Friday, 30 March 2012

Easter Holidays Library Opening Hours 2012

Main Library

Monday 2nd April: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Tuesday 3rd April : 9.00am - 4.00pm
Wednesday 4th April : 9.00am - 4.00pm
Thursday 5th April: 9.00am - 4.00pm
Friday 6th April : CLOSED

Monday 9th April : CLOSED
Tuesday 10th April : 9.00am - 4.00pm
Wednesday 11th April : 9.00am - 4.00pm
Thursday 12th April : 9.00am - 4.00pm
Friday 13th April : 9.00am - 4.00pm

The Art Library and SPACE IT Centre are CLOSED throughout the Easter break. 

Normal hours resume on Monday 16th April 2012

You can return items by posting them through the Main Library Letter Box when we are closed.

Renew items online using the link at the foot of this webpage; by ringing (0191) 200 4020 and leaving a message (including your ID number) on our Answerphone; or by emailing

Have a very Happy Easter from all at Newcastle College Library Services!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Harvard Referencing Resources

Referencing is a necessary evil in your academic work, I'm afraid.

Its a means by which you can demonstrate that you have done background research for your work, acknowledge the ideas of others, and avoid accusations of plagiarism in what you have written.

And let us not also forget that you will get extra marks for correctly using references in your work too!

In the Harvard Referencing pages of this blog, we've put together a number of resources to try and help you get to grips with the Referencing standard used at Newcastle College. These include:

Click here for the full collection, and if you have any other suggestions for resources; or come across any particular problems when referencing your work, then don't hesitate to get in touch.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Free Printer Credits

The P-Counter Machine
Good news for those of you with lots of work to print out soon - all Newcastle College Students will get 50 free Printer Credits after the Easter Break, meaning you could print off 50 sides of A4 paper in black and white for free.

In the meantime, if you are running low on credits and need to print anything off this week, you'll need to top up your account.

Topping up is easy. We charge 2p per page and you can either pay at one of the Library counters (at Main Library, Art Library, PITS or SPACE), or use the P-Counter Machine beside the IT desk in the Main Library. Just log on to it as if you were logging on to Blackboard, insert your coins (this machine does NOT give change!!!), hit the silver "finish" button and wait for the flashing lights to turn red.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Our Favourite Online Resources

(by Courosa on Flickr. Creative Commons).
Over the past few months, we've been scouring the web and gathering together some of the best online research resources for you on this Blog's Research and Study Resources page - things which might be useful to you, particularly if you've got a lot of work to do over the Easter break.

Not only do these include direct access to the best Newcastle College e-resources (without the need to log on to Blackboard and try and find the Library pages!), there are also lots of trustworthy research weblinks here, plus lots of tried-and-tested free software that we think could benefit you.

Click here to explore the collection for yourself - bookmark the page, there's more added all the time - and if you have come across any other resources that you think may be useful, then please do let me know.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Northern Writers' Awards 2012

If you enjoy writing in your spare time and would like some publicity for your work, and a chance to win a share of the £25,000 cash prize, then why not take part in the Northern Writers' Awards 2012?

The awards exist to "support talented writers to move their work towards publication" and support poets, novelists and prose writers working on children's fiction, biographies or memoirs.

Even if you don't win, you can get a bit more exposure for your work.

All you need to do is submit two copies of...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Amazon Kindle's Best Kept Secret

We've all heard of Amazon Kindle - the best known and perhaps most popular e-book platform around at the moment.

What is less well-known is that you can get free books for your Kindle - some of these are out-of-copyright popular classics, but there are also limited-time titles that are released by publishing companies as special offers.

Click here for more information. It's worth bookmarking this page, as different titles are added all the time, or set up a free notification email here.

Best of all, you don't even need to own a Kindle to benefit! You can download the Kindle App for free from either iTunes or Android Marketplace to use on your Smartphone or Tablet.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Harvard Referencing App

If you've got an iPad or iPhone, you might be interested in this App (price £1.49) that will compose Harvard References for you.

All you need to do is select what type of source you want to reference, input the required information, and the App will devise the Bibliographic entry to Harvard Standard.

A variety of similar (free) software packages and sources of referencing help online are also available via our dedicated Harvard Referencing pages on this blog, alongside a whole range of resources and support materials to help you with your academic writing.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Renew your IT Passwords

If you had to reset your College IT password in December / January this year, then be warned - its nearly time to have to change it again.

For security reasons, passwords need to be updated every 90 days - a period that is likely to expire over the Easter break. If you haven't already reset your password then, should you need to do any college work over the holidays, you wont be able to use Blackboard.

Next time you are in College, all you need to do is log on to a PC computer as normal, press "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" then click on "Change Password".

Alternatively, you can reset your IT/Blackboard password off-campus from this link. Full details of how to use this facility are available here.

We can also reset locked (though not blocked) accounts at the Main Library PITS IT Desk.

If you have any problems resetting your password, then contact IT Helpdesk on +44 (0) 191 200 4700

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Cross College Training Day - 16th March 2012

Like the rest of Newcastle College, all Library branches are CLOSED to customers on Friday 16th March 2012, for staff training.

If you need to renew your books, please click on the Library Catalogue link at the foot of this blog page; ring (0191) 200 4020; or email us at:

Access to our electronic resources is unaffected, so you can still use our e-book and e-journal resources 24/7 either via the FE/HE Library link on the "My Courses" page of Blackboard or through the Research and Study Resources link in this blog.

Normal service will resume from 08:45am on Monday 19th March, and apologies for any inconvenience this closure may cause.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Qualitative Data Analysis

Though Qualitative research gives a truer indication of why people behave in a certain way, or believe the things that they do, analysing people’s ideas, opinions or answers to interview questions can take longer than working with the numerical statistics that get generated by Quantitative research.

If you have applied Qualitative methods in your Dissertation or Research Project, you first need to mould the information into a usable format, before you can remark upon it, or draw any conclusions from it.

This flow diagram shows a process that might help...:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Get more out of Google

Sadly, though web searches have become an integral part of the academic research landscape, the art of the Google search is an increasingly lost one. A recent study at Illinois Wesleyan University found that fewer than 25% of students could perform a “reasonably well-executed search.”

Here's an Infographic which neatly sums up some advanced techniques that you can use to get the best out of Google when carrying out your research.

Hack College (2011) Get more out of Google. [Internet]. Available at: [Accessed: 01/03/12].

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Jewellery Sale for Charity

Later this month, Newcastle College Library Service is holding a Jewellery Sale at Mandela Art Library to raise funds for our nominated charity this year, Macmillan Cancer Care.

Can you help us?

What we want you to do is bring in any unwanted rings, necklaces, bangles, cufflinks, tiaras (just kidding!) or other jewellery items (girls' and guys') that you want to donate to the Art Library anytime from Monday 12th March 2012. We're open every weekday from 9.15am-4.30pm (with a 4pm finish on Fridays).

All the items will then go on sale on Monday 26th March from our Mandela Building branch at a cost of £1.50 per item, with all proceeds going to this really deserving charity which provides care and support to those living with cancer.

For more information, email

Thank you so much for getting involved.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Using MS Excel for Quantitative Data Analysis

(By Get Down on Flickr. Creative Commons)
If you've undertaken Quantitative Data techniques (such as questionnaires) in your Research Project or Dissertation, you may well have been left with lots of tally charts, Likert Scales or assorted ticks and crosses on handouts that you need to try and make some sense out of.

For any advanced statisticians out there, the best software to use to analyse numerical data is SPSS which is ridiculously expensive and not easy to use (a free trial version is available, though this expires after 14 days).

Alternatively, there is a Freeware version (cheekily called PSPP, it performs most of the same functions, but at no cost to you), though again if  you are not familiar with t-tests, anova, linear regression and non-parametric tests this isn't for the faint-hearted!

Luckily, there is a lot you can do with Microsoft Excel to generate and display decent data for you to analyse and cross-reference in order to unveil and support the findings of your research. These interactive tutorials help you master some of the advanced techniques for yourself.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Free Online Storage Space with Newcastle College

In addition to the free email account that you get as a Newcastle College Student, you also have access to 25GB's worth of free online storage on the same account - no need to juggle dozens of different USB sticks, save your work online and access it from any PC whenever you need it.

All you need to do is