Research and Using the University Libraries

There are lots of ways to learn more. Some will be helpful if you just need an introduction to what is where in the University Libraries. Others will be more useful if you are doing research. The options listed below should fit almost any need.

General Introductions


The University Library has a virtual tour and podcast tours (in English, Russian, Korean, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese) available at: Alternatively, the University Library also has a Self Guided Tour booklet available in the lobby for you to pick up and follow.  The Dewey Graduate Library virtual tour is also linked at the tours URL above.


All three libraries make available a wide variety of printed guides that give general information. Many of these guides are also available on the Web at:  Other general information about the libraries can be found at:

Learning to Do Research


The University Libraries offer several basic interactive tutorials, including , including Researching 101 and Evaluating Internet Sites 101, that you can work through at your own pace.


The one credit Information Literacy courses, UNL 205 and UNL 206, are a great introduction to doing research. They are offered every quarter during the fall and spring semesters, and last just 7 weeks.

The libraries also offer 60 and 90 minute classes on a variety of topics at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Many classes are offered by the Interactive Media Center on topics such as web design, Photoshop, digital audio and video, etc.

Check out the free online book the Research strategies: Finding your way through the information fog (4th ed.) textbook, by William Badke. The University Libraries also owns copies of the newest print edition - check Minerva for their locations.


Many of the guides referred to above help you learn how to use the library’s online catalog and electronic databases, others provide lists of key resources in different fields. Check  for these guides, and there are more in print at the three libraries.

Subject-Based Research


If you know the basics but aren’t sure where to find resources on a subject for a particular class or project, start with the Research by Subject link on the Librariesí web site. Subject specialists have selected key Internet resources, indexes, and electronic journals that will let you start researching your topic.  Some subject areas also have research guides available.

Need More Help?


Librarians are available to help you as you as you start your research or once you are in the thick of it. Each library provides reference assistance. Full information on reference desk hours and the ways you can contact reference librarians via
Ask a Librarian


If you are having trouble finding resources on your topic, you can make an appointment with a librarian to have a search done on databases not otherwise available. Through the Personalized Assistance with Searching (PAWS) service, librarians will also help you develop a search strategy or provide individualized instruction, depending on your need.  Make an appointment at the reference desk of the University Library, or call (518) 442-3553.


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