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Library Information Literacy and Research Tutorials

Information Literacy 1


Welcome to the Libraries' Info Lit 1 tutorials! These six tutorials are designed primarily for INTG 100: Learning Foundations, HONR 110: Honors Learning Foundations, and INTG 205: Transfer Seminar students, but they can also be helpful references for other students taking any course at CSB and SJU.

For those of you in Learning Foundations or Transfer Seminar, these tutorials should help you meet the Information Literacy 1 learning goal for your class. They'll also help every student develop the skills and understanding needed to plan effective search strategies (both on the open web and using library collections), evaluate the quality of the sources you find, and use information effectively and ethically. These skills are all enormously helpful inside and outside of the classroom!

Each tutorial includes a short quiz at the end. Check with your instructor to see if you'll need to upload a Certificate of Completion PDF for each quiz in Canvas. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of Tutorial 1: Library Orientation, you should know how to:

  • Get research help.
  • Search the CSB and SJU Libraries' catalog and research databases.
  • Use Interlibrary Loan to request books and articles from other libraries.

Estimated tutorial time: 30 minutes

Library Website

The CSB and SJU Libraries website ( is your central portal to library information. Throughout these tutorials, we will highlight different parts of the library website to introduce you to important services and resources available to you as a student at CSB and SJU. 

Getting Help

Ask Us

If you have general questions about the library, our Get Help page includes helpful links to get you started. The Ask Us link (under the "Use the Library" heading on the CSB and SJU Libraries homepage) includes contact information for the library buildings and library staff. 

Research Appointments with Librarians

You'll get to know our librarians when they visit some of your classes. Each section of Learning Foundations and Transfer Seminar, for example, has a designated librarian who will visit your class this semester.

Librarians are also available to help you in person or via Zoom outside of class. If you have a quick question, feel free to email us or stop by a librarian's office! If you'd like more in-depth help, use the Research Appointment button on the library homepage to review librarians' subject areas and schedule an appointment.

Research Appointments button

Here are some things to know about research appointments:

  • We can meet with you at any stage of your assignment.
  • Most meetings are scheduled for 30 minutes, but we can always wrap things up early or schedule follow-up meetings.
  • We usually help with things like topic selection and refining your research question, finding trusted college-level sources, planning next steps to fill in any information gaps, and citing sources. 
  • Any librarian can get you started on an assignment, but some librarians will be more familiar with a given academic discipline, your course or instructor, or the details of your assignment. We'll refer you on or loop another librarian in as needed. 

We look forward to meeting with you!

Photo of CSB and SJU's Learning and Research Librarians

Library Buildings

The CSB and SJU Libraries include two main library buildings:

  • SJU's Alcuin Library and Reinhart Learning Commons (map)
  • CSB's Clemens Library (map)

The separate ​​​​​BAC Music Library is located at CSB in Benedicta Arts Center A147.

Building Hours

Today's Hours are always listed on the library homepage. During the school year, the regular hours for Clemens Library (CSB) and Alcuin Library (SJU) are:

Monday - Thursday    8:00 a.m. - 12 Midnight
Friday    8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday    10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday    10:00 a.m. - 12 Midnight

Check the library website for full details on building hours during the academic year and over holidays.

Borrowing Books (And Other Things!)

Your Student ID is your library card! Use it to borrow (or "check out") resources from our libraries on either campus.

  • Any books you check out are due back at the end of the semester.
  • You can borrow laptops for short-term (5 days) or long-term (a full semester) needs. 
  • You can also borrow things like DVDs, tabletop games, video games, and media equipment like cameras, storage drives, video recorders, and microphones.

Our Loan Policies page provides additional details on borrowing periods, the number of items you can check out, and any fines for overdue or lost items. Please return anything you've borrowed on time so other students can use them too!

Free Newspaper Access

Did you know? As a CSB and SJU student, you can register for free online subscriptions to major newspapers or news apps like the Star TribuneThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Just follow the Newspaper Apps instructions here!

Your Library Account

Log in to your library account to see your borrowing record and due dates, to renew items, or check the status of requested items. From the library homepage, click the My Account button in the "Use the Library" box to log in.

Library My Account link

Finding Resources: Research Guides and Databases A-Z

You can get access to millions of full-text articles published in scholarly and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers through the CSB and SJU Libraries. Most of these resources are available electronically - rather than in print - through the collections in our library's 200+ research databases. We'll go over using these databases in more detail in Tutorial 4: Searching a Database.

You can access our library databases to search for articles by using the Research Guides or Databases A-Z links on the library home page: 

Research Guides

Our librarians have created Research Guides for every academic major and minor offered at CSB and SJU. Each guide recommends specific library databases for that particular academic subject, along with other recommended resources related to that discipline. 

Databases A-Z

All of the Libraries' research databases are alphabetically listed on our Databases A-Z list. The Databases A-Z list also includes filtering options that let you sort by Subject or Type to find the best databases for your particular topic or assignment.

Databases A-Z button

If you are off campus you can access all of our databases and online resources but you will need to log in first.

Finding Resources: The Library Catalog

The library catalog is the main search box on the library homepage. Use the catalog to search for library materials like books and eBooks, streaming video and DVDs, scholarly and popular articles, and music. Select an option from the Search All drop-down menu if you want to limit search results to a particular format or type of item, like only music or only articles:

Library Catalog search bar

Example Search:

Entering the search term "sustainability" into the catalog and keeping the Search All setting (to search all formats) will return many results that include books, eBooks, journals, DVDs, and streaming videos. Results can be for items held by the CSB and SJU Libraries or for items held at other libraries worldwide (which can be borrowed using Interlibrary Loan, which we describe in more detail below). Each result lists the item's call number, location, and format. In this case, the first item on the results page is a print book located at Clemens Library (CSB). The second item is an eBook and the record includes a link out to the item. 

Library catalog search results with book and ebook

For more information about the library catalog, check out our Search Tips page. 

Finding eBooks

Most of our eBooks can be found by searching directly in the library catalog. On the catalog's search results page, narrow your results to eBooks by using the filters on the left side of the screen. Limit results by Format to Book and then further to eBook

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

Finding a Print Book Using Call Numbers

The CSB and SJU Libraries use Library of Congress (LC) call numbers to organize our physical collections of books. Each book gets an LC call number (a combination of letters and numbers) on its spine that indicates where it "lives" in our collection. This is a different call number system than Dewey Decimal, which is how most public or K-12 school libraries organize things, so feel free to ask at the library Help Desk if you'd like help finding something on our shelves! Watch the following video to learn how to use LC call numbers to find a book. 

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

Placing a Hold on a Book

You can place a hold on a print book if you'd like to just pick it up from our library Help Desk. From the library catalog's search results page, click the title link of a book to view its full record. Then click on the blue "Place Hold" button on the right side of the page. The Place Hold Request Form lets you choose either CSB Clemens or SJU Alcuin as the pickup location.

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:

Off-Campus Access

If you are off campus, you'll be prompted to log in using your CSB and SJU username and password (the same one you use to log in to your student email and Canvas) in order to access the CSB and SJU Libraries' online resources. You must go through the library website to access a database in order to prompt the log in.

Library My Account sign in

Interlibrary Loan

Paywalls: Don't Pay to Get Full-Text Articles Online!

Have you ever tried searching for information online, using an open-web search engine like Google, only to hit a paywall? A paywall is when a site offers to provide full access to an article or other resource, but only if you have a subscription or pay an access fee. 

You should never have to pay these fees to access journal articles while you're a student at CSB and SJU. Talk to a librarian instead. We can help you access the same article using the library's collections or by requesting a free copy of the article from another library through interlibrary loan.


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

Requesting articles (or a scanned chapter from a book):

  • Most of these requests are filled quickly, sometimes that same day but typically within a couple of days.
  • Once your request is filled, you'll get an email that includes a link for accessing the full text of the article online. This link expires, so download or print the article if you'll need it later.   

Requesting print books (or other items that need to be physically shipped):

  • Please plan ahead to allow at least two weeks for processing and shipping whenever possible.
  • Some items ship quickly, especially if they're coming from another library in Minnesota, but turnaround times vary greatly depending on how soon the lending library processes our request and how far the book is being shipped.
  • You'll get an email notification once your book has arrived and can be picked up from the library.  

Interlibrary Loan Requests from the Catalog

To request a book or article from the library catalog, select the item by clicking on the title and then click the blue "Request Item through Interlibrary Loan" button located to the right of the full record. You usually can't request eBooks through interlibrary loan, so make sure the item in the catalog is labeled "Print Book" before creating your request. If the item you want is labeled "eBook," scroll to the bottom of its full record to see if a print version is listed under the "Explore Editions and Formats" header, and click on the print version's title link before placing your request. (You can request individual chapters or sections from eBooks, which is explained later in this tutorial.) 

Interlibrary Loan Request button for book in the catalog

Watch the following video to see how to request a book using interlibrary loan:

Watch the following video to see how to request an article from the catalog through Interlibrary Loan: 

Interlibrary Loan Requests for Chapters from Books or eBooks

You can request a scanned copy of a chapter or section from a book (print book or eBook) through Interlibrary Loan if that's all you need. This is really useful if you just need one or two chapters or essays from an edited anthology. Watch the following video on requesting chapters: 

Interlibrary Loan Requests 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 in the database's record for that article.

Find It Button

This button helps you find out if the full text of the article is available in a different database we subscribe to or if you'll need to place an interlibrary loan request. If you ever need it, we also have a blank Interlibrary Loan Request Form on our Interlibrary Loan page

To request an article found in a database:

  1. Locate and click on the article's 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

Quiz 1: Library Orientation