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Welcome to Dickinson College Library! Our librarians and staff are always here to help you. We realize that libraries vary from country to country. Please feel free to ask us any time you encounter an unfamiliar word, policy, or procedure.

The guide below highlights some of the most important resources and services in the library, as well as some other college resources and services that might be relevant to international students. We hope you will find the information in the guide helpful. For additional assistance, Ask a Librarian.


Where Do I Start

The Library website is always a good place to start your research. From there, you can access practically all the library resources and services. For example,

  • If you are unfamiliar with the library system and want to learn about library policies, you can go to the Services for Students page to learn about how long you can keep a book or video, how to renew your library materials, and much more;
  • You may want to check out the FAQ for New Students for the basics about using the library;
  • If you are looking for information for your research project, you can go to the Do Research page, where you can access the catalog and databases. You can also find various subject specific research guides that could help you quickly find the most relevant research tools and resources for your project and make your search for information much more efficient.

In short, be sure to spend some time on this page. The more you become familiar with this page, and the tools and resources listed on this page, the better chance you will have to succeed in your college career at Dickinson.

How Do I Get a Book

The Dickinson College Library houses approximately half a million print books. The library has open stacks, which means you can go to the book shelves and help yourself to any book you might be interested in. Here is how you find a book:

  • First, search the Library Catalog for books on your topic. Write down the Call Number (example: DS779.32 .D46 2011) and Location (example: Book Stacks, main and upper level) of the book that you want to borrow;
  • Find the Location and Call Number range on our Library Map and find the book on the shelf by matching the Call Number;
  • Check out the book at the Circulation Desk.

You can check out an unlimited number of books at a time and keep them for 28 days. Remember to renew the books if you are not done with them by the due date.

How Do I Get an Article

The library subscribes to more than 100 databases, many of which contain journal articles. You can find them on the Database page of the library website. You can search these databases for any topic and find articles there. Below are some of the most popular databases:

  • Academic Search Complete: A scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database for the humanities, sciences and social sciences. Includes scholarly journals, magazines, conference proceedings and books.
  • JSTOR: provides access to high quality full text scholarly articles. The database includes back issues and many current issues of the journals.
  • Newspaper Source Plus: More than 850 national and international newspapers, plus 870,000+ television and radio news transcripts.
  • Project Muse: provides access to high quality, up to date scholarly articles;

Many databases are specialized in certain subject areas. Searching in the "wrong" database for a topic it does not cover can be frustrating and a waste of time. If you do not know which database is the most relevant to your topic, be sure to consult a librarian, or one of our Subject Guides.

Where Do I Get Help with Research

Any time you have a question about your research project, the easiest way to get help is to ask a librarian. Librarians at Dickinson are full-time professionals trained to provide research assistance and support to all faculty and students. They can not only help find the answer to your question, but also teach you essential skills to become a better researcher. There are many ways to contact a librarian:

  • If you are in the library, walk to the circulation desk and ask for a librarian.
  • If you see a small red flag outside a librarian's office, it means this librarian is on duty. You can just walk in and talk to him or her;
  • You can visit the Ask a Librarian page on the library website and find out how to reach a librarian by phone, email, and Instant Messaging.
  • If you have declared a major, be sure to know which librarian is liaison to your department (listed in Ask a Librarian page). All librarians have their own subject specialties. The librarian responsible for your department tends to have more training in your subject field, and is usually the best person to help you, especially when you are working on a specialized topic in your field.

Where Do I Get Help with Citing Sources

Carelessness with documentation and citations can lead to an accusation of plagiarism, a serious academic offense at Dickinson College. Here is what you can do to make sure you are citing correctly:

  • You can find information on how to cite in different styles at the Cite Your Sources page on the library website.
  • You can also consult A Writer's Reference by Diana Hacker (available on Reserve at the Circulation Desk. Call number PE1408 .H2778 2009).
  • You can always ask a librarian whenever you have any questions about how to cite a source.

How Do I Find Materials in My Native Language

Language Dropdown Menu
The library collects materials (books, newspapers and magazines, DVDs) in non-English languages to meet the needs of area studies programs, language learners, and international students. All non-English materials are searchable via the Catalog. All you need to do is to limit your search by language.

You can also browse our current journal stacks on the lower level of the library for current issues of the journals and magazines in your language. Or go to the DVD stacks on the main floor to browse for films from your home country.

Other Relevant College Resources

Where Do I Get Help with My English and/or with Writing a Paper

For those of you whose native language is not English, writing a research paper in English can be a big challenge. The Writing Center, located on the main floor of the library, can be of great help in these two areas:

  • You can improve your English and writing skills by taking the courses in our Writing Program;
  • You can improve the quality of your paper by consulting a writing tutor. Detailed information can be found in their FAQ page.

Where Do I Get Help with Technology

The Technology Services Department of Library and Information Services (LIS) offers a wide range of technology support, from the most basic to more advanced, to all faculty and students at Dickinson. The following are probably more relevant to new international students:

Where Do I Get Help with Career Choice and/or Graduate School Application

The Dickinson College Career Center provides assistance in

  • choosing a major;
  • exploring career options;
  • finding internship opportunities;
  • applying to professional and graduate schools.

Where Do I Get Help with Immigration Issues

You can contact the Global Education Office for any immigration related issues, or check out their International Students page.


For additional assistance, Ask a Librarian.