This guide is for students on the HND in Graphic Design course at Banbury and Bicester College.  

How to find books

You can follow this link  to view an electronic reading list for your course or you can type HNDgraphics into the Activate Learning Library Catalogue search bar. This is a live link to the library catalogue which allows you to see if items are available on the shelf or when they are due back if they are on loan.

You can also search the catalogue using filters, applying Boolean operators and selecting preferred media types.

For example you can apply your search term to: 

  • Title, Author, Location, Keyword, Subject, Publisher, Location or All fields using the search in filter. 
  • AND, OR , AND NOT to build your search by clicking + and selecting the appropriate operator. 
  • Media Type can be selected from the drop down box.

Results from this search will include items that have advertising in the title and graphic design listed as a subject.

If you know the title of the book you are looking for you can use a guided search by selecting that option from the tabs at the top and entering the details.

For more help using the catalogue you can watch this short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.


eBooks are listed on the catalogue and can be recognised by the [eBook] symbol next to the entry. To access an eBook look at the detailed entry for the item and select the link that says Read me…. (click for online e-book). You can access eBooks offsite, the username and password are the same as your college network login details.

You can search for just eBooks by changing the Media type to eBook from the drop down list.

You can view a selection of graphic design related eBooks by following this link or you can type GDebooks into the Activate Learning Library Catalogue search bar. You can also browse the eBook collection by category here.


For more help using eBooks you can watch this short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.

Finding books on the shelves

You may want to browse the shelves, books are organised by subject and given a shelfmark which consists of numbers and letters. Shelfmarks for books are displayed on the catalogue so you can locate the book, books nearby will be similar in subject so may also be useful. 

  • Books on Graphic Design and Typography can be found at 741.6
  • Books on Advertising and Packaging Design follow at 741.67.

Your Library Online account

Logging into your Heritage account allows you to view the items you have on loan and reserved, you can also renew items and view your loan history. Log in using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYYY.

For more help using your Heritage account, you can watch this short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.


By logging in to your account you can place reservations on items that are on loan, this will stop the current user from renewing the item and you will be contacted by the library when the item is ready for collection.

You can also reserve items from any of the  Activate Learning Libraries in the same way. If the item you require is held at City of Oxford or Reading Library you can reserve it by logging into the catalogue and clicking Reserve on the detailed record for the item.

The item will be transferred to the Banbury library and a member of the team will contact you when it is ready for collection.

Alternatively speak to a member of the team at the issue desk and they will help you arrange for the item to to transferred.

How to find journals and journal articles

Reading journals and magazines allows you to keep up-to-date with developments in the Arts sector; read reviews and news, follow current trends and find inspiration.

The library holds a large collection of reference copies of art related journals. You can read them in the library or photocopy articles to take away. They have been split into broad subject areas to provide you with an idea of the content but don’t just stick to one area, some journals span several different disciplines and will be useful for many different subjects.

Crafts and Ceramics

  • Ceramic Review
  • Crafts

Fine Art

  • Art Monthly
  • Art Newspaper
  • Art Review
  • Flash Art: international edition
  • Frieze
  • Raw Vision

Graphic Design

  • Adbuster
  • Creative Review
  • Eye: the international review of graphic design


  • Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics - you can access a full archive of this journal online at college here.
  • Journal of Illustration - you can access a full archive of this journal online at college  here.
  • Varoom
Photography and Visual Arts
  • British Journal of Photography
  • Visual Studies - you can access a full archive of this journal online at college here.

You can read visual arts news and reviews online at a-n the Artists Information Company.

VADS: the online resource for visual arts - provides access a large number of visual art collections freely available and copyright cleared.

Textiles and Fashion
  • Collezioni Trends
  • Dazed
  • Print
  • Printmaking Today
  • Selvedge: the fabric of your life
  • Textile View
  • Vogue

Vogue Archive - contains the complete collection of American Vogue issues, searchable by brand, fashion item, photographer or illustrator, person pictured or writer.

    Google Scholar
     is a customised search engine and tool specifically designed to help both students and academics find scholarly research, including articles, books and university theses.

    Unlike a standard search engine it aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. You can sort your results by year to find the newest research or click Cited by or Related articles to find similar work. This means it is easier to find the most relevant and reputable articles for your subject. It will also provide you with references ready to drop straight into your own work.

    Study skills and referencing

    Good study skills allow you to get the most out of your time in college, work efficiently and achieve good grades on your course.

    Referencing is vital to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to other author’s work and ideas you have used.


    There are a wide range of study skills books available in our libraries, you can find a selection on this list or browse the study skills section in the library.

    Using other libraries

    As an Activate Learning student, you can use the libraries at City of Oxford College and Reading College if that is convenient for you.
    Many cultural institutions have free libraries dedicated to art research, in London you can visit the National Art Library at the V&A Museum  and the Tate Library and Archive at Tate Britain amongst many others.

    You may also find useful information at your local public libraries, they are free to join and provide online reference material, some of which can be accessed at home.
    This includes Oxford Art Online which allows you to cross-search a range of art reference resources, this includes Grove® Art Online, the Benezit® Dictionary of Artists and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. You use your library barcode login to access it.

    For more information visit the Oxfordshire County Libraries website.

    Where to get help

    You can contact the library team or access information about our services in a number of ways.

     Telephone 01865 551701
     Twitter @ActivateLibrary

    Or in person during library opening hours.