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Student Resources: Getting Started

Welcome to the University Libraries! We have many services and resources to help you succeed.

Library 101

Using the library and finding resources can be confusing and overwhelming at first. This might be especially true if you are an online student! We created a Brightspace tutorial to help you get started with using the library and locating the resources you need to successfully complete your coursework.

Library 101

Librarians Can Help

Need help finding and evaluating sources? Having trouble citing in MLA or APA? Schedule a Research Consultation for expert librarian assistance!

Accessing Online Reources

Much of the University of Akron Libraries’ collections are accessible online in the form of databases, ebooks and ejournals. You may access the collections and resources from the UL homepage . If you are using the resources remotely (e.g. from home or anywhere not on campus), you will be prompted for your UANet ID and password.

  • To select a database to search, navigate to the A-Z Database list.
  • To search multiple databases at once, navigate to ZipSearch.
  • To search for books, journals, and more, navigate to the Library Catalog.
  • To find and browse e-journals, navigate to Publication Finder.
  • To browse subject guides and self-service answers, navigate to LibGuides.
  • For all other questions, please Contact Us!

Library Glossary

What are they talking about? Common library terminology can help you figure it out.

  • Call number: a set of letters and numbers identifying a particular item in a library collection. Most university libraries (including UA) use the Library of Congress Classification. Most public libraries use the Dewey Decimal Classification.


  • Collection: refers mainly to the location of the item but also can tell you whether or not you may check it out. There are several main collections: Course Reserves, Curriculum, General Collections, Government Documents, Media, Online, Periodicals, Reference, Special Collections. Periodicals, Reference, and Special Collections materials may not leave the building.


  • Course reserves: materials held for instructors for students in a class. These items can usually be checked out for a short time period. Find your call number in the Course Reserves Look up and head to the 1st floor desk to check it out.



  • Journal: a periodical containing articles and current information on research and development in a particular area of study. Journals may be more like a magazine or they may be academic in nature. See the How to Research tab in this guide for more information on academic/scholarly, peer-reviewed, and refereed journals.


  • Library catalog: a collection of records that represent materials owned or accessed by a library. This is essentially a list of all of the books, media, maps, journals, and documents that we own or that you can access through your UA Library.


  • Microformat: microfiche (4 by 6 inch cards) or microfilm (a roll of film) - printed items reduced in size by photographic method.


  • Periodical: an item published at regular intervals, such as a magazine, journal, or newspaper.


  • Research database: provides descriptive information (title, author, date, subjects, summary or abstract) for periodical articles and other information. Many databases also contain the full-text of the articles.