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IDS 100 - Perspectives in Liberal Arts

Research guide developed for IDS-100 to help with the four lenses, an introduction to the library, and selecting research topics.

Why the Library?

This is a common question. Why use the library? Isn't everything I need available on Google? The library website is confusing, I don't know what I am doing in there! All these questions and statements are valid. Here are some main points which can help to address these common issues.

Google does not have everything you need. 

When researching on the internet using search engines like Google, it only searches across the information it can "see" or access. Much of the content represented in sources like scholarly journals, trade publications, newspapers, books, reports, and more are not searchable by search engines. Even when it is found, unless you have a subscription, the content is closed down because you have to pay. Luckily, you have access to the Shapiro Library who provides these resources to you for free (through paid subscriptions). When you graduate, many of the same resources found in the library's databases are used in businesses, hospitals, schools, and public libraries as well.

​​Looking through information on the internet can be exhausting and overwhelming. 

There are millions of items, websites, and more to wade through when searching on the internet. It often can be overwhelming to find what you need, never mind evaluate it to see if it is authoritative or credible. When you search through the library's resources, you can be assured that they have been vetted by librarians. You won't see Wikipedia, the satirical news site The Onion, or things of that nature in the library. Evaluating potential sources is easier starting in the library!

Librarians are available and ready to help you at any point in your research process. 

Research isn't easy and takes time. You can reach out for assistance from a librarian via live chat and email! SNHU Librarians are available during Reference hours and outside that time, you can still get help via our Chat 24/7 from an academic librarian who is part of our cooperative network. Ask us anything! We can help give advice on where to start before you begin your research, make recommendations on what databases to try and how to search, and much more. 


Many of the same resources that we have in the Shapiro Library are available to you through your local public libraries and public universities. Businesses and hospitals often use these resources in their settings as well. Learning to use these tools will set you up for success at SNHU and beyond.