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REL 272: Luther and Lutheran Diversity Worldwide: Start

Getting Started

 Welcome to your library course guide! It is designed with your specific research in mind. For your course, you are to find scholarly articles and books about any area related to interfaith matters. This guide will help you

  • Differentiate between scholarly and popular sources
  • Strategize ways to identify search terms and techniques
  • Navigate the ATLA database and the library catalog
  • Access hard copies of materials
  • Identify where to go for additional help

The last bullet point is the easiest to answer: Think of me as your personal course librarian. Use the contact information under my photo (below). Feel free to email research questions and/or set up an appointment to talk about your research.

Accessing Hard Copies

When you're searching the ATLA database, you may find lots of materials that are not full text in the database or available here in print. To find the full text in ATLA, click the FindIt! button (the bright yellow one). 

A few possible things might happen.

1. It's full text in another database, in which case the FindIt! button will take you to a screen where you can access the full text.

2. The library has a print copy of the journal, in which case the Find It! button will tell you we have it. You will go to the library's lowest level, where you'll find print copies of journals in alphabetical order of journal title. You can check these out. 

3. We don't have access to the full text, but you can request it from a different library. The FindIt! button will prompt you to log in (with your Gustavus user name and password); follow the prompts to request the item.

If you're searching the catalog and find books we don't have, click the title of the book you want and then look for the Request from Another Library button.  

If you click the FindIt! button and nothing works, or a link is broken, or ILL isn't working, or you're not sure if we have the journal in print or you just can't make the darn thing work, it's okay! Tracking down the hard copies of materials can be challenging, due to the number of systems that may or may not talk to each other. You should always track down a librarian (stop at the Information Desk, email, etc.), and we can help you find your materials.

You can also click the Tracking Down Materials tab (top) for more information.

Where Should I Search?

For this assignment, you are to search the ATLA Religion Database and the Library Catalog. Both can be found on the library's homepage.  The page automatically defaults to searching our library's materials. Or click the Article tab to find ATLA (databases are listed in alphabetical order). 

You should also be thinking about search terms - and using more than one word or phrase. Pay attention to the terms that experts in the field use to identify your topic. Also consult the Search Tips tab (top of page) for more ideas on how to search.

The Accessing Hard Copies box to the left, as well as the Tracking Down Materials tab (top of page) give detailed information on getting materials from other libraries; feel free to email me with specific questions, too.

Finally, use the Choosing Sources tab for help on determining whether or not you're looking at a scholarly source.

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.


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