your friendly reference/instructional librarian, and
I'm here to help you!
Here's how to get in touch
with me when I'm not at the Research Services desk:
My hours at the Research
by and say hi! And, if those hours aren't convenient for you, then drop me an email so we can
set up an appointment to meet in my office!
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
of Congress Classification outline to see the call
number area for your topic.
Why can't I
just use Wikipedia, you ask? 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
Find books in Blackwell
Library using our
online library catalog.
Books in our library are arranged using
Library of Congress
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
from other USMAI Libraries.
You 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. View this
tutorial to see how it's done!
Books from Interlibrary Loan/Worldcat
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
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!
to go to the Interlibrary Loan webpage.
Here's a short tutorial about how
to use ILL!
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
is a list of journals that may be useful.
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:
You will be asked to log in with your Gull Card barcode number if you are off
MULTIDISCIPLINARY & NEWSPAPERS:
Academic Search Complete
- 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
scholarly full-text resources; the newest documents
are 3-5 years old.
- this database contains full-text world news, legal
and business information.
- a collection of full-text major newspapers
including The New York Times and
ABI/Inform - a business database
Business Source Premier -
company, industry, business information with the
familiar EBSCO interface.
Communication & Mass Media Complete - our database for Communication and Media studies! An
EBSCO database like Academic Search Premier, you
will find both scholarly, popular and trade sources
as well as full text and citations.
Weekly - Congressional
Quarterly Weekly - your opportunity to find out
what's going on in Congress!
Social Sciences Abstracts -
articles and citations for interdisciplinary
fields such as addiction studies, anthropology,
corrections, economics, gender studies, gerontology,
minority studies, political sciences, psychology,
sociology, and more
ScienceDirect - could be
useful for environmental conflict issues.
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 to it!
Links you to the
library catalog when we have the item you want in
print or microform.
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
here to see the Find It Button in action!
Citing your Work
Plagiarism is not cool. Of
course 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.
helps students understand what plagiarism is and how to
For citation help, check out the SU's
Citation Style Guide.
I also have a fondness for the
Online Writing Lab
at Purdue University. It's very comprehensive!
make sure that internet resources are appropriate for
your project. If you have any doubts, check out the
criteria listed on
If the link above doesn't make things crystal clear, and
you're still questioning the appropriateness of a
website, please check with your professor or a