WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College



WVNCC | West Virginia Northern Community College

AN INTRODUCTION TO USING THE COLLEGE LIBRARY

Each campus of WVNCC has a college library –Wheeling, Weirton, and New Martinsville

Use the Library Web Pages to access the resources the college provides for you. From the college web page http://wvncc.edu look for Quick Links and then Library.

Off campus – use the Student Portal library link or log in with your portal log in from the links in the Library Web Pages when indicated.

Research can be hard work! No kidding –it is a process that involves a lot of small steps. Research involves looking in several places, taking careful notes, asking questions and sometimes dealing with a few false starts.

Know your ABCs and 123s– this is all you need in order to understand the Library of Congress (LC) classification system that is used to organize materials in a college library. LC numbers can seem confusing at first because they begin with letters instead of numbers. Just take it one letter and number at a time.

Ask Questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how to find what you need. No one can be expected to navigate the complexity of the library on his or her own. Library staff is available to help you – use them.

Become familiar with citations – Citations represent a basic element of scholarly research. You will use citations to locate information and also to give credit to the works of others when you write about them. A citation is a listing of the key pieces of information about a work that make it possible to locate it. The elements of a citation normally include author, tile, and date of publication (volume, issue, and page numbers for magazine articles).

Learn to avoid plagiarism – Plagiarism is intellectual theft. To plagiarize is to use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without giving credit.

Get an early start – With all the technology available today, you might think that getting an early start on your research wouldn’t be that important, but it is. Sometimes it might take several days for you to get the information you need delivered from another library, or that finding the information on your topic is more difficult than you thought. An early start really will make things go more smoothly.

Everything is not on Google – Many students have the misperception that they can find everything with a search engine like Google. The truth is – search engines have certain limitations. Using library resources will give you access to licensed information that has been reviewed by publishers, editors, and librarians and that is not freely available on the Internet.

Focus on scholarly literature – Scholarly journals report research. Most scholarly articles include an abstract (summary) of the article, are written by faculty members and/or researchers, have charts or graphs, and include the citations for their research. Scholarly journals are also known as peer-reviewed journals.

The information you find today could change your life tomorrow.

This list builds on the list created in Transitioning to College – http://www.transitioning2college.org called Brian’s Top 10 Things First-Year Students Should Know about Using College Libraries to do Research. 9/6/2012 pstroud