Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Hunter Library
Research Guides
Western Carolina University

FYE Library Modules: Home

Home, But Not Alone?

Intro to the Library

Take a look at the Library Services page for more information on all of the different services that the library offers.

Useful Library Terms

  • Database: A searchable, electronic collection of curated information (journal articles, encyclopedias, eBooks, magazines, videos, etc.) that libraries pay an annual subscription to gain access. Example: Academic Search Premier
  • Peer-Reviewed Article: An article written by a scholar in a particular field that goes through a rigorous peer-review process by a panel of academic experts to ensure that the research is sound and of high quality before the article is approved to be published in an academic journal.
  • Full-Text Article: Complete article content (not just information about the article), usually found in databases as a PDF or HTML attachment.
  • Interlibrary Loan: A service where the library borrows books and articles from another library. If the library doesn't have something that you need, we can usually still get it for you.
  • Subject Terms: Terms or phrases that are recognized by the database that can help you find content related to the subject term. Similar to social media hashtags.
  • Library Catalog: The Library Catalog is a tool that can help you find books, print journals, eBooks, DVDs, and other materials in the library collection.
  • Reference Collection: A collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other materials that can provide background information on a variety of topics. These materials are for in-library use only.
  • Reference Desk: The desk with the big orange sign hanging over it that says "Reference". This desk is staffed with a librarian who can answer questions, help you find things, and provide research assistance.
  • Circulation Desk: The desk by the main entrance to the library. This is where you can check out books and other items.

Website Exploration

Take some time to explore some of the pages on our library website.

Library Home Page: The main page on the Library's website.

Books/ Library Catalog: Search for various library materials, such as books, eBooks, films, print journals, etc.

Articles/ Databases: Browse the Library's collection of databases by subject, type, or A-Z.One Search: Allows you to search the library catalog and many of our databases at the same time. However, the search results are not always as accurate as searches in the library catalog or a specific database

Spaces: Reserve and find information on spaces in the library (study rooms, VR room, Scholar Studio, etc.)

Library Account: Access your library account

Ask Us Box: This chat box gets you in touch with a librarian who can answer questions and help you with your research

Research Guides

Research guides are designed by the librarians at the Hunter Library to help you find and use library resources. We have guides on most subjects taught at WCU, library-related topics such as copyright, and even guides that are designed for specific classes. Get to know our guides by taking a look at the guide for your major and for this year's One Book.

Types of things you can find in the research guides:

  • Database suggestions
  • Tips for doing a search
  • Contact information for the library subject specialist
  • Links to useful websites
  • Citation help
  • And more

Finding Library Resources

The library has a huge collection of all sorts of materials including books, eBooks, journal articles, films, etc. However, finding those materials can sometimes be a bit intimidating. The guides below should give you some guidance. Of course, the librarians are always happy to help if you're having trouble.

Using the library catalog

How to find a journal

Leisure reading


Wikipedia is the largest collection of human knowledge ever collected. The English edition of Wikipedia alone contains almost six million articles. That's the equivalent of twenty-five hundred print volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It's also completely free with no paywalls, ads, or data collection. Wikipedia is an incredible resource, but one that you need to be careful of when using. As most of you already know, anyone can write and edit an article on Wikipedia. This has had some interesting consequences, like that one time that the South American coati becoming known as the Brazilian aardvark. If you plan on using Wikipedia at all during your research, we recommend that you review the following:

Academic Use

Researching with Wikipedia

Why Wikipedia is so great

Why Wikipedia is not so great


Profile Photo
Joshua Rakower
Hunter Library Office 118