I find a book, video or DVD in the library's online catalog?
Click on the "Find a Book, video or DVD" box on
the library website. You may search the library's catalog on any
computer that has an internet connection
on or off-campus.
Welcome to Alexandria, the library's online catalog!
The default search is the "Boolean" search (see how the Boolean tab is
highlighted in blue)? Simply enter your search terms or keywords
and click on "search." You may also limit your search by clicking
on the down arrow next to the box that reads "All Words" and limit by
title, author, etc., and then click on "search."
A boolean search refers to the boolean operators and,
AND: Narrows your search because both words must be present (nurses AND
OR: Broadens your search because either word or both words may be present
(cats OR kittens)
NOT: Means you want one thing, but not the other: (Mexico NOT New)
To view a simple diagram illustrating the above, click on:
http://kathyschrock.net/rbs3k/boolean/ A little
more detailed tutorial from Colorado State (3-5 mins):
To perform a "Simple" search, click on the
"Simple" tab and type a
title, author, keyword, etc. and then
click on the appropriate search box or icon. If you're performing a
search, enter your keywords and hit enter or select the "All Words" box.
A list of search results should display.
On the right hand side of the screen the call number (or location) of
the item will appear. The following prefixes refer to the different
collections located in the library.
VCR = Video, can be loaned for one week
DVD = DVD, can be loaned for one week
REF = Reference Books, can't be checked out
O = Oversized Books, can be checked out for two weeks
SP = Spanish language, loan period two weeks
CR = Career, may be loaned for two weeks
(No prefix = all books that may be loaned, loan period is two weeks)
Anything combined with REF such as CR REF cannot be loaned, sorry.
An item may already checked out or loaned to someone else. In this case,
the call number it will read "OUT." If the item is on the shelf,
it will read "IN."
How do I
find an article?
Scroll down and click on one of the
tutorial links if you'd prefer to view a tutorial first
Click on the "Find an
Article" box on the library website.
If you're on campus, click on "EbscoHost Web." If you're off-campus,
you'll need the user id and password. Call 921-5518 during regular
The default database is Academic Search Premier. See the box with
the check-mark in it next to Academic Search Premier? It's
always checked unless you un-check it, (because it is the default
Here at PVC we are fortunate to have a variety of EbscoHost databases to
search. Scroll down to view all the available databases with different
subjects. For a general search Academic Search Premier is
your best bet. MasterFile Premier is another good, general
database to use; however it does not include as many academic journals.
In any case, insert a checkmark in the box next to any of the databases
you wish to search. It's better to limit your search to one or two
databases at first. Click "Continue" if you checked more than one
database; otherwise just click on the database name if you're only
searching one database. (Instructions follow after tutorial links,
*BEST BET TUTORIAL* From EBSCO itself, a
quick tutorial. (Although there is a voice narrative, you don't
necessarily need speakers as the words appear at the bottom of the
screen). Click on the following:
http://support.epnet.com/training/tutorials.php then select the link for either "Basic Searching for Academic Libraries" or
"Basic Searching for Public Libraries." Each link covers slightly
Ready to search? The default search is a basic search. Do you see the
tabs on the top portion of the page? (You may also do an advanced
search). To get started with a basic search, type in a couple of
keywords and click on "search." If you need scholarly articles,
check inside the box next to "Scholarly Journals." At PVC, we
default the searches on EbscoHost
automatically put an "and" between keywords in most databases.
What's a keyword? Keywords are synonyms for words that best describe the topic
for which you need information. It's always a good idea to brainstorm
for keywords. For instance, other keywords for the term "higher
education" might be "university" or "college."
The search results will
default to full-text articles. Click on the HTML or PDF format for the article(s) that look promising. PDF format is an exact replica of the
article as it appeared in print format. Click on "print" to print an
article. You may also save searches, or e-mail them to yourself. If you
wish to save searches in a folder for a future date click on "Sign into
my EbscoHost" and create a free account. Otherwise, you can still
save searches in a folder until you're done, but remember to save,
print, or e-mail them before you leave, or you'll lose the folder
contents (unless you set up the folder account).
This is a brief encounter with EbscoHost database searching.
What are electronic reference books
and how do I use them?
Electronic reference books are the wave of the future! Most
e-books are electronic counterparts of the print version. For most of
the electronic titles, the library carries the print format as well.
E-books are available 24/7! If you're off-campus, make sure to stop by or call the library (921-5518) to get the
Advantages of electronic books? Need some background information on the
Vietnam War at midnight Sunday for that outline that's due tomorrow?
Never fear, electronic books are here!
How to search? Click on the "Electronic Reference Books" box on the
library website. The basic search box appears, allowing you to
cross-search ALL electronic reference books by using the keywords you
supply in the search box.
Say you're in the Alcohol and Drug Studies program and need information
on cocaine. Type "cocaine" in the search box and click on "search."
Wait, you say, there are too many results! You can limit your search by
clicking the "Document title" option below the search box. This will
retrieve only articles that have "cocaine" in the title of the document,
for example. Since most of the online
"books" are subject encyclopedias, the results refer to subject entries, just as in a print encyclopedia. Click on either the
"full-text with graphics" or the "PDF" format to view the article.
You can print, e-mail or save the article. If you add another keyword,
say, "treatment" and "cocaine," this will narrow your results
to only those articles that contain both your terms.
Another way to retrieve less results is to click on "Show All"
to reveal all of the electronic books in the collection. The titles of the electronic books are grouped within broad
subjects. For instance, by looking at the left side of the page you can
see that the library currently owns electronic books in the following
subjects: Business, Environment, History, Law, Medicine, Nation and the
World, Religion, Science and Social Science. Within those subject areas
are titles of the reference books/sets, just like you'd find on the
shelves in the library. For instance, when doing research on
cocaine, there are two books listed under the subject "medicine" that
deal specifically with substance abuse. Click on the title of the book you'd like
to search, type in a keyword or two in the search box, and check the box
"within this publication" to only search the one e-book that you've
There is a "How to Cite" link for each article, but the results
always be in the proper format. Check with your instructor or click on
the "MLA, APA" link on the homepage of the library website.
Science Database: What is it? How do I search it?
The Science Database is actually called Access Science, the
online version of the multi-volume and highly respected McGraw-Hill
Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. The database also
includes the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
as well as "Research Updates" from the McGraw-Hill Yearbooks of
Science and Technology. If that weren't enough, the database
contains related website links, biographies, images, animation and more.
To start, click on the "Science Database" box on the library's
website. If you're not on campus, you'll need a password and user i.d.
Please call (921-5518) or stop by the library to get one.
You'll notice on the left-hand side of the database, there are two
search boxes, one for the dictionary and one for the encyclopedia. Let's
search the encyclopedia for "plate tectonics." Enter the words and click
on "Go." Too many results? Let's try an advanced search. Click
on "Advanced Search" below the dictionary and encyclopedia search boxes.
Type in "plate tectonics" in the search box and then limit your search
to "Titles Only" thereby retrieving articles with plate tectonics either
in the title of the article or in the title of a section within an
article. Better? Notice the tabs above the search results. You can
narrow your search even further by selecting encyclopedia articles,
research updates, news, etc. Try to locate the encyclopedia
article on plate tectonics. Click on it. Do you see the animation icon?
Click on it to view animation associated with continental drift (turn on
your speakers)! You can e-mail or print the articles you need.
Opposing Viewpoints Database - How can
this help me with my research needs?
The Opposing Viewpoints
Resource Center is a wonderful tool for anyone that needs to take a
side on a controversial issue such as firearms or cloning. Please call
the library for the password (921-5518) if you're not on campus.
History Databases: How to search
Begin by clicking on the
"History Databases" box on the library website.
The Facts on File
History Database Center is comprised
of several databases which include information retrieved from a variety
of Facts on File print reference books. The Palo Verde College
Library subscribes to all of the history databases available from Facts
on File including American History, World History, American Women's
History, African-American History and Culture, American Indian History
and Culture, and Ancient History and Culture. Searching
is easy. You may search across all the databases at once or just search
one database. All of the databases are selected by default (see the
checkmarks next to them)? If you only wish to select one database,
simply deselect the databases you don't want. You can also
deselect categories to search as well.
The search must
retrieve all of the keywords you supplied in the search box. Let's
pretend you need information on education in the antebellum period. Type
in the words education and antebellum in the search box and click on
"search." The results are grouped by the different databases. Take
a look at the results from the American History database. There
are 8 biographies, 22 subject entries and one timeline. Not everything
is pertinent to your topic though as the results can include articles
with your search terms anywhere in the article. The most relevant
information appears as the first entry within the grouped results for
subject entries titled "Education during the Antebellum Period"
from one of the Facts on File print reference books (Encyclopedia of
American History: Expansion and Reform... ). Click on an article to
view it, and you can print, e-mail or add it to your folder. The
citation follows the article.
Perhaps you'd rather do an advanced search to limit your results. Click
on "Advanced Search" underneath the search box. In the "exact phrase"
search box, type "education reform," and in one of the "words" search
boxes, type "antebellum." What does this do to your search results
now? You have now retrieved the most important information: the article
mentioned above and an article about Horace Mann who was known as an
educational reformer in the antebellum period. Click on the
"Help" link for additional information about each of the history
American National Biography -
What information is in this database? ***no longer subscribe**
Biography is a
database from Oxford University Press that includes biographical
information for more than 18,000 prominent deceased American men and
women. Click on the "American Biographies" box on the library website to
get started. If you're not on campus, you will need a user i.d. and
password. Call (921-5518) or visit the library to get one. Type in a person's name
in the search box (Marilyn Monroe for example) and click on "Search."
The print version of ANB was published in 1999 in 24 volumes and is
considered a classic reference source for biographical information on
deceased Americans. The online version includes periodic updates and has
"bells and whistles" that the print version will never have. Imagine
being able to "hyperlink" within an article to biographies of other
deceased Americans who played a role in the subject's life. At
times, the article provides web links related to the person; take a
look at the entry for Thomas Jefferson, (the President) to view
pertinent web sites.
A custom search is where this database really shines (click on Custom
beneath the search box). You can search by occupation, gender, birth
date, death date, birthplace and the special collections section that
Oxford provides as part of the database.
The Research Ideas
link located in the upper right corner covers twelve important
historical events or ideas in United States History. It includes
biographies as well as articles from the Oxford Companion to United
States History. The online version also includes photographs
or illustrations of people which the print version does not.
Dictionary Online: What
The Oxford English
Dictionary Online (or OED Online for short ) is the online version of
the classic 20+ volume print
The OED contains definitions for over 600,000 words
and is known for tracing the history or etymology of a word. Call
921-5518 to get the user i.d. and password if you're off-campus.
Quick OED Guide:
Take the OED tour: http://oed.com/tour/
THE database for California
statistics in the areas of population, education, business and
Find information on all 192 recognized countries of the world.
(Available free of charge to community college libraries through a
provision from the Board of the Council of Chief Librarians and the
Community College League).
A to Z: Find a particular Journal title:
In the search box, type in the journal title you are looking for. If the
journal is available through EbscoHost, a list of one or more EbscoHost
databases will appear. Click on one of the databases to retrieve the
Enjoy using the Britannica Online
Academic Edition Encyclopedia and Merriam Webster Dictionary and
Thesaurus. If you're not on campus, call
921-5518 for the user i.d. and password.