Guide to Library Research
Mary Livermore Library
Unit 3: Selecting Resources



When you think of research, you probably think of books. Finding books on your topic indeed makes sense, since they frequently provide in-depth coverage of topics. Scholarly books—that is, books written by scholars, or academic experts in a field—are particularly useful because they usually provide significant bibliographies, or lists of sources, that will lead you to other relevant sources. Unlike articles that appear in periodicals and on webpages, scholarly books can take years to research, write, and publish. For this reason, you may have trouble finding books on very recent events. The majority of the books in the Library support academic research and study; however, you also can find thousands of books for recreational reading, including many best-sellers.


Girl With Books


Most books in the Library are organized according to the Library of Congress classification system, in which the first letter signifies the field to which the book belongs-E for history, for example, or Q for science. Most of the Library's books are part of the General Collection.  Undergraduate students may check out these books for three weeks; graduate students may have them for an entire semester. Books whose call numbers begin with the letters A through PQ are on the second floor of the Library; the remaining books in the General Collection are on the first floor.


In some cases, you don't even need to come to the Library to do research using books. With something called NetLibrary e-books, you can read the full text of more than 22,000 reference, scholarly, and professional books online. The new e-Audiobook collection, furthermore, includes more than 600 unabridged versions of the latest best-sellers, book club favorites, books by award-winning authors, and Pimsleur language study courses. You can download and listen to the audio books on your computer or portable listening device. To access e-books and audiobooks from off campus, students must first create a free account on campus. See a librarian for details.


UNCP students also have access to books in the collections at Fayetteville State University (FSU) and the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). See a librarian for instructions on having these books sent to you.


Without exception, you must have a current UNCP student ID to check out books from Mary Livermore Library.