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FTS: Democracy Then and Now: Start

Welcome to the Library

This guide contains resources to help you find and evaluate sources, as well as general information about using the Library. Take some time to wander the space, get to know various study areas and browse our books, movies and magazines. Don't hesitate to ask at the Library's Information Desk if you have any questions - or send me an email. My contact information is below my picture and I love hearing from students. 

Here are some key resources that you'll be using for your coursework. Be sure to browse the rest of the guide, too, for general information about the library itself:

  • Fake News Guide - your one-stop resource for decoding fake news, including information on how to evaluate sources, examples of fake news and information about the trustworthiness of various news organization
  • Evaluating Sources - the information on this page outlines several ways to evaluate sources, as well as information on the kinds of sources you might encounter
  • You also might find yourselves needing to research aspects of US government and politics, as well as Classics. The following online guides will be extremely useful for you:

Links for Class Exercise

We'll use these links during our library session on September 13. 

Fighting Fake News library guide (use to answer question #2 under PART ONE)

PART ONE (pick one):


Library Hours

Our usual hours are 

M-Th 8am - 1am
F - 8am to 6pm
Sat - 10am - 6pm
Sun - 11am - 1am

They are shorter during J-term and breaks, longer during finals.

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.

Connect with librarians for any and all research questions. If you're in the library, visit the reference desk (located at the Information Desk right inside the front doors) and chat with a librarian on duty. If no librarian is there, take your question to the Information Desk. Our student workers are trained to answer basic reference questions and to help you connect with a librarian.

You can also contact a librarian directly or request an appointment. All information can be found here.

Emil me with any questions or to schedule a meeting - I'm happy to help with any and all of your research questions. Or if you just want to chat about your topic & create a strategy for searching, we can do that, too. 

Finding 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, call numbers A - PQ  are on the Third Floor 

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

Oversize are on the Third Floor, Beck Hall side

Reference are on the Second (Main) Floor, Beck Hall side

Browsing are on the Second (Main) Floor near the entrance

Young Adult & Children's Books are on the First Floor 

AV materials (DVDs, etc) are on the First 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 (main floor of the library).

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. This page has information about loan periods, renewals, etc. 

Finding Newspaper Articles

To find newspaper articles, you can certainly do google searches to find articles. You'll probably run into paywalls, however, where you won't be able to access what you want without paying for it. Fortunately, we have databases that have (free) full text articles from newspapers around the globe.  


Finding Book Reviews and Scholarly Articles

You might also delve into the scholarly literature surrounding your topic. When we talk about scholarly literature, we are mainly talking about research articles and books that scholars (like your professors) write for other scholars and students.

One way to explore a scholar's work is to read book reviews about their scholarship. This doesn't work equally well for all areas of study, but for areas of study (like Classics and History) that rely on more on books for scholarly communication, reading book reviews is a great way to get a sense of an author's argument without having to read the whole book. You can find book reviews in most of the following databases (look for options to search for "reviews").

Try these databases for scholarly articles and book reviews:

Once you've found some articles, you'll probably want to narrow down your results. You can always add additional terms to your search to narrow the focus. Use the Search Tips tab at the top of this guide for tips.

  • Newspapers are good for very specific news items or recent events.
  • Magazine articles reflect a popular approach to issues and are often short and simple in style.
  • Articles in academic journals report on research and are sometimes quite long and complex. Concentrate on the abstract (a one-paragraph summary that sometimes is at the beginning of the article), the introduction, and the last paragraphs. 

When articles are not available as PDF or HTML files, there's a yellow "find it!" button that will search for the article in other databases or offer you a chance to get a copy from another library, a process that usually takes a day or two. Consult the Tracking Down Materials tab for more information. 


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.

Ask Us!

Fall 2020 reference (research) help:

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