If this isn’t your first year as an MHC student, you’ve likely become accustomed to stopping into the library for assistance with narrowing your research topic, finding an academic article, or citing your sources. All of these services are still available, albeit in a new format. For those of you 1st year MHC students, this is a service you want to make use of, the earlier in the semester, the better, and your grades will thank you.
So, how can you access research help?
Four different virtual formats are now available: chat, virtual drop-in, book an appointment and email. Take a look at the descriptions below to help you decide which format is best suited to your needs.
Chat Reference – This service is best for quick questions. The chat service is staffed from 8am – 8pm Monday – Thursday, and 8 am – 5pm Friday’s.
Virtual Drop-In – This service is best for immediate research assistance. Similar to what you would have received in-person from library staff in the past. No need to book a time, just drop in. Virtual Drop-in hours currently run from 11am – 3pm Monday – Friday.
Book an Appointment – This service is best for in-depth assignment specific support. Book an appointment in advance so you don’t need to wait. A library staff member can help you with research or citations. Appointments are available from 8am – 3pm Monday to Friday.
Reference Email – This service is best for questions that are not time sensitive. The reference email is staffed from 8am – 8pm Monday – Thursday, and 8 am – 5pm Friday’s.
Access virtual services at the bottom of the library home page.
After creating a Library Account (or signing into your Library Account if you’ve already made one) you might start to feel overwhelmed or lost. How do you search for
something? How do you renew the items you already have out? How do you place items on hold? All of these processes are super easy once you know exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s what this post is for! Using the author of this blog post’s own Library account, we will walk through all of the most important functions you need to know. After you’re finished reading this, you’ll have clear instructions, and the knowledge, of how to use the Library exactly as you need it throughout the 2020 school year.
Searching for Items
Searching for items is the first thing you need to learn how to do. It’s how you will find all of your online resources, from books to articles to even movie streaming.
You can start this a couple of different ways, but the easiest way would be to sign into your Library Account and go from there!
Once you’ve signed in, you’ll be brought to your Account Page. This is a page that has all of your "Checked Out" items, as well as helpful tabs to tell you what you’ve "Requested" or put on hold; your "Fees", which tells you if you have any fines or overdue fees; "Saved Searches", which is a place where you can save your searches for a later date or that you will need again; and finally "Profile", which just has your basic contact information for overdue notification purposes.
On the Account Page there’s a search bar up at the top. You guessed it: this is were you can search for things. You can go by title, by author, and keyword. You can
also change some of the settings around to include different databases, or types of formats or articles. There’s also different settings to choose if you want just resources that MHC carries, or if you are looking for a resource that is from a different library world-wide. You can see the title of the resource, the year, what format it is (eBook, Print Book, eVideo, DVD, etc.) and whether or not it is available physically, available online, or it is on loan or on hold.
Now that you’ve found the item that you would like, you can click on the picture of it to get a better view of its details. You can "View Description" or even "Explore Editions and Formats." If there is an eVersion of the resource, you can easily click, use your barcode number to gain access, and start to read. If you’d like the physical copy of an item, you can even go a bit further down and place a hold on the item to ensure that it is ready to be picked up for you as soon as possible.
Placing a Hold
In order to place a hold, you just need to find the item that you want, and once you have found it, you click on the item and scroll down to "Check Availability." Under that section, there will be a blue button called "Request MHC Copy." This places the item on hold for you.
You will receive an email notification when the item has been checked out for you, you can then come and pick it up at our Self Service Shelves! These are located to the left of the entrance to the Library. Sometimes, a hold may not be available for pick up immediately because of new COVID-19 procedures–please keep checking your Account and within three days it will be ready for you. Make sure you bring your Virtual or Physical Student ID–you will need the last four digits on the barcode in order to find your holds!
Your holds will be signed out to you for the regular sign out time of 4 weeks. Remember to check your emails or account for the due dates!
Renewing Your Items
On the Account Page, you are able to see a clear list of your items that you have signed out, as well as how many days you have left with them. It also tells you the Due Date for the items. If you need to renew the items, you can use the check boxes beside the items (or the check box at the top of the page where it has a "Select All" function) and you can renew them for another 4 weeks. Reminder: you can only renew 2 times before you will have to bring the items back no matter what. Unfortunately, you are unable to renew items that have a hold put on them by another person, and they will need to be returned by the due date.
Browse the Shelf
When you are searching for items using the Library site, you actually have access to a function known as "Browse the Shelf." When you click it, it electronically brings up a small amount of books that would be located beside the item you are currently looking at as if you were physically browsing through the shelves! It’s a great tool to find items that are similar to the book that you are currently looking at, and is an easy way to expand your subject area when researching for essays, papers or assignments. It will feel like your out in the stacks, just like in years previous.
So you’ve found a few books or resources that look interesting, but they aren’t on the topic of your current assignment. You don’t want to lose them, and writing them down on a piece of paper might just not cut it. You can actually save your searches and resources, using the star icon and the "Save" function, so that you are able to log into your account at a later time and easily access all of your saved searches. It’s also a good way to keep track of your favorite searches, or ones that you always seem to come back to over and over again.
If you have any issues using any of the aspects of your Library Account, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-529-3867, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or social
distance and come up to the front desk of the Library. We will be more than happy to help!
With all of the changes that have been put in place at the Library, it’s pretty obvious that we have been shifting to an online learning environment. That being said, with the stacks being closed to students and e-Book requests on the rise, you may be asking yourself, “How do I even make a Library account to get access to all the online resources?” It’s super simple, and will allow you not only to renew and place holds on books online, but will allow you to access all the different streaming and e-Resources we have available for your classroom, and leisure, needs!
First, you’re going to need either your physical Student ID Card or your Virtual ID Card (either one is fine.) You’re going to look for your Barcode Number. Its 14-digits long, is at the bottom of the card, and it’s unique to you. The Barcode Number is your golden ticket to Library Account bliss.
Now, you’re going to head to the MHC Website found at and you’re going to click on the “Library” tab. Click on “Using the Library”, and then on that page you’re going to click on “Library Account.” This is where you’re going to choose the “ID Barcode and Library Password Sign-On” option.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll see that you have a place to input your Library Barcode—this is where your Barcode Number goes!—and then a textbox to input a password. Wait. You haven’t made a Library Account yet, so how would you have a password? If it’s your first time signing on to the system, which we will assume it is, you’ll want to input whatever you would like your password to be, and then click “Set/Reset Password.” This will set your password, allowing you to log in. (If it is your second time, or more, you’ll just want to select “Sign In” because you’ve already set your password.)
Follow the prompts that it gives you. After a few more clicks, and opening your college email in order to validate the account, you are finished! You now have access to all of the items that you have already signed out, and you have a place where you can put a hold on items that you want to sign out!
Just like in person, you can renew your own items up to 2 times, but only if the items have not been put on a self hold by another student. You have access to all 15 of our online video streaming resources, such as Kanopy and Criterion. You can also use functions like "Check Availability" to ensure the book you’re looking for is ready for your to place a hold, or even "Browse the Shelf," which lets you look at the neighboring books that would be on the same shelf if you were out looking in the stacks.The possibilities are nearly endless!
If you run into issues creating your library account and need some help, all you have to do is come up to the front desk or give us a call at 403-529-3867; one of the lovely staff members there will be more than happy to assist you!