Using the Library Website, Subject Specialists and Guides, and Ask Us!

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This tutorial will help you navigate the main LSU Library website to research and find materials within our collections. The website is the virtual home for the information about, and collections within, the LSU Libraries.  

The website is available at You can also access it from the main LSU webpage under "Quick Links" or from your MyLSU account under "Library Resources."

Navigation on the website

The first thing you may notice on the website is the purple navigational bar across the top of the page.  This bar is on all of the LSU Library webpages, and you can always get back to the main page by clicking on "LSU Libraries."  Take a look at the other links from the purple bar to expand them to see the links in them.  If you are searching for information on a specific topic, you can use the A-Z list as well. 

Frequently Used Resources

The main portals to research on the website are the yellow tabs across the top of the page. These include Discovery, Catalog, Databases, Reserves, and E-journals.  These will all be defined in the next few slides.


The Discovery tool is the library tool that is closest to Google. When you search in Discovery, you are searching many (but not all) of the Libraries 400+ databases and our online catalog.  This is a good place to start if you are not sure where to go because you are sure to get results on almost any topic.


Next, click on the Catalog tab.  This is the portal to all of the books, periodicals, and other materials available in many of LSU's campus libraries.  You can start with a basic search from this page or click on "Advanced Search" if you would like to enter more parameters in your search.  If you would like additional information on how to search the library catalog, there are tutorials available.


The next tab over is Databases,  click on that. You will see that we have our databases organized in a few different ways.

If you know which database you would like to go into, just click on the letter in the A-Z list across the top.  If you are unsure as to what database to use for your subject area, we have the databases sorted by subject area as well. Finally, we have our frequently used databases listed.  


Next click on the Reserves tab.  This search allows you to find materials that your professor put on reserve for your class. You can search by instructor, course number or course name. Once you have the call number, you can pick these materials up from the Circulation Desk.


Finally, click on the E-journals tab.  This search allows you to see if we have a particular journal available electronically, and what e-journals we have in particular subjects. This information is also accessible through our online catalog, but some may prefer to search using this method. This will not tell you if we have a journal solely in print however, so always be sure to check our online catalog for complete coverage.

Subject Specialists

Subject Specialists are librarians dedicated to specific courses of study or majors at Louisiana State University. They buy the books and databases for their subject area and help students with research in their particular major. Your subject specialist librarian can be found by moving your cursor to the “About Us” or “Help” sections on the purple bar of the library’s website or by going directly to the “Help” section in the lower center portion of the library’s website and clicking on “Subject Specialists”.

Research Guides

Research Guides are guides designed by subject specialist librarians to help students and faculty in particular majors with their research. Every research guide is different, but usually contains information about major websites, databases, books, etc. on your particular major. They can be found by moving your cursor to the “Research Tools” section on the purple bar of the library website and then by clicking on “Research Guides”.

Ask Us!

“Ask Us!” is a service on the library’s homepage that allows users to ask a librarian a question in whatever way that feel most comfortable. Via the “Ask Us!” screen, any user can initiate a chat with a librarian, text them via their cell or other mobile device, send them an email, or call them via phone. Of course, we still assist users face to face at the Research and Information Services desk in room 141 of Middleton Library. "Ask Us" can be found by moving your cursor to the "Services" or "Help" sections on the purple bar of the library's website or by going directly to the “Help” section in the lower center portion of the library’s website and clicking on “Ask Us!”.

For more assistance

This has been a basic tutorial on how to navigate the LSU Libraries website.  If you have additional questions, please use "Ask Us!" or call the Research and Instruction Services Desk at (225) 578-8875.



















Research Department Updated 4/15

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