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Hope Library Guides

Peer Assisted Learning: Hope College Sample Training Exercises: January 25th

This is a sample of the training exercises designed for the first year of our new training scheme. The first semester the exercises were housed almost exclusively within the LibGuide. The second semester we began migrating content into our Content Manag

Item Access Exercise

Log into Moodle and go to the Item Access Quiz.  You will be given images or verbal descriptions of the citations that a "patron" brings to you at the desk.  For each item, describe what you would tell the patron, including answers to each of the following questions:

  1. What kind of item is it (article, book, DVD, etc)
  2. Do we have access to this item either in print or electronically?  If yes, say what format
  3. If we have it, provide a link to the electronic item or a link to the HopeCat record that shows where it is.
  4. If we don't have it, what would you tell the patron their options are?

Note, these will be manually graved by your mentors, so there will not be immediate feedback.

If you need a review, below are the tutorials shared last semester on how to search a known item.

DUE February 8th

HEADS UP - since you all share a computer, there may be an issue of Moodle staying logged in under a different student's name after they have left.  Make sure that you are correctly logged into Moodle under your name.

Print Access Review

We all get rusty, so here's a chance to get old school again and practice locating print periodical articles in the collection!  Each of you is assigned two citations, one in a print bound journal and one in microfiche.  Locate the articles and copy/print the first page of each article.  Turn them in to your mentor in print or upload them to the Moodle Assignment.

Andrea - Boraiko, Allen A. “A Splendid Light: Lasers.” National Geographic 165 (March 1984): 334–63. 

Borrus, Amy. “Tokyo Unveils This Year’s ‘Buy American’ Plan.” Business Week 15 Jan. 1990: 38–39. Print.

Ismael - Butler, Michael J. A. “Plight of the Bluefin Tuna.” National Geographic 162 (August 1982): 220–39.

Burns, Greg. “The New Economics of Food.” Business Week 20 May 1996: 78+. Print.

Zoe - Cochran, Doris Mabel. “Our Snake Friends and Foes.” National Geographic 106 (September 1954): 334–64.

Garland, Susan B. “Justice vs. Microsoft: Why It Has a Case.” Business Week 17 Nov. 1997: 147–147. Print.
Clarisa - Dunlap, M. P. “Outwitting the Water Demons of Kashmir.” National Geographic 40 (November 1921): 499–511.
Greising, David, and Ann Therese Palmer. “America’s Pastime. Yeah, Right.” Business Week 5 June 1995: 40–40. Print.
Colton - Johnston, Harry Hamilton Sir 1858-1927. “Where Roosevelt Will Hunt.” National Geographic 20 (March 1909): 207–56.
Hamilton, Joan O’C. “Who Told You You Could Sell My Spleen?” J. Moore’s cell line case against UCLA 23 Apr. 1990: 38–38. Print.
Allie - Ketcham, Walter E. “Dipo, the Little Desert Kangaroo.” National Geographic 78 (October 1940): 537–48.
Leonhardt, David. “McDonald’s: Can It Regain Its Golden Touch?” Business Week 9 Mar. 1998: 70+. Print.
Kim - Klingman, Lawrence L. “Incredible Andorra.” National Geographic 96 (August 1949): 262–90.
Rossant, John, and Amy Borrus. “Iran’s Warm Front Reaches All the Way to the U.S.” Business Week 17 June 1991: 46–47. Print.
Benjamin - Knight, C. W. R. “Photographing the Nest Life of the Osprey.” National Geographic 62 (August 1932): 247–60.
Weiss, Stuart. “How Does the Street Spell Relief? G-R-E-E-N-S-P-a-N.” Business Week 22 June 1987: 122–123. Print.
Laurel - Link, Marion Clayton. “Exploring the Drowned City of Port Royal.” National Geographic 117 (February 1960): 151–83.
Welles, Chris. “America’s Gambling Fever.” Business Week 24 Apr. 1989: 112. Print.
Reinie - Pickerell, James H. “Dory on the Banks.” National Geographic 133 (March 1968): 572–83.
Wildstrom, Stephen H. “The Palmtop Comes of Age.” Business Week 13 Mar. 1995: 20–20. Print.
Gabbie - Simpich, Frederick. “Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.” National Geographic 52 (September 1927): 243–89.
Woodruff, David, Larry Armstrong, and John Carey. “Electric Cars.” Business Week 30 May 1994: 104. Print.
Xavier - Taylor, Alexander. “Chessmen Come to Life in Marostica.” Italy 110 (November 1956): 658–68.
“A BOOSTER FOR BIOTECH.” Business Week 17 May 1999: 92. Print.

Finding Items in PRIMO - Advanced

Beyond the basic searches that you practiced in the previous exercise, here are some of the challenges that might come up when looking for a known item.

1.  The patron missed that it was an ebook - sometimes patrons will go looking for a book on the shelf, when in reality the book is only available as an electronic book.  Suggestion: Look up the book again in PRIMO, either by call number or title and show the patron the link to the ebook.  If they seem disappointed and want a print copy, you can usually find a print version through MeLCat or WorldCat if we don't have it here.

2. The item is not available - If a patron comes to you with an item they were unable to find in the stacks, always look the item up again in PRIMO, by Call Number or Title, to verify the location, call number, and availability.  If the Availability says any of the following, you will not find it on the shelf:

  • "a date" ( DUE 02-04-15) - The book is checked out.  Usually recommend that the student order it through MeLCat or WorldCat instead, as this will be faster than waiting for the book to be returned.  If the patron isn't in a rush, they can login to their PRIMO account and then use the option to "Request This,"  on a book and be notified when it has been returned to the library. 
  • MISSING or LOST - The item has been reported missing.  Recommend the student order it through MeLCat or WorldCat.
  • SHELVING - The item hasn't be reshelved yet.  Check the shelving cart behind the circulation desk.
  • IN PROCESS - The item is in technical services being cataloged.  Take the student's contact information and give it to a librarian along with the book information because we will be able to rush the cataloging and get it to the student in a day or two.  This is the same if the item has no call number but says "1 Copy being processed for Hope College Libraries"
  • DAMAGED - This item is waiting to be repaired.  Recommend that the student order it through MeLCat or WorldCat.

3. The patron wrote down the call number incorrectly - If when you type in a provided call number nothing comes up, then the patron likely wrote the number down incorrectly.  See if you can get the patron to recall the title and/or author of the book, or recreate the search they did to find it so that you can track down the correct call number.

4. The patron doesn't remember the citation correctly - Sometimes the patron doesn't have complete or correct information about the item they need.  I even had an example recently where the professor wrote the title incorrectly in their syllabus!  There is where Google is your friend.  Use online searching to try to come up with a complete and correct citation for the item they need.  Then take this information to PRIMO to check and see if we have it.

5. The location is a less common one - The items may be in an odder location in our outside of Van Wylen.  Here are some that come up regularly:

  • Theil Building Heritage - This is the book collection of the Joint Archives of Holland, located on 10th St. in the Theil Research Center.  These books cannot be checked out, but they can be used at the archives.
  • VW Curric Library - This item is in the Curriculum Library on the 2nd floor by the Media Desk.
  • Featured Collections - This item is temporarily housed on the featured item wall behind the research desk.  These are special collections created to go along with Hope Events, like Visiting Writers Series.  They can be checked out, but usually for a shorter period of time than normal.
  • Fac Pub - Faculty Publication section.  The library retains a copy of every book published by a professor during their time at Hope.  There is a special non-circulating collection of these located on the wall behind the Research Desk.  In many cases we also have a copy that can be checked out located in the regular stacks, so check HopeCat.
  • New Materials - There is a special shelf with all of our recently added materials located on the wall by Technical Services.  Tricky part here: they are divided into "New", "Newer", and "Newest," so you may need to check all three shelves before you find the book.
  • Reference - These are dictionaries and encyclopedias located on the 1st floor.  Most can be checked out, but for only 3 days at a time, so I usually recommend that students just scan/photocopy the sections that they need.
  • Rare - Materials in our Rare collection (located in the basement) can be viewed by making an appointment with the library director, Kelly Jacobsma.  Have students talk to a librarian or email to schedule an appointment to view Rare items.

6. The item is missing - If after you have followed the above suggestions you are not finding the item where you expect to, it may be legitimately missing.  Take the student to the circulation desk and have them fill out a missing item form, and the circulation students will begin searching for it.  Suggest that in the meantime they student could order it through MeLCat or WorldCat or use an alternate item.

7. The item is a shorter work that may be located in a larger anthology - This comes up more frequently in the arts, when someone is looking for a play or a score for a piece of music.  It also may be an issue if someone needs an essay published in an anthology.

  • Certainly, start with a title and author search for the work you need.  If this isn't fruitful, try doing a basic keyword search and include part of the title and part of the author's name.  If the work is listed in a table of contents method will be more likely to bring it up. 
  • If this gets at all complicated, definitely bring a librarian into the conversation, as we have other strategies for figuring this out.

8. We don't own the item they need - If after verifying that the citation information is correct, you may find that we don't have the item in our library.  At this point, if they have a little time to wait, you can show them how to order the item through MeLCat or WorldCat.

  • Tip:  Is the item more popular in nature? (a movie, popular biography, recent novel or important work of fiction)  It might be available at the Herrick District Library on River across from Centennial Park.  To check use the Herrick's catalog.  (Important: The public library shares their catalog with many others, so make sure and limit the "location" to "Herrick Main Library.")  Refer patrons to the Van Wylen Circulation Desk to get the documentation they need to do this.


Locating Journals and Articles from Citations

Students often ask us for help locating the full texts of articles, and this is one of the more complicated questions to answer, as our journal collections exist in multiple electronic packages, as well as various print formats. 


When a student brings you a journal citation, it will look something like this and include the following information:



image of a citation with captions


Sometimes, students will bring you a handwritten partial citation without all of the information.  You will need all of this information to find the right article, so ask the student where they found it, or use Google figure out the complete citation.

Unlike a search on a topic, a search for a citation always starts through the library tool called the Journals List.  It is the 5th tab on the main research area on the library home page.


Use this tool to search for the title of the Journal that the article is published in (not the article itself!). 


Tips: 1. this search engine is unforgiving, so make sure you don't have any typos.

         2.  If the journal title you have is abbreviated and you can't figure it out,  JABBR is a good tool to use to decipher it, or ask a librarian



The results will tell you if we have coverage of that journal, and what dates we have coverage for.  Sometimes we will have more than one electronic collection that includes this title.  Compare these to the date for the citation and select an appropriate one.  If you don't see coverage of the date you need, look for the link that says "Hope College/WTS Journal Holdings" as this might mean that we have coverage in print as well.



If it looks like we have coverage for the date that you need, select one of the electronic resources that provides it.  Once inside the resource, you will either see a browsable list of issues, from which you can browse your way to the article you need, or you may spot a search box where you can type in part of the article title to bring up the full text.  


  1. Science Direct - This is a system where we pay per article.  A librarian needs to unlock these, so just ask.
  2. Open Access - We provide links to collections of journals that are freely available online (Directory of Open Access Journals, Free Medical Journals, Freely Accessible Science Journals.) Because these systems are outside of our control, they don't always connect smoothly to our system.  It may take a little more clicking and digging to get to the full text with some of these journals, so ask a librarian if you are having trouble locating the full text.



If you don't see electronic coverage for the title you need, look to see if there is a link for "Hope College/WTS Journal Holdings."  This shows that we may have print coverage for that article, either in print or on microform.  Clicking the link will take you into HopeCat, and you will see a screen something like this:



Again, compare the coverage dates to the date of the article you need and see if they overlap. 

  1. If it is available as a bound journal, these are located in the stacks by call number, integrated in with the rest of the book collection. (Heads up!  This is changing this summer, so we'll keep you posted!)
  2. If it is available on microfiche, locate the appropriate fiche in the cabinets in the basement, and instruct the student on viewing and printing them on the microfiche reader on the 1st floor.  More detailed instructions on the microform reader are available on the Desk Manual, but also have a librarian walk you through this process if you haven't seen it yet.