Short videos available to make your research easier!

We want your library research to be as productive and painless as possible. That’s why we created an updated collection of video tutorials.

Need to choose a topic?  Find a book? Evaluate your resources? These short videos can be a great way of getting an introduction or giving yourself a refresher.

Here is just one example of how a few minutes viewing one of our videos can save you time and effort:

Look for more to come–and let us know if you have ideas of tutorials you would like to see us create in the comments section below.


Staff Spotlight: 5 Questions with…Jen Schlau

Jen Schlau

Jen Schlau

Why did you become a librarian? I’ve always been a big reader, and in undergrad while a research assistant, I discovered just how much I love researching, too.

My favorite part of my job is: When I see students learn something about researching that they can apply for the rest of their lives. I also like learning something new every day from student questions.

If you could tell students one thing, it would be: Stick with your education!

My favorite thing about Chicago is.. you can always go into the city and find a great place to eat/something fun to do!

In my spare time, I love to: read (especially non-fiction), spend time outside when there is no polar vortex (walking, jogging, yard work, reading, etc), do yoga, and I never miss a Chicago Bears game when it’s football season.

Get ready for Windows 8!

Windows8Want to get a jump start using the next new Windows update?

The library is the only place on campus that has a Windows 8 lab.  Located in C-125 (behind the main computer lab printing area on the first floor), this lab is open to the ECC community during the library’s normal business hours. 

Please note that the interface is quite different than previous versions. Therefore, using the lab is a great way to preview the Windows 8 platform before the software is rolled out elsewhere on campus later this year.  Limited technical help will also be available.

Need to know how to get started? See this Microsoft site for an overview. Want to know what else Windows 8 can do? This TechRadar article offers 62 (!) tips, tricks, and secrets.

Visit the library and give Windows 8 a try.

Stop by and chat with a Computer lab aide if you have questions.

Lives change @your library: Celebrate National Library Week!

National Library Week is being celebrated April 13-19, 2014.  Libraries continue to be places where you can read, learn, study, collaborate, and explore freely.

Do you know these facts about your library?

  • ECC librarians answer around 9,500 Reference questions a year, including 1,500 chat questions.
  • The ECC librarians are embedded in over 70 classes on campus, providing online research assistance and support through D2L.
  • The library owns more than 100,000 items in various formats like print books, ebooks, dvds, and compact discs.
  • We have specialized Research Guides for many topics, including Recommended Reading and Recommended Watching–try something new today!
  • We have the Food for Thought Cafe–come in for a healthy snack!
  • Librarians are available to you over 70 hours per week, by chat, text, email, in person, and by phone.  Contact us!

You can change your life @your library!


April is National Poetry Month

Courtesy of

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month Now in its 18th year, National Poetry Month was established by the Academy of American Poets to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.

Browse the ECC Library displays on both the first and second floors in honor of National Poetry Month.  On the first floor, we have featured audio-visual works on poets.  On the second floor, we have a variety of print poetry, focusing primarily on new items to the collection.

Click here for a Subject Search on Poetry in the library’s catalog.  You can also narrow down to different types of poetry such as children’s, feminist, haiku, or love.

One of my favorite poets is Dorothy Parker; let us know in the comments which poems or poets you love best!

Staff Spotlight: 5 Questions with…Dennece Jefferson

Dennece Jefferson

Dennece Jefferson, Division Office Coordinator

What is your job? My job is division office coordinator, and I’ve been here almost 14 years. My primary responsibility is to assist our dean in coordinating various activities and functions for all departments within the division: Library, Distance Learning, Intensive English, GED Testing, Disability Services, International Student Services, Testing, and Tutoring. Most tasks I perform are the same each day/week, but there’s always a different project on my to-do list. I’ve also been part of SSECCA leadership for most of my tenure, this year I was involved in Black History Month (much fun!), and recently I spoke to a group of health profession students about my illness and experience working with physical therapists. Giving them a first-hand look at a real patient with real disabilities was very exciting and fulfilling, and I hope to be a “guest speaker” again in the future!

My favorite thing about Chicago is…. its diversity! I can’t imagine living in a place where everybody looks the same, talks the same, eats the same things, etc. We even have diverse weather! There’s always something to do, whether in the city or the surrounding suburbs. Just make a choice and GO!

My favorite part of my job is…when I can interact directly with our students. Because I work “behind the scenes”, it’s always a special moment when I can be a positive influence on a student.

Describe yourself in one word using the first letter of your first name. Dedicated! Whatever I do, I give it my all.

What is your favorite technology/app and why? My Kindle, of course! I read my beloved books on it (to date, I have 7,000 titles in over 50 collections), play games, exercise, meditate, listen to music, watch videos, surf the web, check my bank balance/calendar/weather, shop, make lists, it wakes me up in the morning, reminds me of appointments….and I can do any of these anywhere. My favorite app would be Sudoku IF I could play it on my Kindle. For some reason, I can only play it with the pencil and paper version!

Resource Spotlight: Zero in on Your Research Topic with Gale Expanded Academic ASA

Starting research with a very broad topic can feel overwhelming, since there’s so much to learn and so much to cover. Therefore, it’s usually best to zero in on a particular aspect or question that you can cover in more depth.

If you’re still figuring out how to narrow your topic, Gale’s Expanded Academic database can help you see the subdivisions within a topic and decide which one you want to focus on. Watch the video to see how!

Things to keep in mind:

  • In Expanded Academic, you are searching for general topics, not specific articles, so start off by searching for a broad topic (for example, global warming, gun control, autism), and let the database do the rest of the work.
  • If at first it doesn’t recognize the topic you searched for, try a synonym or a broader version of the topic.
  • Use the number of articles next to each topic subdivision to see how much has been written about it.
  • When you get to a list of articles, use the links to different source types (Magazines, Academic Journals, News) to see the rest of the results.