A printable handout of the information below.
Library Reference Quickstart
A brief overview for using the library’s resources for research.
I. Finding Books
Search for books in the Online Catalog (located under Resources on the library homepage). Search by Title (if you are looking for a specific book) or by Keyword (to find books relevant to your topic). Click on a title to check for location and availability. The item record indicates the book’s location and availability:
Main= 2ndfloor, Reference=1st floor, Florida Military=1st floor, New Book Shelf=1st floor, Curriculum Room=2nd floor (ask for key at the Circulation Desk)
Status= On Shelf (available), Checked Out, On Reserve (at Circulation)
Call Number= Library of Congress Classification System which organizes books on the shelf by subject. It is alphanumeric and arranged in sequential order.
**Hint: Browse the shelf. Similar subjects are grouped together. This may lead you to other books on your topic.
II. Finding Scholarly Journal Articles
Log on to Esearch (Spartan Domain username and password) to have full access to library databases and ebooks.
Academic Search Complete and ProQuest are good comprehensive databases. Search by keyword (spelling counts) and synonymous terms. Keep your search as clear and concise as possible.
Be sure to check the Scholarly/Peer Review limiter to restrict your search to just these high quality sources.
**Hint: Use the library’s Subject Guides (under Collections) and Research Guides (link on the bottom right of the homepage) for help in finding databases and web resources specific to your topic.
III. Citing Sources
Style Manuals (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc...) are available on reserve at the Circulation Desk.
Use RefWorks to export your citations. Many Databases have a citation feature. Be sure to double-check these for accuracy!
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) from Purdue offers excellent guides complete with sample papers and sample Works Cited pages. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
IV. Scholarly (Journals) vs. Popular (Magazines)
Scholarly publications are written by and for scholars, subject to peer review prior to publication, use discipline specific jargon, are free of advertising, and provide extensive citations. For these reasons they are considered to be authoritative and reliable.
**Hint: There is sometimes confusion about using resources from the databases because, technically, they are “on the Internet.” Most of the scholarly articles in databases originally appeared in print, but have been digitized for convenience. If you are expected to avoid getting materials from “the Internet” double-check to make sure using articles from databases is acceptable.
V. Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If there is a book or article not available in the library’s collection submit an interlibrary loan request and we will almost always be able to borrow it for you from another library. Forms are available at the Reference desk and online at our website (located under Services). It may take approximately one to two weeks to receive items.
During the academic year the Reference desk is staffed Monday-Thursday 8am-9pm, Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1-9pm.