This guide is for students on the FdEng Motorsports at Bicester College.

Bicester library

The library at Bicester is a self-service facility and contains subject material for motorsports and engineering. Support from learning resources staff is available via the telephone situated next to the self-issue terminal. Call Banbury library at any time if you need help.
Instructions for using the self-issue terminal are displayed next to it; alternatively call Banbury library and a member of the team can assist you with any issues, returns or renewals you wish to complete. Please place all returned books on the trolley.

Finding books online

There is an electronic reading list for your course. You can access this either by searching for FDMSPORTS in the Activate Learning Library Catalogue or by following . This will allow you to see where the items in the reading list are on the shelf and when they are due back if they are on loan this link. 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 any items that have engineering in the title AND mathematics listed as a subject.

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.

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. 

Bicester library holds a collection of subject specific books which have very similar shelfmarks, so to help you find what you are looking for the shelves are labelled with the broad subject area you can find on that shelf.

  • Books on Mathematics can be found at shelfmark 510
  • Books on Drawing can be found at shelfmark 604
  • Books on Engineering can be found at shelfmark 620
  • Books on Design can be found at shelfmark 620.11
  • Books on Materials can be found at shelfmark 620.118
  • Books on Composites can be found at shelfmark 621
  • Books on Mechanical Engineering can be found at shelfmark 621.4021
  • Books on Hydraulics can be found at shelfmark 621.2
  • Books on Thermodynamics can be found at shelfmark 621.4021
  • Books on Engines can be found at shelfmark 621.436
  • Books on Automotives can be found at shelfmark 629.2
  • Books on Race Cars can be found at shelfmark 629.228
  • Books on Electronics can be found at shelfmark 629.2549
  • Books on Metallurgy can be found at shelfmark 669
  • Books on Welding can be found at shelfmark 671.52.


You can also place a reservation on a book if the item you want is on loan. You can do this by asking at the library helpdesk, or by yourself using the library catalogue. You will need to log into Heritage using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYYY, and then click the Reserve button underneath the picture of the book you want. You will then be contacted by a member of library staff when the book becomes available.

You can also reserve items from any of the other Activate Learning Libraries in the same way. If the item you require is held at Reading, Oxford or Banbury Library you can reserve it by logging into the catalogue and clicking Reserve on the detailed record for the item. Alternatively use the telephone next to the self-issue terminal to call Banbury Library who will place the request for you. A member of staff will arrange for the item to be send to Bicester reception for you to collect, we will contact you to let you know they are available. To return the items hand them back at reception.

If you only wish to view items available at the site where you attend college, you can do this using the advanced search options.

Here the results will show all items relating to motorsports available at Bicester library.

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.

You can also view a short clip for help on how to log into your account.


eBooks are listed on the online 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 click on the Read me… button. You can access eBooks offsite - the username and password are the same as your college network login details. Don’t forget, you can filter your search in the online catalogue to show only eBooks. Or click here to browse our eBook collection by category.

For more help, you can watch this short clip about accessing eBooks, or come and talk to one of our staff.

How to find journals and journal articles

The journals and magazines relating to Motorsports at Bicester Library are:

  • Autosport
  • Practical Performance Car
  • Race Engine Technology
  • Race Tech
  • Racecar Engineering

Bicester library also holds F1 Racing and Motorsports News which may be of interest.

We also have access to UK Newsstand which allows you to search a wide range of national and local news articles. These can be useful for looking at current developments in your field within a wider context. Articles from this will be available 30 days after the paper is published.

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.

Using databases:

You will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access the following databases:
  • British Standards online provides a complete set of over 38,500 current, draft and historic British Standards. It also includes all international and European standards that have been adopted as British standards, ASTM standards and ISO standards.
  • SAE Mobilus (Formerly: SAE Digital Library) contains full text Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Technical Papers from 1964 and SAE International Journals from 1998.
  • IEEE Xplore database contains full text content published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its publishing partners. This includes journal articles, conference proceedings, technical standards and ebooks. There are several short training tutorials that provide tips and best practice using the database and you’ll need to log in with your Oxford Brookes details to view the tutorials.

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.

The libraries provide a reading list of books relating to study skills, which can be found either by searching for studyskills on the online catalogue or by following this link. Each library also has a dedicated study skills section where you can browse the shelves.

Oxford Brookes will provide you with access to cite them right online which provides guidance for referencing many different types of sources. You will need your Oxford Brookes log in details in order to access this.


Using other libraries

You can use the library facilities at any of the Activate Learning libraries; it may be more convenient for you to work in the Banbury, Oxford or Reading library outside your timetabled sessions.

You also have access to Oxford Brookes resources, both physical and electronic. You will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access the electronic resources. There are links on our website in the Higher Education section that take you to information, subject help and the catalogue. The Engineering resources at Oxford Brookes are mostly based in the Wheatley library.

As an affiliate member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) you gain access to the largest engineering library in the world. You can search the library and digital resources here and there are tips and video tutorials available to help you get the most from their catalogue and databases. The resources include: ebooks, ejournals, market and company information, materials properties and engineering data. You will be asked for your institutional login details to access content.

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 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.

For more information visit the Oxfordshire county libraries website.

Where to get help

You can contact the library team or access information using the following links:


Telephone     01865 551701


Twitter           @ActivateLibrary

Or come and see us in person during our opening hours.