I have to write a paper or do a project for class. How do I get started doing research
Look at our library guides. They give you recommended books and databases to use on a number of subjects.
- Make an appointment to discuss research strategies with a librarian. You can find a list of subject librarians on our website.
- Stop by the reference desk or AskUs! by email or phone.
Where do I go to look for books?
- Use the library catalog (PILOT).
- Browse the shelves in a relevant stacks section of the library. All the books in this library are arranged according to the Library of Congress (LC) System, which means that the call number starts with a letter or letters followed by some numbers. To find out about the LC system, visit our “understanding call numbers” page.
I need to find a book appropriate for children. How do I do that?
You can use the Library Catalog to search for material only in the Children’s Library.
Under the “Set Single Limit” tab, select “Children’s Library.” Conduct a search as usual.
Does the library have a copy of my textbook for class?
It is the library’s policy not to collect textbooks. However, if your professor placed a copy on reserve or if the library received one as a gift, we may have your textbook. Check our Library Catalog, using a title search.
My professor placed a book on reserve in the library. How do I get it?
All reserve material is held at the circulation desk. Ask the student on duty for the book you need. It helps if you know the title of the book and the name of your professor.
The catalog says the book is here, but it isn’t on the shelves. What do I do?
Check the books to the left and right to see if your book was accidentally misplaced.
Check the yellow reshelving shelves at the end of the aisles.
Ask at the reference desk or the circulation desk.
Fill out a book search form, which lets us know that book is missing.
Use E-ZBorrow to borrow the book from another library.
How do I find journal articles?
Start with these databases:
EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier Help
We have lots of other databases.
If you need additional help, ask a librarian.
Reference desk e-mail
Contact the reference desk by telephone at 484-2468
List of reference desk hours.
List of specific subject librarians.
My professor said I can’t use any web pages for my paper. Does this mean I can’t use your databases?
Not at all! There is a big difference between using our databases and the web.
For the most part, articles in databases are an electronic version of (or a citation for) articles that have been written and published in a paper publication. Many come from scholarly or peer-reviewed sources.
Web pages found through Google or Yahoo vary widely in quality. Most have not gone through any sort of review process.
If you have questions about using a source, ask your professor or a reference librarian. You can call the reference desk at 570-484-2468 or e-mail a reference librarian.
My professor said I need to use “scholarly articles.” What does that mean?
Your professor wants you to use articles from scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, not popular magazines such as Time, Newsweek, or Sports Illustrated.
Ask yourself: do the articles in this journal have footnotes, citations, a bibliography, or a list of works cited? If the answer is yes, you have a scholarly journal.
Still not sure? Check out this nifty guide to journals versus magazines.
Where are your science/history/psychology journals?
Check out our subject guides for recommended resources.
Look at our list of print journals held in the library. This list will not give you articles full-text on-line.
Look at our list of electronic journals held by the library. This list will give you articles full-text on-line.
I found a journal article in a database, but it’s not full-text. What do I do?
Follow these steps, in this order:
Use the “Check Availability” link: Check Availability found in many of our databases. This will tell you if we have the article full-text in another database.
Conduct a Journal Title Search in PILOT. This will tell you if we have the article in print or microfilm form in the library.
Use our LHU Journal Finder. This will check all of our databases to see if we have the article full-text.
Fill out an Interlibrary Loan form. We will send the article to you. Please be aware that this will take several days.
If you need help, ask a librarian.
Reference desk e-mail
Reference desk extension x2468
List of reference desk hours
List of specific subject librarians