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.
Since you are new to the library, consult our Library FAQs and overview of the Library. We also have a guide on how to do research well - use it to brush up and expand your research skills! And since everyone can use a refresher on how to find books in the library, we have a guide for that, too.
These sites provide overviews and in-depth information about housing and homelessness at both state and national levels. You can also search for other organizations & resources online, especially if you're researching a different state.
The easiest way to access news articles is through these databases. This will get you around any paywalls you might encounter if you were just searching Google for newspaper articles. Note: The Mankato Free Press is available through the Access World News database (below).
To find books in our library, search the Library Catalog - you can also search directly via the search box on the library's homepage. And be sure to consult our guide to finding books in the library for more information!
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.
You should also browse the Encyclopedia of Homelessness. It was published in 2004, so some of the information might be outdated, but it will give you some good topic ideas. Use the call number below and find it in the Reference collection (main floor, facing Beck).
To find articles, try these databases, which will connect you with all kinds of sources. You will probably find a lot of information (but sometimes you find no information!). Be persistent, try various search terms, and above all, ask for help if you're stuck. Send Julie an email with any questions or to set up a time to meet.
(Note: These databases contain many kinds of sources, too. This page helps you determine the different kinds of sources you'll encounter, as well as how to find and use them.)
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.
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 and is FREE for you. Consult the Tracking Down Materials tab for more information.
Research can be both exciting and frustrating. Fortunately, there are lots of people on campus who can help.
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.
We've got a one-stop guide for doing citations in some of the major styles. You can always ask a librarian if you've got a tricky citation and aren't sure what to do. We also encourage you to visit the Writing Center for writing help.
If you want a refresher from our library session, the slides from class are posted here.