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FTS: Race and the American Vision: Start

Getting Started

Welcome to the library! This guide will help you find sources for your projects. It will also give you a succinct overview of the library itself. 

Since we are focused on finding good sources as efficiently as possible, here are some tips:

  • Pay attention to how your topic is described within the books and articles you're reading. Use those words as search terms.
  • Use the Search Tips tab for ideas on how to use limits within databases & catalogs
  • Ask Julie or any librarian for help - we are knowledgeable in how to find quality information quickly - don't hesitate to make use of our expertise!

New to the Library?

If this is one of your first times using the library to conduct college-level research, have no fear! I've pulled together some additional resources that will help you get started & answer any questions you may have. You are more than welcome to email me with any questions that arise or to ask anyone who works in the library for help.

Gah! I need help!

Research is difficult and nobody expects you to know how to do it all on your own. Check with your teacher if you aren't sure how to approach your assignment or want a second opinion on sources and strategies.

Stop by the Writing Center at any point during the process for expert advice from your talented peers. The Advising Center can help with issues such as time management and organization.

In the library, visit the reference desk and let us know how it's going. We're sitting there for a reason. Unless we're helping someone else, whatever we're doing is just killing time waiting for your questions. Don't be embarrassed - even seniors writing their theses ask us questions!

Find Books

To find books in our library, search the Library Catalog - you can also search directly via  the search box on the library's homepage.

When you find books that look useful, write down the Location & the Call Number

General Collection, A - PQ  are on the Third Floor 

General Collection, PR - Z are on the Second (Main) Floor

Oversize, A - Z are on the Third Floor

Reference, A - Z are on the Second (Main) Floor.

Once you are in the right area, signs on the sides of the shelves will direct you further. The system is a little tricky to figure out at first, so don't hesitate to ask for directions at the Information Desk or Reference Desk. This guide will help, too.

Browse the shelves when you find a useful book. Books are shelved according to topic, so chances are you'll find other relevant books nearby.

You can check books out at the Information Desk.

Native American Reference Books

Reference books are an excellent way to get quality information fast. All the reference books are on the main floor of the library, Beck Hall side. Use the call numbers below to locate the books. If you're new to finding books in the library, consult this guide and/or ask at the Information Desk or Reference Desk. 

Find Articles

Databases will let you access scholarly articles as well as newspapers and magazines. Use the following to track down articles. Utilize the search tips tab (above) for ideas on how to work with databases efficiently.


Julie Gilbert's picture
Julie Gilbert
Hello! I'm on sabbatical during the 2020-2021 academic year. If you have a question about research, an assignment, or the library, please contact any of the reference librarians at or via the Ask Us! button on the library's homepage.

Find Websites

To look for reputable websites, be thinking about the groups and organizations that would be a) involved in the conversation you are researching and b) experts in the field. Are there nonprofit groups working on your topic? Have you looked at tribal government websites or other government agencies? Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

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