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NVU Libraries Online

What's New this Week? Get the New York Times for Free!

To subscribe to the New York Times for free, from the Willey Library home page at scroll down and select Databases A-Z, and then the New York Times under News & Periodicals. Here's the quick link:

Use the same email and password that you'd use to enter the Portal.

Any questions, just ask!


What's New This Week? EBSCO eBooks are the Real Deal!

Hello everyone.This week I'm introducing our EBSCO eBook database. This database contains over 150,000 titles, and allows you to download or read online electronic books immediately. Here's the quick link:

Enter any topic--from anthropology to zoology, on ants to biking--and get great results.


How did I get there? From the home page at scroll down and select Databases A-Z, then EBSCO eBooks.

What's new this week? Topic pages!

Online news sources often offer topic pages as a way of categorizing information and making it easier to find. For example, I entered "NPR and chemistry" (using the quotes) and got this page:

I entered "new york times and psychology" and got this page:

Please consider bookmarking these pages or pages like them to help you keep current in your course.

What's new this week? Controversial Issues.

Good morning everyone. Today I'm introducing two of our controversial issue databases, CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Here are their quick links:

In Opposing Viewpoints, I entered into the search bar "counseling" and got a result page that includes videos, points of view, audios, and articles such as Hollywood's One-Sided Narrative on 'Conversion Therapy' (2019). Here's the direct link:

In CQ Researcher, I entered the same search and found the 2019 report Abortion Controversies. Here's the link:

Please explore these helpful databases for any subject that catches your interest.


How did I get there? From the NVU Libraries home page at select Databases A-Z and then either CQ or Opposing Viewpoints.

What's new this week? Fake news.

Hello everyone--here's a good video on fake news. It's from the Hartness Library courtesy of CCV.

And here's an article an instructor passed my way on the same subject:


What's new this week? Biography in Context

Would you like to know more about a current or past figure? Or more about a course topic instead? Check out this great database from NVU Libraries called Biography in Context. Here's the quick link:

Enter a name or topic into the search bar, and you'll get a full page of interesting links.This database works for any major person or event in any discipline. Give it a try!


How did I get there? From the home page at scroll down and select Databases A-Z, and then Biography in Context.

What's new this week? Reading Research.

At some point during one of your online classes you may be asked to look at research articles. Here are a few links to help you understand how to read a research article, and what the differences are between quantitative and qualitative data.

This YouTube video on how to read peer-reviewed articles comes to us by way of permission from Katy Walker, MLIS, the Reference/Instruction Librarian at Colorado Mountain College’s Vail Valley Campus:


And this subject guide, on the differences between quantitative and qualitative data, comes to us by way of permission from Barbara Renner, Ph.D., Library Services Evaluation Specialist and Liaison, Allied Health Sciences, at the University of North Carolina’s (Chapel Hill) Health Sciences Library:


What's new this week? Curiosity.

As you gather and analyze information to answer questions in your daily lives, you participate in the process of research. As you mine your answers and/or bring up further questions, you add to the current ongoing conversations on your topics. Sometimes your research leads you down blind allies, and you must retrace your steps to get back on track.Or you reach a dead-end and must begin fresh. That’s all normal; that’s how we learn. The important thing is that you stay academically curious and engaged. Do you relate to what you’ve read? How does it fit in with what you already know? What are your new ideas and thoughts about what you’ve read?

Getting started with your research is easier if you have developed good questions to answer. Write down your topic and then connect it with words or phrases representing anything you know or want to learn more about. Use a grid, a list, or even a map.

Start your research using SearchNorth and Proquest. SearchNorth is a search engine that searches all NVU materials except for Proquest. Proquest is a large, interdisciplinary database. Here are the quick links:


What's new this week? Authority!

Authority is constructed in that we recognize that there are different types of authority. It's contextual in that our need for information helps determine the level of authority we require (Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, ACRL, 2016).

Authority doesn’t always equate with expertise. You can have authority as a justice of the peace for marrying people, but have no expertise on marriage. Or you can have expertise as a Civil War buff, but have no authority because no one knows who you are and what you know.

We get useful information from all kinds of sources--blogs, podcasts, news organizations, academic articles, etc. But we have to know how to evaluate this information. Be open to new ideas that challenge your worldview. And be skeptical until you’re satisfied that the information you have is valid. Here are some tips:

  • Examples of types of authority are—subject expertise (a cancer doctor), position (a mayor), or special experience (a Civil War reenactor).
  • Does the author have enough credentials and experience to write about your topic? “Does the [information’s] URL reveal anything about the author or source? Is the author trying to sell something? Does the source reveal a bias” and address it? Does the author deal with contradictions? Is the information factual and current? Are there errors?" Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, ACRL, 2015, p. 72).
  • Remember that scholars regularly challenge each other’s authority.

As you develop authority, remember your responsibility to seek accuracy, respect intellectual property, and participate in your community of expertise.


Material adapted from Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, ACRL, 2015, p. 72 and Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (ACRL 2016).

What's new this week? Strategic Exploration.

Research is often messy and nonlinear. As you look for information about your topic, try different ways of searching—by author, title, keyword, or subject, looking through archives, or by emailing or talking with experts—or try different search tools—search engines, library or other online databases, RSS feeds, or stepping into your local library for a hands-on search. There is no one way to get your answer. Sometimes your search will fail. Your terms may be too narrow. You may be using too many words, or the right terms in the wrong database. Maybe you’re focused on the wrong issue. These are temporary setbacks, and they are actually useful in that they help you to refocus and get you back on track "to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops" (Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, ACRL, 2015).

Think about your topic and who is writing about it—either informally like a blog, or formally like an academic article. Who are the voices? What is their perspective? If you find the voices, then you’ll find the information you need on your topic, and you’ll be able to evaluate it and then determine what your voice is. The more you practice, the more efficient and successful you’ll be.


What's new this week? Information has value.

When you write a paper, snap a photo, and/or write the lyrics of a song, your work has value. It automatically gets copyright protection, whether or not you’ve filed it with the U.S. Copyright Office. At the same time, the works of others have this same value. Just as it’s important for someone to get permission to use your work, it’s important as well to get permission for your use of the works of others.

Copyright is federal law. It is our government’s promise to protect your right to profit from your work for a specific amount of time (Teaching Information Literacy, p. 119). If you use someone else’s work without their permission, you’re breaking the law. Plagiarism—stealing someone’s work and saying it’s yours—isn’t a federal law, but it is a violation of ethics (Teaching Information Literacy, p. 158). If you plagiarize, you may lose your job, get expelled from school, and lose your public and social reputation. You can violate the copyright law and plagiarize at the same time.

Let’s say you need an image of a bird for your biology class. Before you jump onto Google Images and grab a European robin for your assignment, find out first if you have the permission to copy it. This is a step you must take to avoid violating federal law and dealing with its pricey penalties. If you want a workaround, try Pixabay; its photos are free. Here’s the link:

Currently there’s a large social and academic movement to make many resources on the Internet free to use and change, depending on the permission level granted. Here's our library subject guide on open educational resources:

Information has value. As a creator, you have rights. As a user, follow the rules. 


What's new this week? Evaluating websites.

When you are searching for academic materials, how do you know which websites are appropriate? Let's start with the basics. Determine your website's credibility, relevance, reliability, and context (setting).

  • Is the information useful and at an appropriate level?
  • Does the website relate to your topic and answer your question?
  • Does the author have enough credentials and experience to write about your topic?
  • “Does the [information’s] URL reveal anything about the author or source?
  • Is the author trying to sell something?
  • Does the source reveal a bias and address it?
  • Does the author deal with contradictions?
  • Is the information factual and current?
  • Are the citations the author uses easily tracked and verified?
  • Are there errors?"

If you are still unsure, just ask!


Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, ACRL, 2015, p. 72.

What's new this week? Subject Guides.

On our NVU Libraries website, there's a very helpful quick link called Subject Guides. This link at brings you to a topic list of guides we have created to help you find and research materials easily. You'll most likely find a topic to match each of your courses. And if your topic isn't included, we take requests!



What's new this week? Creating Information

Information comes in different formats—blogs, podcasts, television, academic articles, etc.—to convey a message to a specific audience.  The value of information to you depends on its context. Since creating information is a process, it’s important to recognize and understand both the process and its end result in regard to its usefulness.

Let’s look at a particular format—peer reviewed articles. Let's say you’re a professional who conducts research as part of your job. You write up one of your studies into a paper and send it to the editors of a well-respected and well-known journal. If the editors are interested in your paper, they’ll send it out to experts in your field who then examine your work to make sure your research and conclusions are sound. They suggest changes. You address their concerns until the editors are satisfied. Your article gets published and is now called peer-reviewed. Your work is considered credible and of good quality to the outside world.

But here’s the thing. Peer review as a process takes time. It may take a year or more before the article comes out. Maybe you need more recent material, like a newspaper article or a blog, because it provides you with immediate information about your research question. Again, your information needs drive the format you choose.

Whatever format you choose, ask yourself, is the information rigorous? Is it thorough and accurate? What are the author’s credentials? How did the author get the information in the first place? Did anyone review it prior to its publication? It takes just a few minutes to answer these question--take the time!


What's new this week? Films on Demand.

Good morning everyone. Today I'm introducing our video/film database, Films on Demand. This database contains "more than 15,500 full-length videos and 241,000 video clips, focused on academic and documentary films," with "unlimited 24/7 access, in class/library or off site."

If you want to get your bearings in a topic you are researching, watching a video is an excellent way to get grounded. Here's the direct link: