Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Session Continues Up Front

View of Davis Library's Main Entrance around 11:30 AM Thursday 7.25.13
As the summer session continues, we’ve decided to carry on with our blog post series on the Research Process.  Last week, the importance of knowing “How to Find Background Information” was discussed.  This step in the Research Process enables you to better understand and communicate your topic.   It also can help guide you to more in-depth information.
The post ended by stating how to “Find Books, Articles and More” would be addressed in the next installment.  Since seeking more in-depth information can be somewhat complex at times, we’ve decided to break down the search process a bit.  So, today’s post will simply focus on “Finding Books.”

Of course, finding books sounds simple enough, but as you’ll see the various methods of locating and retrieving these tomes of information can get sort of tricky… thus, the reason for this rather lengthy post.

To look for books available at Davis Library, you can search RioCat, Davis Library’s Online Catalog, which lists almost everything the Davis Library has to offer for its library users to check-out and borrow for extended periods of time.   

RioCat may be accessed by clicking the first link provided under the “Find Books” heading on the Davis Library Home Page, which is found at: .  Watch the video below for tips on how to use this valuable search tool.

Video Transcript available at:
Most of the items that the Davis Library lends out frequently are found in its General Collection, which is located in the 2nd Floor Stacks (Top Floor) area of the building.  These items are organized on the shelves primarily by subject and according to the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system.  Each item is given a unique code or Call Number that acts as the items address on the shelf.  Call Numbers give you some clues as to what type of subject matter is contained in a work.  (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1
Some items in the 2nd Floor Stacks area are too big or awkward to fit properly on the regular shelves, so their location in RioCat may be listed as Oversize (2nd Floor) which is a shelving unit you'll find in an alcove to your right as you get off the elevator not too far from the library’s seminar/classroom (DL 205.)  These items organized using DDC Call Number as well and are labeled with the word “Oversize.”  (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2
Now, if a book is a biography, then it’s also shelved in its own separate section in the 2nd Floor Stacks area, which is the last line of shelving near front of the building on the Top Floor.  These shelves are marked with signage to let you know they contain works with the accounts of people’s lives. (See Figure 3.)
Figure 3
The Call Numbers used for our biographies differ somewhat from the rest of the items in the General Collection.  The letter “B” lets you know the item is a biography and then, it's followed by an alpha-numeric code (a string of letters and numbers) which is also sometimes referred to as a Cutter Number.  Cutter Numbers are usually used to identify an author’s last name, but here they are used to tell us the last name of the individual whose life is detailed in the book.  Immediately following this Cutter Number is another letter(s) that's provided to indicate the last name of the book’s author.  These items are arranged on the shelves first alphabetically by letter and then, by number order. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 4
Other book items listed in RioCat and found in Davis Library that library users can check-out are found in our Paperback and Juvenile Collections, both of which are located on the library’s Main Floor.  These items aren't normally the types of works you’d use for research purposes.  Our Paperback Collection features the latest best-sellers and contains mostly paperback fiction novels.  Then, the Juvenile Collection is comprised of works of both Children and Young Adult Literature. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5
Some other book items listed in RioCat are also housed in the Madog Center for Welsh Studies, which is located on the Rio Grande Main Campus in the Elizabeth Davis House.  These items aren't available for check-out, but may be used on-site.  For more information, contact Jeanne Jones Jindra, Madog Center Director at 1.800.282.7201, ext. 7286 or

Now, very often when searching RioCat several “electronic resources” will appear in your results.  In many instances these items are electronic books (eBooks) made available to us through our participation the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK.)  

Access links to these online digital resources are made available through each item’s catalog record.  Please note that when working off campus you are required to go through an authentication process to be able read the works online.  Watch the video below for more details on searching RioCat for eBooks.

Video Transcript available at:
These same eBooks may also be searched and accessed through the OhioLINK Electronic Book Center (EBC), which was discussed in last week’s post.  A direct link to the EBC’s main search menu can be found on the Davis Library Home Page under the “Find Books” heading.  Again, login is required for off-campus access to these electronic resources.  See the tutorial below for step-by-step instructions on this authentication process.

Video Transcript available at:

Another link found under the “Find Books” heading on the Davis Library Home Page is a link to the OhioLINK Library Catalog.  Davis Library is a fairly small library and our book collections are primarily geared toward supporting our academic programs.  Consequently, our collections may be limited in certain topical or subject areas.  

Fortunately, the information resource sharing opportunities offered through OhioLINK allows you to request and borrow various types of library materials from other participating academic libraries in the state of Ohio and have them shipped to a designated pick-up location near you (for most University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College affiliated OhioLINK users that’s here at the Davis Library.)  For more information on making OhioLINK requests, watch the video below.

Sorry… no Video Transcript available at this time.

Now, if you’ve searched RioCat, EBC and the OhioLINK Library Catalog and still aren’t finding the book items you want, then there are some other options available.  Through Davis Library’s participation in OhioLINK, most of our library users also have access to SearchOhio, which allows access to the collections of several different Ohio public libraries.  

SearchOhio requests are made very similarly to those done in OhioLINK Library Catalog.  You first have to identify with which institution you are affiliated and then, enter your full name(first and last) and barcode (Rio Grande students should enter “s” immediately followed by their student identification number—no space added.)  A walkthrough on using SearchOhio may be seen on video tutorial below.

Sorry… no Video Transcript available at this time.

Another option to consider if you’re having problems locating book resources is to search WorldCat, an online catalog that allows you to do worldwide searches for library materials.  There’s a public search option offered on the World Wide Web (WWW) found at  that often indicates where you can find books in libraries near you based on the zip code you’ve entered.
WorldCat may also be accessed and searched through the OhioLINK Research Databases, which requires you to go through the same authentication process required for the EBC when working off-campus.  The advantage of using the OhioLINK access to WorldCat is that it integrated into OhioLINK system, so if the item is available through an OhioLINK participating library (whether its nearby or not), you can get that information as well as in what other libraries around the world the item may be found very quickly.  

If an item is found on WorldCat, but not found in or available for check-out from the Davis Library, OhioLINK or SearchOhio, then it’s still possible that you may be able to borrow it through our traditional Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services, which generally takes about a week-ten days to process.  OhioLINK and SearchOhio requests usually only take 2-5 working days to be delivered to their designated pick-up locations.  Either way, it's important to remember research and book deliveries take time.  For best results and less stress, plan ahead.

To borrow library materials through Davis Library’s ILL services, enter and submit the citation information (author, title, publisher, publication year, edition numbers and etc…) of the item you want using our ILL Book Request Form found at:

It’s essential that you also provide your contact information on this form so that we can let you know if there are any issues with your request.  ILL services and book check-outs do not appear on the “My Record” feature in RioCat, which allows you to manage your own library account online, so establishing and maintaining regular communications with us (particularly when using our ILL services) is a good practice.

Also important to note is that when borrowing any library materials, there are certain policies that should be followed.  Due dates, renewals and overdue fines vary according to material types and lending institutions.  You’re responsible for making sure the items you check-out are well cared for and are returned on time so that utilized by other library users who need them too. 

Yes, it’s all about sharing here!  So, do use that “My Record” feature often to help keep tabs on the items borrowed and avoid overdue fines.  The “My Record” feature also helps you track the status of OhioLINK and SearchOhio requests.  See the tutorial below to help you learn more about this valuable online tool.

Video Transcript available at:
As the vast amount of information covered in this post indicates, finding books can be a much more involved process than one might expect.  As mentioned in last week’s post, not only is finding the information important, but taking the time to evaluate it is crucial as well.  

Please take a look at following link to a handout outlining the CRAAP Test, which is series of questions devised by the folks at Meriam Library (California State University-Chico) to help ease the process of assessing the information.

CRAAP Test handout:

To wrap things up here... for now, as "Finding Articles" will be addressed next time… if you have any questions about finding books or other information resources for your research projects, just … 

Ask Us!

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