Key to Effective Library Research: Using the Right Tool at the Right Time

ToolboxThe Library has a virtual toolbox of power tools to help you find the information you need for your coursework and research projects. This section of the "Research Made Easy" guide is designed to introduce these major research tools to you and suggest when and how you can make the best use of them.

The major research tools are:

  • Library catalog
  • Journal Finder+
  • Database list
  • EagleSearch
  • WorldCat
  • Research guides
  • Digital Showcase

To find out more about these library tools, click each of the subtabs under the "Research" tab above.

Which Research Tool Is the Most Appropriate for the Task at Hand?

...Find a book, ebook, or other media in the ORU Library? Use the opens new window Library Catalog.

...Find the full text of a journal in the ORU Library? Use the opens new windowJournal Finder+.

... Identify journal articles for a research paper? Use one or more databases on the opens new window Database List.

...Find information for a class assignment but not sure which database to use? Try opens new windowEagleSearch.

...Borrow a book the ORU Library does not own? Search opens new windowWorldCat.

...Find guidance on how to do research in a specific subject area or type of information? Use the opens new windowResearch Guides.

... Access digitized materials from the Holy Spirit Research Center or from one of the University colleges? Use the Digital Showcase.

Why Is It Important to Know How to Use the Library's Power Tools?

Learning how to select the appropriate research tool to perform a particular information task, and then learning how to useit effectively, is an essential component of information literacy. In Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, ALA/ACRL's most recent information literacy statement, the knowledge practices of learners who are in the process of developing information literate abilities include:

  1. match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools;
  2. design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results;
  3. understand how information systems (i.e., collections of recorded information) are organized in order to access relevant information.

By learning how to use the library tools effectively, students will be empowered to find the information they need for their research projects.