The university library is the center of information on a campus. Whether you stop in the building between classes or access the web page at 4 am, the library is the place to begin your work for school research or personal interest.
To begin your work, you must first familiarize yourself with the language that librarians use and the locations of departments and materials housed in Moffett Library. Here is a short list of terms you will need to know before starting your research:
·Abstract - A short summary of an article or book.
·Almanac - a book containing brief information and/or statistics usually for a particular year. Almanacs can be general, such as the World Almanac, or specific, such as the Texas Almanac.
·Annotation - Where an abstract is a short summary of a book or article, an annotation is a critical summary. A critical summary means that you are evaluating the material itself; it's usefulness, accuracy, or relevancy. Often this is combined with a citation to create an annotated bibliography.
·Bibliography - a list of materials concerning a single subject or author. A bibliography of the Beatles, for example, would list books, articles documentaries and other sources on the group.
·Call Number - the unique combination of letters and numbers used to identify the items housed in the library. Materials are arranged on the shelf in call number order and assigned their number based on the subject of the item. There are three main types of systems for call numbers - the Library of Congress (which most academic libraries use), the Dewey Decimal (which most public and school libraries use), and the Federal Government system.
·Citation - the information that identifies a specific book or article. The citation lists everything you need to find that item - author, title, date, volume and page number. Also called a reference.
·Circulation - where all materials are checked-in and out of the library.
·Database - an organized collection of records which can be searched. Voyager is a database of the materials held in the library. An online database such as Business Source Premier, is a database of articles relating to business.
·Index - (1) a print or electronic database on a particular subject such as the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature; (2) the alphabetical list of names and subjects along with the corresponding page numbers found usually at the back of a book.
·Interlibrary Loan (ILL) - a means by which you can request materials from other libraries that Moffett Library doesn't have.
·Periodical or Serial - a magazine, journal or newspaper that is published at regular time periods. At Moffett Library, the periodicals come in the following formats: bound, microfilm, microfiche, and electronic.
·Voyager - the Online Database which is the catalog of all the items housed in Moffett Library
As you enter the building's main entrance, you will notice that a computer lab is on the left of the lobby and a break room is on the right. The lab is not open during all library hours. For the fall and spring semesters, library hours are:
·Monday thru Thursday - 7:45 am - Midnight
·Friday - 7:45 am - 5 pm
·Saturday - Noon - 6 pm
·Sunday - 2 pm - Midnight
Once you go inside the library, you will see Circulation on your left and Reference on your right. Circulation is where one goes to check any materials in or out of the library. Circulation also houses those materials that faculty have placed on reserve. Most reserve items are to be used in the library or have a more limited checkout time than regular items. To checkout any item from Moffett Library, you must have your student id card with the current semester's sticker attached. The checkout period for books is 3 weeks and overdue fines are 25˘ per day, per item; media checks-out for 1 week and overdue fines are $1.00 per day, per item. For more information concerning circulation policies, please look on the library's webpage.
To your right is the Reference Department. If you are not familiar with where to begin in your research, stop here. The reference librarian can assess your needs, save you valuable time, and teach you how to successfully search for information. Never be afraid to approach or call or email the reference desk to ask for assistance. The reference section has two main collections - reference books such as encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, bibliographies, etc., and the paper indexes.
Next to Circulation is the Interlibrary Loan department. ILL takes requests for materials Moffett Library doesn't have and gets them from those libraries that do have the item. Undergraduates are limited to five (5) ILL requests a month. The cost varies widely based on the materials requested as does the time in which it takes the items to be sent. Always allow yourself at least 5-10 days for an ILL item. ILL forms are on the web. And remember to always check Voyager first to see if the library owns the item.
Now you come to the public terminals. These machines are suppose to be used for research and if all of them are busy a librarian may ask you to stop using them for games or email.They have been set to open the library's homepage.The homepage is where you need to be to begin your search for information. You can find the page from a remote computer by using the following address:
We will come back to Voyager and Internet searching later in the guide.
Behind the public terminals is the current periodical shelving. Here you will find all of the current issues of those magazines that we receive in a paper format. To the left is the Periodicals Department. This department houses all of the different serials in their various formats (bound, microfilm and microfiche). You locate these items not by call number, but rather alphabetically by the magazine's title. The periodicals area contains many microfilm and microfiche readers and copiers. These copiers only take dimes and do not accept bills so make sure you bring plenty of change.The library also subscribes to other journals in electronic format.
On your way over to the Government Documents Department, you will notice that we have two paper copiers located in the copy room. The cost for copies is 10˘ per page. You may purchase a copy card are the Circulation Desk which would allow you to make copies at 8 cents a page. The Documents Dept. houses all of the Federal and TexasState documents sent to Moffett Library as well as legal reference materials. Documents use a slightly different call number system than the rest of the library so you may need to stop in at the documents desk to ask for assistance.
Finishing up the first floor tour is the Leisure Reading area located near what used to be the front doors of the library before extensive remodeling in 1986. In this open area we place current popular fiction and nonfiction books that we feel you would find interesting. Located throughout the floors are large library maps that can help you find where you are and where you want to be. Now we move on to the second floor of the library. A note about elevators. The third floor, being the original section of the building, is only accessible by the east side elevator and stairwells. The elevator and stairs located near circulation and reference will take you to the second floor only.
The main body of the second floor is the General Book Collection, call numbers A through M, Media, CML, and Special Collections. The LibraryMediaCenter houses videos, DVD’s, compact discs, computer software, vinyl records, and other media. Media can be checked out for a period of seven (7) days and only five media items can be checked-out at any given time. The fine for overdue media is one dollar per day per item.The LMC has 3 general viewing rooms with TV/VCR combination units for students' use. Also, the open media area has 4 TV's with VCR's and DVD players, 3 compact disc players and 1 cassette player. Headphones must always be worn in the open media area. The LMC also handles requests for telecourse tapes for those students needing to checkout telecourses to view at home. Remember, media that has been placed on reserve is not kept in media but rather at circulation on the first floor. The Voyager catalog will always give you the current location of any item you look up.
The Curriculum Materials Library or CML, houses K-12 textbooks and children's books for those involved in teacher's education. CML textbooks checkout for five (5) days at a time. Teacher's editions of textbooks are accessible only to teachers and education students. The Nolan Moore Rare Book Room is also located on the 2nd floor. Special Collections is currently open from 2-5 pm, Monday thru Friday. Items from this area can be viewed only; no item may be checked-out from Special Collections. Special Collections houses all rare books, as well as items of local interest. The prestigious Nolan A. Moore III Collection is displayed here illustrating the history of the printed word.
Other points of interest on this floor are the group and individual study rooms, the history of MSU display, and the administrative offices.
Now we move on to the final floor of the building. The 3rd floor contains the general book collection, call numbers N thru Z, and temporary office space for displaced departments.
General Rules and Regulations:
NO FOOD, DRINK, OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS ARE PERMITTED
BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS WHO ARE STUDYING
KEEP TALKING TO A MINIMUM
PLEASE TURN OFF ANY PAGERS OR CELL PHONES
MOST BOOKS THAT CHECK OUT ARE DUE IN 3 WEEKS
FINES ARE CHARGED FOR OVERDUE MATERIALS
Beginning your research assignment can be a daunting and difficult task. The task is made all the easier by selecting a good topic. By a good topic I mean one for which an adequate amount of information is readily available and also one which you may have a personal interest in researching. Social issues such as abortion, gun control or the death penalty have large amounts of easily
accessible information on both the pro (for) and con (against). As you proceed through the research process, you will find that a certain amount of defining and refining your topic will become necessary. If there is too much information, you may need to zero in on a particular aspect of a broader issue. At the same time, try to avoid topics which are too narrow or of interest to only a small group of people. Avoid very specific local issues or people unless they have notoriety on a national level (such as local author Larry McMurtry). If you are having difficulty in selecting a topic, you might want to consult the following reference book:
10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, and Reports by Kathryn Lamm.
REF LB 1047.3 L35 1991
You can also talk to your teacher or a librarian if you need some advice on selecting a suitable topic. You should ask yourself what prior knowledge do you already have on the topic or issue? What do you wish to learn about the issue? Will your paper be persuasive expressing a certain viewpoint? Or, will it merely be informative trying to explain all aspects of an issue?Once you have determined a topic, you are then ready to go to the library. First, you will need a few items on hand with you - paper or note cards, pencil, a 3.5 inch floppy disk or zip disk, your e-mail address, money for photocopying, and time. While more and more information is available electronically everyday, the research process is still time consuming and often can be tedious or frustrating (especially if you are researching a topic you did not choose or have little interest in). Always allow plenty of time for the unexpected - the
Internet terminals have gone done, the computer labs are full, the perfect article you need can only be obtained through interlibrary loan. In other words, don't wait until the last minute.
The basic rule for library research is to start with the most basic, simple and accessible forms of information. Do not go to the Internet first - this may be the last place you visit. If you are unsure where to start, the simplest place to begin is always with a librarian. A couple of books that may help you better understand the research process are:
The College Student's Research Companion by Arlene Quaratiello. REF Z 710 Q37 1997
How to Use the Library by Frank Ferro & Nolan Lushington. CML Z 1035.1 F47 1998
Searching Electronic Resources
We will start our research by going to the library's online catalog. The electronic online catalog has replaced the card catalog in most libraries. Most online catalogs are now accessible through a library's webpage as is ours. The Moffett Library catalog is called Voyager. Voyager displays what books, media, and magazines the library owns. Voyager cannot tell you what is in a magazine, but only whether the library has a subscription. In Voyager you search for information by typing in your subject or keywords in the "Find This" box. Then you choose what type of information you wish the system to search for - title, author, subject heading, keyword, etc. - in the "Find Results in" box. Additionally, you can select a quick limit if you are looking specifically for videos, periodicals (also termed serials), or only the most recent materials. You can also use Voyager to find items placed on reserve by your teacher and, by using the patron function, see what materials you have checked-out and to renew items as long as they are not yet overdue.
The topic I have chosen is the role of women in the Vietnam war. The first search I will try is a Keyword Relevance search. A Keyword Relevance search will look for all of the words you type in to be somewhere in an items record. Those items which are most relevant to your search will appear first. To begin my search I go to the library's homepage, select "Search the Library." I am now at the Voyager main page. To search materials in the library, go to "Local Catalog." To see your patron record, what materials you have checked-out, fines you have or to renew items, go to "Patron Information."
After selecting "Local Catalog." I get the simple search screen. It is here that I type the following:
Find This: Vietnam war women Find Results In: Keyword Relevance Search Quick Limit: None
You don't need to use capital letters and you don't type in "a", "and" or "the" before a search (such as "the Vietnam war")
I get a screen which shows me that my search retrieved thousands of hits and the first 10 and most relevant are listed first. Each entry lists the title, author, date, library location (such as the general book collection, reference, or media), call number and status (the item is either charged out or not charged). You will also see a color coded relevancy ranking and a box which you can use to select the item's record for e-mail or download.
Keyword searching is not precise, but it does allow you to find a good record relevant to your search. You can then pull up that record and see the exact Library of Congress subject heading that you need. I am going to select the record which gives me the following:
Time remembered : American women in the Vietnam War /
Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt. 1999
Library Location: Book Collection, Call # A-M
on 2ND FLOOR, N-Z on 3RD FLOOR Call Number: DS559.8.W6 G78 1999 Status: Not Charged
If you click on the entry's title, you will get a screen which we call the "brief record." It shows you just enough information to find or cite the item. If you select the Detailed Record box, you will see more information including the subject headings.
Database: Moffett Library - Midwestern State University
Main Author: Gruhzit-Hoyt, Olga, 1922-
Title: A time remembered : American women in the Vietnam War / Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt.
Primary Material: Book
Subject(s): Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Women--United States.
Publisher: Novato, CA : Presidio, c1999.
Description: xii, 262 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 256) and index.
You can now see that the official Library of Congress subject heading is:
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Women--United States.
For the most precise search, you can select this hyperlink and go directly to the subject headings screen. There you will see that the library has 4 titles with that particular subject heading. Click on #1 and you can view those titles. Most books, including the one above, have a bibliography which can lead you to other relevant source materials.
Now that we have seen what books the library has on our subject, we can now look for magazine articles. From the library's web page, select the "Search the Research Databases" link on the main page. You will see first off that you have to be on campus or go through either the MSUnet or Speedy to access the online databases. We have arranged the databases by subject and alphabetically by title. If you know the name of the database you wish to search, then you can go directly to the beginning letter. If you are totally unfamiliar with any of the databases then the first database you might want to search is Academic Search Premier. This database is part of a larger collection of databases by Ebscohostwhich also has the following databases:
·Academic Search Premier
·Business Source Premier
·Business Wire News
·Health Source: Consumer Edition
·Clinical Reference Systems
·USP DI Volume II, Advice for the Patient
·Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
·Middle Search Plus
·Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
·Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
·Religion & Philosophy Collection
·Professional Development Collection
·MAS Ultra - School Edition
For a general subject search, we will begin in Academic Search Premier. Many of the articles in this database are full text. This means that you will be able to see the entire article on the computer screen. Some of the articles even come with the original pictures and graphs but you must have to appropriate software (such as Adobe Acrobat) on your computer in order to view them. Since the library itself has no printers connected to our computer terminals (but the lab out front does), it is important that you have either an e-mail address or a 3.5" floppy disk or a zip disk. These articles can be e-mailed or downloaded whereupon you can open them from your home or a lab computer. It is also important to note that you can access these databases from any of the MSU computer labs.To begin the search select "Academic Search Premier." The Ebsco databases search screen will open. This search screen is the same for all of the Ebsco databases and you can perform your search in multiple databases. The default search field is "all fields" which means the two words can appear any where in the record. You can also search by author, title, magazine, etc., for a more precise search. Notice that you can limit your search to the full text available if that is all you wish to retrieve. To start we will type in our first term in the first search box, "women" and then type in "Vietnam" in the second search box. This automatically "Ands" the two terms and retrieves only those articles that contain both words. You can then select the "search" button or press enter. At this point in time, the search retrieved 250 articles. If you were to go back and select the "full text" box option and hit search, you will see that 148 of the articles are full text (these numbers will change as new articles are added to the database). Simply click on the full text link to view the full text of each article. As you go through these articles you can select the ones you wish to e-mail or download by clicking on the box located to the left of each record. If you are on the full text page of the article, you will see the "save" and "email" boxes at the top and bottom of each page. When you select "email," you will get an email manager. The default for the manager is citation with any available full text. Simply type in your email address and a subject if you wish and press "E-MAIL." The full text article has now been sent to your email. Now try searching in some of the other Ebsco databases. All you need do is select "Choose Databases" at the top of the screen and the full list of Ebsco databases will come up. By placing a check in the left box, you can select one or multiple databases in which to search.
The next place you will want to search is in FirstSearch. FirstSearch is a large online index comprised of many different databases. None of the databases in FirstSearch are full-text except for the SIRS Researcher. SIRS, or the Social Issues Resource Series, is an invaluable database if you are conducting research on a social issues topic such as abortion, gun control, or the death penalty. Other databases you might want to start with are ArticleFirst (for magazine articles) and Worldcat (for books and videos). I will perform a search on our topic of women in Vietnam in each of these so that you can see the different results. Starting with SIRS, I type in "women" in the first field and "Vietnam" in the
second field. As with Ebsco, the search screens are the same in FirstSearch regardless of what database you are searching. The search yields 13 articles, 1 of which I want to e-mail. I then go into each of the articles by selecting the "view HTML full text " link. I can now read the article and decide if I want to
send it to my e-mail. In FirstSearch, you can only e-mail the full text articles one at a time.Directly above our search results is a "Find Related" search option that will allow you to quickly perform the same search in Worldcat, ArticleFirst, NetFirst, etc. Let's select Worldcat. You will see that it breaks down the retrieved items by type, such as book, visual, sound, etc. Several other online databases you might be interested in as your academic needs grow are Ingenta, Project Muse, InfoTrac, and Net Library. Take some time now and look through the many databases that we have to offer. Knowing what resources are available will save you valuable time when you most need it.
What you have just been searching in is not the Internet per se, but rather databases that are accessed through the Internet. The Internet itself is merely individual or grouped computers from all around the world which can be accessed from anywhere at anytime. When you go to a site on the Internet, you must remember that there is very little control. Anyone with the equipment and software can place any information, whether real or make believe, whether factual or false, on the Internet. Unlike books, there is no one to say what can and can't be printed. This makes the Internet the greatest tool for mass
communication and the most effective means of disseminating misinformation yet seen.There are many ways to look up information on the Internet. One is to type the web address. If you already have a web address for a particular site, then you merely need to type in the complete address in the top window on your web browser. All site addresses are unique, but most begin with "http://www." Two,
you can go to an Internet Search Engine. If you select the "Search the Internet" from the library homepage, you will be given the best list of current Internet search engines. Each engine looks and searches differently, but they all basically work by retrieving web sites based on the words you have typed into the engine. Third, you can go to a web directory that arranges information in a logical, subject based manner such as Yahoo. When using any information from the Internet, you want to ask the following: What organization or person is putting the information out there? For whom is the information meant? What is the reason the site exists? Remember, when you use an Internet site for information on your topic, you must cite it just as you do a book or article.
The following are some print sources for doing research on your topic. Most of them can be found in the reference area.
·General Encyclopedias such as Britannica, Americana, and Grolier’s ( also available online under the Search Databases page.
·Specialized Subject Encyclopedias (usually beginning with Encyclopedia of …) such as the Encyclopedia of Religion, World Art, Philosophy, Bioethics, Psychology, Sociology or Computer Science.
·CQ Researcher (Ref H 35 .E35) which has comprehensive information on social topics. To use the CQ Researcher, you merely look your subject up in the back of the most recent volume at then go to the years and pages listed.
·Information Plus Series (Ref H 1 .I58) which delves deeply into social issues such as Child Abuse or Gambling.
·Print Magazine Indexes. These come in general (Readers' Guide) and subject specific (Humanities Index, Social Science Index, Education Index, etc.). When using a print index you must look your subject up, write the citation and then go to Voyager to see if the library carries the magazine that the article is in. You must have the full title of the magazine and not the abbreviation in order to look it up in Voyager. The full title can be found in the front of the index which you used to get the citation. Since print indexes cover what was published for a certain year, you must perform your search over many different volumes. Using print indexes is slow and difficult if your topic is not a simple one, but knowledge of their use comes in quite handy when the Internet goes down or when researching an historical topic.
·The New York Times Index which is located in the periodicals section. The library has the complete New York Times on Microfilm.
Remember to ask for assistance whenever you need help or information &emdash; Moffett Library exists for the students, staff, and faculty of Midwestern State University. While you are here, your job is to learn and ours, as librarians, is to help.