Library resource website helps students

There comes a time in students’ careers when they will have to write a research paper. You start out with your topic, formulate your thesis, find your research and analyze your findings.

However, as most California Lutheran University students know, college research papers are much more involved than that. Most papers are 10 to 15 pages, sometimes more.

It is easy to panic when you notice the research paper assignment on your syllabi for the semester.

However, what many CLU students do not realize is that there is an easy, efficient and useful tool to guide us through the strenuous process and it’s right at our fingertips. That tool is the Pearson Library’s website.

The library’s website includes 160 databases, around 190,000 ebooks, 65,000 full text e-journals and 7,000 streaming videos, of which are all free for CLU students and staff. The tool is called Discovery Layers, which is a Google type search engine that is relatively new, having only launched a couple of years ago.

“The library’s main page is one stop where CLU patrons, students and staff,can find many different types of resources,” said Lala Badal, the assistant director of information resources, and information systems and services for CLU.

“The page helps to navigate patrons to specific data or even helps if they are just starting their search,” Badal said.

Although the website can seem overwhelming at first, it takes time to learn how to use it. But, by understanding this resource on campus, writing papers and conducting research will become a breeze.

The online catalog can be used particular to a subject or major or even to a specific keyword, just like a Google search.

On top of having free easy access to different resources, the website also has an online instant messaging section that allows a student or faculty member to have an open chat with an actual CLU librarian.

The chat is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the librarians will answer any sort of library related question you may have, whether you are looking for a book or need help finding specific research materials for a particular assignment.

Sharon Docter, professor of the communication department, encourages her students to use the library website.

“I think we are very fournate to have access to a lot of different kinds of resources, both traditional and electronic. For example, for my classes that are law related, it is wonderful that we have access to the LexisNexis database. Private law firms pay a lot of money to have access to that database, but we get it for free through the library,” Docter said.

Another advantage of this website is the ability to get an interlibrary loan.

“The online catalog is great for students because they can search for any books they need that are in our library or a different library,” said Destiny Dulaney, the library’s student supervisor.

Most of the e-books have an unlimited number of checkouts.

However, if there is a book you need for a project or paper that CLU does not have, the library’s website will guide you through the process of ordering the book from another library.

“Our interlibrary loan system has spiked recently because of the use of the service WorldCat. Other schools are now able to see what we have in our library and we can see what they have in theirs,” Badal said.

Another self-service system that is available on this resource page is LibCal. This system allows students and staff to reserve study rooms and see the availability for each room without having to call the library.

The library’s research resources website contains books, music, journals, articles, high quality images, citation resources, updates on new books received by the library as well as many services helpful to CLU students and staff.

The page is a free and easy tool that can ease stress and increase the quality of an assignment.

“Take the time to just explore and see what resources our research page has to offer,” Dulaney said.

The next time you are writing a research paper, don’t stress about the research. Everything you need is just a few clicks away.


Emily Behrs
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 6, 2013