that aren’t mentioned here, then leave us a comment and share them!
Library Search is Newcastle University’s library catalogue. But it will give you more than just information on where to find books on the shelves! It’s our power search system and looks inside many of our subscription journals and databases, to retrieve articles, conference papers, news items and more. It is the basic way to begin any literature search.
If you can spare a few minutes then watch these short videos to learn just what Library Search can do for you:
We’re a couple of weeks in to term, and for new (and returning) students, it’s time to start looking beyond your reading list. Reading lists are a great place to find the essential reading material for your modules. But when you begin to look in more depth at topics that interest you, and to read for your seminars and assignments, you will need to look beyond your reading list to the wider books, ebooks, journal articles and more, that you will find using Library Search.
This week we are putting the spotlight on Library Search, to give you tips and tricks to help find good quality, relevant information, quickly. We are going to share videos that show you how to search. Tips to help with your referencing and keeping track of the information you find.
Let’s start off with Library Search in 90 seconds …
Whether you’re a fresher or a
final year student we want to help you get the most from your Library. From
discovering resources to finding the right study space, to where to go to get help
with your coursework. So, here are a couple of ways you can settle in and join
in at the Library:
Virtual Escape Game and Prize Draw
There’s something strange going on at the
Library – something about dangerous magical beasts and impossible riddles. It
all sounds like an elaborate freshers’ week prank…but what if there’s
something more going on?
Challenge yourself to our exciting Escape Game and enter our prize draw to be in with a chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher! (There are five runner-up prizes too, so lots of chances to win!) Play individually or work with a team of friends on Zoom (or other video conferencing tool of choice) to solve the puzzles and save the Library!
The Liaison Team have been working alongside services
from across the University to create and deliver our Library induction online
as part of the Newcastle Beginnings programme.
Available to all students in Canvas, it is designed to enable new
students to get started with the Library and act as a refresher for returning
students. You’ll find an introduction to our services, an overview of the
resources and support available for your subject area, guides on how to get the
best results from Library Search, and advice on accessing materials and support
from the Library wherever you are studying this semester.
This year’s rather unique circumstances mean that we’re managing our services and facilities more flexibly and that things may change at short notice. The best way for you to keep informed and up to date on availability of study spaces, and access to facilities and resources is to keep a weather-eye on the Library website, which will be regularly updated with any important changes.
Tag each item using the appropriate tag (i.e. essential, recommended or background reading), where: Essential = very important to the course, all students will need to use this text. Recommended = supplementary texts which students are encouraged to use. Background = additional texts which are suggested for background subject area reading.
Send your list to the library for checking and stock orders.
Publish your list to ensure your students can access it.
Things to know:
Tagging each item with essential, recommended and background can generate book orders: there are book/student ratio ordering criteria for items being added to library stock and tagging will allow informed decisions to be made by the Library’s team.
Given we are in the midst of a pandemic and teaching is being undertaken in a different way this term, the Library will attempt to obtain access to all resources online (e.g. e-books) where possible. Please note we do try our best but not everything is available online! Where we can’t obtain an online resource, we will usually opt for the print instead.
There is a Canvas course prepared for you to learn how to use Reading Lists. It’s short and full of useful information on making the best use of the service for your students. Self-enrol on Reading Lists Training for Staff today.
If you would prefer to submit your reading list or lecture/seminar handout to a dedicated team of Library staff to be processed, use the submission form or email the lists to email@example.com for support.
So, Reading Lists are a great way to let your students know what they need to read, and to keep the Library informed too; they are the wise choice.
If you have any questions about this service, please do contact us via Library Help.