Patrick Power Library
How Do I...?
Helpful tips on how to get the most out of your library. If you see an item which could be included on the list please let us know at email@example.com.
How Do I...?
How do I use the library from home?
Saint Mary's students, faculty and staff can access the Novanet catalogue and most Saint Mary's library databases from off-campus. To access Novanet, click on the Novanet catalogue link on the Patrick Power Library homepage. To access databases, go to the Databases A-Z page from the library homepage and then click on a database. A log-in screen will appear. Login using your SMU Network username (e.g., s9876543) and password. Note: A few databases are accessible in the library or on campus only.
If you need assistance, call the Library's Information & Research desk at 420-5544.
To find a book, search the WorldCat catalogue to find out which Novanet libraries own the book, as well as where the book is shelved in those libraries:
- Click on the Library's homepage.
- Click on the "Books" tab to search only the book collection, and type the title of the book in the search box.
- The results are sorted to show the most relevant Saint Mary's holdings first.
- If your book appears, click on the title to see more information.
- If the book is available for loan from Saint Mary's, the item status will indicate "SMU General Loan." These books will be shelved on either the second or third floor of the library: books with call numbers A - PR 3999 are on the second floor; call numbers PR 4000 - Z are on the third floor; Oversized books are on the third floor; Reference books are shelved on the ground floor and are for "in library use only." New Books are shelved on the first floor and can be borrowed.
- If the book is available for loan from another Novanet library, you can go to that library and check out the book with your SMU ID card, or use Novanet Express to request that the book be delivered to Saint Mary's.
- If the book is only available outside the Novanet system, you can order the book through Interlibrary Loan.
For more information on searching the Novanet catalogue, try the Library's WordlCat Basic Search online tutorial. For help in finding your way around the library, including location maps of where books are shelved, view the Virtual Tour of the Library.
How do I find a journal article?
The Library's step-by-step guide to Finding Journal Articles has tips to help you select an appropriate database for your subject, formulate your search, evaluate your results and locate the articles you want to read. The Library also has several online tutorials on how to search databases, available on the Online Tutorials page.
The Patrick Power Library's Information & Research desk staff can also help you to select a database and find articles for your research (visit; call: 420-5544; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
To login to the library computers, use your SMU Network username (e.g., s9876543). This account is used to access campus computers, network drives, and SMUport. To activate your computer account, go to http://activate.smu.ca. For more information, please refer to the Information Technology Systems & Support Computers and Network page (see Computer Accounts).
How do I print in the Library?
The laser printers in the Reference area operate on the same print credits system as the computer labs. Laser printing costs $0.08 per page plus tax. If you would like to purchase more print credits go to the Circulation desk at the library. Double-sided printing is available. Printing to the Reference area printers from laptops is also available. See Wireless printing in the Library.
Users on guest machines print to the laser printer located at the Circulation Desk. Laser printing costs $0.10 per page plus tax.
Wireless network access is available throughout the library. For directions on how to configure your laptop for wireless access, please refer to the Information Technology Systems & Support page on Wireless Access on Campus.
The library has thirty laptop computers available for use within the library. Please refer to the Laptop Lending page for information on how to sign one out.
To check the status of your library account (e.g., check the due dates of books you have out on loan, renew books, etc.):
- Go to the Novanet catalogue.
- From the top menu, click "Login to your library account" and enter your University ID card's barcode number and your password - initially this is the last four digits of your phone number (if this doesn't work, contact the Circulation desk at 420-5547).
- You will now see a new link on the top menu: "My Library Account." Click on this link to see your information, including items on loan.
- Remember to logout of your account or close your browser window before leaving the computer.
How do I locate reserve materials for a course?
At the request of professors, course-related books are placed on reserve. Students may borrow material on a short-term loan from the Circulation desk, located near the Library's entrance.
To search for reserve materials, open Novanet from the library's homepage. Click on the "Reserves" tab at the top of the page. Type your search terms into the Search for box and then select a search type from the dropdown box (e.g., instructor, course name, department, title, author, etc.). Reserve materials are also listed in the Course Reserves binder located at the Circulation desk counter.
[Return to list]
How do I read call numbers?
A call number tells you exactly where to find a book in the library. Call numbers are shown in the Novanet catalogue record and printed on the spine or front cover of each book. To find a book on the shelf, read the call number one element at a time.
For example, to find a book with the call number PR 571 F79 1990, you would look for the first element (PR), then the second (571), then the third (F79)...until you find the exact spot on the shelf where the book belongs. For further help with call numbers, see the Patrick Power Library's guide or the Reading Call Numbers online tutorial.
Note: Books with call numbers A - PR 3999 are on the second floor; books with call numbers PR 4000 - Z are on the third floor; Oversized books are on the third floor; Reference books are shelved in the Reference Collection on the ground floor and are for "in library use only."
You can also search other libraries' catalogues separately. To search the catalogues of libraries outside of the Novanet system, use the Internet to locate the website of the library you want and click on the link to its catalogue. The Library maintains a selected list of links to the catalogues of local, regional, national, and world libraries. See Other Catalogues.
How do I find resources related to my subject?
To find reference sources, books, journal article indexes and databases, and suggested Internet resources related to a particular subject, see the Library's Subject Guides, or visit the Library's Information & Research desk.
[Return to list]
How do I recognize scholarly journal articles?
Many professors require that students use scholarly sources in their assignments. For key characteristics to help you identify scholarly publications, see the Library's Scholarly Journals vs Popular Magazines vs Trade Publications guide, or the Scholarly Journals online tutorial.
The Patrick Power Library's Information & Research desk staff can also help you to identify and locate scholarly sources for your research.
[Return to list]
How do I find good information on the World Wide Web?
Finding information on the World Wide Web is easy, but finding good information can often be a challenge. To help you with this, check out the following guides:
- Evaluating Internet Resources: Questions and Strategies: This guide will help you evaluate the quality of the information that you find on the web.
- Google: Learn how to use the Google search engine effectively to find information on the web.
- Google Scholar: Learn how to use Google Scholar to find scholarly materials on the web.
How do I cite sources properly?
When conducting research and writing papers, you will sometimes use direct quotations from the work of others. You may also summarize the ideas of other writers or paraphrase (put in your own words) things that you have read. Any time you use someone else's work (words, ideas, graphics, programs, etc.) you must acknowledge the source by documenting it. Different academic disciplines (e.g., psychology, English, etc.) require different styles or formats for citation and documentation. Some of these styles are APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association) and Chicago Style. Your professor will tell you which style to use.
To learn how to use these different styles properly, see the print and online resources listed on the Patrick Power Library's Style Guides and Citations page. You can manage your citations and generate bibliographies in a range of citation styles using RefWorks. For more help, visit the Writing Centre.
How do I format my thesis?
Format requirements and downloadable forms for the Major Research Project and Honours, Masters and PhD theses are available on the Saint Mary's University Archives site, under Theses.
[Return to list]
How do I get help with writing for my assignments?
See the Library's guides for help with annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, avoiding plagiarism, and more. You can also make an appointment for help at the Writing Centre.
[Return to list]
The Access Services Department has a student staff of 15 to 20 members who assist full-time staff in providing patron service at our Circulation Desk. Student Assistants are responsible for the biggest part of shelving and maintenance of the Library's collection. Candidates must be full time Saint Mary's students.
Student Assistants are scheduled for day, evening, and weekend hours. The average schedule is 10 hours per week.
Some of the qualities we look for include:
- A positive and responsible attitude
- Promptness and dependability
- A strong aptitude for customer service
- Ability to perform detailed tasks with and without supervision
- Ability to perform repetitive, but essential tasks
If you are interested in applying for a position at the Library, please watch for our postings at the Student Employment Centre: http://www.smu.ca/administration/sec/current.html.
The Library is pleased to receive gifts that contribute to the growth and development of our collections. Information for potential donors is found in the Library's Policy for Acceptance of Gifts.
How do I find answers to questions not included here?
Librarians and staff at the Patrick Power Library's Information & Research desk are happy to help you. If you require assistance, please consult the Information & Research desk staff in person, by calling 420-5544, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
[Return to list]