Tag Archives: research help

Resource Spotlight: Research Guides

Research Guides are online guides that provide quick access to databases, websites, books, ebooks and other resources on a given topic or for a specific class or assignment. Research Guides are a great starting point for your research, and have been created in consultation with your instructor.

It does what it says: it “guides your research” to the best sources to begin with on that topic. Guides are set up with tabs that lead you to subtopics within that guide, such as article databases, websites, books/ ebooks, citing, choosing a topic, search strategies, and more.


To get started, click on Research Guides on the main library webpage.

Research Guide1

Find your topic on the alphabetical list. Then explore the guides either by the subject area or the guide created for your particular class. It’s that easy!

Research Guide2

To use resources off campus, you will need to activate your student ID with the Circulation Desk (847-214-7337 or circdesk@elgin.edu.)

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

For faculty (and students): Interlibrary Loan


Photo via Meme Maker

What is Interlibrary Loan:
Interlibrary Loan is the process by which the library will request materials not available in our own collection. Items are delivered to the library and you can pick them up and check them out just like any other library item. Items are usually free.

Why you should care:
This means that you can get just about any item you want, from any library, without having to try to find it yourself, for free.

The service includes books, journal articles, DVDs, videos, and other materials.

Plan ahead–sometimes items  can come quickly, but giving a week to 10 days for the item is a good rule of thumb.

Need to use it?
You can find the policies and form here.

For questions, contact Armando Trejo, Archives/Interlibrary Loan Librarian at (847) 214-7141.

Resource Spotlight: CINAHL Plus with Full Text

CINAHL_PlusFT_Logo-04From EBSCO: CINAHL Plus with Full Text covers a wide range of topics including nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. It includes full text of over 770 journals in the nursing and health sciences discipline.

CINAHL can be accessed through our Article Databases list or through EBSCO.

If you haven’t used CINAHL yet, this Help Sheet is a great place to start, or view this tutorial on basic searching:

For questions about using this database or researching, please contact the librarians in Building C or ask your instructor.


—Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

New Research Guide: Undocumented Students and DACA

DacaGuideUnder the category “Current Events & Controversial Issues,” the library has created this Research Guide on “Undocumented Students and DACA” or “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”. The guide includes a four minute video (second tab) about this immigration program created by Obama in 2012, as well as information to keep informed on current government policies that appear to be threatening the status of the program. 

Tabs include information and articles specific to DACA, links to local and national legal resources (including Centro de Informatcion in Elgin), links to financial and educational resources, a Google news feed on DACA, and how to contact ECC’s Wellness Services department if you need help.

If you know of other related resources send us your suggestions and we will consider adding them to this informative resource.
Keeping your Future Bright at the ECC Library!


–Submitted by Jana Porter, Reference Librarian

Smarter Google Searching

googlelogo_color_284x96dpSearching Google is easy, right?  You just type in your word into the pretty white box and get 40 billion awesome results (NOT!)

We are going to make your life easier by providing these Top 5 Tips to smarter Google Searching.  Feel free to share your own tips in the comments!

  1. Quotation Marks 
    For example: “higher education” instead of higher education. This will narrow your results and allow the computer to search for the phrase.
  2. Boolean operators: AND and OR 
    AND is the default for Google searching, so when you add terms to your search, it will keep narrowing your focus.
    OR is a way to expand your search if you keep hitting dead ends. For example: higher education OR college OR university. Good for synonymous terms.
  3.  Site (domain) search: keyword + site:extension or name 
    For example, a search for children “mentally ill parents” site:gov
    will filter out most other site extensions and bring back government websites (.gov). This allows you to target one type of website as you search. You can also specify a specific site such as:
    anxiety site:Mayo Clinic to just retrieve results from the Mayo Clinic website.
  4. Google Scholar
    If you’re unsure where to start this can be a good starting point that directs you to scholarly resources. Sometimes you will get full text available through the library on this site as well. Not everything will be in full text.
  5. Advanced Search
    This tool is also great when you are looking for a specific source as it has a field for “all these words” as well as a field for “this exact word or phrase”.

Need to cite? Yes, you do!



Listen to Queen Bey–make your life easier by checking out the options below.





Citing Other Types of Formats (Twitter, Facebook, E-readers)

NoodleTools is an online tool that can assist you in organizing your research, including notecards, sharing, and creating your bibliography/works cited page. See the NoodleTools Research Guide for step-by-step instructions.

Don’t forget that you can get personalized citation help from the ECC Librarians. We are available during all of our library hours (many nights until 10 p.m.) and have experience in the various formats.  Contact us by email, chat, text, phone, and in person.

Citing and collaborating made easier? YES! Try NoodleTools

NoodleTools is an online site that provides “integrated tools for note-taking, outlining, citation, document archiving/annotation, and collaborative research and writing”, similar to using Google Drive.

The library has created a Research Guide to help you effectively use and navigate NoodleTools. Check it out if you need help getting started with NoodleTools!

To create your works cited/bibliography, you will need to create a free account through the library’s website here.  Then create a project and add your citations, either by typing them into the correct fields (author, title, etc.), or by cutting/pasting them from the database source. This tab in the Research Guide walks you through the specific process of creating and printing your works cited/bibliography.

If you need a quick tutorial, come to the library and talk with one of the librarians.  We are located in Building C, or contact us for more information.