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ALS 100: Black and Latino Experience: Home

Eddy Alvarez, PhD Librarian: Heather Beach (

Library Research Help

Librarians are available to help you in several ways:

∙       Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library, located on your left after you enter the first floor through the main entrance or through Jazzman’s Café.

∙       Call the Research Help Desk at 436-2729.  If the librarian is busy, you can leave a message.

∙       Email a question to a Milne Librarian at and get a response within 48 hours.

∙       Request a research consultation to meet individually with a librarian.  The request form is available on the library website and at the Research Help Desk.

Search Tips

-    Use truncation to search for variations of a word, including plural forms

o Example: educat* finds educate, education, educational, etc. 

-    Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

o Example: “global warming” 

Search Terms:                  

You can use Library of Congress Subject Headings to really hone in on your searching.  You can search for specific search terms, related terms, as well as narrower and broader subjects by going to  

Below are some broad subject headings you may find useful while you search for books.  Remember to use the Advanced Search, and change the default to “Subject” or “Subject Terms.”  You can combine these subject terms with each other and with other keywords in your searching. 

∙       African Americans

∙       Latin Americans

∙       Acculturation

∙       Culture

∙       Folklore

∙       Race Relations

∙       Religion

∙       Social Aspects

Finding Background Information in Reference Books

Background information on a topic can often be found in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources. These reliable sources provide quick and helpful overviews, clarify definitions, and often include bibliographies at the end of an article. They are excellent starting points for research when you need to know important concepts, names, and dates, or if you are looking for ideas in general.  These sources often include lists of books and articles for further reading.  The reference collection is located on the first floor of the library.  While the books cannot be checked out, you can request copies at the research help desk.  You are welcome to browse the section E184 to E185.  A few recommended reference books include: 

Encyclopedia of Race and Racism

REF E 184 .A1 E584 2013

This book covers many topics including events, religions, politics, and peopleEach article also provides a bibliography.  

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America

REF E 184 A1 G14 2000

This extensive resource covers history, immigration waves, culture, language, family and community dynamics, religion, economy, politics, individual and group contributions, and sources for additional study for 152 different culture groups in the United States, including African Americans, Brazilian Americans, Nicaraguan Americans, and Mexican Americans. 

Multicultural America

REF E 184 .A1 M8145 2013

This book provides census essays as well as concise articles on topics ranging from African American vernacular English to criminal justice and ethnic diversity to Latinos.

Finding Books

Books often treat a topic more comprehensively than journal articles. Books can be a good place to find an overview of a topic.  There are a variety of ways to search for books, including:

Search Everything is the default search on the library home page. Because this searches the library catalog as well as several (but not all!) periodical databases, you can use it to find print and electronic books, as well as articles from newspapers, academic journals, popular magazines, etc. After you enter your search terms, the left side of the results screen allows you to limit your search in many helpful ways. To narrow a search to print books, go to Location and check the appropriate box. 


Classic Catalog also searches for books here at Milne.   You can do an advanced search and choose which specific collection you want to search.  This cannot be used to find individual journal articles. 


WorldCat can be used to search within and beyond Milne Library.  WorldCat searches well over a billion items, including books in Milne Library AND books from thousands of libraries worldwide. From the library home page, choose WorldCat under databases rather than the tab at the top.  You can request books from other libraries by clicking the blue Request via Interlibrary Loan link.


Browsing the library shelves is another option.  Sometimes the best resources are found through serendipity.  You are welcome to go to the second floor and browse the entire section on nutrition, food and cooking in the call number section E 184 – E 185.

Finding Articles in Newspapers, Magazines, and Academic Journals

Journal articles are often more focused than books.  They may provide more specific and more current information than books. References to additional articles and books can often be found in a bibliography at the end of an article.  You can use Search Everything to locate articles from a limited number of databases that the library subscribes to.  After your initial search, from the results screen, simply narrow your search by Type on the left under Refine Results.  You can also go directly to a specific database, by clicking the Databases tab on the library homepage.  Some recommended databases are listed below:

Finding an Article from a Citation

If you have the citation for a journal article, for instance from a bibliography/list of sources:

∙       Click on the Journals tab on the top of the library homepage

∙       Type in the title of the journal or magazine

∙       Look for that title in the list and follow the link to one of the databases

∙       Follow the links to the correct issue of the periodical OR

∙       Locate a search box to type in the title of the article

∙       If the library has a copy in print or microfilm, this will be indicated as well.  Follow the links to see what years the library subscribes to.


Heather Beach, Reference & Special Collections Associate Librarian

109 Milne Library 607-436-3585