What are you looking for? And where do you find it?
Questions on where to start are often hard to answer since there are so many starting points on the library homepage!
Should I start with Omni, the library catalogue, or with a database, or a research guide? What's the difference?
Quite literaly, the answer is up to you. Your starting point will vary, based on your need, your experience with the resource, and with your instincts. There is no right or wrong way. As you become more familiar with what's on offer, and what it offers, you will become more strategic.
Omni, the library catalogue is an excellent starting point.
Many databases offer a broad range of subjects in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, and there are other databases structured to inform on a specific discipline. Learning to navigate a database is key to finding what you need. The platforms look different, but the functionality of the features are quite similar. Use the advanced search option, pay attention to the fields you search in, and use the operators. Operators are signals to the system to parse out a different set of results. The three main operators are AND, OR, NOT. Essential to their capital letter format for the system to recognize it as an operator, and not as a regular word. AND combines ideas, for example, ecology AND metaphor. OR expands the search by grouping like-minded ideas together, for example, river OR stream OR lake. NOT is used if a term that you are not interested in keeps showing up in your results. For example, if you are interested in "creepy crawlers" but not zombies, yet zombies continue to populate your results, you could search for "creepy crawlers" NOT zombies. Notice the use of double quotes for "creepy crawlers". The system will conduct a phrase search for two or more words contained within the double quotes. For example, "climate change", "invasive species", "food security". Single words do not need the double quote format.
Contact me for assistance with searching a database, and getting the most out of it.
It is often useful to skim the references to find more information on your topic. Many of these references are available in the library collections.