ACS102 College Experience

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RCC Library Entrance, Academic Building, Room 211, Ceremonial Doors


Students




Welcome to the Class Research Guide for the College Experience course! As part of your College Experience course, you will be introduced to the library and learn how library resources and services can help you be a better student. You will take part in four activities:
  1. Introductory Video . This is a 9 minute online video on YouTube which introduces you to the RCC library.
  2. Library Treasure Hunt. By taking the Treasure Hunt you will get hands-on experience finding Library materials by looking for clues around the Library.
  3. Library Treasure Hunt Quiz. This quiz test how much you learned from taking the Treasure Hunt.
  4. Library Instruction Session. Later in the semester, you will come with your class to the library for a more in depth instruction in how to find quality information whether in paper or on-line sources.




1. Introductory Video


This is a 9-minute narrated video. If using a Library computer, please check out headphones from the Library Circulation Desk.




Note: If you can not see or play the video, click HERE


2. Library Treasure Hunt


It is now time to take the Library Treasure Hunt. You will get hands-on experience finding Library materials by looking for clues around the Library. What you should do now:
  • Close this Online Research Guide
  • Return headphones to the Library Circulation Desk
  • Go to the Reference Desk; look for a Library Treasure Hunt box to the left of the Reference Desk
  • Take one copy of Clue #1 and follow the directions.

After completing the Library Treasure Hunt, go to the reference desk and ask to take the quiz below.




3. Library Treasure Hunt Quiz


To complete the Quiz, ask a reference librarian for the instruction sheet.

After completing the Quiz, print out the Quiz result page and bring it to a reference librarian who will review your score; you will need at least a score of 80% to pass. The librarian will give you a certificate that you should give to your instructor as proof you have completed the Library Treasure Hunt and the rest of the Online Research Guide.
Congratulations

Congratulations on completing steps 1-3 of this Online Research Guide. It has included:
  1. Watching a Virtual Library Tour
  2. Taking the Library Treasure Hunt
  3. Completing the Treasure Hunt Quiz


4. Library Instruction Session


Later in the semester, your professor will arrange for your class come to the library classroom for a more in depth instruction in how to find quality information whether in paper or on-line sources. You may want to look at the sections below in preparation for this instruction session or look at them as a review after the session.



Please contact one of the RCC Librarians with any questions or comments regarding this Guide or if in need of reference and research assistance. We look forward to seeing you in the Library!
William Hoag: whoag@rcc.mass.edu
Totsaporn Intarabumrung: tintarabumrung@rcc.mass.edu


Library Policies & Services


The RCC Library has a wealth of resources - books, journals, newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, archival material - that, as a RCC student and registered Library user, is available to you to help you succeed in your assignments. Depending on the item type, library items can be borrowed from 2-hours (in-Library use only) up to 28-days. There are other benefits that await you with the use of your RCC Library account - check them out under the "Library Services" section of the Library homepage: http://www.rcc.mass.edu/lib/


Types of Information Sources


The RCC Library houses a lot of information; how will you know what information source is best suited for your research assignment? Generally, information sources can be divided into different types and formats. Before you begin your research assignment, it is important to gain an understanding of the different types of information available to you; each type will serve a different purpose for you, based on your informational need, such as your unique topic and thesis, and also depending on what stage you are at in the research process. Listed below are the different types or categories of information you will find at the RCC Library.

Reference material: eg.) Almanacs, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias

  • location/access: top-floor of the Library, behind the Reference Desk
  • usefulness: good starting point for preliminary research; resources provide general, topical overview of subjects
  • note: reference material is for in-Library use only and does not circulate

Books: eg.) Textbooks, Monographs

  • textbook: a textbook is a manual of instruction on a subject; it will often cover many areas of one or more general topics and is most often used in schools and colleges
  • monograph: a monograph is what is traditionally thought of as a 'book'; it is usually written by one author and covers one topic
  • location/access: new books and textbooks on reserve are located on the top-floor of the Library; circulating books are located downstairs
  • usefulness: books generally provide a more comprehensive analysis of a subject; consult books after conducting preliminary research using a reference source
  • note:to search for books at the RCC Library, use the Library Online Catalog

Magazines & Newspapers: eg.) Newsweek, Boston Globe

  • location/access: magazines are located downstairs in the Library; major, national newspapers are located upstairs
  • usefulness: magazine articles tend to be written more so for entertainment than for scholarly purposes; they tend to offer general advice or insight, interviews with celebrities, etc.; newspaper articles offer objective, factual accounts of events and are written by journalists
  • note: magazine and newspaper articles are good sources to consult for information about current events or popular culture

Journals: eg.) Journal of African American History, Journal of Educational Psychology

  • location/access:print journals are located downstairs; use the Library Databasesto find electronic journals and journal articles
  • usefulness: journals are usually dedicated to a particular academic area or discipline and contain scholarly articles; journal articles contain much more specific information on a topic or facet of a topic than a book; consult a journal article after you have narrowed down your research topic and have conducted preliminary research using a reference source and research using a book.
  • note:Library Databasesare the easiest way to find relevant journal full-text articles on a topic; the RCC Library subscribes to over 60 databases, which include information from all academic disciplines.

Internet Resources: eg.) Search engines, Websites

  • location/access: the World Wide Web; use search engines such as Google to conduct a general search on a topic; consult websites for more in-depth information
  • usefulness: although it is a grave misconception that all information can be found via the Internet, the Internet can be a valuable resource when in need of supplemental information on a topic, particularly websites created by educational organizations (sites ending in .edu), governmental organizations (sites ending in .gov), and non-profit organizational sites (sites ending in .org).
  • note: remember, anyone can create and publish a website - not everything you will find online is accurate or authoratative - make sure to evaluate your resources!



Books


Use the Library Online Catalog in searching for books and other media available at the RCC Library. Before you conduct a search using the Online Catalog, make sure to take this tutorial How to Search the Online Catalog. Have fun exploring!


Finding Materials on Library Shelves


After using the Online Catalog to search for the book you need for your research paper, it's now time to find that book on the Library shelves! The RCC Library has over 40,000 books - take this tutorial How to Find Materials on Shelfto learn about navigating the RCC Library stacks and shelves.

Articles


The RCC Library subscribes to over 60 databases, which provide full-text access to millions of journal, magazine, newspaper and reference source articles. Remember, articles tend to be much more specific than books and usually concentrate on an aspect or facet of a topic. Before you begin using a database, think about your informational need and narrowing down your topic. It is also important to construct a relevant search using keywords.

Take a look at the two databases below. Click on the tutorial links to get tips and tricks for searching the databases. Take note of the different content provided by each database and also the appearance and functionality of each.
This database provides full text for more than 3,800 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study.
Tutorial

This database contains detailed career information on more than 3,300 jobs in 94 industries. It also includes sections on employment skills and resources.
Tutorial


Basic Research Help
Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.
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General Library Information


Research guide prepared on September 9, 2010, by:
William Hoag: whoag@rcc.mass.edu
Ted Intarabumrung: tintarabumrung@rcc.mass.edu