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Research Guides at University of Kentucky Libraries

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Community Patrons Research Guide

Guide Information
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015
Guide URL:
Description: This guide is intended for people who are not UK students, faculty, or staff.
Tags: community, general public, public, research
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Guide Index
Library Information
On-Campus Research
Off-Campus Research
Getting Started with Research
Searching InfoKat

Library Information

UK Library Hours and Information

Library hours of each branch library.

Driving Directions, Staff Directory, and general information.

Check your account to see what you have checked out and when items are due.

    Tip for UK Students

    If you are a UK student there are a number of Research Guides created specifically for you and organized by subject. There are also guides tailored for individual courses.

      Library Services available to Community Patrons

      Non-UK patrons may get a Community Borrower's card at any of the UK libraries if they are 18 years of age and show either a valid Kentucky driver's license, a valid Kentucky non-driver's ID card, an active student or faculty/staff ID from an approved reciprocal college, or a UK alumni card.

      Start here for On Campus Research.

      Start here for Off Campus Research.

      Find more information about borrowing library materials.

      Young Library Loan Periods
      Books Bound Periodicals Unbound Periodicals Non-Print (see AV Services for exceptions) Reserves Item Limit
      Non-UK Borrowers
      28 days Library Use Library Use Library Use 2 hrs.; 1 day; 3 days, 7 days 25 items

      For other UK Libraries' loan periods, see Loan Periods by Location.

      Visit any campus library to check out or make reproductions of materials.  Storage facilities are not open to the public, but material may be retrieved through the Book and Media Express Service

        Interlibrary Loan

        Materials located in UK Libraries may be requested though your local library's Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service.  Through that service you may request the loan of an item(s) from circulating collections, or copies/scans of journal articles, etc.  UK’s ILL Lending policies may be given to your local library staff for information on borrowing material through this process.


        On-Campus Research

        Genealogy Research

        Genealogy research is a more specific type of research that uses a different set of databases. Use the following resources to get started with genealogy.

        Accessing Resources at UK

        Visitors to UK Libraries may use one of eight guest computers but must obtain a UK Library account first.
        Guest computers in Young Library north wing require a UK Library account in order to logon.  All other computers require a UK logon.
        Visitors have access to many of the same resources available to UK students and faculty. Anyone on campus has access to electronic resources and may look through the paper resources.

        See Searching InfoKat for help.

        Recommended Resources
        • Academic Search Complete

          This database covers a very broad range of topics found in both popular and scholarly journals.
        • Access World News (NewsBank)

          Full-text of over 600 U.S. newspapers, including the Lexington Herald-Leader (1983 - present) and other Kentucky newspapers. Access World News also covers over 1,300 foreign English-language news resources.
        • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

          Collection of full-text encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources.
        • Reference Universe

          Searches the content of reference resources owned by UK Libraries, both electronic and print titles, linking you to the pages that contain your search terms in the electronic versions and to the location of the print title in the paper collection while also providing page references. Electronic resources are indicated by "e-source."
        • Notable Kentucky African Americans (NKAA)

          Contains short biographies of notable African Americans with Kentucky roots or ties, organized by profession or subject. Also includes entries for events and locations. Includes links to related resources.

        Off-Campus Research


        Use the Getting Started with Research tab to learn general search strategies.

        Genealogy Research

        Use the following resources to get started with genealogy.

        Trustworthy and Reliable Websites

        Free reliable online resources. A good places to get started.

        Check with your local public library for more specific research needs.

        • Kentucky Virtual Library

          All Kentucky residents can access the majority of resources on this database by obtaining a password from the reference department at your local public library.
        • Internet Public Library

          This is a public service organization that provides access to great resources and will even answer reference questions for you.
        • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

          Provides access to over 2,200 free, full-text scholarly journals in a wide variety of subjects and languages.
        • InfoPlease Almanac

          Offers thousands of facts on a multitude of subjects. Includes quick facts, timelines, calendars, an encyclopedia, almanac, dictionary, thesaurus, and atlas.
        • World Factbook

          "Information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities."

          A non-partisan, non-profit political fact-check website that summarizes and analyzes public policy issues. It is operated and maintained by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
        • Notable Kentucky African Americans (NKAA)

          Contains short biographies of notable African Americans with Kentucky roots or ties, organized by profession or subject. Also includes entries for events and locations. Includes links to related resources.
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        Getting Started with Research

        Step 1: Identify Keywords

        Identify keywords by scanning:

        • the main points of your question
        • encyclopedias or bibliographies found at the end of a book or article
        • a thesaurus for synonyms
        Step 2: General Search Strategies

        The easiest way to search for information electronically is to enter a couple of keywords into the search box of the resource and see what type of results you get. This strategy, however, will often result in too few, too many, or irrelevant results.

        In order to retrieve the most relevant results, you will need to construct a search string: a combination of keywords, truncation symbols, and boolean operators you enter into the search box of an electronic library resource or an Internet search engine.

        Generating Search Terms

        Video used with permission from Cooperative Library Instruction Project under Creative Commons license cc-by-nc-sa.

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        Searching InfoKat

        How To Read Call Numbers

        The UK Libraries arranges books by Library of Congress (LC) call number so that materials on similar subjects are shelved together. LC call numbers consist of letters and numbers and are arranged on the shelves in alphabetical then numerical order (see the box on the lower right side of this page).

        If Young Library is the location, check the Young Library map to determine the floor and wing for each call number. The P call numbers (language and literature) are spilt between the 4th floor and 5th floor.

        If a book is located in another campus library, be sure to note the library location and call number. Check the map of the libraries locations and the hours for each library.

        Show Me How to Search InfoKat
        Search for books in InfoKat, the UK Libraries' catalog, by author, title, or keyword. The catalog will list the location and call number for each item.
        LC Call Numbers Explained

        Call Number Explained

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