Subjects: General Guides

Learning About the Library

The Scarborough Library offers a variety of research guides to teach students how to use the library and what resources it offers. Here are some guides with information about the Scarborough Library and its services:

A Library Q&A

What is a research guide?

A research guide, like this one, is intended to help you become familiar with the Scarborough Library and its resources. Many subject-specific research guides are available to help students in particular classes or programs of study. You may search for a specific research guide from the library homepage. To browse all of our guides by subject, click here.

Why can't I just use Google to find resources?

Not all free resources on the Internet are reliable. Your research is much more likely to be accurate it you start by searching the online catalogs and databases offered by the Scarborough Library. Once you become familiar with your subject and how to search for it, you are more likely to know how to effectively find resources with a search engine like Google.

What if I am not sure how to find what I need? 

You can meet with or contact the librarians below:

Business and Social Sciences

Nursing, HPERS, and Education
Arts & Humanities (interim)

Science, Computer Science, and Math


Laura Neal


Rhonda Donaldson


Yanhong Wang






How do I find books?

You can search the Scarborough Library collections for books, CDs, DVDs, and more using MAX, our computer catalog.

Can I reserve books ahead of time?

Yes. The library's FETCH! service pulls books that have been requested online and places them on the hold shelf at the public services desk, where students may pick them up using a Rambler card.

What if the library does not have a book that I need?

The Scarborough Library offers an interlibrary loan (ILL) service, which allows you to request that a book be sent from another library that has the item in its collection. Generally you will receive books in one to two weeks.


How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

"Peer reviewed" means that an article was reviewed by scholars in the same field to ensure its quality. You can select the peer-reviewed journals option when searching for articles in a database, or you can research the journal that an article comes from.

What is the difference between journals and databases?

Journals are individual publications that usually focus on one area of research. Databases include articles from many different journals. Some databases focus on a specific subject--medicine, for example. Others index a certain kind of article (LexisNexis Academic, for instance, mostly includes newspaper articles).

How do I find out if the library has a specific journal?

You can look for the title of the journal you need on the Scarborough Library's homepage. Select "Research" then "Journal titles" search.

How do I know what databases the library has?

You can check our Electronic Resources guide.

How do I access databases if I am off campus?

You should access the database from the Scarborough Library website. Use your Sakai username and password, and you will be able to enter.

What if I can't find an article that I am looking for?

You can request articles through interlibrary loan, as well. Since most articles are sent electronically, they usually arrive within one week.