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Information Resources and Services for:
NDL 210: Community Action and Social Change

January 2011
Finding Information

The library has many tools to help you conduct research on your topics. Use this guide to explore a selection of sources available to you. If you have questions, encounter problems, or simply want to talk about your topic, stop by the Reference Desk to chat with any of our librarians. You are also more than welcome to contact me directly at
The Research Process

A quick word about the research process. With so many tools available, it's fairly easy to find information about your topic. What's more important is finding quality information about your topic. Scrutinize your sources: When was the book written? What position does the article's author argue? Is this the best database for my topic? Think critically about the process: Do I have enough appropriate sources? Do I have an understanding of the topic? What other sources can I consult? Have I visited the Reference Desk yet?

When you think critically about the research process (and when you give yourself enough time to explore a variety of sources), you'll find that it's not only exciting, it will help you write a better paper!

Faculty: Thia Cooper
Librarian: Barbara Fister

Table of Contents:

Reference Books
Reference books are an excellent place to start your research. These specialized encyclopedias provide overviews of topics, giving you both a sense of the scope of the topic and good search terms! Some reference books also have suggestions for further reading; locate these books and articles to use as sources in your paper.
  • Encyclopedia of American Immigration
    Armonk: Sharpe 2010
    Covers historical and contemporary issues in immigration policy, provides coverage of social and cultural issues and background on specific immigrant groups. The final section reproduces key legal documents from the US Constitution to late twentieth-century immigration legislation and executive orders. (Note: Gustavus is missing volume 2 of this set.)
    • Location(s): Ref JV 6465 .E53 2010
  • Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States
    Danbury: Grolier 2005
    Covers Latinos in the United states in over 650 essays that tackle topics from baseball to Zorro, significant places, groups of people, event, and more. The fourth volume includes significant primary source documents.
    • Location(s): Ref E 184 .S75 E587 2005
  • Encyclopedia of Genocide
    Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO 1999
    This two volume set provides coverage of the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and other instances of genocide throughout the world.
    • Location(s): Ref HV 6322.7 .E53 1999
  • Encyclopedia of Homelessness
    Sage 2004
    Presents articles that describe patterns of homelessness, historically and in the contemporary world, causes, legal issues, advocacy, legislation, issues facing the homeless, research, and the extent and nature of homelessness in cities and countries around the world. Includes a number of primary source documents.
    • Location(s): Ref HV 4493 .E53 2004
    2 vols.
  • Encyclopedia of Human Rights
    This five volume encyclopedia offers helpful articles on people, organizations, situations around the world, and specific rights, focusing particularly on 1945 to present with some material relating to selected events before the UN Charter.
    • Location(s): Ref JC 571 .E673 2009
  • Encyclopedia of World Poverty
    A collection of 750 articles in three volumes exploring the causes, history, and enduring effects of poverty.The scope of this encyclopedia encompasses the relative individual and societal aspects of poverty, from living on 486 GBP a year in Nigeria to poverty-relief efforts in Appalacia. Additionally, the Encyclopedia examines the insitituions that focus on the alleviation of poverty, including religious charities and the global organizations such as the United Nations.
    Location: Ref HV 12.E54 2006
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States
    New York: Oxford 2005
    Provides lengthy, scholarly articles on all aspects of the topic, including intellectual, social, cultural, and political issues.
    • Location(s): Ref E 184 .S75 O97 2005
  • Regional Surveys of the World
    This multi-volume set provides excellent and informative information on countries of the world, including geographical, historical, political, economic, and statistical information. Each entry also contains a directory of governmental and non-governmental organizations. Older volumes are shelved in the General and/or Oversize collection; recent volumes are shelved in Reference. Consult the following list to identify volume(s) useful to your research.
    • Africa South of the Sahara
      Location: Ref DT 351 .A37
    • Central and South-Eastern Europe
      Location: Ref HC 244 .A1 C46
    • Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia
      Location: Ref HC 244 .A1 E29
    • The Far East and Australasia
      Location: Ref DS1 .F3
    • The Middle East and North Africa
      Location: Ref DS 49 .M62
    • South America, Central American, and the Caribbean
      Location: Ref F1401 .S28
    • Western Europe
      Location: Ref HC 240 .A1 W47
  • World Factbook (CIA)
    Prepared by the CIA, the World Factbook provides concise country profiles, including economic, political, and social information. A paper copy of the Factbook is also available in the Reference section at Ref G 122 .U56a
Finding Books
For books in the Gustavus library, use the MnPALS catalog. Write down the call number and location information. Use the maps on the library's website, the tags on the sides of shelves, or stop at the Reference Desk to figure out where your book is shelved. To request books from other libraries, visit the Interlibrary Loan page for more information or use the FindIt! button in WorldCat.
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College.
  • WorldCat
    A meta-catalog of libraries around the world. Use the yellow "find it!" button to request books from other libraries through interlibrary loan. (It takes time, so in J-term it's particularly important to think ahead.)
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
  • Google Books
    Google is in the midst of an ambitious project to digitize books from publishers and in libraries. Those that were published before 1923 are in full text; those still potentially under copyright can be searched, but not viewed in full. It offers an interesting way to locate very specific words, phrases, and citations, particularly in older books. Using the advanced search you can limit a search to books that are full text or published within a range of years.
Finding Articles
Search for chemistry articles in any of these databases. If the full text is not available through the database, click on the yellow FindIt! button. The FindIt! button will search all other databases and our print copies to see if we have access to the article. An SFX screen will pop up, directing you to full text options. If you see an option for ILL, it means we will have to request the article from another library. Click the Go button next to the ILL option to be taken directly to the ILL form.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • Google Scholar
    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
  • New York Times Historical (1851-4 years ago)
    The full text of the New York Times from 1851 to 4 years ago -- covering the entire publishing history of the newspaper back to the first issue. The newspaper text is fully indexed and searchable and the database also contains full-page images, including graphics. Available on the Web through ProQuest.
    1851-4 years ago
  • ProQuest Newsstand
    Indexing and selected full text access to over 350 newspapers from around the world. Archival coverage begins in 1985 for some titles. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
    1986-present (most from 1995 on)
  • SAGE Premier
    Search the full text to over 500 scholarly journals published by SAGE in a range of disciplines, including many social sciences titles. Many journals include full backfiles - back to 1960s or earlier. To search articles by discipline, click on the "Browse" tab, then click on the "Articles by Discipline" tab.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
    A multidisciplinary index with searchable author abstracts covering the journal literature of the social sciences, including anthropology, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, political science, public health, social work, sociology, urban studies, and women's studies. SSCI indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines. In addition, it is possible to retrieve a list of works that have cited a specific author or specific work. May be searched simultaneously with Arts & Humanities Citation Index and/or Science Citation Index Expanded through the Web of Science interface.
    1997-present; updated weekly
Statistics and Websites
  • ACLU: Immigrants' Rights
    This section of the American Civil Liberties Union focuses on immigration and civil liberties, including breaking news and position papers.
  • Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
    This scholarly center for research based at the University of California, San Diego, has a "research agenda focuses on Mexican migration to California and comparative, cross-national and cross-regional research on international migratory movements, immigration policy, and citizenship policy." The Publications tab leads to many online working papers.
  • Center for Immigration Studies
    This center is "an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985, we have pursued a single mission � providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States." They tend to favor reducing immigration as a policy measure. Included at the site is a blog with recent news and commentary.
  • Statistical Resources on the Web
    Sponsored and maintained by the University of Michigan Library Documents Center, this website categorizes statistical sources into 24 major topical areas. It includes comprehensive coverage of government sites and is also fully searchable.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    Includes summaries of statistical publications and searches and displays tables of statistical data. Statistical Insight includes links to the full-text of selected publications and government web sites, including the information contained in the Statistical Abstract of the United States.
  • Pew Hispanic Center 2007
    Based at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication. Includes the text of several reports, as well as information on demographics, economics, labor, immigration, education, health, and Latinos in the military.
Additional Resources
Use these pages to explore other library resources.
  • Reference Desk
    Hours for January at the Reference Desk are: Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 5:00 & 6:00 - 9:00, Friday 10:00 - 5:00, and Sunday 12:00 - 8:00
  • Chat with a Reference Librarian

    A librarian is available in person or via chat during January from 10am - noon, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm, and 6pm - 9pm Tues. - Thursday as well as from 2pm until 9pm on Sundays.

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