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Quick Answers: How Do I - ?

Libraries Are For Everyone

Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone
Libraries are for Everyone

. . . Find Information About Trees?

Check this guide out. It will show you books about trees in the reference collection and has a link to the Biological Sciences database. Those should provide the sources you need.

Common Questions

Search our catalog by author, title, or topic. The location and call number tells where it's shelved.

  • General collection books are either upstairs (if the call number starts with A-PQ) or on the main floor (call numbers starting PR-Z). 
  • Children's and YA (downstairs, at the back)
  • Reference (main floor, along the Beck side)
  • Oversized (upstairs, in the far back corner)
  • Government Documents (mostly links to websites; some paper copies downstairs, along the Beck side)
  • Hasselquist (on the shelves in the room in the middle of the main floor)
  • Music scores (upstairs, front corner by Beck)


Try one of these all-purpose databases or check out the options by subject on our research guides:


These are all cataloged. They are shelved by call number downstairs, near the front stairwell. Some may be kept on reserve behind the AV counter.

A primary source is a historical document, such as a diary, memoir, a work of art, a news account published when an event was fresh - something from the historical period under examination. To find them, see our Guide to Primary Sources.

Scholarly articles typically are formal, pose a new theory or report original research, are written by scholars or scientists, and include citations. More.

In many databases you can limit a search to academic journals or peer-reviewed articles.

When you click on a database, you will be prompted to log in with your Gustavus username and password.

If it doesn't work, call the main desk (x7558) for help.

We don't have a public photocopier. Instead, use the scanners on the counter outside the e-classroom. These send a PDF to your email account. Just type in your email address, lift the top of the scanner, position the original (make it flush against the upper right-hand corner), and press the green button.

Making multiple-page PDFs takes extra steps. After typing in your email address, select OPTIONS and find JOB BUILD. Once that's turned on it will add scanned pages until you hit FINISH.

If a scanner isn't working, turn it off and on again. It takes a few minutes for them to restart.

Check out our quick guides or get links to online guides or visit the Writing Center.

A copy of the Everyday Writer and the official MLA, APA, and Chicago style manuals are kept on the Ready Reference shelf near the elevator.


You can reserve a room in the library for a small group meeting or a class here. The single-user rooms at the back are first come-first served.

Follow these instructions from GTS. If it doesn't work, call the helpline at x6111.

Guests who don't have Gustavus accounts can purchase a printing card at the library information desk. These are kept in a drawer in the counter near the administration desk along with instruction sheets about how to use them.

The HELP tab above has more info.

Barbara Fister | x7553 
office: lower level, facing Beck
W, Thurs: 2:30-4:30 at reference or by appointment

Rachel Flynn | x7429
office: main floor, staff area
M: 2:30-4:30, T & W: 1-2:30, Th: 10:30-12:30 at reference or by appointment

Julie Gilbert | x7552
office: main floor, staff area
By appointment

​Anna Hulseberg | x7566
office hours: main floor, staff area
W & F: 10:30 - 12:30, Th: 1-2:30 at reference or by appointment

Jeff Jenson | x7572
office: upper level, archives
M, Tues: 10:30 -12:30 at reference or by appointment

Dan Mollner
​ | x7569
office: lower level, facing Beck
M: 1-2:30, Tues: 2:30-4:30 at reference or by appointment
office hours: F 10:30-2:30

Michelle Twait (on leave 2018-19) | x7563
office: main floor, administration


We have a tutorial you can use to learn more about how to conduct inquiry. We also offer a .5 credit course in the spring - NDL301, Information Fluency. If you are considering a career as a librarian or archivist, ask a librarian about the possibility of doing an internship or browse our guide.

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Not-So-Common Questions

A primary science article is written by scientists to report the results of new research. These usually tell you where the authors work, have an abstract or summary, a methods section, results, and references to related research.

Search a science database (check the Research Guides by subject) and use the find it button to see which ones are available in full text. 

Quick tip for biology: search PMC - all of the articles in this database are full text and most of them are primary science articles.

These guides are in the Reference Collection. More

You can search the catalog for the subject "monologues" or simply go to the upper level and browse the PN 2080 call number area.

The library doesn't routinely add textbooks to our collection (they cost too much and go out of date so quickly!) but you can find some general biology books, including older textbooks, by searching our catalog and browsing the QH section of shelves. There are also reference works across the aisle in the Reference - QH section that will have definitions. There is also a basic Principles of Biology textbook on the course reserve shelves.

Also, these free open access textbooks are available online.


Concepts of Biology


And these books are available through the EBSCO ebook library, though may be electronically "checked out" - only one person at a time can use it.

Biology and the Riddle of Life

Biology Demystified 

In databases, you can usually limit a search to a particular journal by putting the journal title in one search field and selecting from the drop-down list beside the search box SO - Source (in EBSCO databases) or Publication title - PUB (in ProQuest databases). Then you can search within that journal by adding another search term.

If these options aren't visible, try clicking on Advanced Search.

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