Library Resources

Although many people these days simply jump on the internet and use Google to research a topic, web sites are only one of many resources available to find information. Google and other search engines quickly find good, current, usable information, so students often rely on those websites they find rather than some of the resources available through the library, which can usually provide even better information. The web has its strengths, in quickly publishing information on a variety of topics; however, it is often difficult to determine the credentials or sometimes even the identity of an author. Information found on the web should be double checked with another resource.

The two main library tools you will use to find information are the library catalog and the journal databases. Anytime you are looking for a book on a given subject or by a given author or for a specific journal article for which you have a citation, use the library catalog. The journal databases like EBSCOhost or Academic Search Premier are useful for finding high quality articles on a given topic. The following is a list of resources you might find and how they would be useful:

  • Books
    • General background or in-depth study of a topic
    • May be out of date, due to turnaround time in writing and publishing
  • Scholarly Journals
    • High quality, in-depth research on a specific topic
    • Peer reviewed by experts in the field
  • Popular Journals, Websites, Magazines and Newspapers
    • Current news, editorials and opinions
    • May be biased or based on incomplete information, not peer-reviewed
  • Reference Books such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs
    • Provide good background to get familiarized with a topic
    • Does not provide in-depth, current coverage