1. borrow or renew a book
2. browse the shelves by topic
1. Go to the Library of Congress Classification outline at:

2. Click on the general subject area of your topic.

3. Then click on any sub-topic or sub-class within the discipline that most closely relates to your research topic.

4. Note the sub-class number and go to the shelves in the library to browse for books in your area of interest.

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3. evaluate a resource
Consider the following when choosing resources for your paper:
1. Authorship and Authority (Gibaldi 41-45)
~ Author Credential information:
[Note: In some cases, an organization or corporation may be responsible for a work.]
  • Educational degrees such as PhD, MD, etc.
  • Affiliations such as schools, research facilities or other organizations; and
  • Work experience.
~ Publisher and publication information:
  • Scholarly, refereed or peer reviewed journal articles undergo a higher level of screening by experts in the field prior to being published.
  • Publishers may be associated with educational institutions such as universities or national professional organizations such as American Psychological Association.
2. Accuracy and Verifiability (Gibaldi 41-45)
~ Bias or point of view
  • Look at the author affiliations or publication affiliation for potential sources of bias.
  • Note the wording of the work including the tone.
  • Note how thoroughly the author explores differing opinions.
~ Verifiability
  • Determine if the author has citations backing up any claims within a work.
  • If there is a question concerning the information, see if other sources are claiming the same thing.
3. Currency (Gibaldi 41-45)
  • The date of publication may affect how accurate it is. Certain types of information such as scientific writing have a shorter shelf-life than others. An older article on current trends in heart surgery would not be a credible source. However, an older English literature essay may or may not be a good source.
  • The date of publication may have an affect on point of view or bias. For example, an article on feminism from the 1950s may present a biased account.
Gibaldi, Joseph.  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.
New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003. Print.

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4. find a book on the shelf (read a Library of Congress Call Number)
Library of Congress (LC) classification system, which is used by most academic libraries, classifies items by broad subject category and then by sub categories. Each item is assigned a unique call number based on how an item is classified, which determines where it will be shelved.
On an item label,
the call number is arranged vertically.
In the online catalog,
call numbers are arranged horizontally.



PB35 .W7 1984

available, Emmanuel Reference

Note: Be sure to watch for any special Location given in the online catalog such as Reference (REF) or Leisure. On the item label, it is ABOVE the call number, usually abbreviated. In the online catalog, Location: Emmanuel Main Stacks means the circulating collection.
Example of call number order (these call numbers do not reflect actual books in the collection):

As you scan the shelves for a book, read each line of the call number:



Note any special Location



Read the first line in alphabetical order. (e.g., P before PA before PN before R)



Read the second line as a whole number in numerical order. (e.g., 2114.353 before 2114.4)



Read the third (and possibly fourth) line:
~ the letters alphabetically. (e.g. .J32 before .K537)
~ the numbers as decimals in numerical order. (e.g., .537 before .54)
HINT: add zero(s) to make numbers of equal length, i.e., .54 is read as .540.



Read any dates chronologically. (e.g., 1984 before 1999)

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5. pay an overdue/lost book fine
6. request a book/article
7. use the online catalog to find a book
Use the Online Catalog to access records of books at Emmanuel College and at the other Fenway Library Online (FLO) libraries.

Types of Searches
1. Basic Search for Title or Author Searches
  • To search by Title, enter the title in the search box omitting the leading article (A, An, The) and select Title from the field options.
  • To search by Author, enter the author’s last name followed by the author’s first in the search box and select Author (last name first) from the field options.
2. Advanced Search for Keyword Searches
  • Enter search terms in the search boxes and select from the options of any of these, all of these, or as a phrase.
  • Note that this searches for the words in the Title, Author, Library of Congress Subject Headings, and notes of item record.
  • Between the search boxes, use the Boolean Operators of AND, OR, NOT.

    AND: Both must be present. This is the default setting for the Online Catalog. For example, (women AND suffrage) finds items that contain both terms.

    OR: Either or both may be present. For example, (women OR female) finds items that contain either word.

    NOT: Omits any items in the search box. For example, (women NOT suffrage) finds items containing the word women but not the word suffrage.
See also the Other Libraries web page on the library web site.

Related FAQs:

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