The search box on the library homepage brings you to results from the physical collections at Hartness Library locations and results you can access online through library databases. You’ll find:
- books from VSC libraries
- full eBooks & online encyclopedias
- online videos
- online magazines
- online academic journals
- online newspapers
- government documents
If a source is available online, you will see a link to access it from one of the library’s databases. If it is a print book or DVD, you will see a link to request it. Print books and DVDs can either be mailed to you (for free) or picked up if you are near the library that owns them.
That doesn’t mean sources from libraries are always appropriate to use or that websites shouldn’t be included in academic research. College libraries subscribe to popular magazines and purchase books that represent a wide range of opinion or evidence on academic topics. And there are plenty of Web-based research institutions and government document repositories that are the best place to find current scientific research and statistics. Regardless of where you find information, you always need to Evaluate Sources to verify that the information is authoritative, accurate, and up-to-date.
You can also see a full list of Newspaper Databases to explore additional newspaper content.
The library’s search engine looks through titles, authors, abstracts, summaries, and subject headings for most of the materials in the library’s collection. Using too many words, words that combine too many concepts, or using full sentences produces poor results. Learn more about Keywords & Search Strategies to improve your results and save time. You can also Contact a Librarian for the best search words for any topic – librarians are human search engines and experts at search strategy.
Learn more about accessing specific types of sources by using the instructions listed in the rest of the library’s Find Menu.
If it isn’t available, you’ll be connected to information to request a free copy of the article or you can Contact a Librarian if you get a database error or have problems finding the article you need. Learn more about finding articles in library databases.
For some research tasks, using a tool that searches broadly across many different collections isn’t as efficient as going directly to a collection that presents material by source type or by topic area. There are several databases that present background material, media sources, and in-depth academic content all organized by topic. To find a specific database or see the full list, use the Search Individual Databases tab on the library homepage.
Learn more about the library’s topic starter databases and see examples of research questions.
The option to add an item to a folder can be used if you opt to set up a personal MyEBSCO account, but that is not necessary to view or download materials.
You can find additional Citation Tools to help you cite sources. Librarians can help you identify different sources types or track down links to sources, but do not offer proofreading services or writing help.