Getting Help Background
Information Finding Books
Find It Button
Citing Your Work
your friendly reference/instructional librarian, and I'm here to
You can email me at
Trust me, you WANT to be
friends with a librarian. Not only are we extraordinarily cool,
but we're here to help you with your research, and we actually
enjoy doing it, as crazy as that sounds! Visit my website for
more information about me:
When I'm not teaching classes or
rushing off to meetings, you can find me in my office in
Blackwell Library 129 or at the research services desk. My
hours on the desk are Mondays 10am-12pm, Tuesdays 6pm-10pm,
Wednesdays 12pm-2pm, Thursdays 10am-12pm, and Fridays 8am-10am.
Stop by and say hi!
can also get help 24 hours a day/7 days a week through
the Maryland AskUsNow chat reference service:
Reference sources are a good
place to start your research.
What is a reference source? A reference source is something you
consult for a specific piece of information, not something you
read from cover to cover. Reference sources include
encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, thesauri, atlases,
almanacs, directories, etc. Blackwell Library's reference
collection is located on the main floor. Consult the
Congress Classification outline to see the call number area
for your topic.
Why can't I just use Wikipedia?
Well, anybody and their brother can get on Wikipedia and
write whatever they want, for starters! Plus, there are tons of
more reliable, authoritative sources out there for you to use.
And, I just can't resist sharing my favorite Colbert Report clip
about the downfalls of Wikipedia. View it here (and please
ignore the brief commercial at the beginning!):
Find books in Blackwell Library
online library catalog.
Books in our library are arranged using
Library of Congress Classification.
The books you can check out are located on the second floor of
the library. If you ever have trouble finding a book you want,
PLEASE ask for help at the Research Desk!
Books from other USMAI
can also borrow books from any of the USMAI affiliations by
selecting the "choose campus" link at the top of the catalog
page and then selecting "USMAI All Campuses." When you find a
book you want that is not in Blackwell, click the "request"
button and use your ID number to login. You can have the book
delivered to Blackwell within 3 or 4 days.
Books from Interlibrary
Interlibrary Loan is a great tool that allows
you to borrow a book from libraries outside the USMAI system.
Before you submit a request, make sure that we don't own the
book here at SU or at one of the other USMAI institutions. If
not, you can submit a request through
You can also search
Worldcat, which is a huge catalog of materials from
libraries all over the world. If the book you want is in a
library, chances are pretty good you will find it in Worldcat!
If you find the book you want and you know it is not available
at SU or any USMAI campus, then you can click the Find It button
and then request the book through Interlibrary Loan. The
advantage of doing it this way is that you don't have to fill in
all the information about the book!
Click here to go to the
Interlibrary Loan webpage.
Ask yourself if you need scholarly
sources or popular sources for your assignment. Many times,
your professor will insist on scholarly sources. What does that
mean? Find out using this handy-dandy
chart from Duke Libraries.
We have several databases you can use to search for journal,
magazine, or newspaper articles. Some of them only give a
citation to the article, and some have the full-text. Here is a
list of databases you might want to try:
Academic Search Premier
- a multidisciplinary database from EBSCO with a mix of
scholarly and popular resources, a lot of full-text and Find
It links when there is no full-text available
- this database contains full-text world news, legal and
business information. Might be useful for finding
- a collection of full-text major newspapers including
The New York Times and
Washington Post. Might be useful for finding movie
- citations to scholarly communication articles, the
full-text articles in this database require downloading the
Humanities International Complete -
database covering the Humanities with quite a few
Communications journals included.
- scholarly full-text resources; the newest documents are 3-5
WHAT DOES THAT CUTE LITTLE FIND IT BUTTON DO, ANYWAY?
It's a bit like magic,
really. The Find It button does three things:
Looks in all of our
databases to see if the document you want is available
full-text in another of our databases. If so, it links you
Links you to the library
catalog when we have the item you want in print or
Links you to ILLiad
(interlibrary loan) so you can borrow the item from another
library if we don't have access electronically or in print.
The Find It button is YOUR
You can also use the
Citation Linker, another fabulously cool tool. It is
useful when you are reading an article and it cites another
article that looks like it would be super useful for your
research. You plug in the citation information for that
article and can find out how to access it, whether it be
electronically, physically in the library, or through
Interlibrary Loan. It works the same way as Find It, but you
don't have to be in a database.
Learn more about the
sure that internet resources are appropriate for your project.
Look at the criteria listed on this website:
If you have questions about the appropriateness of a website,
please check with your professor or a librarian.
Citing Your Work:
you want to make sure you give proper credit to any source that
you use to write your papers, whether you directly quote or
paraphrase. This guide helps students understand what
plagiarism is and how to avoid it:
Use these MLA
citation guides to
help you cite your work, and remember librarians are good at
answering citation questions as well!
The library liaison
to Communication is Stephen Ford,