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.
And keep the following in mind:
If you need a refresher on using the library, consult our Library FAQs and an 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 finding books in the library, we have a guide for 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 and citation help.
The library catalog and many databases will even cite books and articles for you! When you're looking at a record for a specific book or article, check to see if there's a "Cite" button. From there, you can usually select a specific citation style and the database will give you the correct citation, which you can copy and paste into a works cited page. Even databases make mistakes, so be sure to double check the citations!
The Gustavus Library is committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all our patrons. We acknowledge that harmful and outdated language or terminology exists in catalog records for our materials, though, and we would welcome your help in identifying such instances.
If you encounter any language that you consider to be harmful or offensive to yourself or others, please use this form to report it and suggest alternative language. We will contact the Library of Congress to request that changes be made whenever we come across items under their purview and will supplement our own descriptions with more respectful terms as necessary. We also direct you to our entire Harmful Language Statement for more information.
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 consult our guide for locating books on the shelf for more help.
When you find books that look useful, write down the Location & the Call Number.
General Collection, call numbers A - PQ are on the Third (Top) 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 (Bottom) Floor
AV materials (DVDs, etc) are on the First (Bottom) 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.
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.
These are just some of the databases available through the library. You should also consult the Research Guides and browse the specific guides for your area of study. For example, if you're doing a research project about politics, browse the Political Science research guide, paying special attention to the recommended article databases.
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.
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.
You can (and should) also search for books in other libraries. To do this, use the advanced search in the library catalog. Scroll down to select "Libraries WorldWide."
If you want a refresher from our library session, the slides from class are posted here.
If you'd like to read more about Carol Kulthau's research process, here are some recommended links: