Online Library’s How Tos: A Helpful Resource

By Heather Shallhoub, information resources coordinator, Academic Technologies

June 16, 2014

a screen shot of the library web page which shows where the how tos button is locatedIf you ever have a question about how to do research or use the online library you can help yourself by using the library’s collection of How Tos, which are short, text and image or video tutorials. These also are very helpful if you need information but are unable to or don’t wish to speak with a librarian.

‌To access the library’s How Tos, go to, or click the big blue How Tos button located on the Online Library website in the upper right quadrant of the page.

An example of an empire state college how tos informationalWe have How Tos for most of our databases, which can be very useful. Each database has its own interface, and while the basic search works pretty much the same in all of them, each one has advanced features that are both powerful and tricky to figure out without some guidance. For example, in Historical Abstracts, there is a special era search. In Business ‌Insights, you can look specifically for company profiles. In Education Source, you can search by intended age group, and in Psych Articles, you can search by type of research subject. All of these features can save you a lot of time if you know they’re there and know how to use them – and that’s what the How Tos are for.

We also have How Tos for important research and information concepts, for instance, what is a primary source; how do you find primary sources; and what are they used for? Or, what is a scholarly source; what makes it different from a popular source; and how do you make sure that the source you are looking at is actually scholarly?

a list of how tos housed on the library siteYou also will find a Citing tab in the How Tos, that takes you to a guide that is divided up by citation styles commonly used at Empire State College: APA, MLA, CSE and Chicago. For each style, we’ve gathered some useful resources that will show you how to format your paper, insert your in-text citations and create your bibliography, references or works cited list. In citing, details matter, so you will find information on how to format citations for many different kinds of information sources – not only articles and books, but also websites, conference proceedings, newspapers and videos.

So whenever you need after hours library or research help, or you don’t know how to phrase your question, you can always check our How Tos collection to see if your question has already been answered.

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Coordinator for Veteran and Military Services Mindy Boenning Receives Excellence in Professional Service Award , By Hope Ferguson, senior writer, Office of Communications and Government Relations

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Did You Know

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