Find it overview

Libraries are a complex system, with a rich combination of print and electronic information sources. For a first time user, trying to navigate that system can be confusing. We believe it is time well-invested, as an experienced library user has faster, easier access to higher quality, more reliable information sources.


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Getting Started

Books

Reference Books (Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.)

Use for basic background information. Search the online catalog for sources. Example: "Sociology Encyclopedias" as a Subject Keyword search. These need to be used in the library.

Loan Books

Search the online catalog for other material. Try keyword, title, and subject searches. These can be checked out and taken home.

Articles on a specific subject

Use for in-depth coverage on a specialized area, for contemporaneous accounts of historical events, etc. You can:

Government documents

Excellent material in agriculture, criminal justice and law, education, political science, and statistics.

K-12 textbooks, teacher's editions, and youth readers

Go to the Instructional Resource Center on the first floor. Material is arranged by grade and by subject.

Research Process

College research is very different from that done in high school. It is helpful to remember that finding good source materials, understanding that information, and synthesizing the results takes time. Expect a 2-steps forward, 1-step back, experience.