Santa Monica College Library


Guide to Library Research


Library I class - 1 unit

Transfer: UC and CSU





Academic Libraries

(colleges and universities)




Community College Libraries



·        Relatively small collections

·        Very closely tied to the college’s course offerings

·        Focus on current materials.




University Libraries


·        Much larger collections

·        Support undergraduates and graduate students

·        Support faculty research




Other Types of Libraries



1.     Public Libraries – serving the community – popular reading.

2.     School Libraries – serving K-12 students and teachers.


3.     Special Libraries – serving businesses and organizations – staff, employees.


4.     National Libraries 




Three things most libraries have in common


1.     Reference Librarians – professionals - assist with research


2.      Call Numbers: books arranged on shelves by Subject. 


Academic Libraries: Library of Congress (L.C.) Call Numbers

Public Libraries or School Libraries: Dewey Decimal Numbers.


3.     Catalog – card catalog or  online catalog

Access Points (searchable fields):

  • Author

  • Title

  •  Subject



Library Services


Most libraries offer the following services:


1.     Library Instruction

2.     Reference Librarians

3.     Reference Books - sometimes in a separate collection - cannot be borrowed

3.     Reserve- textbooks and other materials set aside by an instructor

4.     Interlibrary Loan -  (not available at SMC)

5.     Circulation 

  • Check out books

  • Reserve - Textbooks

  • Money changing - collect fines

  • Group Study Rooms


Link to: Glossary of Library Terms



SMC Library Collections


1.     Electronic Books

2.     Popular Books

3.     Stacks – circulating collection

4.     Reference Books – non-circulating

5.     Archives – history of the college

6.     Reserve materials

7.     DVDs and Videos

8.     Library Databases

Return to:  Call Numbers (L.C.)

Return to: Citing Sources MLA Style

Return to: SMC Library Frequently Asked Questions

Return to: Glossary of Library Terms

Return to Guide to Library Research

Return to: Library I Syllabus

Return to: Library of Congress Call Numbers Outline

Return to: Primary vs Secondary Sources

Return to: Sample Works Cited Page

Return to: YouTube - SMC Screencasts

Return to: YouTube - Library Research



Links to Worksheets


Academic Search Premier - Worksheet

Almanac - Worksheet

Atlas - Worksheet

Boolean Search Library Catalog - Worksheet

Find Book - Search SMC Catalog - Worksheet

Call Number - Worksheet

Country Watch Worksheet

Current Biography -Worksheet

Database - Worksheet

Dictionary - Worksheet

Encyclopedia - Worksheet

JSTOR - Worksheet

Newspaper Article - Worksheet

Website - Worksheet



Santa Monica College Library

1900 Pico Blvd.

Santa Monica, CA 90405

Tel. 310-434-4254


Last Update:  19-Dec-2017   mp

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