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 for answers to all kinds of questions. 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.
To find books in our library, search the Library Catalog - you can also search directly via the search box on the library's homepage. We also have a guide that further explains how to search the catalog and find books in the library.
When you find books that look useful, write down the Call Number. Your book will have this call number on its spine label. Most - but not all - books are in the General Collection. Use the information below to figure out where your book lives:
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.
To find articles, try the databases listed at the bottom of this box, which will connect you with all kinds of sources. Be persistent, try various search terms, and above all, ask for help if you're stuck. Since there is so much information available, it's easy to get lost when searching for articles. Send me an email with any questions or to set up a time to meet.
Searching: Try a variety of search terms. Once you've found some articles, you'll probably need to narrow your results. Browse results to see how the experts in the field are discussing your topic. This will give you ideas on how to shape your topic. Use the Search Tips tab at the top of this guide for strategies. You should also pay attention to the kind of sources you're finding to make sure you're using the right source for your research:
Finding Full Text: 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.