Category Archives: Library Instruction

More than halfway there….

There are only six full weeks left until the semester ends. With this in mind, I am providing you with a special library list of 6 things to help get you to the finish line without stumbling along the way.

1. Your final decisions about any inter-library loan (ILL) needs should be made in the next week. This means you need to wrap up the bulk of your research when it comes to acquiring sources. Assess what you have now, determine what you cannot live without and put those ILL requests in at the circulation desk ASAP. Why you ask? So that your resources have time to get here. Books requested from other libraries are mailed to us via media mail (what use to be called 4th class mail) and it can take a bit of time for the item/s to arrive.

2. Check your printing account, is it running low? Take a bit of time to add money to it now so that you don’t run out just before you are ready to print the final draft of your paper. Wondering how you add money to your printing account? Log on to your Spartan Web account, go to campus life, then information technology, and finally lab printing. FYI: your tuition pays for $30 worth of printing at the beginning of each semester, for some this is not enough. You don’t want to run out of paper.

3. Get enough sleep. Don’t invite a cold or flu bug into your immune system by staying up all night or abusing your system with junk food. Sleeping regularly for at least 8 hours a night will allow you to complete your projects and papers in a timely manner.

4. See the reference librarians now and NOT later. Our vast depth of knowledge can only solve procrastination slightly.  You need to have time to pick, review, read, and evaluate your resources. You also need time to write several drafts of your paper. Remember, time moves forward whether one likes it or not…

5. Speaking of writing, do you need to get your paper evaluated by the staff of the Saunders Writing Center? The Writing Center is in Plant Hall, Room 323. You can call 813-253-6244 for an appointment or just drop in. Center hours are: 8:15 am – 5 pm Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:15 am – 4 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays 8:15 am – 3 pm.

6. Finally, if you are feeling confused or anxious about something regarding you class consider approaching your instructor. They were undergraduates too, albeit awhile ago…communication is great tool to use to calm nervous feelings, misunderstandings, and ultimately results in better learning.

You have probably heard it before but don’t forget college is not a mad dash to the finish line. You have to pace yourself and with some attention to detail you can easily accomplish what you must and beyond.

To connect to better writing, visit the Saunders Writing Center in Plant Hall, Rm. 323, or call (813) 253-6244 for an appointment. – See more at:
To connect to better writing, visit the Saunders Writing Center in Plant Hall, Rm. 323, or call (813) 253-6244 for an appointment. – See more at:
To connect to better writing, visit the Saunders Writing Center in Plant Hall, Rm. 323, or call (813) 253-6244 for an appointment. – See more at:



Beginning week 4 and only 12 to go before exams…

I admit it, I am obsessed with the calendar. I like to know what is coming and what I need to get done by what date. I don’t like to be rushed and I HATE forgetting things, although sadly I regularly do forget things and fail to stay on top of what needs to get done. After all I have two paid jobs and one first grader, so my head gets a little cloudy sometimes.

Right about now I am feeling tired as we begin week four of the fall semester. How are you feeling? Tired too? Well, let me run down some calendar numbers for you:

There are 12 weeks left until exams

There are 10 weeks until Thanksgiving break

There are 8 weeks until Veterans Day

There are 6 weeks until Halloween

and 4 weeks to Columbus Day

Out of this list ONLY Thanksgiving is a UT holiday; meaning the library is closed from 10 pm on Tuesday, November 26 and doesn’t reopen until Sunday, December 1 at 12 noon. So wake up, get some exercise and get on the ball.

Maybe you think you have a long time, Well, maybe…I suppose you now have settled into your routine. You know where you need to be and when. You know when you can manage free time and when you can’t. BUT have you begun your library research related project? If the answer is NO, maybe you should get started.

The library is open many hours but librarians are NOT here all those hours. Check the library’s web page and find out when you can meet up with a librarian and get started on your projects, have time for several rough drafts, and create the product that satisfies you and gets you the grades.

Brainstorming and 9/11

This Wednesday will be the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. I wonder do normal every day people call them that, “the September 11 terrorist attacks?” I would hazard to guess they do not. Most people say 9/11. Twelve years ago I hated how the news media and people called it 9/11 but now I do it too. I think I didn’t like it because to me it seemed to minimize the loss that tragic event brought about and I thought it made it seem as not as important. Over time I realized it didn’t matter how one labels the event as long as they acknowledged and remembered it.

In the online catalog (the library’s book database) the official Library of Congress subject heading is “September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.” I didn’t magically know this, rather I brainstormed the topic. I used “9/11” as a keyword search. I found some books. I then looked at the bibliographic record of one of the items and I discovered the official subject heading. When I clicked on that I found A LOT more books! I have to say that if I wanted to do a research project on some aspect of 9 /11 there are many subjects to choose from:

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Psychological aspects

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Influence

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Juvenile literature

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Economic aspects

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Medals

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Environmental aspects–New York (State)–New York

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Health aspects–New York (State)–New York

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Anniversaries, etc.

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Drama

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001–Personal narratives

AND many more. So, whether you are doing a research project on 9/11 or something else, take time to brainstorm your topic, use the bibliographic records found in the online catalog, and of course always stop by and see a reference librarian for even more help and advice.

The Library of Congress Classification System

I began using the Library of Classification System (LCCS) a LONG time ago (I don’t care to tell you how long ago but it goes without saying that most undergraduates around here were not even a twinkle in someone’s eye back then).

I still don’t have it memorized. I don’t want to memorize it….AND as bright as I know UT students, faculty, and staff are I don’t expect you to memorize it.

Instead, I want you to sit down with me and let me help you search the online catalog and find a book or two or three to get you started on your research paper, group project, power point presentation etc.

It is my job as a librarian to show you how the catalog works. It is my job as a librarian to make sure you know how to navigate the 2nd floor stacks, the reference section, and more. I want you to know how to read and use a call number and FIND a book.

BUT for any of this to happen I need you to talk to me. I need you to sit down with me and take the five minutes to get at least one book call number that seems to satisfy your needs. Then you can take that call number and match it to the book and hence a location where you can browse the collection and find more books you like and can use.

Like I said, I don’t have the LCCS memorized BUT I do have the skills, knowledge and ability to efficiently and effectively help you find the sources you need. After all, spring break is almost here and as that great philosopher Richard O’Brien (aka Riff Raff)  once said: “time is fleeting….” and I know from personal experience doing the “time warp” won’t get you anywhere close to being done with your library research.  Please stop by the reference desk and talk to a librarian today.

Advice? Where do you get some and when do you use it

Maybe you think you don’t need advice but I would argue that you most definitely do.

Advice is an ever evolving thing. Naturally we all  want to make our own decisions but that is hard so we seek out advice, I know I do and I know people close to me do too. Many try to find a sounding board and get help making a decision that seems or feels right at the time.

I remember as a kid in grade school going over a friend’s house and the two of us reading the Dear Abby column in the paper and learning all about advice. In case you didn’t know Pauline Phillips (aka Dear Abby aka Abigail Van Buren) died on January 16th at age 94. Saddened by her death I found myself reading several obituaries written for Dear Abby. I think the best one Carolyn Hax wrote. To me, Hax was completely on target when she stated: “nearly 50 years’ worth of 10-year-olds used one or both (referring to Dear Abby’s column and the Ann Lander’s advice column written by her twin sister, Eppie Lederer) of these columns to decode the cryptic world of adults.” Hax too, is an advice columnist who writes for the Washington Post.  I was one of those 10-year-olds Hax refers to and today, as I mentioned, I still read advice columns (betcha could have guessed that…)

Yet, regardless of the amount of advice I find and use on my own, I still seek out help from people and things I know well and not so well. Advice is definitely helpful when it comes to decision-making.

For example, it is a new year and new semester. Lots of decisions lie ahead. Do the reading tonight or wait until the next day? Call in sick to work and spend the day at Gasparilla or show up and do the job? Accept the job offer in Cleveland or stay here in Tampa? Stop eating junk food this week or put it off until February? And the list goes on….decisions are based on advice you give yourself and advice you receive. Some decisions will be good and some will be bad. That is life. That is what Dear Abby wrote about in all those thousands of advice columns: life. Living is hard and choices and decisions just as hard but aren’t we lucky to be able to seek out advice?

Maybe you need advice now and you can’t wait for your letter to get published in an advice column in the newspaper. No worries, that is something the library is perfect for, use the library databases to research your conundrum. Make a list of pros and cons based on your research. Ruminate what works and does not work. After all research is just another form of advice and the articles and books you find hopefully will provide you with the supporting and well documented advice your decision needs.

New to UT?  New to libraries? No worries my friend, here’s a little advice from me to you, ask a librarian! We are here to help. After all, if you thought Fall semester chugged along at as pace as quick as a snail, watch out, Spring semester will fly by almost as quickly as that snow bird stealing your parking spot at Publix.  I am not kidding, February is FRIDAY! So, get on the ball today and seek out your needed library advice, i.e. research assistance, i.e. general library help, we are here for YOU.

Faculty – It’s time to schedule library instruction classes

Faculty – Want to bring your class to the library for an overview of library resources and some tips on research methods? The earlier you schedule library instruction classes the better chance a classroom and librarian will be available. Contact David Davisson ( to schedule a class.

Library Instruction for Nonprofit Management

You can always email me (or leave a comment or question in the comments of this post) with any questions you have about locating information you need.

Search Strategies – Always be on the lookout for new words, phrases, and names you can use as search terms. For example: you might search for “not for profit” and NPO in addition to nonprofit (and non-profit). (Check out these YouTube videos about developing search strategies.)

Remember that you’ll almost never find the information you’re looking for with your first attempt. You’ll find something close, which will lead you to something closer, which will lead you to the information you seek.

Ask yourself – Who else is interested in collecting the information you want.

UT resources – Be sure to log in to Esearch first when using the library’s resources. Look for books in the online catalog. Look for articles in the Databases. Look under the Nonprofit Management link in Subject Portals for databases and Internet links.

If you find an article or book that is not available through the library’s resources we can probably acquire it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). If you want to know more about obtaining materials through ILL please send me an email.

Non-UT resources – You will find a substantial amount of information through (for example includes grant and tax info). Other government sites that may be helpful are the Small Business Administration (, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, and the 2010 Census.

Create a Facebook account for your professional self and ‘friend’ nonprofits and organizations in your field of interest. Sometimes asking questions directly through social media is the quickest way to an answer.

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue is an excellent resource for citation styles.

Check out this earlier blog post for information on finding demographic information.

Check out this research guide for finding information on various industries.

Evaluating information – Not all information is created equal. Some sources are better than others. A general rule of thumb is the more advertising you see the less reliable the source. Also, if they don’t tell you where they got their facts or information then you probably don’t want to use them as a resource. If they do tell you where they got their facts and figures, try to locate the original source.

Does the UT library carry this magazine/journal? Look in Ejournals to search all of our databases for a particular title you want to find.

Intro to Sociology Handout

You can find the Intro to Sociology handout at our Libguides link. (While you’re there check out the rest of our Research Guides. Be sure to hit All Guides to see them all.)

Or, since I’m here, I might as well paste it into the post:

Sociology Resources @ Macdonald Kelce Library

How to access academic databases

The Macdonald Kelce Library offers numerous databases for your use, accessible from the library’s homepage ( In the left column under Resources, click on ESearch, and login with your Spartans Domain. You are now authenticated to use all of the UT databases, even if you are off campus.

Ebsco Databases
The following Ebsco databases specializing in Sociology Resources can be searched at the same time. Simply click on Academic Source Complete at the top of the Esearch page, click on choose databases, check the box next to SocIndex and Social Sciences Full Text, and click OK.

Other Databases:
Oxford Journals Full text articles in the social sciences (can limit search to social science journals).

Sage Premier (can limit search to social sciences and humanities, or sociology).

ProQuest Articles in the social sciences, humanities and more.

JSTOR Articles in sociology, philosophy, African American Studies, and more.

Project Muse Articles in cultural studies, sociology, political science, gender studies, and more.

How to access online sociology journals
In Ejournals, you can search by subject. First choose Social Sciences, and then you can select journals under Sociology and Social History.

Sociology subject portal
From the Library’s homepage (, under the Collections column, click on Subject Portals. You will find Sociology in the left column ( Here you will find links to databases, journals, websites, and books that are related to the field of Sociology.

Narrow your search for more relevant results
In most databases, you can limit your keywords to show up in the abstract or title, which will help you to find more relevant articles. You can also limit searches to full text only, or scholarly or peer reviewed articles.

Find related articles on a specific topic
Look at the subjects and keywords the databases use to tag an article. Many times, you will also see a list of keywords under the abstract of an article that the author has created, revealing the main concepts. Using these keywords in a search can help you to find related articles. Also, referring to a relevant article’s works cited page can be useful.

How to locate an article using a citation
Locate the journal title in the citation, and then go to the Ejournals Search (you must be logged into Esearch). This will enable you to see if the library owns the journal, and if so, what database the journal is held in, and for what date range. For example, to track down this article:

Martin, K. (1998). Becoming a gendered body: Practices of preschools. American Sociological Review, 63, 494-511.

Type in American Sociological Review into Ejournals to show these holdings:

from 02/01/1936 to 1 year ago in SocINDEX with Full Text
from 02/01/1936 to 12/31/2009 in JSTOR Arts & Sciences I Archive Collection
from 02/01/1988 to 1 year ago in ABI/INFORM Complete, ABI/INFORM Global, Nursing & Allied Health Source, ProQuest Research Library and Psychology Journals
from 02/01/2004 to present in SAGE Premier 2012

The publication year is 1998, so the SocIndex database should have this article. After clicking the link, the article can be located by year, and then volume (63), or by clicking on “search within this publication” and using the article title (“Becoming a gendered body…”) in the search box.

How to cite
The library has a webpage ( that provides several links to excellent resources on in-text citations and works cited pages. You’ll also find information on how to build a thesis statement, avoid plagiarism, outline your paper, and much more.

Refworks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool. It is designed to help researchers gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. Sign up for a free account on the Library’s website.