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Key to Effective Library Research: Using the Right Tool at the Right Time
The Library has a virtual toolbox of power tools to help you find the information you need for your coursework and research projects. This guide is designed to introduce these major research tools to you and suggest when and how you can make the best use of them. The Quick Search Box on the Home Page is the best place to start.
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The major research tools are:
- EagleSearch - A global search of many of the Library's resources including books, articles and other resources
- Books+ and Ebooks - Search the Library catalog to find books and Ebooks.
- Journal Finder+ - Use if you are looking for a link to a specific title of a journal. Do not use for search for articles.
- Database list - Find a particular article database. ATLA Religion Database is recommended for theology. (link to the database list is in the blue band below the search box)
- WorldCat - Use to find titles of books at other libraries that you could Inter Library Loan.
- Research guides - Pages of links created by Librarians. Browse by subject, how to, or by course
- Digital Showcase - Search ORU's online archival primary resources.
To find out more about these library tools, click each of the subtabs under the "Research" tab above.
Which Research Tool Is the Most Appropriate for the Task at Hand?
Why Is It Important to Know How to Use the Library's Power Tools?
Learning how to select the appropriate research tool to perform a particular information task, and then learning to use it effectively, is an essential component of information literacy. According to Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education--ALA/ACRL's most recent information literacy statement--the knowledge practices of learners who are in the process of developing information literate abilities include:
- match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools;
- design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results;
- understand how information systems (i.e., collections of recorded information) are organized in order to access relevant information.
Part of the mission of the ORU Library is to help you as a student to recognize the value of of the various research tools and learn how to use them effectively so that you will be empowered to find the information you need for your studies now and for your professional and personal life after graduation.
5 Reasons to Use the Library Catalog
- To find out whether the ORU Library owns a particular title. The Library Catalog is the tool to use to find out whether a book or other information resource is physically available in the Library. The physical formats collected by the ORU Library include printed books, paper journals including loose current issues and bound volumes of back issues,DVDS, and microfilm. The titles of most of the ebooks the Library owns or provides access to are also searchable in the catalog.
- To see what the Library has on a certain topic. Start with a keyword search such as opens new windowafrica* AND relig*, scan the results to find a title that pertains to the research topic, look at the record for that item, and then click a relevant subject heading, e.g., opens new windowAfrica -- Religion.
- To see which books an instructor has put on reserve. The catalog can also be used to find the titles of the books or other items your professor has put on reserve for a course. To search for reserve materials, use the opens new window instructor Search page (the link is located in the right menu of any catalog search page) and search by the instructor's last name.
- To renew items borrowed from the Library. The catalog can be used renew books provided they are not overdue. Sign into your library opens new windowaccount using your first and last name and the barcode of your ORU ID card. Mark the items you wish to renew, and click the "Renew" button. If books are overdue, contact the One-Stop Library Services Desk.
- To browse the library shelves. The catalog can be used to browse the library shelves electronically. Do a call number search and begin browsing. For example, search for opens new windowBR1644 from the opens new windowcall number search page, and browse the titles that have that classification.