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Library Research Guides

Online Library Orientation: Library Orientation

These tutorials will familiarize you with the library and the best resources for your research. Instructors, please use as much or as little of this content as you would like. Questions? Send an email to


The information on this page will help you to get the best resources for your research. View each tutorial (don't worry; they're short!) and, if required to do so by your instructor, complete the exercises in the box at the bottom of the page.

If you have questions about your research, the link below will show you the different ways to contact a librarian. There are plenty of resources and research strategies that we don't have time to cover here, so don't hesitate to ask for assistance.


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Intro to the ARC Library

Starting Points

CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoint are two databases that are great both for selecting a topic and researching current social issues.


"Books? Why would I use a book?"

Well, you'd use a book because:

  • They are written by experts and when you're doing college level work, you want information from respected sources.
  • They contain information unavailable free online.
  • Of their depth. Your teacher doesn't want to see that you've learned what anyone could learn in 20 minutes on the Internet. Your teacher wants to see that you've explored your topic in some depth. Books will go into depth that most websites will not.

    This tutorial will get you started finding books.

      Magazines vs. Journals

      There are some important differences between magazines and journals. Watch this short video to learn more.

      Finding Articles

      Finding journal articles is going to be an important part of your research. This tutorial will get you started.

      Evaluating Internet Sources

      While books and articles have been though some evaluation, anyone can publish anything on the web. Ask yourself these questions before using a website for schoolwork. 


      Complete and print out this worksheet for your instructor if you need evidence of your having completed the orientation. It won't take much time and it's something you'd do as part of your research anyway.