Drain-Jordan Library - Pathfinder - Finding Current Topics, West Virginia State University
library building, angled front view

Pathfinder Finding Current Topics

...resources in the Drain-Jordan Library, West Virginia State University

Introduction: Cloning! Immigration decisions! School choice! Gender gap! Media Bias! Campaign financing! They're topics you've talked about, argued about, felt strongly about ... or dismissed as crazy ideas. In many of your courses with a writing emphasis you can use today's current issues as topics for your writing assignments.
How can the Library help me? We have the facts. We have facts, opinions, background material, statistics, and a world of knowledge in journals, magazines, newspapers, books, and databases. We own over 180,000 books, and have access to thousands of full text periodicals (paper, microform and online index/database articles).
How do I get started? An excellent starting point is CQ Researcher. Each weekly issue of The CQ Researcher covers one topic of current or emerging interest. Each issue offers clear explanations of the featured topic, includes a chronology, and two bibliographies of current sources.
How do I find more current info? Newspapers and magazines are you best source for up-to-date information on almost any topic. To find those good articles in these periodicals you will need to use the online databases.
Where do I find the periodicals? If you have a citation or one of the databases listed an article without fulltext, you can use Journal Finder to see if the journal/magazine/newspaper is available in the library. If you want to browse issues of a title, Journal Finder will tell you which volumes/years are available in which format.

Paper, microfilm and microfiche issues are shelved in alphabetical order by journal/mag title, in the Periodical Room off the main lobby. Paper format starts near the front of the room, microform in cabinets near the back. Storage volumes need to be requested at the Reference Desk, so they can be retrieved from a compact storage room.
What about some background information? Now is the time to use books in our library. Go to one of the catalog computers (on a cabinet) or one of the public computers to access the online card catalog/Library Book Search -- the catalog can be reached via the library home page. The catalog search blank does a keyword search of the word(s) entered. The Heading Search allows you to search by Author, Title, or Subject. Both types and the Advanced Search are searching for the "specific word(s)" you entered. If you do not get any hits on your search, check any subject terms you use in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. "Big Red" suggests the subject terms the Library of Congress assigns, and catalogers use, when you look up a popular term.
You might also try:
REFERENCE BOOKS: Here are just a few of the many titles that may help you.
  • Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience, REF BL2525 .E53 1987
  • Encyclopedia of Bioethics, REF QH332 .E52 1995
  • Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, REF E184 .A1 G14 2000
  • Environmental Encyclopedia, REF GE10 .E57 1994
  • Guide to the U.S.Supreme Court, REF KF8742 .W567 1997
  • Political Handbook of the World,REF JF37 .P6
Need statistics? Try:
  • The online version of Statistical Abstract of the United States on the online databases page, or the paper version: REF HA202 .A36 1995