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LTI Library Resource Guide

Welcome to your crash course in Library Resources! Use this guide as a starting point in accessing Library Resources and getting started with research. All of the information here is also available on the NSCC’s Library Website, so don’t be shy about gi

Getting Started Transcript

Getting Started with the Library

This guide is intended as a starting point in accessing Library Resources and getting started with research.  All of the information here is also available on the NSCC Library Website, so be sure to visit us at


The aim of this guide is to:

  1. Provide a starting point for research projects
  2. Introduce you to library resources, including where and how to find journal articles, books, and other media
  3. Give you the resources for APA and MLA citations
  4. Remind you that the library and its staff are here to help!

Transcript for Library Resource Types Infographic

Library Resource Types:

  1. Databases and Journal Articles
  2. Books
  3. Media

Databases and Journal Articles:

Databases are collections of data organized into tables, and in the case of Library Databases, they're collections of records for journal articles, books, encyclopedias and various other types of media. In fact, our databases are the best way to find journal articles.

If you're unsure of where to start, using the Snap!Search tool (located on the Library's home page) is a good choice.  Search using your keywords and concepts to find relevant journal articles.


Believe it or not, books still have a place in research. Print (and digital) books tend to cover a particular topic or subject area in more depth than a single article and are good if you need an overview or summary of a topic. They can also be useful in providing historical or biographical information.

Think you need to read the entire book? Think again. Many times, different aspect of a topic are covered on a chapter-by-chapter or article basis, so use the table of contents or index to help you find what you're looking for.

Tip: Use the Library Catalog or Snap!Search to find print and digital books.


The Library provides access to some excellent Media Resources. Use Films on Demand to access entire episodes or video segments from BBC, CBC, PBS, and many others. Or use Swank to access our selection of popular and assigned videos.  Don't forget our hard copy collection of DVDs available in the library.

How to pick a manageable topic Infographic Transcripts

How to pick a manageable topic

We'll walk through how to pick an appropriate topic using renewable energy as an example.

  1. Pick a focused topic. You can't write a 5 page paper on everything there is to know about renewable energy. Your topic should fit the scope of your assignment. Pick one aspect of renewable energy.
    1. Example: Renewable energy is too broad of a topic. Cost efficiency of marine wind farms is a better, more focused topic.
  2. Don't pick a topic that is too narrow. Picking a topic that is too specific might make it difficult to find enough information. Take notes as you do your background research.
    1. Example of a topic that is too narrow: Effect of the Cape Wind Project on Sea Turtle Populations. Why? This topic evaluates a specific wind project on a specific type of wildlife. Because the topic is so narrow, it may be difficult to find information.
    2. Example of a topic that is not too narrow: Impact of wind farms on wildlife. Why? This topic more broadly discusses the impact of all wind farms on all types of wildlife. It's broad enough that there will likely be studies that discuss the impact of wind farms on various animals.
  3.  Once you find a topic, brainstorm keywords for your topic (synonyms, narrower and broader terms). Here are some examples of of keywords for the topic: impact of windfarms on wildlife:
    1. Wind farms, wind energy, Cape Wind, turbines
    2. Wildlife, turtles, birds, whales
    3. Offshore, Cape Cod, Nantucket Sounds, marine environments
    4. Habitat, environmental impact, ecology, populations

Use these keywords or concepts to begin your research!