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31 - UofL: Library Activity

Remember: As much as you like the ease of the internet, good research and support needs to go deeper and be from credible, solid, valued sources. Although not the “only” credible approach to research, the librarians, the library itself, and its tools offer an excellent place to research your topic. For your own improvement and credibility, learn where the library is and how to use it.

The purpose of this assignment is to…

  • help you think through the initial steps in your research process;

  • give you an opportunity to practice evaluating the credibility and relevance of information;

  • introduce you to WorldCat Discovery, an important library resource for finding books, articles,  and other materials not available through Google or free online search tools.

Librarians are available to assist with any aspect of this assignment or your research. If you need assistance, please ask for a librarian at the Ekstrom Research Office (1st Floor) or schedule an appointment with a librarian (

Your Activity

If this activity is required by your instructor, complete it in a new document and upload it to the corresponding assignment on Student Sheet. If this activity is optional, complete it and learn about how to use the UofL library resources.

Part 1: Thinking Through Your Topic

Use the criteria provided by your professor to identify the topic for your speech. If you’re having trouble, consider talking with a librarian at the Ekstrom Research Office (1st Floor).

  1. What is your topic? What do you find most interesting about your topic at this stage?

  2. What specific questions do you have about your topic right now? What aspects of your topic do you plan to learn more about or explore in more depth? What kind of information do you hope to find?

  3. Search Google for information about your topic. Try several searches with different keywords. Look over your search results and a few of the individual sources you found. What words/phrases about your topic stand out? What kinds of things are people writing about in relation to your topic?

Part 2: Exploring Sources Through WorldCat Discovery

Accessible from the U of L Libraries’ homepage (, WorldCat Discovery searches print books, e-books, articles, government documents, and multimedia sources available from libraries across the world. Use WorldCat Discovery to complete the next set of questions.

  1. Keeping in mind your responses to the previous questions in Part 1, use WorldCat Discovery to search for relevant sources that will help you learn more about your topic. Spend some time looking through your results. Try a few different searches using synonyms or related words. For example, if you started by searching for “sex discrimination,” then you might also try searching for “gender discrimination.”Write down the words you used for two of the searches you tried. Did one of the searches lead to more relevant results? How will you go about deciding which sources are most relevant and useful for your topic?

  2. Sources listed in WorldCat Discovery that are available from U of L will say “Held by: University of Louisville Libraries.” WorldCat Discovery will also tell you if an item is a “Book,” an “Article,” or some other type of source.Find a book that seems especially relevant to your topic. The book should be available from U of L Libraries and not currently checked out. A book that is not currently checked out will say “Available.” Ask a librarian if you need help with this process.

    Write down the following information about the book and find it in the library (or, if it’s an e-book, click “Access Online” or ask for assistance finding it online from the library).Title of the book
    Place of Publication
    Year Published
    Location (name of UofL Library)
    Call number

  3. What made you select this particular book? Why does it seem especially relevant? What topics are covered in the individual chapters in the book?

  4. How would you evaluate the credibility of the book? You might consider the author’s qualifications, the type of evidence or research presented in the book, the sources cited in the book, the level of depth, or other issues. At this stage, do you see the book as credible for your purposes? Why or why not? See louisville. for more information about evaluating sources.

  5. Now use WorldCat Discovery to find a relevant article for your topic. You can narrow your results to articles using the menu on the left side of the screen. After clicking on an article held by University of Louisville Libraries, you can use the “Access Online” button or “View Full Text” button to get the article.
    Write down the citation information for the articleTitle of the article
    Name of magazine/journal (publication)
    Volume and issue numbers
    Page Numbers

  6. What type of information or evidence does the article provide? What questions does the article address in relation to your topic? How does this article compare to other articles you found on WorldCat Discovery, Google, or another search tool? Does it seem scholarly? Why or why not?

  7. Is the article credible and appropriate for your purposes? Why or why not? Be as specific as possible in your evaluation. See for more information.

Part 3: Reflecting on Your Research

  1. Take a moment to look over your previous responses and to reflect on your research at this early stage. How has your research thus far (including the sources you collected for this assignment) influenced your understanding of the topic? What are the most significant issues or questions you need to address as you continue your research? What are your next steps? What other search tools could you use to find additional information? See our Research Guides at

Ekstrom Library Reference Books: Selected Examples

All books are located in the Ekstrom Library Reference stacks (1st floor). Ask a librarian if you need help!


  • Encyclopedia of business ethics and society— HF5387 .E53 2008

  • Encyclopedia of industrial and organizational psychology—HF5548.8 .E498 2007

  • Encyclopedia of leadership—HD57.7 .E53 2004

  • Historical encyclopedia of American labor— HD8066 .H57 2004

  • International encyclopedia of business and management—HF1001 .I53 2002


  • Encyclopedia of communication theory—P87 .5 .E496 2009

  • Encyclopedia of multimedia technology and networking—TK5105.15 .E46 2009

  • Encyclopedia of political communication—JA85 .E64 2008

  • Encyclopedia of politics, the media, and popular culture—P95 .82 .U6 C62 2009


  • Community preparedness and response to terrorism—HV6432 .C654 2005

  • Encyclopedia of crime and justice—HV6017 .E52 2002

  • Encyclopedia of crime scene investigation— HV8073 .N49 2008

  • Encyclopedia of gangs—HV6439 .U5 E53 2008

  • Encyclopedia of law enforcement—HV7921 .E53 2005

  • Encyclopedia of rape—HV6558 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of victimology and crime prevention—HV6250.3 .U5 E55 2010

  • Historical dictionary of terrorism—HV6431 .A537 2009


  • African folklore: an encyclopedia—GR350 .A33 2004

  • Encyclopedia of race and ethnic studies— GN495.6 .C37 2004

  • Encyclopedia of the world’s minorities—GN495.4.E63 2005

  • Facts on File encyclopedia of world mythology and legend—BL303 .M45 2004

  • Routledge encyclopedia of social and cultural anthroplogy—GN307 .R68 2010

Environment/Earth Science

  • Encyclopedia of Earth—QB631 .E558 2008

  • Encyclopedia of geographic information science—G70.212 .E53 2008

  • Encyclopedia of global warming science and technology—QC 981.8. .G56 J638 2009

  • Encyclopedia of soil science—S592 .S53 2008

  • Handbook of sustainable building design and engineering—TH880 .H358 2009


  • Aging: demographics, health, and health services—RA564.8 .V54 2003

  • Encyclopedia of medical anthropology: health and illness in the world’s cultures—RA418 .E354 2004

  • Macmillan encyclopedia of death and dying— HQ1073 .M33 2003

  • Too fat or too thin?: a reference guide to eating disorders—RC552 .E18 K356 2003


  • Comic book encyclopedia—PN6707 .G68 2004

  • Encyclopedia of American popular fiction— PS374 .P63 H36 2009

  • Encyclopedia of contemporary LGBTQ literature of the United States—PS153 .S39 E53 2009

  • Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance—PS153 .N5 A24 2003

  • Greenwood encyclopedia of Asian American literature—PS153. A84 G74 2009

  • Guide to British cinema—PN1993.5 .G7 M327 2003

  • Historical dictionary of science fiction literature— PN3433.4 .S73 2004

  • Holocaust literature: an encyclopedia of writers and their work—PN56 .H55 E53 2002

  • International companion encyclopedia of children’s literature—PN1008.5 .I57 2004

  • Latina and Latino voices in literature—PS153 .H56 D3 2003

  • Oxford encyclopedia of British literature—PR19 .O95 2006

  • Oxford encyclopedia of theatre & performance— PN2035 .O94 2003


  • Civil liberties in America: a reference handbook— KF4749 .W35 2004

  • Dictionary of British politics—JN114 .J66 2004

  • Encyclopedia of the American presidency—JK511 .G45 2010

  • Political corruption in America: an encyclopedia of scandals, power, and greed—JK2249 .G767 2003

  • Princeton encyclopedia of American political history—E183 .P85 2010

  • Religion and the law in America—KF4783 .A68 M47 2007

  • User’s guide to the USA Patriot Act and beyond— KF4850 .A92 2005


  • Encyclopedia of educational psychology— LB1050.9 .E63 2008

  • Encyclopedia of identity—BD236 .E42 2010

  • Encyclopedia of stress—QP82.2.S8 E53 2007


  • Encyclopedia of Christianity—BR95 .E47 2005

  • Encyclopedia of Hinduism—BL1105 .J56 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Islam—DS35.53 .C36 2009

  • Encyclopedia of religion and war—BL80.3 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of religious rites, rituals, and festivals—BL31 .E47 2004

  • Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America—BL458 .E52 2006

  • Science, religion, and society—BL240.3 .S37 2007


  • African Americans in science, math, and invention—Q141 .S6285 2003

  • Encyclopedia of science, technology, and  ethics— Q175.35 .E53 2005

  • Encyclopedia of space science and technology— QB497 .E53 2003

  • Encyclopedia of the solar system—QB501 .E53 2007

  • History of science and technology—Q125 .B945 2004

  • International encyclopedia of women scientists— Q141 .O27 2002

  • New dictionary of scientific biography—Q141.N45 2008


  • Issues The child: an encyclopedic companion— HQ767.84 .C55 2009

  • Encyclopedia of censorship—Z657 .G73 2005

  • Encyclopedia of children, adolescents, and the media—HQ784 .M3 E53 2007

  • Encyclopedia of modern American extremists and extremist groups—HN90 .R3 A75 2002

  • Encyclopedia of modern worldwide extremists and extremist groups—HN49 .R33 A85 2004

  • Encyclopedia of urban studies—HT108.5 .E634 2010

  • Sage handbook of sociology—HM586 .S24 2005


  • Berkshire encyclopedia of world sport—GV567 .B48 2005

  • Diamonds around the globe: the encyclopedia of international baseball—GV862.5 .B43 2005

  • Encyclopedia of Negro League baseball—GV875 .A1 L68 2003

  • Encyclopedia of Title IX and sports—GV709.18.U6 M58 2007


  • Encyclopedia of bridges and tunnels—TG9 .J64 2002

  • Encyclopedia of flight—TL349 .O94 2007

  • Encyclopedia of North American railroads—TF22.E53 2007

U.S. History

  • American Indian culture—E98 .S7 A44 2004

  • Civil rights revolution: events and leaders, 19551968—E185.61 .S315 2004

  • Disasters, accidents, and crises in American history—E179 .C27 2008

  • Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present—E185 .E5453 2009

  • Encyclopedia of the Cold War—D840 .E625 2008

  • Encyclopedia of Revolutionary America—E208 .G55 2010

  • Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad— E450 .H855 2006

  • Encyclopedia of U.S. political history—E183 .E53 2009

  • Encyclopedia of war & American society—E181 .E634 2006

  • Historical dictionary of American propaganda— E183.7 .M325 2004

World History

  • Ancient Greece—DF214 .A49 2007

  • Encyclopedia of African history—DT20 .E53 2005

  • Encyclopedia of conflicts since World War II— D843 .E46 2007

  • Historical dictionary of the contemporary United Kingdom—DA34 .P357 2008

  • Historical dictionary of Iraq—DS70.9 .G47 2004

  • Historical dictionary of medieval China— DS748.17 .X58 2009

  • Medieval Islamic civilization: an encyclopedia— DS36.85 .M434 2006

Women’s Studies/Gender/Sexuality

  • Dictionary of homophobia—HQ76.4 .D5313 2008

  • Encyclopedia of gay and lesbian popular culture— HQ75.13 .P76 2008

  • Encyclopedia of gender and society—HQ1115 .E54 2009

  • Historical dictionary of feminism—HQ1115 .B65 2004

  • Historical dictionary of women in Sub-Saharan Africa—HQ1787 .S44 2005

  • International encyclopedia of men and masculinities—HQ1090 .I58 2007

  • Oxford encyclopedia of women in world history—HQ1121 .O93 2008

  • Women in the Middle Ages: an encyclopedia— HQ1143 .W643 2004

31 - UofL: Library Activity
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