Discover Your Island Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Mary and Jeff Bell Library


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

  1. How do I know if a book is in the library?
  2. Can I renew my books online?
  3. What is a journal?
  4. What does it mean that a journal is “peer-reviewed” or “refereed”?
  5. When using a database, how do I find peer-reviewed / refereed / scholarly journals or articles?
  6. I need this article / journal. How do I find it?
  7. How do I get a book / article that the library does not own?
  8. Can someone in the library help me with my research?
  9. How can I check out books from another library?
  10. I can't find the supplemental readings my instructor said were on reserve at the library. Where do I go to get them?
  11. How do I access the library's databases from off campus?
  12. Where are theses and dissertations written by TAMU-CC students located?
  13. How do I get my thesis / dissertation bound?
  14. I am not a student at TAMU-CC. Can I do research at the library and check out books?
  15. Where do I go to check out laptops?
  16. What kind of software / hardware is available in the computer labs?
  17. Why do I get the security certificate error when I try to access a portion of the Library's website?

  1. How do I know if a book is in the library?
  2. Go to our online catalog. Choose the "Title" tab and enter the title of the book. If we have it, the results will show the location (Main, Reference, Special Collections, etc.), the call number and whether it is available for check-out. You can also search for books by author’s name, subject and keywords.

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  3. Can I renew my books online?
  4. To renew books online, mouse over "Find" on the Library’s home page, click "MyAccount" and then click on "My Library Account." Enter your name and Student ID (A-number). Your library record will appear, and you will see a link to items checked out. From the list of books, you can choose the ones you want to renew. You cannot renew online once the books are overdue, and you can only renew items a total of 3 times. If you have questions, call the Circulation Department at 361-825-2340.

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  5. What is a journal?
  6. A journal, sometimes referred to as a periodical, is a publication containing scholarly articles that communicate current information on research in a given subject. This differs from a magazine (another type of periodical) which is for general reading and contains articles, stories, photos and ads aimed at a non-academic audience.

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  7. What does it mean that a journal is “peer-reviewed” or “refereed”?
  8. Articles published in a "refereed" or "peer-reviewed" journal have been read and approved for publication by scholars or other experts in the area of study covered by the journal.

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  9. When using a database, how do I find peer-reviewed / refereed / scholarly journals or articles?
  10. When you search a database for scholarly articles, look for an option to “limit” your search to peer-reviewed, scholarly, refereed or academic articles. The options differ from database to database, but you might need to check a box so that your search only retrieves scholarly articles, or select a tab to display only the scholarly articles in your search results.

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  11. I need this article / journal. How do I find it?
  12. Mouse over "Find" and select "Journals" from the Library’s home page. In the search box, type in the title of the journal you are looking for. If we have access to the journal, the result list will display any databases which contain the journal as well as any print or microfilm holdings. Clicking on one of the database links allows you to search or browse the journal in that database. If the library subscribes to a hard copy of the journal, you will see the link "Search the Bell Library catalog for print holdings." Click to see the location, format, and which dates the library owns. If you are looking for a specific article, be sure to verify that the dates owned include the date of your article. If the library does not own the journal you’re looking for, see FAQ 7 for information about InterLibrary Loan. If you need assistance, please ask for help at the Reference Desk or call us at 361-825-2609.

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  13. How do I get a book / article that the library does not own?
  14. "InterLibrary Loan" is a service provided by the library to obtain books or articles that we don't own or provide access to. In order to register for our Interlibrary Loan service (ILLiad), go to the Library's home page. Under the "Services" tab, select "Interlibrary Loan." If this is your first time using the service, read the instructions for "First Time Users." You may need to scroll down to see this link. All the information you need to set up your ILLiad Account is noted on this page. Click the link at the bottom of the page to proceed to the registration form Complete this form to set up your account. You can then log in to ILLiad using the user name and password you set up.

    Please note that, when you are off-campus, in order to access the Interlibrary Loan request form, you must first log in by providing your Island ID and password (same as Blackboard). If you have any problems with this process, please contact the Interlibrary Loan Office at 361-825-6557. For more information, you can also refer to the InterLibrary Loan FAQ.

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  15. Can someone in the library help me with my research?
  16. Yes! The staff at the Reference Desk will be happy to help you with your research in person or by phone at 361-825-2609. You can also use the Ask-A-Librarian link under "Help" on the Library’s home page to email us a question.

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  17. How can I check out books from another library?
  18. Currently-enrolled students and currently-employed faculty and staff can get a TexShare card, valid for one semester, from the Circulation Desk. You can take your TexShare card and a photo ID to another TexShare Library and receive borrowing privileges at that library. Patrons are responsible for returning items borrowed from other libraries. More information is available at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/.

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  19. I can't find the supplemental readings my instructor said were on reserve at the library. Where do I go to get them?
  20. Go to the Library’s home page, click on "Find" then "Course Reserves". Choose the link for "Course #" or "Instructor". Enter your course name or instructor's name. Some of these materials will be available electronically; others may only be available in print at the library. For print items, ask for the item at the Circulation Desk. If there are materials available electronically, you will be asked for your name, your University ID number and a class specific password provided by your instructor. Call the Circulation Desk at 361-825-2340 if you have any questions.

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  21. How do I access the library's databases from off campus?
  22. When you attempt to access Bell Library's databases from off campus, you will be prompted for your Island ID and your password, just like logging in to Blackboard. Once you have logged in, you can use the databases the same way you would from a computer on campus.

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  23. Where are theses and dissertations written by TAMU-CC students located?
  24. Theses and dissertations are shelved in three locations in the library: the Periodicals Department, Special Collections and Archives, and some in the Main collection. To find theses and dissertations written by TAMU-CC students, go to the Library’s home page and choose “Find Books & More”. You can search for theses and dissertations by the author’s name, the title, the committee chair or by the degree name. Theses and dissertations shelved in the Main Collection and in the Periodicals Deparment may be checked out. You can also try to find theses and dissertations online using the “Dissertations and Theses” database (Home page > Find articles > “D”).

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  25. How do I get my thesis / dissertation bound?
  26. Please refer to the Thesis, Dissertation, and Graduate Project Binding Guidelines. If you have further questions, contact the Periodicals Department at 361-825-2356.

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  27. I am not a student at TAMU-CC. Can I do research at the library and check out books?
  28. Students can check out laptops for use in the library from the Laptop Center, located in Room 216B. For more information, please refer to the policies and requirements for laptop use. The Laptop Center is open Monday – Thursday 10-6.

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  29. Where do I go to check out laptops?
  30. Visitors can use the databases and access the Internet at the Reference area workstations, after being logged in by a staff member. Community users can also purchase a Community User's Card, valid for one year, for $20 dollars. Community users can check out 3 items for 3 weeks with no renewals.

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  31. What kind of software / hardware is available in the computer labs?
  32. Check these websites for information on software/hardware on campus:
    Library: http://rattler.tamucc.edu/software/computer_software.html#lic
    Campus: http://it.tamucc.edu/computerlabs/labsoftware.html
    BCL (Business Computer Lab): http://barnacle.tamucc.edu/hardware-and-software.html

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  33. Why do I get the security certificate error when I try to access a portion of the Library's website?
  34. There may be numerous reasons this error occurs (e.g. renewed certificate, proxy server re-writes the URL) but as long as you opened the web page from the Library’s home page everything should be fine. There are a few steps that can be performed so you won't encounter this error again. For Internet Explorer just click on the link "Continue to this website (not recommended)", or for Mozilla Firefox, click here to see the steps.

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Distance Learning FAQ

  1. Who is a distance education student?
  2. What is Remote Access/Distributed Learning/Distance Learning?
  3. What are the minimum PC requirements to utilize library resources?
  4. What basic computer skills must I have in order to take Web-based or online courses?
  5. Are there any limits in being a Distance Learner? What can an on-campus student do that I can't?
  6. What is Portal?
  7. What is a database?
  8. What is TexShare and how does it help me?
  9. Do I need to request a new TexShare card each semester and how do I do that?
  10. What is Interlibrary Loan? When do I use it?
  11. How do Distance Learning students get video/audio/media?

  1. Who is a distance education student?
  2. A distance education student is one enrolled in classes at TAMU-CC who lives outside the Corpus Christi Standard Metropolitan area. If a student takes any coursework on campus, that student is not considered a distance student. On the other hand, if a student takes *only* online courses, that student may be considered a distance learner.

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  3. What is Remote Access/Distributed Learning/Distance Learning? Compare.
  4. Remote Access refers to the ability to access library electronic resources from outside of the library building. Any registered student with an internet connection has remote access to library electronic resources. Distributed Learning and Distance Learning are often used interchangeably. They refer to the offering of classes, or portions of classes, via the Internet rather than in the traditional classroom setting. Students are able to complete their coursework without coming to campus for class meetings.

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  5. What are the minimum PC requirements to utilize library resources?
  6. The Bell Library recommends one of the following browsers to access library resources:

    Internet Explorer 5.0 and later
    Netscape Navigator 4.7
    Mozilla Firefox

    Notice to AOL (America Online) users:
    Be sure to use one of the browsers listed above and not the AOL default web browser.

    Many of the library's full-text articles are in PDF format. Adobe Reader is required to view PDF files. It is free and can be downloaded by clicking on the following graphic.


    Firewalls and pop-up blockers will sometimes interfere with access to library databases. If you are experiencing problems viewing library resources, try turning off or disabling these features.

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  7. What basic computer skills must I have in order to take Web-based or online courses?
  8. Basic computer skills one must have in order to be successful in Web-based or online coursework are: the ability to send and receive e-mail, including attachments; familiarity with the Internet and how to use Web browsers; the ability to install software; word processing skills; and knowing how to cut and paste between applications.

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  9. Are there any limits in being a Distance Learner? What can an on-campus student do that I can't?
  10. The library makes every effort to ensure that Distance Learners have access to the same resources that on-campus students have. Electronic resources are accessible from anywhere in the world. Print resources may be requested through the Interlibrary Loan Department and are mailed directly to distance learners. Articles from print journals and reference sources will be scanned and made available in electronic format. Students needing reference assistance may call the reference desk at (361) 825-2609 or request help through our Ask-A-Librarian service. Technical assistance can be found here.

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  11. What is Portal?
  12. Portal is the name of Bell Library's online catalog, the key to its collection of materials.

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  13. What is a database?
  14. A database is a collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer). [Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary] Some specific examples of databases accessed through the Bell Library include Academic Search Complete, ArticleFirst, PsycINFO, and TOPICsearch, which can be found on the library's Databases Web page.

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  15. What is TexShare and how does it help me?
  16. TexShare is a resource sharing program in which most libraries throughout Texas participate. The TexShare card, along with a photo ID, may be taken to any participating library and used to obtain borrowing privileges. The card can be obtained by currently enrolled students from the institution at which they are enrolled.

    For more information on TexShare:
    TexShare's website
    ParticipatingTexShare libraries

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  17. Do I need to request a new TexShare card each semester and how do I do that?
  18. Yes, you must request a new TexShare card each semester because the cards are only valid for one semester. You can request a card in person at the Circulation desk or have one mailed to you by e-mailing your request to Robert.Rios@tamucc.edu

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  19. What is Interlibrary Loan? When do I use it?
  20. Interlibrary Loan is the process by which a library requests materials from, or supplies materials to, another library. ILL can be used when an item needed is not found in our library's catalog or on any of the subscribed databases.

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  21. How do Distance Learning students get video/audio/media?
  22. None of the media housed in our library may be lent, however, given the appropriate time to locate libraries willing to lend media, we may be able to obtain them from another source.

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Webpage revised on 07/29/2014

 
Mary and Jeff Bell Library • 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 • 361-825-2643  
Bell Library © 2006 all rights reserved