If you are a Durham Tech student taking distance learning courses exclusively, the library has a number of services and resources available just for you. Please explore the links below to find out more.
|Can you give me some tips and advanced
strategies for database searching?
How do I cite sources in my research paper?
Where do I find help using Sakai?
How can I contact the library for further assistance?
Durham Tech distance education students
who are not taking any courses on campus may contact the library. We will use your Durham Tech ID number (your Colleague number)
to verify your information and distance education status. Then we will
create a patron account for you in our records and mail a Durham Tech
library card to you at the address you have provided for us. The barcode
on the back of your library card is your library user ID.
You can borrow materials from this library or from other
community college libraries in person using your Durham Tech library
card. If you are taking Durham Tech distance education courses exclusively
(if you are taking no courses that require you to be
on campus at any time), at your
request we will be happy to check out books from our library (limit
two at a time) to you and send them to you in the mail. This service
is only available to distance education students taking no courses on campus, and we reserve
the right to verify your status. Please note that reserve items cannot
be checked out this way—reserve materials may only be used in
the library. You can also obtain books from other libraries via interlibrary
loan. There is usually no charge for
this; however, if you wish us to obtain articles or other materials
for which other libraries do charge us a fee, any such fees will be
passed on to you.
CCLINC is a shared catalog linking most of North Carolina's community college libraries together.
From the Durham Tech Library web page, select the link for Durham Tech Online Catalog. To see what materials are held by our library, make sure that “Durham” is selected in the library search box. You may also select “Durham—North” or “Durham—Chapel Hill” to search the collections of the libraries at the Northern Durham and Orange Skills Development Center satellite branches of Durham Tech.
How to search:
Type the terms you are looking for inside the search box. Then select the kind of search that you would like to conduct from these choices: search by “words or phrase” (this searches everything), “author”, “title”, “subject”, or “series”. Please note that at this time Durham Tech’s periodical holdings (journals and magazines) are not listed in our library catalog. To determine whether our library owns print copies of a particular periodical, please contact us.
General catalog searching tips:
With all searches, correct spelling is very important (a misspelled name or subject will probably result in no hits or the wrong hits!), but using either upper or lower case letters should not matter. Your results will appear in reverse chronological order (the most recently published materials appearing first) in groups of 20 individual hits on each page. Each item should have an individual call number at the top—our books are shelved from A to Z using this system, so it’s important to keep track of this number in order to find material here in the library. Items that are designated as “Reference Material” cannot be checked out. Look for the words “copy available” to see if an item is on the shelf; “estimated wait” means an item is already checked out. If you need help searching, contact us.
To search by author:
Type the first name and last name or the last name followed
by a comma and then the first name.
To search by title:
Type as much of the title as you know.
To search by subject:
Type the subject as it appears exactly in the Library of
Congress Subject Headings list. This is a controlled vocabulary and terms
must match the specific LC term.
Search using sords or phrase (keyword):
Type any words and they will be searched from the entire
record, including the title, content notes, organization name, etc. This
type of search casts the broadest possible net for your search and is best
when you want to find as much as possible.
Search by Series:
Type the series name you are looking for. You must already
know the name of the series you want for this to work best!
Searching other Libraries' holding:
To the right of the search box, there is another box from
which you can select the library you want to search. You can change this
from Durham to search another library or all libraries at once by selecting
ALL from the top of the menu.
Electronic books are available through two resources:
What databases are available at Durham Tech?
All the databases available to Durham Tech students are listed on the library database page.
How can I access these databases remotely?
Databases that can be accessed from off campus require a password and sometimes a username. Unfortunately, our vendors, such as NC LIVE, do not allow public access to their passwords so we are unable to post them on the library web site. Any Durham Tech student, staff, or faculty member can contact us to obtain these passwords.
Are all databases available from off campus?
No. The JSTOR databases are not available from off campus because we do not have a proxy server that allows this. Also, the legal databases are not uniformly available. Unless you are in our paralegal program, Westlaw can only be used on our campus (library staff cannot give out the password, but must log users in). In addition, Lexis-Nexis is restricted to use by students in the paralegal program only.
How do I know which NC LIVE resources to use for my research?
First, select the NC LIVE home page from the database
home page. If you are accessing NC LIVE from off campus you will require
a password which may be obtained from the Library via email. Then select a heading under BROWSE BY CATEGORY on the left hand side of the page. This will show you specific
NC LIVE databases more closely related to your research. In addition to these subject-specific resources, you can also use NC LIVE's general resources, which include all topics, to search for information on your topic. General resources from NC LIVE include Academic Search Complete, Masterfile Premier, NetLibrary, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Wall Street Journal, Newspaper Source Plus, and WorldCat.
Keywords are the important terms, concepts, or ideas that
are identified as search terms.
What are Boolean operators?
The AND operator
You can specify that terms must appear in the items you
retrieve by using the AND operator. (It's best to capitalize Boolean operators
because some search engines require this).
The OR operator
Using the OR operator states a preference that either or
both of your search terms appear in your results.
The NOT operator
The NOT operator forbids the word after it from appearing
in the items resulting from your search.
Truncation is a method of including all the possible ending
forms of a word through the use of a symbol. It is an effective tool for
expanding a search that has retrieved too few results. For example, consider
the word environment, which has several possible variations. To truncate
this word, type the word environment followed by the appropriate truncation
symbol for the particular database:
A symbol within a word provides for all possible variants
inside a word or word stem. The most commonly used symbol for internal
truncation is ? or #. For example, a search for wom?n will retrieve both
"woman" and "women".
Parentheses or Nesting
Use parentheses to clarify relationships between search
terms when using the OR operator.
Select keywords to use for your search based on important concepts or questions in your research. Then construct searches using Boolean operators and truncation when possible.
Examples of using keywords, Boolean operators, and truncation:
The following links offer many examples for how to cite print and online sources in MLA format and in APA format: Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) MLA Update, Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) APA Update, and Tutorial: The Basics of APA Style.
For help organizing your citation information, you can also try using one of the many citation style makers on the internet, such as this one from the library at Calvin College, Michigan.
When in doubt about how exactly a work should be cited, although you are welcome to ask us, it is always best to consult your instructor directly—remember it is your instructor who will be grading your work!
Email us at: email@example.com