Category Archives: Uncategorized

Black History Month in the Library

Join the Consortium Library is recognizing and celebrating Black History Month!

If you’d like to bone up on your Black history, check out this LibGuide for suggested resources: This guide has books, articles, DVDs, streaming media, and websites so you can explore the vast world of African-American history.

If you’re curious about anti-racism, check out this guide: This guide provides resources to actively recognize and combat racism and systems of oppression.

UAA as a broader community is celebrating Black History Month, too! Check out the schedule of events here: This Library Gossip Girl is particularly delighted to note a viewing of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is planned.

The Library loves and is proud of YOU, Seawolves!

The Reference Librarians are ready to Help!

Welcome to 2021, Seawolves! Let’s dust off those planners and desks and get ready to have a fabulous semester.

The Virtual Research Help Desk is still here for you in this new frontier that is 2021. If you’ve never heard of this, allow me to introduce you to a wonderful library service.

Librarians are available to help you with your homework, your research questions, your search for books, and any and all library questions. We can help you troubleshoot login issues, order library materials from other libraries, teach you how the cataloging system works, talk you through the research process . . . really, just ask anything and we can at least point you in the right direction!

The Virtual Research Help Desk is staffed from Monday-Thursday 9am-10pm, Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 12pm-10pm. We’ll be closed January 18th and March 12th.

You can chat with us from the Ask Us page by clicking the green “Chat is Online” button. You can also call at 786-1848 and email us using this form. If you have a particularly gnarly question, we can even Zoom with you!

Aaaand just a reminder that the physical UAA/APU Consortium Library is open to UAA and APU students, staff, and faculty. You will need a valid UAA or APU ID to scan into the building. As you’re probably aware, new WolfCards were issued recently, so be sure to register that if you haven’t already.

If you still need a WolfCard, you can get that at the Consortium Library, too! Stop by the Library during open hours and call the Circulation Desk at 786-1871, option 3 for access to the building. Be sure to bring a government-issued ID with you.

Have a great semester!

The Research To-Dos

Your professor told you that this assignment would take all semester. You had every intention of starting your research early. You were going to divide the work over the course of weeks and carefully approach your paper. You were gonna nail this assignment.

And then life happened. Your big paper is due in a week (or in two days, or tomorrow. . .) and you are PANICKING. What are you going to do?

Your friendly reference librarian is here to help you in your hour of need!

Break the project down.

Read the assignment one more time. What is your professor looking for? Do you need to convince them of something? Do you need to compare and contrast things? Is it simply an informative paper? Once you know what your prof wants, the next step will be much easier.

Create your research questions.

After you know what the assignment is and what your prof wants, identify what questions will meet those needs. What do you need to know to persuade someone of your position? If you need to compare and contrast things, what do you need to know about the two topics?

Start the research.

Now, this step can be remarkably tricky. You may worry you don’t know how. You’re not sure your research questions are right. You don’t know what keywords are the best.

But you wanna know a secret? Research is all trial-and-error. While there are definitely best practices, the key is just to start. If you don’t find anything the first time you search, great! Now you know you need different search terms.

If you get really stuck, you can always contact the Virtual Reference Desk. This is a great idea if you want to skip a few iterations of the trial-and-error process.

Once you’ve started your research, you’re well on your way to completing your assignment. Congratulations!

See the Research Paper: Step-by-Step guide for more tips.  We’re all pulling for you.

You’ve got this!

When to Use an Encyclopedia

Look, we all know the general rule of thumb: cite your sources unless it’s considered common knowledge. (Or at least, we should all know that. If you didn’t, hey, you learned something new today!)

The More You Know gif

Articles, books, and websites provide you with the complex information you need for most citations.

But what do you do if the piece of knowledge is juuuust on the borderline? What if you need the square mileage of Croatia? Or how many redheads there are in the U.K? Then you may need to turn to an encyclopedia.

An encyclopedia is a source of abbreviated information on specific topics. You can find encyclopedias on countries, racial groups, even dance styles! A great source of encyclopedias in the library’s print collection are on level 1 by the reference desk next to the pendulum.

You can also find online reference collections through the library’s website. For general information, try the Gale Virtual Reference Library or Oxford Reference Online. For more specific information, take a look at ENGnetBASE (for engineering),  APA Handbooks (eBooks from the American Psychological Association), or the Nutrition Care Manual.

Don’t forget, your login for these databases is the same as your Blackboard sign-in. If you have difficulty signing in, check out this troubleshooting guide.

Happy encyclopedia-ing!

Mental Health Resources

It’s . . . been a year. For everyone.

It is not wrong, unreasonable, or weak to be having a hard time. It’s hard to focus on school when there may be some other struggled you’re dealing with. Even your faithful librarians at the Reference Desk are feeling the extra weight. So, here are some resources that are available to support you.

The Student Health and Counseling Center

The Student Health and Counseling Center has many mental and physical health resources available. They are still taking appointments for their counselors, they have suggestions for off-campus resources, and they provide LGBTQ+ community specific support. If you know you want help and aren’t sure where to start, consider heading here.


Endorphins can do wonders for your physical and mental health, so get moving! The Seawolf Sports Complex may still be closed, but did you know there are plenty of Physical Ed and Recreation classes available next semester? Check out your options on UAOnline.

There’s also a fantastic trail system throughout Anchorage, so think about gearing up for the ski/snow bike season. No gear? You’ll find the snow bikes pack down the single track trails beautifully for running and walking.

You could even find dance or yoga classes on Youtube. It doesn’t have to be fancy — just start moving!

National Hopeline

If you or someone you know is considering suicide or self-harm, reach out.  The Student Health and Counseling Center recommends the National Hopeline where you can instantly chat with a volunteer trained in crisis intervention.

If you don’t believe you’re in crisis but are considering suicide, THAT, my friend, is a crisis. We need and want you here with us.

Take care of yourself and ask others to care for you, too.

We love you, Seawolves!


Temporary Folders, Permanent Citation Sanity

Picture this: your web browser is full of tabs, one for each article you’ve found. There’s a Google Doc with hastily copied and pasted citations of more sources. Your inbox is full of even MORE sources you’ve emailed yourself. Your grasp of reality is slowly slipping away as you get swept up in a Citation Cyclone. How do you end this insanity?!

Good news for you — there are a lot of citation management resources out there! The one we’ll talk about here is the temporary folder found on the library.

Here’s how you find it:

Perform QuickSearch of the library catalog. Next to each result, you’ll see a little folder icon.

Image showing where folder is found

Click this button to add a source to a temporary folder. Your list of potential sources will all go to the same temporary folder. You can find the temporary folder in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

NOTE THE WORD TEMPORARY. The contents of this folder do not stay forever. You’ll eventually want to export those sources to add them to your bibliography. You have a few choices here.

You can click “Export To…” to send your sources to a citation tool. Find out more about citation tools here.  These will help you with styling and formatting your citations correctly. You can also print your list of sources or email them to yourself to follow up on later.

Stay sane, stay safe, and try out the temporary folder today!



Off-Campus Access Troubleshooting

The Reference Desk has been seeing a fair number of questions about login errors when folks are trying to login for off-campus access to databases (see this guide for more info on that!). We appreciate that this can be incredibly frustrating!

Gif of Taylor Swift screaming

Here are a couple suggestions to get you logged in and at the articles you need.

Make sure you are using your Blackboard credentials

Only type in the username part of your university email address (leave off the

See if Caps Lock is on

Check that you are logging in for off-campus access and not into your card account

Image of off-campus access login page

What your login screen SHOULD look like

Image of Card Account Login

What your login screen should NOT look like

See if you can still login to Blackboard.  If you can’t, you may need to reset your password or contact university IT.

In fact, if all else fails, just go ahead and reset your password at

Remember, you can always ask the Reference Desk for back-up if you’re feeling frustrated. We can walk you through these steps and be your moral support!

Indigenous Research Methodologies

Happy (belated) Indigenous Peoples Days! Let’s talk about indigenous research methodologies (IRM). Jelena Porsanger defines IRM as

. . . a body of indigenous and theoretical approaches and methods, rules and postulates employed by indigenous research in the study of indigenous peoples. The main aim of indigenous methodologies is to ensure that research on indigenous issues can be carried out in a more respectful, ethical, correct, sympathetic, useful and beneficial fashion, seen from the point of view of indigenous peoples. (Porsanger, Jelena. (2004). An Essay about Indigenous Methodology. Nordlit. 8(1): 105-20. 10.7557/13.1910.)

Want to learn more? Here are a few resources on indigenous research methodologies.

Book cover: Indigenous Research Methodologies

Bagele Chilisa’s book Indigenous Research Methodologies provides an extensive overview of IRM and how to use them. Chilisa, from Botswana, describes post-colonial perspectives, indigenous knowledge systems, culturally sensitive and responsive research methods, and decolonizing the research process.

Call #: GN380.C494 2012


Book cover: Decolonizing Research -- Indigenous Storywork as Methodology

“From Oceania to North America, indigenous peoples have created storytelling traditions of incredible depth and diversity. The term ‘indigenous storywork’ has come to encompass the sheer breadth of ways in which indigenous storytelling serves as a historical record, as a form of teaching and learning, and as an expression of indigenous culture and identity. But such traditions have too often been relegated to the realm of myth and legend, recorded as fragmented distortions, or erased altogether. Decolonizing Research brings together indigenous researchers and activists from Canada, Australia and New Zealand to assert the unique value of indigenous storywork as a focus of research, and to develop methodologies that rectify the colonial attitudes inherent in much past and current scholarship. By bringing together their own indigenous perspectives, and by treating indigenous storywork on its own terms, the contributors illuminate valuable new avenues for research, and show how such reworked scholarship can contribute to the movement for indigenous rights and self-determination.” –Publisher description of Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology.

Call #: GN378.D43 2019


Book cover: Decolonising Methodologies -- Research and Indigenous Peoples

“To the colonized, the term ‘research’ is conflated with European colonialism; the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory. This essential volume explores intersections of imperialism and research – specifically, the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge and tradition as ‘regimes of truth.’ Concepts such as ‘discovery’ and ‘claiming’ are discussed and an argument presented that the decolonization of research methods will help to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Now in its eagerly awaited second edition, this bestselling book has been substantially revised, with new case-studies and examples and important additions on new indigenous literature, the role of research in indigenous struggles for social justice, which brings this essential volume urgently up-to-date.” –Publisher description of Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples

Call #: GN380.S65 2012


Book cover:  Indigenous research--theories, practices, and relationships“Scholars understand what Indigenous research is, but how we practice Indigenous research ethically and respectfully in Canada is under exploration. This ground-breaking edited collection provides readers with concrete and in-depth examples of how to overcome the challenges of Indigenous research with respect to Indigenous worldviews, epistemologies, and ontology. In collaboration with their communities, and with guidance from Elders and other traditional knowledge keepers, each contributor links their personal narrative of Indigenous research to current discussions and debates. Accessible in nature, this interdisciplinary research tool is an essential read for all students and scholars in Indigenous Studies, as well as in the education, anthropology, sociology, and history research methodology classroom.” — Publisher description of Indigenous Research: Theories, Practices, and Relationships

Call #: E76.7.I53 2018

Book cover:  Research is ceremony -- indigenous research methods
“Indigenous researchers are knowledge seekers who work to progress Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing in a modern and constantly evolving context. This book describes a research paradigm shared by Indigenous scholars in Canada and Australia, and demonstrates how this paradigm can be put into practice. Relationships don’t just shape Indigenous reality, they are our reality. Indigenous researchers develop relationships with ideas in order to achieve enlightenment in the ceremony that is Indigenous research. Indigenous research is the ceremony of maintaining accountability to these relationships. For researchers to be accountable to all our relations, we must make careful choices in our selection of topics, methods of data collection, forms of analysis and finally in the way we present information. I’m an Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba currently living in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia. I’m also a father of three boys, a researcher, son, uncle, teacher, world traveller, knowledge keeper and knowledge seeker. As an educated Indian, I’ve spent much of my life straddling the Indigenous and academic worlds. Most of my time these days is spent teaching other Indigenous knowledge seekers (and my kids) how to accomplish this balancing act while still keeping both feet on the ground.” — Shawn Wilson, author of Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods

Call #: GN380.W554 2008

Want to see IRM in action? The library has access to many articles produced by researchers using IRM. Speak to your friendly reference librarians today if you’d like more information!

Citation, Citation, Citation

Citations are a big deal in academia. You want to be sure you carefully credit other scholars for the information they impart. Not only that, but there can be serious consequences for plagiarism, intentional or not. Fortunately, there are some citation resources available to you to make your bibliography as easy as possible.


First, if you’re unsure how to cite in the style your professor has requested, the library has many style guides available. Here are the APA guide, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the MLA handbook.

If you want online help, check out Purdue OWL. This is a resource created by Purdue University to provide step-by-step citation help for Chicago, MLA, APA, IEEE, and AMA styles.

Grad students and faculty can easily find themselves overwhelmed by the number of sources they have. There are a number of tools that can help you track and organize your sources and sometimes even help generate a bibliography. In fact, your library card gets you access to the freemium version of RefWorks. Learn more about citation tools in this LibGuide here.

The Writing Center at UAA is another great resource if you’re feeling lost about citations.

Finally, check out this guide to citations here. You don’t ever have to feel lost if you know where to find your information!

A Guide to Guides

Ever wondered what the guides on the library website are? Here’s a quick run-down of the 4 types of guides on the website.

1. Topic Guides

These are guides for library resources for specific subjects. For example, if you’re in a chem class and want to know what the library has to offer you, you can head to the Chemistry guide. There, you’ll find links to databases (in case your prof asks you to find articles), helpful study websites, and recommendations to other guides. Some of these guides may have book and eBook suggestions as well.

2. How-To Guides

These guides provide instruction on how to gain library and technology skills. There are guides on Blackboard, how to use Interlibrary Loan, information on copyright law, and much, much more.

3. Course Guides

These guides were created by subject librarians for specific courses. They are tailored to each class’s needs, but all will include website, book, and database recommendations. Check to see if your class is listed!

4. Archives & Special Collections Guides

These guides were created by archivists to describe historical papers in the Archives and Special Collection in the UAA/APU Consortium Library. You’ll find recommendations for collections of papers or records based on topic. If you want to use historical documents in research on the 1964 earthquake, tourism, or dog mushing (to list a few!), check out these guides first to find out what might be worth viewing in the archives’ research room.

TL;DR: Guides help you make sense of the many, many library resources available to you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are unsure of where to start research, check out a guide!