RBC Library Tutorial
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A Guide for Sucessfully Using the Richard Bland College Library
This tutorial has been designed for anyone wishing to utilize the many resources available in the Richard Bland College Library. Once a student has mastered the information and used the tips given in this tutorial, the RBC Library will be a more familiar place to use for research assignments.
Be sure to start your research as early as possible!
Plan to spend time in RBC Writing Lab if you need additional assistance.
The Library is arranged into several areas: Ready Reference, Reserves, Stacks, Periodicals and Special Collections.
HOW ARE BOOKS ARRANGED IN THE RBC LIBRARY?
Books are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. In high school, you most likely used the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Academic libraries use the LC or Library of Congress Classification System.
The Library of Congress Classification
System separates subject matter into 21 classes. Each class is identified
by a letter of the alphabet, subclasses by additional letters, and topics
within classes and subclasses by numbers. For example, the letter
"R" has been assigned to the broad area of medicine. The two letters
"RT" identify the narrower subject of nursing. The combination
of letters and numbers "RT85" specifies a book on nursing ethics.
Further letters and numbers would then be added to pinpoint one individual
book. This final set of letters and numbers, the Library of Congress
Call Number, appears on the catalog record for the book in the catalog and also
on the spine of the book. Books are shelved alphanumerically by
the LC call numbers found on the spine. For example, Ref PR881.C69/1996 is the call number for the reference book, Contemporary Novelists, and is located in the "PR" area of the reference section.
Handy reference sources are available online. Use online dictionaries for definitions, encyclopedias for overviews of a particular topic, almanacs for lists and statistics, and directories for names and contact information.
The APA and MLA style manuals are available at the Reserve Desk. Short citation guides based on the APA and MLA style manuals are available online.
These helpful reference books are found in the reference section of the RBC Library.
General encyclopedias are available in the AE section of Ready Reference.
Subject-specialty encyclopedias are available throughout the Reference Department. The dictionaries are arranged by subject area according to the LC Classification System.
Subject-specialty dictionaries are also available. The dictionaries are arranged by subject area according to the LC Classification System.
FREQUENTLY REQUESTED REFERENCE MATERIALS
AND HONORABLE MENTION GOES TO THE FOLLOWING REFERENCE WORKS:
Literature students in need of literary biographies and criticism, should consult the Finding Literature Resources for ENG 102 guide developed by RBC Librarians; here you'll learn how to access literary information in print and also online.
Atlases can be found on the atlas stand on the first floor of the library.
Students looking for a directory of colleges should consult Peterson's College Search.
"How do I locate materials in the library?"
First, check the online catalog.
Wondering how many books you can borrow at one time? Consult the library's guide to borrowing privileges.
What about ordering a book that isn't available in the RBC Library? Learn more about the library's Interlibrary Loan services.
Over 50,000 eBooks are available to Richard Bland College students through the library's subscription to netLibrary. eBooks are electronic versions of print books. Like print books, the text found in eBooks is often enriched with photos, illustrations, graphs and tables. Digitized book pages may be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat reader, and pages may be printed one at a time using the Adobe Acrobat print button. Students can access information within an eBook by clicking on entries within the Table of Contents or by running a keyword search of the entire book!
The library has developed a guide to searching and using netLibrary eBooks.
The periodicals section which includes magazines, professional journals, and newspapers is divided into two sections. Current periodicals are available on the first floor of the library. Back issues are stored upstairs on the shelves marked "Journals." These term magazines, journals, and newspapers are used somewhat interchangeably, but they all refer to the same type of materials, that is, publications which are published at regular intervals and which contain articles by various writers. Since they are published periodically, they are all called periodicals.
The library maintains a list of print journals available at RBC; this master list of print periodicals contains links to availability information maintained within the online catalog for each periodical.
If you want to read a current newspaper, you are welcome to come to the library and look through our collection of recent newspapers. The RBC Library subscribes to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Washington Post, and a number of local newspapers.
If you want to search for a recent newspaper article, you can do so online using the VIVA database Factiva.
Magazine and journal articles may be located using an online article database such as Academic Search Complete. Some articles have been digitized and are available online whereas other articles may be available in magazines and journals owned by the library and housed in the periodicals section of the library. If you are looking for an article published prior to 1980, it may be necessary for you to consult the library's collection of periodical indexes in print. A librarian will be happy to help you search online resources for articles as well as the print indexes.
Databases and professors often make a distinction between articles in general periodicals such as Time or Rolling Stone and refereed journal articles in professional journals such as American Journal of Psychology or Journal of Marriage & the Family. Articles in general periodicals are meant to be read by a wide audience of lay persons whereas refereed articles in professional journal articles are meant to be read by researchers and professionals in a given field; also, peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by a panel of experts prior to publication.
The library has developed online guides to help you locate periodical articles.
What about ordering an article that isn't available in the RBC Library? Learn more about the library's Interlibrary Loan services.
VIVA is your link to online article databases, online encyclopedias, and much more!
VIVA refers to the consortium of libraries of the 39 state-assisted college and universities (at 52 campuses) within the Commonwealth of Virginia. VIVA's mission is to provide enhanced access to library and information resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia's academic libraries serving the higher education community. What this means for Richard Bland College Library is that students and faculty have access to many of the electronic resources that are available at the larger four year colleges and universities. These resources are paid for by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The VIVA article databases typically provide three types of information. A citation will list the source or location of the article. An abstract includes a summary of the article. The full-text version provides the entire article as it is published in the periodical.
VIVA databases are meant to be used by Richard Bland students and are available from the library web page. When accessing these databases from the College, you will be immediately directed to a database. If you are accessing these databases from off-campus, you will be prompted for a login. To access the VIVA databases from home, you will need to enter your RBC email username and password. Students without an email account or those who experience difficulty logging in, should contact a librarian for assistance.
RBC's list of VIVA databases is arranged so that the most commonly used databases are at the top. Also available is a complete list of VIVA database in alphabetical order followed by a complete listing by subject.
DATABASES FREQUENTLY USED BY RBC STUDENTS
Requesting materials from other libraries is another service the RBC Library performs for its student and faculty patrons. If a book or article you need for your research is not available in the RBC Library, the library staff will order it for you from a college or university library within the state. Quite often, students find books to order using the WorldCat database.
An Interlibrary Loan request can be initiated in any of the following ways:
Providing complete and accurate citation is very important to insure you receive the correct material in the timeliest manner.
ILL requests are processed immediately; the average wait time is seven working days. We make requests on a daily basis, but students should make requests early in their research. The patron is called or emailed when materials have arrived. If the request cannot be filled, the patron is also notified as soon as possible.
By accepting a book from another institution, the borrower is agreeing to comply with regulations of the RBC Library and the lending library.
The RBC Library circulates feature films on VHS and DVD to students. The library's video collection now contains over 3000 films. All of the videos and DVDs are searchable by title or subject through the online catalog. A list of DVDs by category is also available for viewing.
The video and DVD circulation policy states the following:
Televisions equipped with VHS and DVD players are available in the RBC Library for student use. Students may view the videos individually or with a small group.
Please ask for assistance! The library staff is here to help you. All of the librarians conduct library orientation tours for groups, and they are also happy to work with students on an individual basis.
A library staff directory is available online.
Try going to About the Library to access general information about the library in terms of hours, staff, statistics, policies, etc.
Look at our list of Frequently Asked Questions for other information about library services and resources.