What you will learn in this session
Navigating the library home page
Layout of the library
How to find books in the library
Search tips and strategies
How to request books and other materials from another library
How to find periodical articles using the databases
How to evaluate information in print and on the web
Where to get additional help
How Books Are Arranged
Books are arranged by the Library of Congress
Each book has a call number which consists of letters
and numbers. The call number is like an address and
tells you the location of the book.
The letter in a call number represents a major subject
area. Books on a subject are grouped together.
Periodicals (Magazines, Journals, Newspapers),
Theses, Microfilm, Microfiche
Reference Books Maps, Videos, DVDs, Music CDs,
Circulating Books A-PN
Circulating Books PN-Z, Theses, Juvenile Collection,
Oversize Collection, Special Collections and Archives,
and Curriculum Lab Collection
Finding Books, DVDs, eBooks, etc.
On the library home page, enter your search in the CONSULS quick search box
CONSULS displays the holding of all four state universities – Central (CCSU), Eastern
(ECSU), Southern (SCSU), and Western (WCSU), and the State Library (StLib).
You can search CONSULS by Keyword, Author, Title, Subject, ISBN or ISSN. The default is
keyword. Use the pull-down menu next to keyword for other options.
Enter search terms in the quick search box
Click here for advanced search options
Use SUBJECT search to find information on a broad topic.
In a SUBJECT search, only the subject/descriptor field of a record is
SUBJECT search has a high degree of relevancy and the number of items
retrieved are fewer than those retrieved in KEYWORD search.
Keyword search uses natural language search terms.
Keyword searches retrieve many records, some of which may
In a keyword search the search term you enter may appear
anywhere in the record (title, subject, notes, table of contents,
etc.). In the record below, “cloning” appears in the title.
Reference books such as subject encyclopedias are excellent for background
information on your topic.
To find an encyclopedia on a subject, do a keyword search in CONSULS.
Example: “education encyclopedia”.
Reference books cannot be checked out. Scanners are available on the main floor
for copying materials. You can scan to print, email, or save to a thumb drive.
Scanning is free; printing charges apply.
Requesting items from another CSU Library
You can request items that are available at the other three state
universities, online. Reference cannot be requested.
Select the “Request” link next to the title you want. Enter your username
and password making sure to select Southern Connecticut State
University from the pull down menu (the default is CCSU).
Select the radio button for the item you want and click on “submit”. Allow
2-3 days for delivery. You will be notified by email when your book is
Click on “Request” and
follow the directions
The advanced search screen allows you to limit your
Location (CCSU, ECSU, SCSU, WCSU, StLib)
Relevance, date, or title
Material type (Print material, visual medium, journal,
DVD, video, thesis, e-book, e-journal, etc.)
Combine your main search concepts with operators such as
“and”, “or” or “not” to give your search focus
Do not use phrase words in a search
To search an exact phrase type the phrase in quotations
Example: “Stand your ground”
Look at the subject headings or descriptors in the records in
your results list to see what search terms are being used in the
database for your topic
The AND operator
The AND operator retrieves records in which all
search terms are present.
Example: liberal education AND success
In this example, all records that contain liberal
education and success will be searched.
AND can be used more than once in a search. The
more terms or concepts combined using AND, the
fewer the records retrieved.
Illustrating AND operator
Liberal education and success
The shaded overlapping area represents the number of
records that contain the terms, liberal education and
The OR operator
The OR operator retrieves records that contain at
least one of the search terms.
Example: liberal education OR higher education
OR is most commonly used to search for
synonymous terms or concepts
OR can be used more than once in a search. The
more terms or concepts combined using OR the
more the records retrieved.
Illustrating OR operator
liberal education OR higher education
The shaded area represents the number of records that contain
either liberal education or higher education.
The NOT operator
NOT excludes keywords from a search. It
forbids the word(s) after it from appearing in a
Example: college NOT school
In this search, only the term college is present.
The word school is excluded.
Illustrating NOT operator
college not school
The yellow circle represents records that contain the
word college. The pink circle represents the records
that contain school.
Parentheses are used to group search words
for more complex or focused searches.
Example: higher education and (success
In this search, documents that contain the
word higher education and either the word
success or the word failure ,or both, are
Finding Periodicals in the Library
Click on Journals by Title on the library home page to see if the
library has a journal, magazine or newspaper. The journal locator
will let you know if a periodical is available electronically, in print, in
microfilm, or in microfiche
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If the library does not have the periodical you need we can get the article for you
from another library through interlibrary loan. This service is free. Interlibrary loan
forms are available online under “Library Services”.
Finding Journal, Magazine, and
Search Databases to find journal articles.
Databases index, abstract and provide select full-text journal
articles. They can be accessed from the “Articles” tab on the library
home page or by clicking on “Research at Buley” and selecting
There are general and subject specific databases.
Off-campus users require an SCSU Username and Password or an
SCSU ID Number and library PIN to access the databases.
Each user creates a PIN which has got to be at least four characters
(letters, numbers or both).
Select “Articles” on the library home page and then click on “All
Databases” to get an alphabetical listing of the databases.
Click on “By Subject” to get a listing of databases by discipline.
Databases listed under the “General and Multidisciplinary” category are
good starting points for your research.
Scholarly or Peer-reviewed
Articles are written by a scholar or researcher
in the field
The language is that of the discipline covered
and usually requires the reader to have some
knowledge of the subject.
May often contain graphs and charts.
Cite sources in the form of bibliographies
Most often published by a specific
Some Scholarly Journal Titles
American Nineteenth Century History
Energy and Environment
Journal of Social Issues
Nineteenth Century Fiction
Nineteenth Century Literature
Social Justice Research
Popular and Other Periodicals
Usually written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar, or a
Contain general interest articles aimed at a broad audience.
Articles have illustrations or photographs.
Articles usually do not cite sources.
Generally published by commercial enterprises or an individual
though some may be published by a professional organization.
Some Popular Periodical
U.S. News and World Report
Why use Databases?
Databases, not internet search engines, should be the first stop for any
academic research assignment.
You may use the internet for browsing or getting acquainted with your
topic but use library databases to find quality information for your
Databases contain magazine, journal, newspaper articles, books or
book chapters, conference proceedings, technical publications.
Information in databases goes through a review process before it is
published in print or electronic format and is therefore accurate and
Information in databases is updated regularly.
Why not search engines?
Search engines can be used for finding leisure or entertainment
related information, directory information, current news, or basic
Search engines retrieve links to fee-based sites and databases
and contain very few free journal, magazine and newspaper
Information does not go through a review process and needs to
Information may not be updated regularly. May include links to
pages that no longer exist.
Evaluating Information in Print
and on the Web
Ease of use
Author’s credentials – educational
background, well-known in his/her field?
Is the author associated with an institution or
Can author be contacted? Is there an email
address provided on the web page?
Is the publisher well-known?
Is the author objective and
Is the information fact, opinion, or
Language free from bias?
Is the information well researched?
Is there supporting evidence?
Is the information too elementary, technical or
advanced? Who is the intended audience?
Does the work update other sources or
contain any new information?
Date of Publication
When was the information published?
Editions or revisions?
When was the web page last updated?
Is the source current or out-of-date for your
Ease of Use
Is the information arranged in a logical manner?
Is the text easy to read?
is the web page well organized?
Is it easy to navigate the web page to find the
Are the links valid?
Guides on various topics such as research skills, course
specific guides, citation styles, plagiarism, Google Scholar, etc.,
are available to help students with their research. Click on
“Research at Buley” on the library home page and select
“Research Guides” to access these guides.
You can approach the Reference Desk on the main floor of the library for help at
You can schedule an individual appointment with your subject librarian by clicking
on “Library Services” and selecting “One-on-One Instruction”. Fill in the form and
You can “Ask Us” a question, “like” us on Facebook, or “follow” us on Twitter by
using the relevant icons at the bottom of the library home page.