HNC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
This guide is for people studying for the HNC in Mechanical Engineering at Reading College.
How to find books
There is an electronic reading list available for your course. You can access this either by searching HNCMECHENG on the Activate Learning Library Catalogue or by following this link. This is a live link to the library online catalogue which allows you to see where the items are and if they are available on the shelf or when they are due back if they are on loan.
You can 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.
Here the results will include anything that has engineering as a keyword and mechanics in the title. 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 eBooks relating to computing and systems development by following this link or searching HNCMECHENGEBOOKS on the library catalogue. You can also browse the eBook collection by category here.
For more help, you can watch this short clip about accessing eBooks, or come and talk to one of our staff.
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 Computer Programming, Programs and Data can be found at shelfmark 005.
- Books on Maths can be found at shelfmark 510.
- Books on Physics can be found at shelfmark 530.
- Books on General Engineering can be found at shelfmark 620.
- Books on Applied Physics can be found at shelfmark 621.
- Books on Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering can be found at shelfmark 621.3
Your 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.
You can also view a short clip for help on how to log into your account.
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 Oxford or Banbury 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 Reading 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.
Journals and online resources
Reading journals and magazines allows you to keep up-to-date with developments in your field; read reviews and news, follow current trends and find inspiration. The library has several journals relating to engineering. You can read them in the library or photocopy articles to take away. Several websites have also been recommended for your course, and cover a wide range of topics.
The library offers a selection of broadsheet newspapers. We also have access to UK Newsstand which allows you to search a wide range of national and local news articles. Although none of these publications deal specifically with issues related to engineering, they can be useful for looking at current developments in the field within a wider context.
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 authors’ work and ideas you have used.
There are a wide range of study skills books available in our libraries, you can find a selection by searching studyskills on the Activate Learning Library Catalogue or by clicking this link. Each library also has a dedicated study skills section where you can browse the shelves.
Using other libraries
As an Activate Learning student, you can use the libraries at City of Oxford College and Banbury and Bicester College if that is convenient for you.
If you have student membership for The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) you are able to access the physical library and archive in London as well as the virtual library which consist of thousands of online eBooks, eJournals, magazines and reports. The virtual library is free to use as part of your membership benefits; log on to the IET website to gain instant access 24/7. You can search the full library catalogue here.
You may also be able to find useful information at your local public library. Public libraries are free to join. There are seven public libraries run by Reading Borough Council, you can find out more information about these here.
Several public libraries, including Reading Central Library, are part of the Access to Research scheme. This enables you to access academic research for free from your public library. You can browse the catalogue and read abstracts from home on the initiative’s website, then read the full text of the publication in your nearest participating library. You can also use the website to discover which publications and which libraries are involved.
Where to get help
You can contact the library team or access information using the following links: