OneSearch (the big search box on the Library homepage) is a kind of gateway that searches the Library's collection of print books plus a few specific databases at once. It's a good place to go when you're not sure where to start, or when your topic covers multiple subject areas.
When you go to the Library homepage, "All" and "Everything" are already selected. Search here to find all kinds of documents. On the next screen (on the left side), you can narrow down to just books, just magazine articles, etc. Click here to learn how to narrow down your search results.
If you know you're looking for articles from a peer-reviewed, academic/scholarly journal, choose "Scholarly articles only" before you start searching. If you do an advanced search after your initial search, make sure the "Peer Reviewed" box is still checked (click on "Show More" under the date slider, on the left side).
If you're only looking for books, choose "Books & ebooks only" before you start searching. If you don't want ebooks, on the next screen (on the left side), choose "Books (not ebooks)." In your search results, look at Status (to make sure the book isn't already checked out, and to find the books location in the Library, such as "Stacks"). Then write down the entire call number. To learn how to use a call number to find a book on the shelf in the Library, ask a librarian at the Reference Desk, or read the PowerPoint slides below ("Click here for help finding a book..."). For help with ebooks, click here and scroll down about halfway.
You can also find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in databases. Below you will see several that are good bets for researching controversial topics.
To find books in the Library, use OneSearch (the big search box on the Library homepage). Find brief instructions at the bottom left of this page, or click here for more detailed instructions.
If you find a book in OneSearch that you want to use, make sure the Location is "Valley." Write down the Status and Call Number. Bring that information to the Reference Desk, and the librarian there will help you get the book.
Click below to learn how to find a book in the Library using the Call Number.
Wikipedia is not allowed as a source for most classes. Wikipedia is not a reliable source because we don't know anything about the authors or their qualifications. But what if you need a source for background information, or an overview of a topic?
The Library has many encyclopedias that you CAN use for college. Some of them are books in the Library building, and some are online on the Library website. Like Wikipedia (which is a type of encyclopedia), you do not have to be an expert to understand the language, and the information is organized in a way that's easy to read quickly. There are usually links or citations to find more information about that subject.
Below are some examples of encyclopedias we have as books in the Library building, or ebooks on the Library website. To find a different encyclopedia on your topic, ask a librarian at the Reference Desk or in the chat box on the Library website.