If there’s one thing you’ll get to know pretty intimately while you’re a student at the University of Newcastle, it’s the library. It’s basically your uni significant other.
The library encourages you to work harder, supports you during that night-before cram, and is the perfect host when you’re hanging out with your group study buddies.
But what would you say if I told you…there’s things about the uni libraries you might not know about. (And no – I don’t mean the sick disco ball at Auchmuty).
Here is a just a selection of some of the under-utilised services on offer at our libraries.
1. Book a librarian
Believe it or not, the librarians can do way more than help you with the photocopier and tell people to be quiet in the silent zones (a true blessing).
Between the hours of 9am-5pm on a weekday, you can drop in to any of our libraries and ask a Librarian for help with your assignments and research. Cut your study time in half by having the librarian guide you through relevant e-books, research, journal articles and the most dreaded part – referencing.
You can also book a librarian in advance for a time which suits you.
No need to stress if you’re not on campus often, you can also get help from a librarian in face-to-face online sessions through Library Live .
2. Subject Resource Guides
Subject Resource Guides really are a dream – once you discover them you’ll never go back. Essentially, these guides provide databases and research sources specifically tailored for your study area.
For example, if you click on the ‘Law’ subject resource guide, it’ll show you the best places to find case law, legislation and secondary sources. Or if you’re a med student, key resources include databases like AccessMedicine (for all your medical e-book needs) and UpToDate (practical clinical, evidence based, peer-reviewed access to synthesized medical information).
Due to the sheer number of Subject Resource Guides available (seriously – look at how many they are!) you can be sure there’ll be something to help you.
3. Online tutorials
The idea of doing more learning on top of your regular tutorials can seem like a drag, but hear me out! These online tutorials will make your regular tutorials easier. And easy = good.
With the Library’s InfoSkills online tutorial, you can learn how to plan your research, evaluate information, use information and avoid plagiarism.
But the one which I think is particularly helpful is the Library Guide to Referencing – here you can learn the basics and test your knowledge. Because there really is nothing more painful than acing an assignment, but losing heaps of marks for incorrect referencing.
4. Library classes
Library classes are fantastic for teaching skills you otherwise might not learn in class. These are for students at all stages in their studies, and offer discipline-specific classes as well as Postgraduate sessions.
General class topics include researching, literature reviews and Endnote.
Now I can’t speak for students in other faculties, but the library classes I’ve attended for Law have been really helpful. These have included how to get the most out of complex databases like Westlaw AU and Lexis Advance Pacific (which without the training are generally a headache to use).
These classes are run at a variety of times and campus locations – so don’t worry about missing out!
5. Book a study space
There really is nothing worse than rocking up to the library, ready to smash out that group assignment, and not being able to find a suitable spot to do so. (I’m looking at you kids who use the library for marathon Fortnite sessions).
Never face this problem again by booking a group study space. These spaces are available at all campuses, and give you own private area to study. Most rooms even come with a TV and HDMI cable!
But for all you solo studiers out there looking for a bit of extra room – unfortunately, these rooms can only be used by study groups.
So this exam season, go and show the library a little bit of love. You never know what you might learn!