Need to know...
IUCAT, the Indiana University Libraries online catalog, is the key to finding books, newspapers, videos, and other research materials in the Library. Use this quick guide and the online tutorial to teach yourself how to use IUCAT like an expert. Don't stop with the basics--be sure to go through the "Beyond the Basics" section too. You'll need to know how to use IUCAT to do the Library Research Team assignments.
Overview of the Main Library
You will probably spend a lot of time in the Information Commons, on the first floor of the west (shorter) tower of the Main Library. It's open 24x7, and it's a great place to study, do homework assignments and use state-of-the-art computers, scanners and multi-media equipment. Your IFS library assignment will help you learn more about the rest of the Main Library. DON'T be intimidated by how big it is (4-6 MILLION books). DO ask library staff for help anytime you feel lost or confused. When you finish this assignment, you will know your way around better than some seniors! Remember, each team will visit each of the areas described below.
Reference Reading Room. Located on the first floor of the east (taller) tower of the Main Library, this is where to find dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases and other reference books. On your way into the Reference Room, notice the Reference Desk. Whenever the Library is open, there are always people at the Reference Desk who can help you with your research. You can also email or instant message the Reference Staff for help, from anywhere.
Research Collections Stacks. Most of the Library's print collection is shelved in the east (taller) tower of the building, known as "Research Collections," floors 4 through 11. "Stacks" is just a term that means "the part of the library where books are shelved." (No one knows why!) You'll find books, magazines, and journals here--about 4 million volumes! You can get totally lost if you head into the stacks without looking in IUCAT first to find call numbers for the items you want, so don't skip the step of learning about IUCAT.
Kent Cooper Reading Room. Take the escalator down from the Lobby to get to this area. Three different collections are kept here, the Media collection (videos, DVDs and audio recordings), the Reserve readings collection (books that are assigned reading for a class but are out-of-print or too expensive for students to buy), and new periodicals (the most recent issues of journals and magazines that the Library subscribes to--older issues are found in the Research Collections Stacks in hard-back volumes that look just like books).
Government Publications and Microforms. Take the escalator up from the Lobby to get to this area. The U.S. Government collects and publishes information on every topic you can think of. Those publications are collected here. The staff here can also help you find your way through the huge amount of information the government makes available on the web. Also in this area, you will find the Microforms collection. Microfilm and microfiche are very simple information storage methods that are still considered the safest way to store information for the long term (30 years from now, when computer technology is totally different, you might not be able to read your old computer files from 2004, but microtechnology will still work!?)
"Find Information" web page (www.libraries.iub.edu/findinfo). This is your gateway to electronic resources provided by the Library. Unlike the free resources we all use everyday on the web, these are resources that cost money--and they're worth it--online versions of magazines and newspapers, databases that give you access to thousands of journals and other academic and business research materials. Be sure to look at the "Top 10 Resources" (on the far right, middle of the page). Academic Search Premier, Factiva, ERIC, and Lexis-Nexis are resources that you will use all through college. When you search Find Information databases, some of the references you find will take you directly to fulltext available online. Others will point you to print resources. Look for the button. Click on it to find out how to get the information once you have the reference.
Don't miss this...
Documenting your sources is a basic necessity of academic life. All the sources you use for your written work need to be documented, using an approved citation style. Here's a guide to the two most commonly used styles. Either one is fine for this class, just choose one and stick to it.
Multi-media equipment (including digital cameras, video cameras, both digital and VHS, and laptops) is available for student use. Visit the Undergraduate Library Services desk in the Information Commons, on the first floor of the west (shorter) tower of the Main Library (open 24x7), to check out equipment and learn about other multi-media software and hardware available in the Information Commons.