Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

FTS: Making Babies: Family Planning in Ancient Greece and Rome: Start

Starting Your Research

Sometimes one of the hardest parts of research is starting. It can be difficult to know what search terms to use, how to track down hard copies of sources, or even know which search tool to use. Use this guide for ideas on how to start your research, how to use the library, and what to do when you get stuck. The answer to the last question is easy - just ask! You can find my contact information underneath my picture (below). Email me, drop by during office hours, or schedule an appointment to talk about any issue you encounter with your research. Another great tool is the Quick Answers link, which gives answers to many library questions.

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 can be both exciting and frustrating. Fortunately, there are lots of people on campus who can help.

  • Check with your professor 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 Academic Support Center can help with issues such as time management and organization.
  • Connect with librarians for any and all research questions. There are many ways to get in touch with us. 

You can always email Julie 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 (usually will be something like General Collection, Reference, Browsing, Oversize, etc.) & the Call Number (a long string of letters & numbers). 

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 (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.

Finding Articles

We have a lot of databases. Your best bet for this class is to click on the Articles tab on the library's homepage, then choose "Academic Search Premier," the first database.

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. 

Also, on the left, you will see ways to refine your results by using the scroll bar to focus on recently-published articles or choosing types of articles.

  • 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. 

Librarian

Profile Photo
Julie Gilbert
Contact:
Hello! I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions about research, an assignment, or the library in general, please contact me - (jgilber2 @ gustavus.edu). You can also reach any of the reference librarians at folke @ gustavus.edu or via the Ask Us! button on the library's homepage.
Website
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License