ProQuest Central: Like google but infinitely better


By Colleen Finnerty: Knowledge Advisor, Ara

Have you ever needed an answer? Not just any answer, but the correct authoritative one? Don’t rely on crystal balls or Google when you can now access ProQuest Central! This respected database contains full text and peer review information on all subjects imaginable, including business, health and medical, social sciences, arts and humanities, education, and science and technology.

From a single search box, you can search over forty of ProQuest’s databases and find thousands of full-text scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, working papers, case studies, and market reports all together on this user-friendly platform

It is basically like Google but without the cat videos, fake news, and the rantings of the uninformed. Use of this database will result in tutors swooning and guaranteed scholarly success! You will find the link to ProQuest Central in the Library Database A-Z and in your subject guides.

Have a search today and find the answers you seek.


Combine Google scholar with Ara library resources to super charge your search

The latest Ara Library “how do I” video shows you how to set up google scholar so it will search within Ara library databases, not just publicly available sources. This means it will show you links to articles you get special access to as Ara students and staff. Sweet as! Check out the video here

Never lower your standards

My personal standards are pretty low. I could get out of bed earlier and straighten my hair and put more make up on but that would require waking earlier and I would hate that. In other areas of life deciding not to bother and taking shortcuts is not an option. For example, in Christchurch we are currently living through the “rebuild” – a lovely understated term for years of tears, disruption and frustration peppered with occasional joy.

A massive part of this is making sure standards are enforced. Standards are agreed specifications for products, services, or performance. They are there to improve safety and meet various industries best practices. When standards aren’t met then there are repercussions as you can see on the news with Christchurch families in tears at poorly restored foundations on their homes.

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We have access to Standards New Zealand through Ara Library so we can bask in the knowledge that our students and staff will always follow best practice. We even have a helpful handy handout to help you search for standards. So regardless of how late you like to get out of bed there is no excuse for remembering the standards that do count – straight lines rather than straight hair!

Colleen Finnerty

Knowledge Advisor

Bit chilly, isn’t it?


This time of year resounds with sharply indrawn breaths, chattering teeth, and cries of “it’s a bit chilly!”. I for one struggle to drag myself from my warm bed, and the walk to work is an exercise in determination.

We are now past the shortest day, so in theory it’s all uphill from here – but as weather records show, it is usually as cold (if not colder) in July and August as in June (scroll to the bottom of the page for historical data). I apologise for the bad news…

A warm jersey, a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or chocolate, or blackcurrant), a good book or movie, and something comforting for dinner can go a long way to make up for the rain, frost, and (lack of) snow. To achieve this, try some of these library resources:

For the jersey (although this may take until next winter):

Teach yourself visually: Knitting

Rowan’s designer collection: summer and winter knitting

Sew eco: sewing sustainable and re-used materials

For the tea (or coffee):

The book of coffee & tea : a guide to the appreciation of fine coffees, teas, and herbal beverages

Tea : discovering, exploring, enjoying

For the book or movie:

You will, of course, be studying hard – either for exams or for the start of semester two. Won’t you?

If you are lucky enough to have a break, the Books & Authors database has some good recommendations and background information on books new and old.

For the comforting meal:

Try the winter issues of Cuisine magazine, or Australian Gourmet Traveller, for some seasonal inspiration.

And remember: our libraries are open their usual hours over the semester break. Come in and see us – it’s nice and warm.





The magical world of Oxford Online

When I think of Oxford University I think of carved stone buildings, gargoyles and hidden passages filled with black caped beings walking swiftly while discussing clever things. My Oxford is a sort of older person’s Hogwarts without Harry, Hermione and Ron.

Oxford University Press buildings
Oxford University Press buildings (Photo: Fractal Angel, CC BY-SA 2.0)

In reality, Oxford University is a terribly advanced place which has embraced technology as a way to spread its brilliance. We can see this at our library with:

  • Oxford Art Online Information on all things artsy including architecture, design, fashion and crafts. Includes a range of New Zealand and Pacific content;
  • Oxford Music Online The hills are alive with music reference and research within this resource;
  • Oxford English Dictionary Online Find spellings, definitions, pronunciation and examples of use. They even explain the use of the word bootylicious!

Not everyone is blessed with the academic brilliance of an Oxford academic but that is not to say we cannot be warmed from the glow of their collective genius. All the answers produced from their devoted studies has resulted in the above online databases that are just waiting to provide you with answers. All you need is to use your nimble fingers to ask the questions from the discomfort of an ergonomically faulty computer chair or your couch at home. Question everything!

– Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor.

New Midwifery resources

Have you ever heard of the term “try before you buy”? Well, that is what the library likes to do before investing in new databases for students and staff. We want to make sure that these electronic resources are easy to use and relevant to the people who will be using them most often – you. So if you have a spare few minutes and midwifery and nursing is your thing then please have a play with the two databases below and send any feedback you have to The trial for these two databases lasts until the 16th of June, so please have a look before then.


MIDIRS Midwifery Digest

MIDIRS Midwifery Digest is an online and searchable academic journal for maternity health care professionals, students and researchers. It contains academic evidence-based original articles, reprints that discuss topics in detail, and reports and reflections on the important maternity events.

MIDIRS Maternity & Infant Care Database 

Maternity and Infant Care draws together references from journal articles, book chapters, reports, pamphlets, news items, audio visual materials, conference proceedings and other sources relating to midwifery, postnatal care, infant feeding, neonatal care up until two years of age, and the transition to parenthood.

A key to success


Being able to competently use a computer, and a variety of software, is no longer just the domain of computer ‘geeks’. Almost every job out there now requires some level of IT skill – and having better skills is one way you can set yourself apart from the competition. These skills can also come in handy during your study, or in your free time – ever wanted to write your own blog, or design an app, or start your own business? is an online learning company that helps anyone learn about business, software, technology and creative skills. It has a vast video library of interesting courses taught by industry experts. There are over 3,500 courses and over 144,000 videos, which means that there is something for everyone to be found here. is very easy to use and offers tutorials on everything from game design, project management, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, cloud computing and so much more. access is available to staff and students through the Ara Library Databases page. You’ll need to sign in using your Ara username and password (the one you use for Moodle). If you have any trouble accessing, please contact the library.




Everybody hurts – know your online health resources

 I doubt I am the only one who has tried to self-diagnose myself on the internet and ended up with an imaginary death sentence.  Unfortunately, a short HTML course is all it takes for someone to put up their own health website on the Web. Luckily at Ara we have an array of authoritative online resources that can provide the type of answers that will bring a smile to your tutor’s face and a pass mark to your assignment. (Sorry they contain no funny cat videos) Let me introduce you to an example of what databases you can access 24/7 through your library:

  • CINAHL with Full Text (EBSCO) – Covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines;
  • Cochrane Library – A collection of evidence-based medicine databases;
  • Health and Wellness Resource Center – Authoritative information on health issues. Includes professional level material;
  • Joanna Briggs Institute – Systematic reviews, evidence summaries, and best practice information sheets for nursing and the allied health professions;
  • ScienceDirect – Includes selected health & life science, as well as physical science titles.


Remember don’t let Doctor Google give you the answers. Instead seek out information that has been peer reviewed and passed through editorial gatekeepers. If you get a little bit stuck trying to find resources then start with your subject guide which is your one stop shop to all the information your education could possibly desire.

Blog by Colleen Finnerty, Knowledge Advisor

Meet – no it’s not a dating site but it is well worth taking the time to check it out. is an online learning company that helps anyone learn about business, software, technology and creative skills. It has a vast video library of interesting courses taught by industry experts. There are over 3,500 courses and over 144,000 videos, which means that there is something for everyone to be found here. is very easy to use and offers tutorials on everything from game design, project management, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, cloud computing and so much more.

You can access through the databases on the Learning Resource Centre page.

If you would like step by step instructions, see our guide for students.

We’re loving using and we hope you will too. If you have any queries about using please don’t hesitate to contact us or come and see us.

Alternative access to databases via Primo Library Search

Normally you can access our databases from our subject guides . Some examples of accessing databases via our Subject Guides are in the How do I find articles in the How do I guide

However there is an alternative method of access using Primo Library Search which is useful if you already know the name of the database you want to use.


find databases


Click this link for an alternative method to access our databases via Primo Library Search.

Some popular direct links to databases are as follows:

Academic OneFile

Australia NZ Reference Centre

CINAHL – Health database

Gale virtual reference library – Good encyclopedia articles

General one file

Mosby’s Nursing Consult

Science Direct

Standards New Zealand
For further assistance ring 940 8089 or email