Finding Library Resources

Doing research is usually an integral part of the writing process. To be a good researcher, you must be able to locate, organize, evaluate, and communicate information. Libraries are a primary resource for conducting academic research. Learning how to use them and their resources effectively is important to understanding the research process.

Finding books and journal articles to compile a list of relevant materials was once a matter of going to the library and using the card catalog in conjunction with print-journal indexes. But libraries, and their methods of providing access to research information, have changed dramatically. Libraries provide access to information through online research databases and library catalogs, e‑books and e‑journals, and web resources, as well as traditional print resources. Understanding how to select and use the appropriate resources for specific information needs is the key to successful research. To become adept at locating and using information for research, you must know about the many different resources that are available to you.

The following links provide information about the resources available to you as a UMUC student through the UMUC Library.


The UMUC Library provides access to a vast array of library resources and services to UMUC students, faculty, and staff worldwide to meet their research needs.

Ask a Librarian

The UMUC Library uses a variety of methods to provide reference services to students, faculty, and staff worldwide, including e‑mail, telephone, walk‑in, and instant messaging via Ask a Librarian. Walk‑in service is available by appointment in the Largo location during regular business hours.


The library provides an excellent beginning place for research via OneSearch located on the library home page. This service allows users to find scholarly articles, books, and/or other research resources via a single search engine. With UMUC Library OneSearch users can simultaneously search most of the databases to which the UMUC Library subscribes, either directly or as additional resources.

Research Guides

The library has created dozens of research guides that contains recommended resources including relevant library databases and websites, along with research tips and citation help. These guides are a great place to begin research for a specific area of study.

Research Databases

The online resources available to UMUC students provide full-text access to a wealth of research resources through the library’s subscriptions to more than 100 research databases. These databases include tens of thousands of full‑text articles, reports, and statistics that cover a vast array of subject areas. Using the “find it” option, a user who has found a citation for an article that is not available in full text within the database being searched can link to the full text of the article if it is available in other databases to which the library subscribes.

Book Resources

UMUC students, faculty, and staff have access to more than nine million volumes from the 17 University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institution (USMAI) libraries via catalog. USMAI includes

  • Bowie State University
  • Center for Environmental Science (University of Maryland)
  • Coppin State University
  • Frostburg State University
  • Loyola/Notre Dame University
  • Morgan State University
  • Salisbury University
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • Towson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Baltimore Law Library
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Maryland College Park
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library
  • University of Maryland Law Library
  • University of Maryland University College

Students in the continental United States and faculty worldwide may order books electronically from the USMAI online catalog for delivery to their home or for pick up at any USMAI library that is convenient to their home or workplace (within Maryland). In addition to its electronic book‑delivery service, the library has more than 15,000 electronic books (e‑books) that allow users to retrieve and read entire texts online and download or print selected sections of text.


The library strives to make as much full text available as possible. DocumentExpress provides a mechanism to obtain the full text of materials that are not available in the research databases or through the library catalog. This service is available through the library website.

  • What sources of research are available to UMUC students and staff?
  • How can you work directly with a UMUC librarian?
  • How can you locate material relevant to a particular subject?
  • What online research sources are available?
  • What print research sources are available?
  • How can you gain access to research sources not available in the UMUC library?

Student Services: 1616 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD 20774
Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783

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