Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Frequently Asked Questions Categories

Library Research

I need to find information for a homework assignment. Can somebody help me?

Yes, Library staff are available to help you find information during all open library hours. Working together, we can find materials for your assignment.

If you can't make it to the Weed campus, you can:

  • call us during open hours at (530) 938-5331
  • ask us questions online through our web site

There are many ways that you can contact us, so please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help you!

Any suggestions for improving my search results in the catalog/databases?

Searching the catalog and in the Library's databases isn't always quite as easy as searching with Google. The Library has many handouts and video tutorials on how to use the library catalog and databases, and many more research tips on our Research Help page. As always, library staff is also happy to answer questions.

How do I find a book in the Library?

To find books (or any other item physically in the library), you will need to use the library catalog which is the handy search box in the middle of our home page. Take a few minutes and watch the video tutorials on using the library catalog on our Research Help page to see how it works.

How do I find an ebook?

You can search for and link directly to our ebooks using the library catalog. You can also visit the ebook collections individually from our Articles and Databases page. The names of our ebook collections are:

  • Credo Reference
  • Ebook Central
  • EBSCO eBook Collection
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Searching these collections individually (rather than through the catalog) allows you to search the full text of the ebooks for your search terms.

How can I find magazine and journal articles?

There are three ways:

  1. Most efficient: You can visit the Library's Articles and Databases page and choose the individual database you want to search. This gives you the most powerful search options and you will find more information than you would by searching in the library catalog. There are database searching tips on the Library's Research Help page.
  2. You can search for articles online through the library catalog. The Library has a video tutorial on finding articles in the catalog on our Research Help page.
    Please note that the catalog cannot find all available database articles. If you are not happy with your search results through the catalog, or if you want to do a comprehensive search right from the start, visit the Library's Articles and Databases page and search the databases directly (see #1).
  3. Least efficient (but fun): You can come to the Library, find a comfy chair in "the Loft", and browse through our print magazines for interesting articles. The current magazine issues must be used in the Library but older issues can be checked out and taken home; they can also be sent to the Yreka campus on request.

How can I find local newspaper articles?

The Library has current subscriptions to:

  • The Siskiyou Daily News
  • The Weed Press
  • The Mount Shasta Herald
  • The Dunsmuir News
  • The Record Searchlight (Redding)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle

We have microfilm copies of these and many older local newspapers. Please contact the Library if you have any questions about finding local newspaper articles.

Use our A-Z List of eJournals to see if we have the non-local newspaper you want in our databases.

I have a citation for an article. How do I know if the Library has it?

You can look at our A-Z List of Print Journals to find out if we have a paper copy, or our A-Z List of eJournals to see if we have access to through our online databases. Look at the appropriate list to see if we have the journal title you want, then check to see if we have coverage for the date of your article. As always, feel free to contact the Library for help!

The Library doesn't have a copy of the book/article/other material that I want for my research. Can the Library borrow a copy for me from another library?

Yes, libraries call this type of borrowing Interlibrary Loan (ILL). For more information about the types of materials you can borrow, how long it might take, and other questions, read our Inerlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs.

I'm having problems accessing the online databases from home. What's wrong?

To use the databases from off campus, you need to log in with your library card barcode number and password. Here are some trouble-shooting tips:

  • You must have a COS Library card; apply for a card online if you don't already have one.
  • You must be a current COS student. Your card will be deactivated any semester you are not taking classes (including summer and winter sessions) and during time off between semesters.
  • Make sure you typed in all 14 digits (with no spaces) of your library barcode number.
  • Make sure you didn't make a typo in those 14 digits.
  • You need to manually create your library password. It is not automatically linked to your other COS accounts and there is no default library password.
  • If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it.
  • Check our home page for an "outage" message. Sometimes our databases are down for maintenance.

Still having problems? Please stop by, call (530) 938-5331, or contact the library online. We'll be glad to help you.

Why are the databases saying that I'm "blocked" when I try to log on from home?

If you try and fail to log in three times in a row, then the system will block you from trying again. You will only be blocked for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes you can try logging in again.

See our troubleshooting tips if you are having trouble logging in.

Does the Library offer any classes on how to do research?

The Library does not currently offer a class for credit. If you are in a class with a research assignment, your instructor may arrange for a visit by a Librarian. You are always welcome to contact the Library for more information: we are happy to share what we know about the research process, our collection, and how to use it to find materials. Just ask!