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Orientation to BC Libraries AD140 College of Advancing Studies Brendan Rapple Spring, 2007 ( rappleb@bc.edu ) What is a Library? Defined narrowly:

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Orientation to BC Libraries

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orientation to bc libraries

Orientation to BC Libraries

AD140 College of Advancing Studies

Brendan Rapple Spring, 2007


what is a library
What is a Library?
  • Defined narrowly:

“A building, room, or set of rooms, containing a collection of books for the use of the public or of some particular portion of it, or of the members of some society or the like; a public institution or establishment, charged with the care of a collection of books, and the duty of rendering the books accessible to those who require to use them” – Oxford English Dictionary

  • Libraries hold much more than just books:
    • Digital resources, journals, sound and video recordings, newspapers, government documents, DVD’s, etc.
  • Point the user to the world of global information
    • Not limited to what is physically in the building
    • Online resources help open up access to the global world.
  • Collections can often be accessed remotely.
bc libraries facts
BC Libraries Facts
  • Support teaching, learning, and research at Boston College with:
      • Over 2 million printed volumes
      • Over three hundred research databases that can be accessed in the library or remotely
      • Specialized libraries throughout campus
      • Subject specialists available to assist you.
boston college libraries and centers
Boston College Libraries and Centers

Complete List of Libraries and Centers:


O'Neill Library

    • The main research library
    • Wireless Internet + Laptop connections
    • Group study rooms available

Also in O’Neill:

  • Government Documents and Microforms
  • Media Center
    • Music, films, CD-ROMs, plus facilities for viewing and listening.
  • The Connors Family Learning Center
    • Free tutoring
    • Support services to students with learning disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder
    • Instructional support for graduate students and faculty
boston college libraries and centers cont
Boston College Libraries and Centers (cont.)

Other Libraries at BC:

  • Bapst Art LibraryThis English Collegiate Gothic building houses the art and art history collections, graduate and undergraduate study space.
  • Burns LibraryIn addition to rare books, special collections, and university archives, the John J. Burns Library is home to the Irish Music Center and the Irish Music Archives.
  • Educational Resource CenterThe Center, located in Campion Hall, primarily serves the resource needs of the School of Education faculty and students.
  • Social Work LibraryLocated in McGuinn Hall, this library serves the resource needs of the Graduate School of Social Work.
  • Law LibraryPrimarily serving the law school on the Newton Campus, this library houses legal and related materials.
  • Weston/O'Connor LibraryThe Weston Observatory houses a collection focused on earth sciences.
the bc libraries web site
The BC Libraries Web Site
  • BC Libraries home page
  • Subject Specialists
  • Subject Quick Starts
  • Research Guides
  • How do I…?
  • Tutorials
  • Electronic Journals
  • Online Databases
advantages of online databases
Advantages of Online Databases
  • Preliminary research from home or office
  • Search whole database at the same time
  • Online searching is much faster
advantages of online databases9
Advantages of Online Databases
  • More complex searches than with print


  • Generally, more sophisticated research
advantages of online databases10
Advantages of Online Databases
  • Limit searches by restricting to a range of years a particular language a specific document type a particular audience group
advantages of online databases11
Advantages of Online Databases
  • Download and manipulate search results
  • Even printing is preferable to writing or photo-copying from print indexes
  • E-Mail Searches to another
advantages of online databases12
Advantages of Online Databases
  • Alert you by email to new publications
  • Able to specify peer reviewed articles
  • Immediate online help
  • Direct links to Internet Sites
examples of databases
Examples of Databases
  • Online database page from libraries web site:
      • Online Databases
  • Browse databases by title
  • Browse databases by subject
quest bc libraries online catalog http www bc edu quest
Quest: BC Libraries’ Online Cataloghttp://www.bc.edu/quest/
  • Use QUEST to locate material owned by BC
  • Different types of searches: basic, advanced, electronic reserves
  • Limiting searches: by library, format type, language, date, etc.
  • Some Features of Quest:
    • Requesting books checked out, in process, or on order
    • Interlibrary Loan
    • “Your Account”:
      • Renew online
      • View account activity history
      • Request book delivery, article photocopies
      • Request a library session
      • Recommend library material
      • Set up alerts
look for the find it icon
Look for the Find It Icon
  • You’re in a database and found an article you want. How do you get it?
  • Easiest way? Click on Find It.
  • Find It will tell you:
    • Does BC have the article in full text online?
    • . . . Or is it in print in the libraries?
    • . . . Or can you get it through interlibrary loan?
fee vs free
Subscription Databases:


ERIC (education)

PsycINFO 1840-current

Expanded Academic ASAP (multidisciplinary)

Historical New York Times

Available freely on the Web:

e.g. through search engines



Internet Public Library

Fee vs. Free
about resources in print
About Resources in Print…
  • There is much material available only in print format that remains essential.
  • Only a small percentage of the full-text contents of books and journals are presently accessible electronically.
  • Scholarly:
    • Scholarly journals contain reviews and articles written by experts in the field. Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. They are generally published four or six times a year and are peer-reviewed journals
    • Often contain original research

Examples: American Journal of Education;Harvard Business Review; Mind

  • Popular:
    • Popular journals come in many formats and are most often colorful in appearance, with lots of photographs and/or graphics. The most reliable kind of popular periodical often cites sources (though perhaps not in standard bibliographical format), but the less reliable kind will seldom cite sources.
    • Often cover current events and topics
  • Examples: Business Week;Time; Cosmopolitan
alert services
Alert Services
  • Set up a search profile/strategy
  • Stay up to date
  • Receive newly-published info in your research areas—via e-mail
library consortia
Library Consortia
  • Boston Library Consortium
  • Standards of academic integrity:
    • Clearly identify another writer’s words or ideas
    • Give proper acknowledgement
    • Note citation information for all materials you find in your research explorations
    • Make sure that this information appears in your papers in association with quoted or paraphrased words and ideas.
  • Common knowledge in the public domain does not need to be documented i.e. the Earth is round
helpful tips
Helpful Tips
  • Take excellent notes: Students often forget to add quotes while taking notes
  • Utilize them effectively
  • Visual materials need to be documented
  • Write the entire paper yourself
  • Document sources well and honestly
  • Manage your time
documentation styles and guides
Documentation Styles and Guides
  • MLA: Modern Language Association
  • APA: American Psychological Association standards
  • Other styles include Chicago, Turabian (many others too).
refworks a useful tool
RefWorks: A Useful Tool
  • Footnotes and bibliography can be generated in a variety of formats such as APA, MLA.
  • Web based tool for automatically formatting your paper.
  • Allows you to store, organize and keep track of citations.
  • References can then be inserted into papers.
refworks help
RefWorks Help?

RefWorks Tutorial

  • step by step instruction
  • Details on setting up your account and using RefWorks remotely
  • Importing records from specific databases
final advice
Final Advice . . . .

Don’t Forget to Ask Your Friendly Librarians for Help!!!

  • Contact a Subject Specialist
  • Visit or call (2-4472) the Reference Desk during these hours
  • Email or online chat (Ask 24/7) reference help