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Arts 130: Black and Free: University level research

A Library guide supporting Dr. Keleta-Mae's Arts130 section

A new approach to research

Doing research at the university level is unlike the research you have done before.  As such, it will require us to pay attention to the research process as we have not before.

Did you know? Most catalogues and scholarly databases don’t use the same search language as search engines like Google. In fact, many require specifically crafted search questions. 

So what? The skills that you have developed previously will have limited application in the academic sphere. You will need to spend more time preparing to search than you have had to before. 

Did you know? Scholar’s talk to each other and build on each other’s work. This an important part of the reason why referencing is so important.  It can be hard to tell when you need to cite a source and even more so when you need to go outside course material to support your argument.

So what? When and how you use the work of other academics is going to be much more important than ever before.  You will have to put much more scrutiny and thought into your sources. 

Did you know? As a university student you are a participant in scholarly communication. Maybe so far you have just been the recipient of knowledge creation and communication, but as you progress through this class and this degree you will be asked not only to receive information but to seek it out, to respond to it, to judge it and, inevitably CREATE it. 

SO? We better get good at navigating our way through academic information.  The Library is here to help.


Below you will find links to access some of the core Library services.  

Library Locations

Our buildings are physical spaces where you can come to learn and spend time.  In our facilities we have a number of resources, some commonly used ones are: 


Liaison Librarians are a team of research process experts specialized by discipline. They teach and  provide research support ranging from discovering and locating sources through to the evaluation and incorporation of academic information. 


The Library Collection

Your WatCard is your library card which allows you to borrow material from the library. 

We also have access to the collections of other universities

  • Tri-University Group – The Laurier and Guelph collections will be automatically searched when you use the Waterloo catalogue. 
  • Inter-Library Loan — A wide array of university catalogues and request a portion of a book be scanned and sent to you. 

The Library Website

The Library website is a gateway to many of the Library's services.  Some common uses of the website include: