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Library Tips Research Tips

Check out books, course reserves, etc.

Find course reserves

Access databases from off campus

Find the full text of an article

Request materials from interlibrary loan

Suggest materials for purchase

Reserve seminar/study rooms

Paying for printing and copying

Color printer

Print double-sided documents

Scan/fax documents in the library

Switch computers from Windows to Mac

Understand a call number

Locate materials in Perkins Library

Find a journal article

Find a primary source

Understand what is a scholarly source

Evaluate a web site

Cite sources

Library Tips


Check out books, course reserves, etc.

Checking out materials

You must have your Doane ID -- or a form of ID if you are a community user -- to take anything out of the library.

Loan Periods for Print Books:

  • Students: 8 weeks
  • Faculty & staff: semester
  • Community borrowers: 2 weeks 

Loan Periods for Media Materials (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs):

  • Faculty, Staff, Students, Community: 7 days 

Loan Periods for Reserve and Open Reserve Materials:

  • Students, Faculty, Staff -- 1 hour to 2 weeks, depending on professor's directive

Loan Period for e-books  

  • Students, faculty, staff – 7 days


Find course reserves

  1. In the catalog, click on Course Reserves in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Search by course number, course name, or professor's name, or scroll through the list of courses. 
  3. Click on your course from the results list, then click on the title you wish to see. Find the call number under the section "Find a copy in the library" and give this call number to the person at the circulation desk. He or she will retrieve the item and check it out to you. That's it!


Access library databases off campus

All current students, faculty, and staff of Doane University may have off-campus access to most of the databases and other electronic resources on the Perkins Library website. Click on the link for the database of your choice and enter your Doane username and password -- these are the same as the credentials you use on campus. You should be connected to the search screen of the database. If you get the database login screen or have any other problems with access send a message to Jayne Germer


Find the full text of an article

Within many of the databases, links to PDF or HTML versions will open to the full-text of journal articles. If we do not have immediate access to the article, a "Submit an Interlibrary Loan Request" form within the database will allow you to request that the library get the article for you from another library.

Within PubMed (accessed through the Library's Databases A-Z page), click on the button icon that says "Find it at Doane." This will open a window for the journal title in Journal Finder, which provides links to either direct full-text access OR a link to an Interlibrary Loan form. See the next section, "Request materials from interlibrary loan" for more information on that process.


Request materials from interlibrary loan

Almost any information resource can be obtained from other libraries throughout the United States and the world. If you find a citation for information you wish to use, bring the citation to the library and request an Interlibrary Loan Form at the circulation desk at the library entrance, or complete the online Interlibrary Loan Request found on the library's website. The print form should be returned to the circulation desk. The Interlibrary Loan Assistant will enter your request into the system and then contact you when the material has been received by the library. Please refer to the interlibrary loan policies for more information.


Suggest materials for purchase

The library staff welcomes suggestions for materials to be added to the library's collections, whether the material is physical or electronic. Please be aware, though, that Perkins Library cannot purchase everything due to its limited budget, and each suggestion will be judged for its appropriateness according to the library's collection development policy. Requests may be submitted online using the Purchase Request Form, or the ordering information may be turned in to the library. Please provide as much information as possible to uniquely identify the material. If an item is purchased the requester will be notified when it is available in the library.


Reserve rooms in the Learning Commons

The Learning Commons has seven individual study rooms on the ground floor and three small collaboration rooms on the main floor, which can be used at any time; no reservations are needed. These are great if you wish to have a quieter place to study and research, or if you need a place for a small group meeting.

There are four larger rooms that may be reserved:

Room No.


No. of Seats




Contact for Reservations

CM051   12   projection screen   l[email protected]
CM145 (Library Classroom)   24   projection screen; sound system; laptop cart (25 Macbook Airs) available upon request   [email protected]
CM170 (24/7 Lab)   14   14 desktop computers; large computer monitor   [email protected]
CM188 (former 24/7)   20   5 projection screens, collaboration tables   [email protected]

All of these rooms must be reserved in advance since they are used regularly for instruction or as student study space. 


Paying for printing or copying

If you are a student, staff or faculty of Doane University you pay  for copying or printing in the library using your Papercut account.  All others are asked to report their printer/copier usage at the circulation desk and pay $.10 per page.


Color printer in the library

There is a color printer located in the 24/7 Lab for small print jobs. Students, staff or faculty will use their Papercut accounts to print.  Community members must request assistance and color prints are $.35 per printed page. Large color print jobs (25+ pages) should be directed through the Service Bureau.


Print double-sided documents

The printer/copiers in the learning commons have the ability to duplex printouts. If you are copying at the printer, select TWO-SIDED COPY on the display panel, and then choose the appropriate input and output (e.g., 1-to-2, 2-to-2, etc.). If you are printing from a computer, select the Lib1SHARP or Lib2SHARP printer, then click on the Preferences button. Select 2-sided (Book) under Document style and OK. Continue by clicking on the Print button. NOTE: The printer also can staple your document if you select staples under Finishing on the Preferences window.


Scan or fax documents in the library

There are two ways to fax a document in the library. There is a traditional fax machine in the library. The library staff will be happy to assist with sending faxes.   Crete area residents who are not enrolled at Doane will pay $1.00/minute for faxes sent.  Just bring your document to the circulation desk at the library entrance. Payment is required after the fax has been sent.

The other option is to scan and send an electronic document to an email address from the printer/copiers. You can scan the document and send it to yourself, another recipient, or more than one person. To do this press the IMAGE SEND button to the right of the display panel on the copiers. On the display panel select Address entry and enter the first email address. Press To: or Cc: to select the appropriate address type. To add other recipients select Next address and Address entry to repeat the process. When you have all of the recipients entered, press the Copy button (large blue button on lower right of panel); scanning will begin. NOTE: If you have more than one page to send DO NOT press Read-End until you have all of the pages scanned. Once this has been pressed the document will be sent.


Switch computers from Windows to Mac ... and vice versa

The computers in the learning commons have both operating systems, Windows and Mac. To switch from Windows to Mac, go to the Start button and select Shut Down. Select Restart in the drop-down menu, then hold down the Alt/Option key BEFORE clicking on OK. Continue holding down the Alt/Option key until the Mac operating system comes up.

To switch from Mac to Windows, click on the apple icon in the upper left-hand corner and select Restart from the drop-down menu. Hold down the Alt/Option key BEFORE clicking on Restart to answer the question, "Are you sure you want to restart your computer now?" Continue holding down the Alt/Option key until the Macintosh/Windows selection screen appears.

Research Tips


Understand a call number

A call number is simply an address so books (and other materials) can be located. Perkins Library uses Library of Congress classification to arrange books by subject. The first line of the call number is one, two, or three letters and is read alphabetically. The second line is made of numbers and is read numerically. The third line can be trickier. The letter is shelved alphabetically but the number following the letter is treated as a decimal number (e.g., .E4571 comes before .E461). If the top three lines are identical look to the fourth line. If it contains a letter followed by numbers, items are organized alphabetically by letter and then by decimal number.


Locate materials in Perkins Library

The online catalog provides the location of the items is the library:

  • General Collection -- Lower Level of the library
  • Oversize --  southeast corner Lower Level of the library on compact shelving
  • Reference (call number prefix REF) -- southeast corner Lower Level of the library on compact shelving
  • Juvenile Collection (call number prefix JUV) -- southeast corner Lower Level of the library on compact shelving
  • Government Documents collection (call number prefix GovDoc) -- southeast corner Lower Level of the library on compact shelving
  • Current periodical issues -- on display shelving Main Level of the Learning Commons
  • Older periodical issues (bound and unbound) -- northeast corner Lower Level of the library on compact shelving
  • Media collection (call number prefix MEDIA) -- on display shelving Main Level of the Learning Commons
  • Recordings (call number prefix CD) -- following the Z's in the General Collection, Lower Level
  • Scripts (call number prefix SCRIPT) -- following the Z's in the General Collection, Lower Level
  • Scores (call number prefix SCORE) -- in southwest corner of Lower Level


Find a journal article

Journal articles are typically located using a periodical index or online database. Generally, you will find that most libraries have online databases for locating articles, though some print periodical indexes may be found in every library. At Perkins Library, our online periodical databases are listed on this website under Articles in Databases. Databases are arranged by discipline, or you can see an alphabetical listing by clicking on Databases A-Z in the navigation bar on the left side of the page. If you have questions about using a particular database refer to the Help or Tutorial sections of the database.


Find a primary source

Primary sources are documents that provide first-hand evidence of an event or idea, such as diaries, letters, popular press accounts of events and official documents. Most people think of primary sources as being written at the time an event occurred, while secondary sources interpret the event or idea at a later date. Some sources for primary documents in Perkins Library are government documents and newspapers (print and online).


Understand what is a scholarly source

Scholarly journals typically have the following characteristics: longer in-depth articles written by experts in the jargon of the discipline, with illustrations that support the text such as charts and graphs; very few advertisements and no glossy paper; and articles are reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts. A quick way to determine if an article is scholarly is to look for this article structure:

  • abstract
  • literature review
  • methodology
  • results
  • conclusion
  • bibliography 


Evaluate a website

As with printed resources, you may retrieve some electronic information that is not suitable for your research topic. Ask yourself these questions to determine if a particular website or page is right for you:

  • Currency -- Is this information current? Can I find a date on the page to tell me when it was created or last revised? How stable or permanent is this information?
  • Relevance -- Is the format or medium useful or appropriate for your topic? Is it a primary, secondary or tertiary source? Is it comprehensive? Who is the intended audience?
  • Authority -- Who is the author? Whare are his or her credentials? Is the source authoritative?
  • Accuracy -- Is the information accurate? How is it printed? Is it a fact or does it show bias?
  • Purpose -- What is the purpose? Is a particular point of view expressed?


Cite sources

Which citation style to use depends on the discipline and professor for whom you are writing it. The two most popular styles are MLA for humanities courses and APA for the sciences. Many social science courses may use the Chicago/Turabian style. When in doubt ask your professor which style he or she prefers.

Each citation style has a handbook describing the details of writing citations for various types of resources. The library has at least one copy of each handbook on reserve or in the reference collection that can be located by searching the online catalog.

There also are many citation helpers on the internet: