Skip to Main Content

How to Use the Library

Learn to use the library’s resources.

The Library Website

The Library’s Homepage

The website contains several valuable resources and allows instant, 24-hour access to digital research materials.

This brief tour will show you the website’s most important features.

Read the descriptions on this page, and then take the quiz to test your knowledge.

Video Tutorial

The Research Portal

On many pages, you will see this widget:

Advanced Search

With this, you can search the catalog of our holdings, including the books on the shelves, peer-reviewed journals, articles, and some open-access resources.

Even on pages without this widget, you have instant access to the catalog through the search bar in the header.

Using the Navigation Bar

The website’s primary navigation feature is its mega menu.

See below for descriptions of its features:


Selecting Catalog will open a menu of options related to the catalog system. You can:


If you hear the word databases when you hear about libraries, you may wonder what that means.

The databases are online systems, purchased from various companies, that contain eBooks, journals, magazines, videos, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other information resources.

Screenshot of databases webpage

We'll discuss the databases in more detail at a later point in this guide. For now, just know that the databases are the place to go when you need scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and similar sources.

My Account

No doubt you already have an account on RangerNet. However, your accounts with the library are different from your other university accounts. This is because we are partnered with other organizations that maintain accounts in their own way.

The My Account Page has step-by-step instructions for setting up a personal account with three different organizations:

  • WorldCat: Run by an organization called OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), WorldCat is the system on which our library catalog operates. By setting up a WorldCat account, you will be able to view your holds and the due dates of materials you've checked out. You can also create lists to assist you with your research projects.
  • EBSCOhost: EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Company) owns about two thirds of our databases. By creating an account with EBSCO, you'll be able to save articles or other sources for your research projects, and then easily retrieve them elsewhere. You could, for example, save articles while at school and then print them out at home, or vice versa.
  • JSTOR: JSTOR (Journal Storage) is an organization hosting the full text of thousands of journals. The NWOSU Libraries subscribes to JSTOR's Life Sciences Collection. By creating a personal account with JSTOR, you will be able to save articles much as you can with EBSCO, and you will also have access to six free articles a month outside the Life Sciences Collection.
Screenshot of My Account page

If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to visit the My Account page and set up your WorldCat account.

Research Guides

What is a research guide? You’re looking at one!

Research guides are web resources full of links to important information, advice about where to find articles or books in the catalog, and instructions on how to properly cite sources.

They are created to accompany specific courses or augment specific subjects. Whenever you are enrolled in a class, it is a good idea to check the Research Guides List to see if there is an associated guide. You will likely find helpful resources to make your classwork go more smoothly.

Some research guides you might explore include:

Screenshot of research guide list

Take the quiz!