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ESL Guide: Library Research

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Research Assignment? Start at Your NOVA Library!

Start your research assignment in the library. Use the library catalog (Books) to find credible sources: books, e-books, articles, videos and more. Use the library databases (Articles) to find credible periodical sources: scholarly journal, newspaper, and magazine articles and more. And don't forget that the librarians are here to help you!


Search Library Catalog for books, eBooks, DVDs & streaming video.



Advanced Search | My Account | Classic Catalog

Search for books on your topic in the library catalog. Be sure to write down the call number in order to locate the book on the shelf.

Click the 'Request this item' tab to have books from other NOVA libraries sent to Loudoun for pick up. If your book is at Loudoun be sure to write down the call number in order to locate the book on the shelf.

E-books and e-videos are now accessible through the catalog. If you see any in your search results, click the 'View Online' tab to open.



Confused by some of the words you hear in the library?

Click here for a list of common library vocabulary words.


The best way to locate articles is through the library databases. Go to and look under the subject categories to find a list of relevant databases. You can also perform a search directly in the databases below.

Remember not to write sentences in the search box. Use keywords taken from your research statement.

Look for additional keywords offered under Subject and Subject Thesaurus. Also make sure to look for toolbars that provide print, email, and citation options.

Associates Programs Source and Opposing Viewpoints allow you to limit your search by lexile reading level/range within the Advanced Search function.