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Self Help: Introduction

Kia ora. How can we help?

This guide will help you use the many services and resources available at the University of Otago Libraries.  Explore the pages by clicking on the links in the blue banner above, or use the questions and links below to help navigate.  

In this guide you will find:

  • Video Tutorials
  • PDF guides
  • Interactive online learning modules
  • Links to other student support services on campus

Also check your subject guide for information on the best places to find research for your subject, and who your Subject Librarian is.

What Do You Need Help With?

I have an assignment and need to find literature on a topic:

What is the difference between using a Library database and searching Google?:

My friend told me there is a programme you can get that formats your references?:

I have this reference to an article - how do I find the full text?

I have never used a database before, can you help me get started?:

I need help using advanced searching techniques:

My assignment states that I must use scholarly books and journals.  How do I find these?:

When should I reference things in my essays?:

Can I use any of the Libraries on campus or just the one that has books for my subject?

This Library doesn't have a catalogue so how am I meant to find where the books are?

Why should I use Library databases when everything can be found using Google?:

Can I have a tour of the Library?

Do you have a map of the campus with the different libraries and other important places marked?

Where can I get wireless internet access for my device?

I can't find any research in the databases on my topic?

How do I know if a website is a suitable information source for my assignment?

Can you help me find my readings on course reserve?

How can I improve my essay writing and report writing skills?

I am ready to publish my research but don't know where to start?

My friends and I want to work on a group assignment. Where in the library can we make some noise?

This book is due and I still need it. What can I do?:

I have searched the guide but can't find an answer to my question:

Accessing the Student Desktop on my own computer / device

Access student desktop at Learn more about Student Desktop, including: features, set up, FAQs and help information.

We recommend you use Google Chrome with the Student Desktop as lots of videos from the university won't play in other browsers.

1. There is a shortcut to Google Chrome on the student desktop

2. You can keep Chrome on your task bar by "pinning it" to your taskbar (right click the icon)

Index to Self Help Guide

Google / Google Scholar:
How to get more out of Google [link to website]
Google Scholar: advanced search tips [video]
Google Scholar: tips and tricks [PDF]
Why can't I just Google? [Video]

Library (locations, tours, services and 'how to videos'):
Catalogue (How to use Library Search / Ketu - overview [video])
Catalogue help guide (Library Search | Ketu help guide)
Reserve search screen
Reserve [video]
Distance Library Service [video]
How to search for a book using Library Search | Ketu (aka the Library catalogue)
Find a book on the shelf [video]
Find a specific journal article (PDF)
Find journal articles using an article database (PDF)
Group study rooms [video]
Interloan Service 
Library Search | Ketu help guide 
Library Search / Ketu – overview [video]
Renewing [video]
Requesting books, book chapters and journal articles
Requesting Hocken items [video]
Tours (virtual)

Research skills:
Ethical use of information [online tutorial]
Evaluating information using the crap test
Evaluating information [video]
How to evaluate websites [PDF]
Plagiarism [video]

What is this reference for and how do I find it? [video]
Why not Wikipedia [PDF]


Search skills:
Become a power searcher [video]
Databases versus search engines [video] 
Find a specific journal article (PDF)
Find journal articles using an article database (PDF)
Find a book using LIbrary Search l Ketu [video]
Planning your search [video]
Search strategy worksheet [pdf]
Subject headings vs keywords [video]

What is this reference for and how do I find it? [video]

Keeping up to date: RSS and email alerts


Writing skills [online tutorials]


Citation styles (guide)
Referencing software (guide)

Other services

Don't forget that the Library is one of several places you can seek support for your studies.  Have you checked out: