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Welcome to the Library
Libraries, in many ways, are places designed to help you experience other lives and other perspectives. Rather than provide answers, libraries provide multiple perspectives on many topics with the belief that information helps people make up their own minds.
As part of our commitment to making the diversity of experiences visible, we have a bookshelf where we place new books about diversity. We also have created guides to information on topics in the news and on our minds.
In the Reference Collection
Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History
Call Number: Reference E185 .E54 2006
Publication Date: 2005-12-16
Encyclopedia of Race and Racism by
Call Number: Reference E184.A1 E584 2013
Publication Date: 2013-02-01
The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes by
Call Number: Reference E77 .G15 1998
Publication Date: 1998-03-05
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States by
Call Number: Reference E184.S75 O97 2005
Publication Date: 2005-08-25
Finding Sources for Your Topic
image courtesy of tripu
Use the Books tab on the library's main page to search for books by topic, author, or title.
- Location tells you what section of the library a book is in (general collection is both upstairs or on the main floor)
- Call number tells where exactly the book is shelved
- Status tells whether the book is on the shelf or checked out
Once you have a few promising call numbers written down, browse the shelves to find more.
Use the Articles tab on the library's main page to search for articles. The first link - also linked below - is a good all-purpose place to start.
When searching, you can limit results a number of ways.
- For books, limiting by date of publication can help you find the most current information. You can also limit a search by format (DVD) or collection (general, Audio-Visual, Children's Literature)
- For articles, you can limit by date, limit to scholarly journals, or limit by type of publication (newspaper, magazine, journal).
A Google search on a topic can result in a deluge of mixed information - Wikipedia articles, commercial sites, Twitter accounts, newspaper articles, and advocacy organizations. Some of these may be useful primary sources - Unicorn Riot is reporting live from the NoDAPL protests in North Dakota. But they can be hard to sort out and need a critical eye. For example, if you were to use a film clip from Unicorn Riot, you would need to find out who they are, what their purpose is, and what other perspectives may be held about the issues they are covering.
Some useful Google hacks:
Limit a search by date - click on search tools - any time
Limit a search to government sources - add site:.gov after your search terms
These sites may be particularly useful for research.
Congressional Budget Office
Though it sounds incredibly boring, the CBO provides non-partisan research to Congress and makes that research public. You can often find good information on hot topics here.
A non-profit investigative journalism project focused on criminal justice, including many about the influence of race on the justice system.
Pew Research Center
A non-partisan site that researches politics, media, social trends, religion, science and technology, Hispanic Americans, and global opinion.
A non-profit center for investigative journalism that has tackled topics from how the political system fails to criminal justice reform.
As you work, make sure you have enough information to cite sources you ultimately decide to use. There are options in both the catalog and in the Academic Search Premier database to create a citation to copy - but they are often slightly wrong, so be prepared to edit them.
A Very Brief Guide to MLA
A More Complete Guide
Sample MLA Paper
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License