Learning Objectives

By the end of this tutorial, you should know how to:

  • Get research help.
  • Find resources using library collections (our catalog and research databases). 
  • Use interlibrary loan to get books and articles our library doesn't have.

Estimated module time: 30 minutes

Research Appointments

Librarians are available to help you develop your research question or thesis, find relevant resources on your topic, help you cite sources, and plan next steps in your research strategy. Click on the red Research Appointment button on the library homepage to schedule a research appointment!

Research Appointments button



Each Learning Foundations or Transfer Seminar class has a designated librarian. So does every academic department. What are you planning to major in? Click the Research Appointment button to see which librarian works with your major. Or check to see which librarians you could go to to get help with your other classes this semester. Research appointments can be held in person or via Zoom. In-person appointments are usually held in a librarian's office, so check to see if a librarian's office is at CSB Clemens or SJU Alcuin. 

(Note that while each librarian has subject specialties, any librarian is happy to help you get started on your research regardless of topic.)

Library Website

The CSB and SJU Libraries website (https://csbsju.edu/libraries) is your central portal to library information, resources, and services. Throughout these tutorials, we will highlight different parts of the library website to introduce you to important services and resources available to CSB and SJU students. 


Library Locations and Hours

The CSB and SJU Libraries include two main library buildings: SJU's Alcuin Library and Reinhart Learning Commons and CSB's Clemens Library. CSB also has the BAC Music Library.

The regular academic year hours, summer hours, and holiday hours for Clemens Library (CSB) and Alcuin Library (SJU) are posted on the library website. During the school year, Alcuin and Clemens both open at 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. on the weekend. The libraries close at midnight Sunday through Thursday and at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Borrowing Materials

You can use your Student ID Card to borrow (or "check out") resources from our libraries on either campus. These resources include books, DVDs, tabletop games, and media equipment like laptops, cameras, storage drives, video recorders, and microphones. 

  Books Video / Games Equipment / Laptops / Storage Media* 
Maximum Check-outs  150 3 3
Check-out period 1 semester 3 days 1 day / 5 days / 28 days
Maximum Renewals 3 1 1 / 1 / 0
Overdue Fines No fines for 9 days - $10.00 on 10th day $1.00 a day for 10 days $1.00 per hour
Lost Item Charges $50.00 replacement + $10.00 processing  $10.00 processing - replacement varies  $10.00 processing - replacement varies


Log In to Your Library Account

You can log in to your library account to view your borrowing record, the status of requested items, and see due dates or renew items you have checked out. The My Account button is located in the "Use the Library" box on the library home page.

Library My Account link

If you are off campus, you'll be prompted to log in using your CSB and SJU username and password (the ones you use to log in to your student email and Canvas) in order to access the CSB and SJU Libraries' databases and other online resources. You must access databases through the library website (rather than through an online search, for example) in order to prompt the log in.

Library My Account sign in

The CSB and SJU Libraries provide access to millions of articles from scholarly and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers. The vast majority are available online (rather than in print) through the library's research guides and databases. You can directly access our library databases through either 1) the red Research Guides or 2) the red Databases A-Z links on the library home page. 


Research Guides

There are Research Guides, created by your librarians, available for every academic major at CSB and SJU. Each guide lists recommended library databases for that particular academic subject, along with other resources and information to help you complete research assignments related to that discipline. 

Databases A-Z

The CSB and SJU Libraries gives you access to 200+ different research databases. The full list of databases is found under Databases A-Z on the library home page. While the full list is alphabetical, you can also filter databases by subject to find ones that are appropriate for your class or research topic. 

Each database is a different collection of content. Many databases are primarily collections of journal articles and might contain thousands of articles that were originally published in hundreds of different journals. Some databases include a wider range of content and might include magazines, newspapers, book chapters, primary sources, images, and videos along with journal articles. 

Databases A-Z button

NOTE: If you are off campus, you can access all of our library databases and electronic resources but you will need to log in first.

Library Catalog

The Library Catalog is the main search box in the middle of the CSB and SJU Libraries home page. You can use it to search for library materials like books and eBooks, streaming video and DVDs, scholarly and popular articles, and music. Use the Search All drop-down menu if you are only interested in finding a particular format or type of material, like only eBooks or only videos.

Library Catalog search bar


Entering the search term "sustainability" into the catalog and keeping Search All (to search all formats) will return many results including books, eBooks, journals, and DVD and streaming videos. The results will include items from the CSB and SJU Libraries and other libraries worldwide. Each result lists the item's call number, location, and format. In this case, the first item is a print book located at Clemens Library (CSB). The second item is an eBook and has a link to the resource. 
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Library catalog search results with book and ebook

For more information about the Library Catalog, check out the Search Tips page on the CSB and SJU Libraries website. 

Find eBooks

Most eBooks can be found by searching directly in the library catalog. Select eBooks from the catalog's Search All drop-down menu if you only want eBook results.

Watch the following video to see how to access eBooks from the CSB and SJU Libraries:

Find a Book with Call Numbers

The CSB and SJU Libraries use Library of Congress (LC) call numbers to organize materials in the collection. An LC call number is a combination of letters and numbers that indicates where an item is located. Watch the following video to learn how to use LC call numbers to find a book on the libraries' shelves:

Source: Laurentian Library. "Reading LC call numbers." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 August 2014. 19 May 2021.

Place a Hold on a Book

You can also place a hold on a book and then pick it up at the front desk of either campus library that you request. Click the title of a book from the results list to view the full record, then click on the blue "Place Hold" button on the right side of the page. 

Place hold button for a book in the catalog

Watch the following video to see how to place a hold on a book in the CSB and SJU Libraries catalog:

Interlibrary Loan

If the CSB and SJU Libraries don't have an article or book you need, you can request a copy from another library through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan is almost always a free service. For any special items that involve a fee you will be asked to approve that charge before the item is ordered. 

Most article requests are filled within a couple of days. You'll receive an email with a link to access the full text of the article online. Note that this link expires, so you will want to download or print interlibrary loan articles for future reference if you need it later in the semester. While requests for scanned book chapters are also usually filled within a few days, the majority of print books and other items that need to be shipped arrive within two weeks, so please allow at least that much processing time when making a request. Turnaround time for requests varies greatly, depending on the nature of the material and the location of the lending library.

Paywalls: Don't Pay for Articles Online!

If you are using an open-web search engine like Google, you can run into paywalls where a website asks you to pay to get access to the full text of an article. As a CSB and SJU student you should never need to pay for individual articles. Instead, talk to a librarian for help accessing the article within our collections or request a free copy of the article using Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary Loan from the Catalog

To request a book or article from the CSB and SJU Libraries catalog, select the item by clicking on the title and then click the blue "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan" button located to right side of the full record. Please be aware that you cannot normally request eBooks through Interlibrary Loan, so make sure it says "Print Book" in the catalog record before creating your request. You can request individual chapters or sections from eBooks, which is explained later on this page. 

Interlibrary Loan Request button for book in the catalog


Watch the following three videos to see how to 1) request a book through Interlibrary Loan, 2) request a copy of a chapter or section from a print book or eBook through Interlibrary Loan, and 3) request an article from the catalog through Interlibrary Loan.

1. Request a Book

2. Request a Chapter or Section of a Book

3. Request an Article From the Catalog

Interlibrary Loan from a Database

Sometimes the database you're using doesn't provide full text to the article you need. In that case, look for the Find It button for that article. The Find It button helps you discover if the full text of the article is available in a different database that we subscribe to or if you will need to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

To request an article found in a database:

1. Locate and click on the article's Find It button. Find It Button
2. Check for links to View Full Text, or the journal title under Full text availability for this item.
3. If the full text isn't available, click the Request Item through Interlibrary Loan button. 

Find It page ILL request item button

Another Way to Request Interlibrary Loan

If you don't see a "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan" button, you can always go to the Interlibrary Loan page on the CSB and SJU Libraries website and fill out a blank Interlibrary Loan Request Form.

In a later module, you will learn how to get the full text of articles while searching a database. 

Tutorial 1 Quiz and Next Tutorial

Take the quiz for Tutorial 1: Library Orientation here [link out]. 

When you are ready, move on to Tutorial 2: Understanding Source Types.