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Research Help & Tips

Access the Catalog

The library online catalog (OPAC) is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. This is where you search for books, DVDs, CDs, and other items that the library owns.

Check out these other resources: 

How to locate a book in the Library

Books are arranged by their unique assigned call numbers. Each book has a unique call number, which is a combination of letters and numbers. By searching the call number, you can find out if the book is available in the library, and on which floor it can be found.

To find books on the Library shelves, the LC classification system is used. This is an alphabetical system that groups subject areas together on the shelves.

A GENERAL WORKS
B PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION
C AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY
D WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC.
E HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS
F HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS
G GEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION
H SOCIAL SCIENCES. BUSINESS. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
J POLITICAL SCIENCE
K LAW
L EDUCATION
M MUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC
N FINE ARTS
P LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
Q SCIENCE
R MEDICINE
S AGRICULTURE
T TECHNOLOGY
U MILITARY SCIENCE
V NAVAL SCIENCE
Z BIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. INFORMATION RESOURCES (GENERAL)

What is a periodical?

A periodical is a publication that appears regularly at fixed intervals. Since periodicals are published more frequently than books, they are better sources for finding current information.

Examples: Newspapers, magazines, journals.

What Is a Periodical Index/Database?

A periodical index/database is a listing of articles from scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. Periodical indexes are available in both printed and electronic format. Printed indexes are arranged alphabetically on the index shelves located on the first floor of the library.

To see the available electronic indexes/databases (online) along with their descriptions, go to the Databases link on the Library website.

How to Interpret Article Citations

An article citation provides valuable information. It contains the author, title of article, title of journal, page numbers, and year that article was published. To read a full article, first find the journal.

How to Locate Articles

Articles can be found by searching in an index or by using an online database. Whether you are using the print indexes or the online databases, you can find articles by looking for/typing in your subject/keywords.

Evaluating Web Pages

Because anyone can publish on the web, there is no standard to ensure quality, and search engines can retrieve pages out of context. Be sure to take into consideration the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of the source and the article itself.