Skip to main content
ask a librarian email questions

About the Library

Information about library hours, locations, contact, policies, etc.

How Do I ...?

Below are common questions about how to do or find things at the SCC Library.


Find a book?

To find books that are physically at one of SCC's four campus libraries, search the Library Catalog. You can search by keyword, author, title, or subject. To see more options for finding books, including electronic (online) books and books that can be requested from another library, go to our Find Books & Videos page.

Find a video?

To find videos that the library owns, go to the Library Catalog and select "Advanced Search." In the drop-down for Material Type, choose "Video/Film." Then enter your search term in the search box. This will limit your search to video items, which is mostly DVDs, a few VHS tapes. For online videos, see our Streaming Videos page.

Check out a book or video?

SCC students, faculty, and staff need to bring their SCC ID card to the library in order to check out materials. This ID card serves as your library card (we will also accept a photo ID such as your driver's license). For community patrons, you will need a driver's license or other form of valid picture ID from one of our service counties to sign up for a library card in order to check out materials. Students from PASCAL affiliated libraries, need to bring their valid student ID card from the school they attend to check out materials.

How long can I borrow an item?

Please see our Library Services page for check out periods for each user and item type.

Access databases from off-campus?

Please visit our Off-Campus Access page for more details about logging into our databases from off-campus. Only SCC students, faculty, and staff can log in to our databases from off-campus.

Find a magazine or journal article?

To find a magazine or journal article on a specific topic, you will want to visit our Find Articles page, select the subject area that best fits your needs, and search one of the Library Databases listed in that subject area. For advice on which database to use or which subject area to begin looking, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service

The SCC Library also has magazines and journals available in print in the library's periodical section. Each library location has different periodical subscriptions. The most recent issues of these magazines are kept out in the periodical section; however, the library usually keeps approximately 5 years worth of older journal issues and 1-3 months of magazines and newspapers depending on space available in storage. To see older issues, please ask a library staff member to assist you. Print periodicals may not be checked out by students or community patrons. Visit a library location to view and use print periodicals, or search the Library Catalog for a specific periodical to see if the library subscribes.

Tell the difference between a magazine and journal article?

Magazines usually have colorful, splashy covers, contain many advertisements, contain many pictures and colors, and are written in language the average audience can understand. They may mention sources, but they usually lack a bibliography or footnotes. There is no peer review process for a magazine, and they are usually written by regular journalists/staff members of the publisher.

Journals usually have plain covers, often with no pictures, little or no advertising, and most illustrations used are charts and graphs. Journals use higher-level language and jargon (terms and words) of the field; sources are cited, often in long bibliographies. The peer-review process is often required, and the authors are experts working in the particular field.

Visit our Difference Between Journals, Magazines, and Professional Periodicals page for more information.

Find a newspaper article?

To find a newspaper article on a specific topic, visit our Find Articles page, select the subject area that best fits your needs, and search one of the Library Databases listed in that subject area. Many databases have newspaper articles in them, but you can search a couple of databases that are entirely made up of newspaper articles. For these, see our News & Current Events databases. For advice on which database to use or which subject area to begin looking, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

The SCC Library also has newspapers available in print at each library location in the periodical section. Each library location subscribes to different newspapers depending on the campus location and courses offered. The most recent issues of these newspapers are kept in the periodicals section; however, the library usually keeps some older issues in storage depending on available storage space. If you need older issues, please ask a library staff member to assist you. Print newspapers may not be checked out by students or community patrons. Visit a library location to view and use print newspapers, or search the Library Catalog for a specific newspaper to see if the library subscribes.

Know whether SCC has a particular magazine or journal?

To tell if the library has a particular magazine or journal in print, visit a library location to view and use print periodicals, or search the Library Catalog for a specific periodical to see if the library subscribes.

To tell whether the library has articles from a particular magazine or journal article online, you can search for the title of the magazine or journal article in the Library Databases; however, because there are so many databases, this can be tricky. It is best to contact a Librarian for assistance -- Ask-A-Librarian.

Renew my materials online?

Go to the Library Catalog, and sign-in with your SCC account. Once logged in, click on you name in the top-right, and then click "My Loans." Once you can view your loans, you will see the option to click "renew" on any items that can be renewed, or "renew all" to renew all of your loans. You can also renew items in person or by phone. Note: you can only renew materials before their due date. Once an item is overdue, it may only be renewed in person (unless another patron has requested it) after the item is brought back to the library.

Place a hold on an item that is checked out?

When you find the item in the Library Catalog, and the item is unavailable, you may place a request for this item once it become available. This means that you will be contacted when the item is ready for you to check out, and this item will be held for you at the Circulation Desk. When you are looking at an item in the Library Catalog, if you are able to request the item, a "Request" link will appear. You also need to be signed in with your SCC account in order to see the "Request" link. Click on this link and enter the library location where you want to pick-up the item, the date needed by (if desired), and any comments for library staff. Then choose "Send Request." You will be notified by email (the email listed in the SCC system - usually your SCC email) when the item is available. If you have any problems or questions, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

Start a research paper?

Before you start searching for material, check out the Library's Research Guides to see if there is a subject guide that might help you with your assignment. These guides can point you to good places to start searching, as well as some specific materials that might be useful.

After that, you may want to check out the library's Find Books & Videos or Find Articles page for help locating those types of sources for your research.

If you have any questions, be sure to Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

Find a peer-reviewed or refereed journal article?

A "refereed" or "peer-reviewed" article is a scholarly work that was reviewed by the scholar's peers, meaning other scholars in the field. This is an important part of the research process since it allows other scholars to provide input on the accuracy and methods of the research. Only scholars or experts in a field write a refereed article. It is generally published in academic journals.

A general magazine article, on the other hand, is often written by someone who is not a specialist in the field. A good example of this would be Newsweek or Time articles -- they are written by journalists who have done research on the topic they are writing on, but they are not scholars in that topic. They are writing for general readership rather than on a level that only other scholars could understand.

Many of the library's databases give you the option to limit your search to peer-reviewed journal articles by checking a box on the search page. See the library database description to see if it includes journals.

Caution: Be aware of things like book reviews or editorials that appear in peer-reviewed journals, but aren't necessarily peer-reviewed themselves. For questions about this, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

Make a Works Cited page?

A Works Cited or Reference page can vary depending on which citation style you are using. We have helpful information and guidance for both MLA and APA. If you have any questions or are using another style, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

Make an annotated bibliography?

The format and content of an annotated bibliography can vary, so be sure to ask your instructor for specific guidelines; however, see our Annotated Bibliography page for guidance and examples of an annotated bibliography. For questions, Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.

Cite an E-book?

To find the citation information you will need, click on "Cite" at the top of the page when viewing an e-book.

To learn how to format your citation, see our MLA or APA pages, depending on what citation style you are using.

Please Contact Us or send a question to our Ask a Librarian service.