Spotlight On…CQ Researcher

You’ve got a paper coming up, and you don’t have a topic yet. The paper has to be about a current issue that’s controversial, or maybe you have to debate the pros and cons of something – but there are so many issues in the world! How do you know what to choose and where to start? If you come to the UGL’s website, we have a resource that can help you solve all these problems. It’s called CQ Researcher.

What and where is CQ Researcher?

CQ Researcher is one of the many databases that the library provides for you to use. It’s a little different from other databases you may have used, because it’s designed to make it easy for you to browse articles by topic. The topics that articles in CQ Researcher cover range from education issues (like homeschooling) to disputes over international law (like the ethics of war), but all have been topics of intense discussion and debate in the recent past or present.

To get to CQ Researcher, start at the UGL homepage and click the Find Articles button that you see under the Easy Search box. That will take you to the Find Articles guide, where we list some of our databases by type. CQ Researcher is a general database, so you can find a link to it in the first section that’s labelled “Starting Points (Multi-Subject Databases).”

CQ Researcher should be the third database listed under Starting Points.

What can I find in CQ Researcher?

Every topic covered in CQ Researcher will be explained in a report – a long article that provides an overview of the topic,  including background information, current controversies or problems, and potential outcomes. An editorial piece from each side of the argument – a “pro” and a “con” position – are also provided by an expert on the topic. Other helpful features include timelines of major events, and lists of suggested sources for further research. This information could be used to help you figure out what specific aspects of a general topic you’re most interested in, where you should look for more information, or how a specific issue fits into a larger issue or trend.

You can navigate through the different kinds of information provided using the menu on the left side, or explore related issues using the Issue Tracker menu on the right.

How can I use CQ Researcher?

If you already have an idea of what you’re interested in, the main page of CQ Researcher has a search feature in the upper-right hand corner of the screen. If you don’t have an idea yet, don’t worry – it also has options to browse through information by what’s been added most recently, or by general area of interest (like the ‘education’ and ‘international law’ areas we mentioned above). As you browse or search, CQ Researcher will offer suggestions for related topic in a menu on the right-hand side of the screen.

The search box is in the top-right corner, and the Browse options are in the main navigation menu under the heading.

So, if you’re trying to find an interesting, contemporary debate to explore for an assignment, or you’ve already got one and need ideas for how to approach it, find your way to the UGL homepage and try CQ Researcher. There’s also that helpful Ask-A-Librarian chat box on the UGL page, so if you should get stuck, a librarian is only a click away! We’ll be happy to help you use this or any other library resource.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Celebrating Women’s History Month!

March is here and midterms are almost over, but March is also Women’s History month! Be prepared to learn about some amazing and inspirational women and some resources available from the library.

Sally Ride

Sally Ride. The First American woman in space

First, we have Sally Ride. Sally was a former astronaut and a physicist. She became the first American woman in space. Her accomplishments have paved the way for women in NASA and have inspired people around the world. Sally died in 2012 at the age of 61, but her legacy will forever live on. To find out more about her life and accomplishments, check out some books about her life available in our catalog.

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun

Carol Moseley Braun is former representative of the Illinois senate. She was the first African-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate. Ms. Braun was also nominated by former President Bill Clinton to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. She currently resides in Chicago. For more information on Ms. Braun, be sure to check out her page on the congress website.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo is a Mexican artist from the surrealist movement in the 1930’s. She had a difficult but  exciting life, and most importantly, she was a creative person and painter who celebrated her Mexican culture and heritage. If you would like to know more about Frida and her life, Credo reference has more information.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul. American Suffragist

Alice Paul was an American suffragist who fought for a woman’s right to vote. Along with the help of other suffragists, Alice Paul’s activism led to the passage of the 19th amendment. Because of the 19th amendment, women were finally able to have the right to vote in this country.  To learn more about Alice Paul, be sure to check out the  Women and Social Movements in the United States database available through the UIUC catalog!

These are just a few of the many incredible women out there. For more information be sure to check out some subject guides on the topic such as women in politics or the official government website for Women’s History Month.

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Spotlight On…Film Resources

The 2014 Oscars have now been awarded, and whether you agree with the winners or not, the library has resources you can use to learn more about film history and theory, as well as find more movies to watch.

Researching Film History and Theory

  • Film Study Reference Guide – This research guide, put together by the Literature and Languages Library, is a one-stop shop for all film theory research needs. It has resources for finding film reviews, if you want to find out what critics said about those Oscar winners before they were winners, as well as lists of books that can serve as your introduction to the history and study of film.
  • Finding Article about Film in Databases – The Communications Library has put together a list of databases that contain articles pertaining to film history and criticism. Once you gotten a good introduction using the reference guide above, you can use these databases to find more specific articles about whatever film topic interests you.

Findings Movies to Watch

  • Finding Movies in the Library – Reading about movies is great, but reading reviews and articles won’t be helpful if you haven’t seen the movies themselves! The Undergraduate Library has a guide to help you find the movies you need in the library catalog.
  • Ideas for What to Watch – If you don’t know where to start, the UGL has Pinterest boards that collect our favorite horror movies, science fiction features, summer films, and movies based on books. Browsing the entire media collection by genre is tough, because it’s just not arranged that way, but here’s a tip: on the catalog search screen, change the first dropdown menu from “Keyword” to “Subject,” then try typing in what you’re looking for. You could try a genre, like “Horror films,” or a topic followed by the kind of  movie you want, like “High school students – Comedy.” It takes some practice, but soon you’ll be a master at finding great new movies.

What do you think about when you decide whether a movie is good or not? Let us know in the comments!

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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Happenings at the Library

You’ve been to office hours and gotten research help. You’ve gotten your cover letter critiqued. Maybe you’ve even attended one of the Indian cinema screenings. But do you really know about everything the library has going on? There may be more than you think. Here’s a selection of library events coming up soon that you may find interesting.

The steps to UGL and a beautiful blue sky.

Most of these events aren’t at the UGL, so you don’t have to worry about going through those pesky doors.

For those of you taking challenging science classes, the Funk ACES library is hosting a series of workshops to help you get to know databases that may be useful to you. Web of Science, Agricola, PubMed and Sociological Abstracts will all be explained to you, and you’ll be ready to tackle that research head-on. They will be held in room 509 of the ACES library on various days at various times – for the dates and times of specific workshops , check out this poster or the library calendar of events.

If you missed getting your flu shot at the UGL week before last, fear not! There are more free flu shot clinics in libraries coming up. Here are a few for the next two weeks:

  • Grainger Library – Wednesday, October 30th, 3:30-6:30 PM
  • Undergraduate Library – Tuesday, November 5th, 1:30-4:30 PM
  • Grainger Library – Thursday, November 7th, 3:30-6:30 PM

More information about locations and costs can be found on McKinley’s flu vaccine information page.

Have you been to the Music and Performing Arts Library? If you haven’t yet, you can take a tour today, October 28th, starting at 5 PM. The music library has lots of resources for dance, theater, and music – but you don’t have to be studying those things to make use of them! Take the tour and find out what they can offer you.

Visit the Rare Book and Manuscript Library before December 13th to check out their exhibit on the idea of ‘life on the moon’ in science and in literature. They have examples of writing about the moon dating back to ancient Rome, as well as artifacts from the Apollo 16 mission. They have a moon rock. It’s encased in a translucent pyramid. It is the coolest thing you will see in your life. You should check it out, and learn some stuff while you’re there! There are also a series of moon-themed events throughout November in connection with the exhibit, including a storytelling event and moon viewing. Find a complete list of the events and details about them on the See You On the Moon website.

Finally, if you go to the main library to get some quiet studying done, make sure to check out the Audubon Folio display near the main info desk. Starting on Halloween we’ll have a spooky raven on display to help set the Halloween mood.

We hope to see you there!

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Spotlight on…Gale Virtual Reference Library

Long gone are the days when you have to sift through a heavy encyclopedia to find background information (not to mention figuring out which one is best for your topic). Using the Gale Virtual Reference Library, you can find information about almost any topic, searching multiple resources at once, all from the comfort of your own computer.

Home page of Gale Virtual reference library with a search box at the top, subjects listed down the left column, and images of resources in the center

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is like librarian-approved Wikipedia. It has encyclopedias and other online reference books that cover a wide variety of subject areas, all in one place, so you can do one-stop-searching. You can also select to search in a specific subject area, choosing from subjects like art, biography, history, law, science, and many more.

To get there, start from the UGL’s homepage. In the dark blue bar that goes across the top of your screen, there will be a link for “Find.” Clicking on that link will take you to a page with tips and resources for finding all types of information. To get to GVRL, you’ll need to select “Background Information,” which will take you to the Library’s Online Reference Collection. You should see GVRL listed under the heading for “Starting Points” on this page.

Once you’re in GVRL, you’ll be able to see how many resources are available in this one place. (Hint: lots). To do a simple search, all you have to do is type your keyword(s) into the search box at the top of the screen. This will search all the resources available to you in GVRL.

image of easy search box on the top of the home page

Find this box at the top of your screen. It’s your gateway to thousands of resources!

You also have the option to search in a specific subject area. All you have to do is select the subject you want from the menu on the left on the homepage. You’ll be taken to a screen that lists the resources available in that subject area. There will be a box near the right-hand corner where you can search across all the sources for your chosen subject area.

image of the history subject page, highlighting the box to search within history in the right-hand corner

Once you’ve searched for your topic, whether you did a simple search or chose a specific subject area, you’ll see a screen listing the different resources you can access. If your search found too many resources, you can narrow what you’re seeing by using the options on the left on your results screen. You can choose a subject area, a type of resource (like a biography or topic overview), or a specific encyclopedia.

image of a search results screen, highlighting the options to limit results available in the left column

Don’t need 1800 results about yoga? Narrow it down using the options on your left.

GVRL is a great place to get started if your topic is related to multiple subject areas. With hundreds of encyclopedias at your fingertips, we’ll be surprised if you can’t find what you’re looking for. If that happens, though, you can always try another resource in the Online Reference Collection, or Ask a Librarian for help. That’s why we’re here.

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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Spotlight on…Pop Culture Universe

Can you believe we’re already six weeks into the semester? It’s almost time for midterms, and with those come papers and projects that require research. You know the UGL is here for all your research needs. And if you need research pop culture, we’ve got just the thing for you: Pop Culture Universe.

Many different aspects and eras of pop culture are covered.

More than you ever wanted to know about Madonna (and other pop culture icons!)

Pop Culture Universe is a database containing articles about fads and trends in pop culture throughout history. Starting largely with the 1900s, it allows you to find articles and resources in a variety of ways. To get to Pop Culture Universe, start at the UGL homepage, and click on that handy “Find Articles” link under the Easy Search box. Once you’re on our Find Articles guide, you’ll find Pop Culture Universe under “Starting Points,” with other general subject databases recommended for your research.

You can get started searching using the Quick Search function, located in the top right corner of the database’s homepage. Just type in your keyword or phrase, click the search icon, and you’re well on your way delving into the depths of popular culture.

The database also has ways you can browse for information. One of those is to see major trends by decade. You can see a basic introduction of each decade from the 1900s to the 2000s, as well as articles that highlight popular movements, like baseball in the 1920s or MTV in the 1980s.

Each decade has a dedicated section.

Find quick, easy resources to learn about the Roaring 20s or the dotcom era.

Another way to find information in Pop Culture Universe is to use the “Idea Exchange” where the database poses a question, and offers articles featuring divergent opinions and responses. This is great for understanding how pop culture fits into the larger context of history.

Articles are presented as possible resources for answering common questions.

See multiple perspectives on a topic, all in one convenient place.

One final way Pop Culture Universe makes it way too easy to expand your knowledge is to use their Advanced Search option, which allows you input multiple pieces of information in one search. Selecting the Advance Search option lets you input keywords, select a decade, and narrow to a particular topic area, all at the same time. For example, a search for “grunge” in the decade of the 1990s, and the topic area of “fashion” nets article relating to how grunge music influenced fashions in the 90s.

See? We want to make it easy for you to find everything you need. If you have problems using Pop Culture Universe (or any library resource!) come visit us during Office Hours @ the UGL or chat us up online. We’re waiting.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Extra, Extra!: News Sources

Are you in need of information about current events? Or are you searching for news reports and newspaper articles about things that happened in the past? Well, have we got news for you. There are plenty of ways to find out what’s going on in the world and what led up to it, all using resources on the library website.

If you’re looking for information about current events, your first stop should be the UGL’s very own How Do I…? page. Look for the link in the top right-hand corner of the UGL’s main page, in the main menu bar. Once you’re on the How Do I…? page, you’ll find a lot of links for how to find and evaluate various sources.. If you scroll down to the section labeled “Find Other Types of Sources,” you should see a link for “Current News/Events Information.”

List of guides to finding resources

The page also helps you find books, reserves, and articles, if you need those.

This link will take you directly to our guide for keeping up with news sources. It includes library resources, links to several major news sites, and tips for keeping up with the news cycle and getting the information you need.

Screencap of current events guide

This page also has news site and a few print materials listed.

If you’d like to watch your news but had to cancel the cable service, you can head over to the Communications Library News Lounge to keep up with international news from 8 different regions.

To find news sources for historical events, find your way to the webpage of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library (which you can do by using the “Find a Library” link on the main library page). On the left-hand menu of the HPNL page, there’s a link that says “Newspapers.” Clicking on that will take you to the UIUC Library Newspaper Database. This database keeps track of all the newspapers that we currently have at the library, whether in print, microform, or online.

You’ll see four tabs at the top of the screen – these will help you find the newspapers you’re looking for. The first will let you search for the title of any newspaper to see if we own it. The second will let you browse a list of historical newspapers that are available, while the third will give you a browseable list of current newspapers.

screencap: tabs for navigating different newspaper collections along top of page

This is the main search page for newspapers. The tabs lead to more specific lists and searches.

These three tabs are for finding the newspaper themselves, not articles – once you’ve selected a newspaper to search, then you can put in your keywords for your topic. For example, if you wanted to find out if there have been any flag burnings on the UIUC campus, you could select the Daily Illini from the list of historical newspapers, and then on the following screen search for “flag burning.”

This post is just to get you started on the road to finding news sources – so if you still have questions, check out the fourth tab on the newspaper database screen, which contains research guides created by the History, Philosophy and Newspaper librarians to give you more in-depth help. If you’re still stumped even after perusing the guide to finding newspapers, don’t worry – you can always ask a librarian for help. Good luck, newsies!

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Not sure where to look? Start here!

Summer is halfway over (say it isn’t so!) and we know that some of you are still busy little bees, working hard to complete your summer courses. We work hard in the summer, too, often updating programs and moving things around to better suit your needs. Sometimes, while the library is rearranging and refreshing, some systems, like the catalog or Interlibrary loan, will be offline for a day or two, making it difficult to find the materials you want. This is your guide to finding everything you need, no matter what.

Photo of book stacks in a library

The UIUC libraries have hundreds of resources available to you, right at your finger tips. So even if you can’t find what you’re looking for with one tool, we usually have another one that can get you to your books, articles, and movies. Here are some good places to search for different types of resources:

  1. Books, movies, and anything else the library physically owns. Start with our catalog. This is your gateway to all the libraries’ holdings. There are links to it on the main library page, and the UGL main page.
    • Where do you go if the catalog’s not working? Try one of our newest search tools, Primo. You can follow that link, or find it linked on the main library page under the easy search box. This tool will search for not only books, but articles, journals, and other electronic resources as well. So if you’re only interested in books, make sure to select “UIUC library catalog” from the drop-down menu next to the search box.
    • If the catalog is offline, the information in Primo will be a ‘snapshot’ of what was available when the catalog was last working. The book you’re looking for may have been checked out in the meantime, but you can find out if we own it and where we keep it!
  2. Books that are owned by other libraries. Even with millions of books available, sometimes the one you need will be already be checked out, or missing. In these cases, you can use I-share to search for your item in libraries across the state that share books with us. Use the link we just provided, or choose “All I-Share Libraries” from the drop-down menu next to the search bar in the catalog.
    Drop-down menu options include Local Catalog Only and All I-Share Libraries - choose I-Share to search widely.

    Like this!

    • If you still can’t find what you need, you can request it through Interlibrary loan. You can follow that link to the ILLiad login screen (ILLiad is the system that lets you access Interlibrary Loan), or find it on the main library page under “Borrowing and Renewing Materials.” Log in with your NetID and password, then choose “Request a Book.” Fill in the details it asks for, then click “Submit Request” to send the information whizzing along to a librarian, who will work to find your items at another library and get them to you. But note: Sometimes, this system will go down, too, so make sure you’ve searched I-Share first. If it’s really not available, ask a friendly librarian for help.
  3. Articles, journals, and other electronic resources. There are so many ways to search for articles and journals, because you have access to hundreds of databases as a UIUC student. If you know a specific database that you want, you can find a link to it using the Online Journals and Databases search. Or you can use the UGL’s Find Articles Guide to help you choose a good place to start. If, though, you are looking for a particular article or journal, and you know the title, author, publication date, etc., you can use a really nifty tool called the Journal and Article Locator to search for only the item you’re interested in. Just fill in your citation information and voila, links to the article will appear on your screen. The JAL is also available from the library main page, listed under “Article Resources.”
    • If you can’t find the article you need using any of those methods, Interlibrary Loan can also help you with that! Just log into ILLiad through the main library page like you would for a book, but select “Request a Photocopy” instead. Fill in the information you have about the articles, and librarians will request a copy of it for you from an institution that owns it.

When all else fails you can always Ask a Librarian through chat, email, phone, or in person. We’re waiting to answer your questions and help you find the resources you need to succeed.

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Spotlight on…American Fact Finder

In these final frantic weeks of the school year, you may find yourself needing some stats for final projects and papers. If you’re not sure where to get started, we have a lot of resources to help, but if you know you need stats about American people, businesses, industries, or markets, then try American Fact Finder’s Guided Search tool to get exactly what you need.

Screen shot of American Fact Finder homepage shows many options for finding informaiton.
American Fact Finder is hosted by the U.S. Census and is a good source for data about agriculture, education, employment, health, law, etc. Their website features valuable links to other official statistical resources, both domestic and international. Using the Guided Search tool enables you to tell the database exactly what you’re looking for, in an easy, step-by-step format.

To get to American Fact Finder, you simply start at the UGL homepage, and click on “How do I?” in the top right corner:

screenshot: How Do I link is in top-most navigational menu on UGL homepage

From there, you’ll look for the heading for “Find Sources” and then click on “Statistics”:

screenshot: Statistics are listed under 'find other types of sources'

Finally, you’ll see a selection of databases designed for statistics, and you’ll click on “American Fact Finder”:

screenshot: on statistics page, American FactFinder is listed under 'starting points'

Once you’re in the database, you’ll see an option on the left side of your screen for “Guided Search.” Just select that option, and follow the link to get started.

screenshot: Guided Search is a good search option to start with if you're unfamiliar with the resource.

The guided search tool will now walk you through several steps to help you narrow  the information you can access. You start with selecting what kind of information you want (like people, industries, housing, or a specific table or dataset). Next you’ll choose topic areas (like age, education, race, etc.), then location (or geography), and on until you can see results that match your criteria. You can add as many topics, geographies, etc., as you like.

screenshot: the guided search gives you many options to refine your search.

Then the database will give you tables and stats based on your criteria, and you can also easily see what census the information has pulled from, so you know how recent it is. Pretty nifty, huh? This is only one librarian-approved source for statistics. If you find yourself needing other types of stats, check out the UGL’s statistics guide for more great sources of information.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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Spotlight on: Academic OneFile

screenshot: Academic OneFile page with search box and limiters

If you’re not already knee-deep in papers and projects, you probably will be soon. Library databases are one of the best resources to find credible, reliable information. But we know sometimes getting started can be tough, especially if you’ve never used a database before. So we’re here to help.

One database you might consider to get started is Academic OneFile. This is a general-subject database, meaning it has information from a lot of fields. You can access it easily through the UGL’s Find Articles Guide. (If you’re off campus, don’t worry! You can still use the databases. All you need is your NetID and password.)

When you first get in to the database, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

screenshot: searchbox above limiters, with search tips on right-hand side

The homepage for Academic OneFile

You’ll have a search box and a few ways to limit the results you’ll see. Sometimes it’s best not to select any of the things below the search box until you’ve seen results first. To optimize your database search, use keywords. Most of the time you’ll have more than one keyword you need to use, too. To get more search boxes, all you have to do is click on “Advanced Search” in the yellow bar above the search box.

screenshot: Advanced search is last option on main menu

 

screenshot: Advanced search has multiple fields for multiple keywords, and Boolean operators as well.

 

 

 

The advanced search page will give you some more options. Once you’ve entered your keywords, click search.

 

 

 

On your results screen, you’ll see ways to help you narrow down the results you have. On the left side of the screen, you have options to select the type of source, subjects, and/or publication dates.

screenshot: limiters are in a sidebar on the left-hand side of the results page

Once you find an article you like, you can click on the title to see more information. On this page, you’ll also have options to help you save the results you want to use. On the right side, there are tools you can use to save, email, print, or cite that article.

screenshot: when viewing an article record, options for saving, printing, and citing are on the right-hand side

This is just a brief look at what you might see using Academic OneFile. If you have questions or problems, come talk to a librarian! You can use our Ask-a-Librarian chat, visit us in person at the Research Desk, or come to Office Hours @ the UGL.

Find other posts in the Spotlight On… series here.

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