Our most common How-To's

Below you will find the steps or process for the most frequent user questions in the library.

If you are a currently enrolled UW Colleges student, you can access the library's electronic resources and online databases from home.

  1. Begin your search for electronic resources and online databases as you would on campus by visiting the library's website.
  2. Before you can access licensed material (databases, journal articles), you will be prompted to log in to the "proxy server" with your username and password.  This is the same username and password you use for email or D2L.
  3. After you log in, you will have access to all licensed online resources until you close your browser. You will be prompted to log in again each time you begin a new session in your internet browser.
  4. If you have trouble accessing electronic resources and online databases from home, contact a librarian.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that enables students, faculty, and staff to borrow materials not owned by UW-Barron County from other libraries. Before making a request always check Library Search to see if we already own the item. All correspondence, from the Interlibrary Loan office, will be sent to your official UW-Barron County e-mail account.

From another UW Two-Year or Four-Year Campus

 Go to Library Search, which contains the library records of all UW System Libraries.

  1. If you find an item you would like and it is located on another campus, click on the title to bring up the item record, then simply click "Get It" and click "Sign-in for more options."
  2. Choose "UW Colleges students/staff login here" and log in using your PRISM username and password.
  3. Click on "Local Request" to request from another two-year campus, or "UW Request" to request from a four-year campus.
  4. It's very important to select UW-Barron County as the pick up location.
  5. Click "Submit Request." You will be sent an email confirming your request and the item should arrive in 3-5 days.

Outside the UW System / Traditional Interlibrary loan (ILLiad)

ILLIad is a system you can use to request items, including journal articles, that are not available at UW-Barron County or in the UW System. ILLiad also allows you to track and renew your requests. All UW-Barron County students, faculty and staff have an ILLiad account (click on the ILLiad link to get started). We are able to fill requests for most materials that are owned by other libraries in the state. The amount of time it takes to receive materials from other libraries varies, but most items are received within one week. ILL materials may be picked up at the library and are due back within two weeks. Many journal articles are delivered electronically and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded using ILLiad. There is no charge for this service. Please talk to a librarian to get more information or to place a request.

How to request articles not available in full text

You should not have to pay for any articles you find. If an article is not full text within a database look for the "Find It" button. Clicking this button will search to see if the article is full text in another resource or you can request it via Interlibrary Loan. You will need your PRISM username and password to make a request. It takes about a week perhaps less if it's a widely owned publication.  Use our quick guide to help you through this very simple request process.

Did you know you can use the library catalog to find out what you have checked out? Here's how:

  1. Go to Library Search.
  2. Near the top right corner of the page, click on "Sign In."
  3. Choose "UW Colleges Student/Staff login here."
  4. Log in using your PRISM username and password.
  5. Click on "My Account" near the top right corner of the page.
  6. The items you have checked out will appear under "List of Active Loans." You may request renewal by checking the boxes next to the items you wish to renew and clicking on "Renew Selected." If the item is unable to be renewed, it will say "Not Renewable."
  7. You can also see what you have checked out in the past (and already returned) by clicking on "List of Historic Loans."
  8. Contact your librarian if you need assistance with your account.

When doing research, it is extremely important to evaluate sources for accuracy and appropriateness for your assignment. Many sources of information, especially those found on the internet, may be inaccurate or contain certain biases. Use the information below to help you through this process, or ask a librarian!

Evaluating Sources

Note the type of publication

  • Scholarly and authoritative sources (scholarly journals) are generally the most reliable. These sources are written by people who have credentials in the field in which you are researching.
  • Scholarly sources are usually peer reviewed (refereed). This means they are evaluated or critiqued by researchers and experts before publication.
  • Other sources (websites, newspapers, magazines) may also be reliable, but can be more difficult to determine accuracy.

Check the author's credentials

  • Look at past publications, work history, education background, and any professional associations the author might belong to.
  • Sometimes, this information is summarized within an article.
  • Note any potential bias the author might have.

Check the publication date and/or edition number

  • Is the source current or out of date?
  • Has the source been revised or republished?

Is the information accurate?

  • Does the author cite sources?
  • Are there obvious errors in spelling or punctuation?
  • Can you verify the information in another reliable source?

More Information
UWBC Online Research Guide 

Good Source or No? (PDF) - How to evaluate sources and identify reliable information

Scholarly Journals vs. Magazines (PDF) - An easy-to-read chart illustrating the differences between various types of periodicals

Searching for Materials

To find materials, use Library Search, the UW System's library catalog.

Helpful Searching Hints:

  • Spelling is important. Be sure to spell all words correctly, or your search may end with zero results.
  • The catalog automatically searches all UW System Libraries.
  • If you have trouble finding materials in the catalog, ask a librarian!

To find an item on the library's shelves:

  1. Once you have found an available item of interest in the catalog, write down the item's call number. The call number is a series of letters and numbers that describe the item's location in the library.
  2. When using Library Search, you will find the item's call number by clicking on "Locations" for a particular item.
  3. When you are ready to find your item, use the signs at the end of each shelf to find where your call number is located.
  4. You'll find more information about Library of Congress Call numbers below.

Library of Congress Call Numbers

The library uses the Library of Congress System, which is very different from the Dewey Decimal System. Colleges and universities often use Library of Congress call numbers, while schools and public libraries often use Dewey Decimal call numbers.

How call numbers work - Use this guide to help you make sense of call numbers and find your item on the shelf.

Anatomy of a Call Number:

Book Title: Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam
Author: Daniel C. Hallin
Call Number: DS559.46 .H35 1986

The first two lines describe the subject of the book (e.g. DS559.45 = Vietnamese Conflict)
The third line often represents the author’s last name (e.g. H = Hallin)
The last line represents the date of publication.

We want to hear from you

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter a valid phone number

Please enter a message