Library Services for International Students

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Library Terms

Abstract: A summary or brief description of the content of a longer work like a book or journal article.

Argos: The search discovery tool of the library, it is the “Google” of our resources, searches for books and articles

Article: A brief work—generally between 1 and 35 pages in length—on a topic. Often published as part of a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

Bibliography: A list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document.

Call number: A group of letters and/or numbers that identifies a specific item in a library and provides a way for organizing library materials.  Books and journals are organized by call number using the Library of Congress system of classification.  DVDs are assigned a number as they are received; use the DVD number to ask for a film at our Multimedia services desk. Here is a list to browse.  Find the call number by searching ARGOS.  The book will include a map showing what floor the library is on. If you need help locating a book, journal or DVD, stop by the Research Help desk.

Catalog: An online database listing and describing the books, journals, government documents, films and other materials held by a library.  Use ARGOS to search our catalog.  Choose Catalog from the drop-down menu to search our catalog but not our databases.

Check-out: To borrow an item from a library for a fixed period of time in order to read, listen to, or view it. Books, laptops, equiptment, and supplies (scissors, markers, flash drives) are checked out at the Circulation Desk  Books circulate for a whole semester with two renewals (if another student recalls it, you would have to bring it back sooner).  DVDs and CDs can be checked out for 7 days with two renewals.

Circulation desk: The place in the library where you check-out, renew, and return library materials. You may also place a hold, report an item missing from the shelves, or pay late fees at this desk.

Citation: A reference to a book, magazine or journal article, or other work containing all the information necessary to identify and locate that work. A citation to a book includes its author's name, title, publisher and place of publication, and date of publication.

Course Reserve: Select books, articles, DVDs, or other materials that instructors want students to read or view for a particular course. These materials are usually kept in one area of the library and circulate for only a short period of time.

Database: A collection of information stored in an electronic format that can be searched by a computer.

Dissertation: An extended written treatment of a subject (like a book) submitted by a graduate student as a requirement for a doctorate.

Interlibrary Loan: A free service that allows you to borrow books from other libraries in the United States and across the world.

Journal: A publication, issued on a regular basis, which contains scholarly research published as articles, papers, research reports, or technical reports.

Keyword: To use one or two words that best describe a research topic when searching the catalog or databases.

Open Stacks:  The stacks are open for you to browse for books and journals.  DVDs are found behind the Multimedia Desk.  Provide the student worker with  DVD number from the catalog; they'll pull the DVD and check it out for you.

Peer Review: A process by which experts in a field review articles submitted to academic journals before they are published. Peer review helps to ensure the quality and reliability of journal articles.  Sometimes professors will ask you to find peer reviewed artices; they may also ask for scholarly or academic articles.

Plagiarism: Using the words or ideas of others without acknowledging the original source.

Primary source: An original record of events, such as a diary, a newspaper article, a public record, or scientific documentation.

Reference: A service that helps people find needed information. The Research Help desk is staffed by librarians who answer questions about the library or library research. You have a personal subject librarian based on your field of study.  Email your librarian research questions or request a meeting for a consultation; they'll assist you in finding information for your paper.

Reference books: A collection of books such as encyclopedias, indexes, handbooks, directories that are used for research. Reference books must stay in the library and are not available for check-out. They are located in the Reference Stacks.

Secondary sources: Materials such as books and journal articles that analyze primary sources. Secondary sources usually provide evaluation or interpretation of data or evidence found in original research or documents such as historical manuscripts or memoirs.

Textbooks:  Books designed to support a course assigned by faculty that are available in the bookstore.  As they tend to be frequently updated and expensive, the library does not generally purchase them (but it is worth checking the catalog).   If they are too expensive for you, ask you professor to put a copy on Reserves in the library or consider renting a textbook (ask at the bookstore). 

Google Pathfinder Template

Copy and paste this template into your own Google Doc or MS Word page.  


Finding Books in Non-English Languages

Search for books in other languages in the library using the advanced search option in our ARGOS and limit to the language of your choice.  Limit the Search Scope: to the Catalog only.

Searching for Articles Using Another Language

If English is not your first language, or you simply want to try search library databases in a different language.

EBSCO Research Library : Select your preferred language under the Languages tab:

General OneFile  Click on English to see other language options.

LexisNexis: Under News, select Foreign Language:

Proquest:  EITHER type the letters "la" followed by the language you want in parentheses ex la(french) OR check the box of the language you want in the bottom right..


Finding Ebooks in Non-English Languages

Use Ebook Central (formerly ebrary)  for full-text ebooks.

Change the language of your search by using the drop-down menu on the top bar.

In the view below, Spanish has been selected:

Ebrary also has some ebooks with the text in a non-English language.  To see available titles, select a language from the menu in the Advanced Search option:


Using Text-to-Speech Services

Several of the Library's databases offer TEXT-TO-SPEECH capabilities - you can listen to the article or the ebook being read out loud.

Ebsco Databases:

Locate an article in HTML format you would like to have read to you.

From the Accent Drop-Down Menu, select an accent in which you would like the article to be read.

From the settings icon (the wheel),  you can select a reading speed.  Check the Listen Button to hear the article read aloud.


From the download arrow icon,  you can download an MP3 file of the article being read to your computer.

Note:  The Listen and Download MP3 functions are also available in the Academic OneFile Database.

Click the Help Link  to view instructions on using Text-to-Speech in your browser window. For more information, see EBSCO Help.

You can also highlight the text you want read aloud and click Listen.


Click on the Link to open the article and Go to "View" in the Menu Bar

Chose "Read Out Loud" and Click on "Activate Read Out Loud"

Contact Us

picture of Kelly Hallisy
Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198
picture of Cathy Michael
Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293
picture of Jennifer Richards
Fine Arts Librarian
(607) 274-1199

Search Argos

Ask a Librarian

For help with your research projects, our subject librarians are here to assist! 

Your Library Accounts

Your IC Library Account

  • Login in with ID information
  • See what you have on your account
  • Renew items online

Your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Account

  • Get materials from other libraries
  • ILL is free
  • ILL will take time

DVDs with Closed Captions

Many of the DVD titles in the Library's collection are available with Close Captioning and English subtitles.  All media is available at the Multimedia Services Desk.  Viewing and Listening Stations with DVD and CD players are available next to Multimedia Services.  

Headphones are available at the Main Circulation Desk.  

DVDs with closed captions.

International Newspapers

News feeds from 300 European newspapers, organized by country

Finding ESL Books

For ESL Speakers, our library has a collection of books designed to help you learn English:
  English Language - Textbooks for Foreign Speakers 

TOEFL Practice Sites

These sites provide interactive TOEFL practice vocabulary quizzes.

TOEFL Vocabulary Test

TOEFL Vocabulary Practice Quiz