High Point University announced recently that Spring Break will be extended another week and classes will be moving online the following week in order to do our part to help “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 outbreak. Librarians have since been working to ensure that the campus community has access to the information and resources needed for a smooth transition to remote learning.
Fortunately, we are more than equipped to provide the same level of point-of-need content and services virtually as we are face-to-face. From hundreds of article databases to more than 400,000 eBooks to user-friendly sources of streaming video content, you can find and access what you need, when you need it, from wherever you happen to be.
Read on for our top 5 tips for accessing library resources from off-campus.
1. Start your research on the library website.
2. CLOSE eBooks when finished and DON’T download an entire eBook in library databases.
The sources listed on our homepage offer access to hundreds of thousands of up-to-date eBook titles, but not every eBook title offers “unlimited” user access. In order to be considerate of your classmates–when you see both a “read online” or “PDF full text” button and a download option, always choose the PDF reader over the full download for eBook titles. This is because some titles only allow one viewer at a time, and if you download the book it checks it out to you for a period of time. If you view it online, you can then close the window when you are done and your classmates will have access to the title after you.
3. Save yourself time by using the “automatic citation generators” in library databases, and by saving “permalinks.”
Did you know that most library databases have built-in citation machines? Just look in the margins of the article or book record for a button called “cite,” “download citation,” or an icon that looks like quotation marks. Most are able to toggle between the major citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago style. (The library also provides online citation guides to help you format papers and cite sources.)
Saving the correct link to library resources is also important. When you are logged in via the library proxy through the homepage, the link in your browser is often temporary and linked to your session. This means that it will expire–it won’t work later and it may not even indicate which resource you accessed. Always look for the permalink, sometimes called the “document URL,” “bookmark URL,” or “stable URL.” Unlike browser links, permalinks never expire and they will also work from off-campus.
4. If you are feeling stressed, read an eBook (or listen to an audiobook) for fun.
This is a stressful time for everyone, but together we will get through this. After you complete your assignments for class, you may find you have more “down time” than usual. Feel free to indulge in some “me” time by checking out a popular eBook or audiobook from our OverDrive collection.
5. Don’t be shy–librarians are still online to support you!
Our synchronous virtual reference service (the “chat” box on the library pages) is a popular resource even without the constraints of a pandemic. HPU librarians continue to be available on chat to help with your research, general library inquiries or access issues as they arise. We also offer help via e-mail and telephone, as well as a system where you can schedule a virtual appointment for in-depth help.