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Exercise 1:

Locating the Library web site and basic information: The Library web site is your portal to locating and learning about resources and services provided through the Library. The purpose of the first exercise will be to provide instruction on navigating to the Library web site and an introduction to primary library services and resources. 

Go to the Virginia Highlands Community College web site at  From here, there are several ways to access the Library web site.  Watch the following video for instructions on locating the Library web site and basic information: 

Locating and accessing the Library web site: video 1

Overview of selected Library services: The Library has a number of services and guides to help you succeed as student at Virginia Highlands Community College.  Research assistance and help with accessing and using Library resources are primary and critical components of Library services. You can ask for assistance in-person in the Library, by telephone at 276-739-2542, by email using Ask a Librarian at, or using the chat service at Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat. 

The following video will provide an overview of some of the Library services and helpful information as provided on the Library website:

Overview of selected Library services and information: video 2

Research Guides:  Research Guides are search and pathway aid tools that are developed to assist you with research.  These will provide direction and guidance on topics including Research the Smart Way, citation and writing guides, nursing and allied health, English, and controversial topics. The following video will provide an introduction to Research Guides.

Introduction to Research Guides: video 3

After watching the videos, answer the following questions:

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* What hours is the Library open on Fridays? (choose one)

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* Find the Research Guide for Controversial Topics. Under the Articles tab, name one of the four Recommended Databases:

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* What is the Library Circulation Desk phone number?

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* True or False:  In addition to in-person and telephone, can you ask for help using e-mail and a chat service?

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* What is interlibrary loan? (choose one)

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* True or False: Your VHCC identification card is obtained and updated in the Library.

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* Write down the name and job title of a Library staff member.

Exercise 2: 

The purpose of the second exercise will be to introduce you to locating Library books and articles.  Instructors will often require the use of these resources for research and other class assignments. It will build upon material reviewed in Exercise 1.  Therefore, it will be necessary for you complete Exercise 1 before beginning Exercise 2.

Finding Books

The VHCC library has books in both physical hardcopy and digital formats. To search for books (including e-books, videos and streaming videos, and other formats), go to the Library web site at  Please view the following videos before continuing Exercise 2.

This video presents an overview of the initial process in in searching for Library books using Quick Search:

Finding and opening Quick Search to search for books: video 4

The next videos will provide an example of searching for books on a specific topic, building upon the previous video. In the video link provided below demonstration of searching for books using Quick Search on the topic Appalachia is provided:

Searching for books on the topic Appalachia using Quick Search: video 5

The next video will resume where the previous video ended.  It will review how to identify and access an e-book using Quick Search:

Locating e-books using Quick Search: video 6

Note that when the results list from a search is sorted by date, the most recent first, the first books on the list will often consist mostly or entirely of e-books.  Print books may be itemized further down in the results list.

The next video will illustrate how locate a print book from the same search results as found in the previous video.  The Quick Search parameters will be set to look for the keyword appalachia*, limited to books, and the results sorted by Relevance.

Locating print books using Quick Search: video 7

After watching the videos and reading the text above, complete the following exercises:

      1)  Search for one of the following topics using Quick Search, entering your keywords in the search box (hint:  do not use questions or complete sentences such as “How does the interpretation of the Second Amendment effect gun control?”  Simply enter gun control.

·         autism
·         gun control
·         climate change
·         drug abuse
·         Vietnam war

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* Which topic did you use?:

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* Sort the result list by Date. Locate an e-book on the topic. Write down the title:

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* Sort the result list by Relevancy. Locate a print book on the topic. Write down the title and call number:

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* True or false:  The call number serves two functions—locating the book on the shelf and classifying and shelving the book by topic.

Finding Articles

In addition to books, many of your instructors will require you to use journal and magazine articles.  Like newspapers, these resources are collectively known as periodical literature because they are issued on a periodic basis. 

There are several types of periodical literature, but two of the primary categories you will encounter are journal and magazine articles.  Generally speaking, journal articles are a form of scholarly literature to communicate information for academic purposes.  Some journal articles go through a more rigorous review process called peer, or refereed, review before publication. These are published in journals that required the articles underdo a review by experts in the field who are not part of the editorial staff.

Magazine articles are written for broad audiences and are intended to inform and perhaps entertain the general reader.  They do not go through the strict peer review process, but are usually reviewed by editorial staff before publication.

The following document provides a more complete description:

The following videos will demonstrate locating articles using the same broad topic Appalachia.  The database Academic Search Complete will be employed.  This database will cover many topics and is an appropriate resource to locate both magazine and journal articles.

Locating and finding articles using Academic Search Complete: video 8

The next video will illustrate searching for articles on the topic Appalachia and how to locate and open a magazine article on this topic:

Using the database Academic Search Complete to find magazine articles: video 9

The next video will build upon the above video and illustrate how to narrow the same search results from the Appalachia topic to a peer-reviewed journal article:

Using the database Academic Search Complete to find peer-reviewed academic articles: video 10

After watching the videos and reading the text above, complete the following questions and exercises:

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* True or false:  Magazine articles are written for broad audiences and intended to inform and entertain.

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* Exercise:  Access the database Academic Search Complete.  Search using the same topic you used in previous searching for books exercise. 

Under Refine Result, limit the list to full-text and magazine articles.  Write down the title of one the articles:

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* Go back to the Result List of your search. Under Refine Result, limit the list to full-text and Peer-reviewed articles. Write down the title of one of the articles:

Thank you for completing this orientation and introduction to Library services and selected formats of resources.

Please click on the DONE button below to record your results.

Learning Objectives
Students will understand primary library services and finding aids.
      o   Review and access Library services on the web site.
      o   Access and review Research Guides.
      o   Access and understand information through the Library web site.

Students will understand and access Library resources in book format.
      o   Search for and locate books in electronic format on a topic.
      o   Search for and locate books in print format on a topic.

Students will understand and access library resources in article format.
      o   Understand the difference between magazine and academic periodical articles.
      o   Search for and locate academic articles on a topic.
      o   Search for and locate journal articles on a topic.