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Doing Research Remotely: A Guide for Students

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

This guide provides you with information on how to access library services and resources remotely. It provides answers to frequently asked questions, such as

  • How do I make an appointment with a librarian?
  • How do I check out books? How do I access items on reserve?
  • How do I access research databases? 

Contact Us

If you need anything related to your research or your course, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us. We're available!

Rob Walsh 

Yoli Bergstrom-Lynch

Jeff Liszka

Joelle Thomas

Mary Mahoney 

1. HOW DO I MEET WITH A LIBRARIAN?

 

While research librarians are not on campus this semester, we are here to provide virtual support for your research. Please make an appointment with us, just as you always have.

Instead of meeting in-person, we will meet remotely (typically via Zoom).  After you schedule your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for connecting with a librarian during your scheduled time. Don’t worry, the experience will be pretty much the same as meeting in-person.

As you likely know, many of your courses will also meet via Zoom. You can use Zoom with your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, but keep in mind that Zoom works best with a web camera and a microphone (most recent laptops and Chromebooks have these, as well as smartphones and tablets).

It's a good idea to setup up your Zoom account and download the desktop application for Zoom before your classes begin. Logging into Zoom with your Trinity credentials gets you access to Zoom Pro features, so make sure you follow the instructions!

2. HOW DO I ACCESS LIBRARY DATABASES?

Research databases for journal articles, e-books, etc. are accessible off campus. 

These are arranged in an A-Z list by database title. You may also search databases by name and subject within the A-Z list. You will be prompted to sign in with your Trinity username and password to access the full content of the databases. Check our step-by-step guide to accessing library databases off campus.

The Raether LITC also maintains a list of online subject and course guides to assist you in your research. Included within these are tools for citing sources.

Librarians will assist you with services, research and resources. Please feel free to contact us via email with any questions.

3. CAN I USE GOOGLE SCHOLAR FOR MY RESEARCH?

If you choose to use Google Scholar for research, then follow these instructions to make sure Google Scholar pulls resources from some of our library databases 

 

4. CAN I CHECK OUT A BOOK THAT'S AT TRINITY?

The library's book stacks will be open during Fall 2020, and you can check print books out using the self-checkout station, which is next to the Information Services Desk on Level A. You will need your Trinity ID.

Many print books in our collection are also available in e-book format. Is there an e-book you need that is not currently available? Please complete the purchase request form and we will see if it is possible to purchase an e-book version.

E-books are easy to access, and you can read entire books, or sections of them, on most mobile devices. Check out our step-by-step instructions to accessing e-books from off campus.

5. CAN I STILL BORROW BOOKS FROM WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY AND CONNECTICUT COLLEGE?

Borrowing of material from Connecticut College and Wesleyan University (CTW Borrowing) will be available during Fall 2020. However, there may be delays because of COVID-19 service adjustments across the CTW consortium.  

Before you request a book from either of those schools, we encourage you to check whether we own a copy in e-book format. If we don't, please complete the purchase request form and we will see if it is possible to purchase an e-book version.

6. CAN MY LOCAL LIBRARY HELP ME?

If you are completely off campus this fall, your local library may be able to help you obtain print materials, if they are open and filling requests. For most local libraries, you just need a library card from that library. In some cases college and university libraries nearby may also help with resources like books and databases. However, many of these are also severely restricted and/or closed to visitors and guests due to COVID-19. 

Check with each library to see what services are available to you. 

7. HOW DO I ACCESS MATERIAL THAT MY PROFESSOR PUT ON COURSE RESERVE?

All material on course reserve this semester (readings, videos, and sound recordings) will be only be accessible online, typically through your Moodle course page. If you have any questions about what is on reserve for your course or how to access the material, we encourage you to begin by talking with your professor. 

 

8. I DON'T HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION. HOW DO I ATTEND CLASS AND DO RESEARCH?

When you are on campus, you have access to all library resources, as well Moodle and Zoom. Should you have an issue accessing anything, connect with the Information Services Desk.

If you are off campus and do not have a home internet connection, know that most library resources can be accessed from a mobile device with a cellular data connection (e.g. 4G). The same is true for Moodle and Zoom, both of which have mobile apps that can be found in the Google or Apple App stores.

Depending on geography or mobile data plan, you may not have access to a cellular data network. If this is the case, you have a few options.

  • Some towns and cities are offering free WiFi access outside of municipal buildings (e.g. town halls, libraries). Check your town or city's government website for more information.
  • Call the library and ask to be put in touch with a Research Librarian. While we are not on campus, we will quickly call you back. We can work through your research project over the phone, and use various means (including mail) to deliver articles and other materials.