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Navigating the Libraries: a guide for first-year students at Swarthmore

FAQs for first-year and transfer students

paper icon I'd like to read a specific journal, magazine, or newspaper, but it's behind a paywall (for example, The Economist or The New York Times). Does Swarthmore subscribe to it? 

  • To see if Swarthmore subscribes, go to Tripod and search for the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper.
  • Then look for a "Connect from Swarthmore" link in the Tripod search results.

screenshot of search results in tripod


question mark icon I'm starting to work on a paper. How do I find scholarly sources? Where do I start?
Here are three ways to proceed:

  • Your best bet is to talk with a librarian or a peer Research & Info Associate. Find office hours and contact info here.
  • Try searching Tripod for keywords related to your topic. You'll see results in two columns books on the left, articles on the right.
  • Take a look at Research Guides. TriCo librarians maintain this website, which provides advice and links for finding academic research that you can cite in papers.

car icon I'd like to borrow a book (or movie or journal article), but it's not available from the library. Can I get it?

  • First, double-check Tripod is the book available at Haverford or Bryn Mawr? If so, click the Request link and it will be delivered to you at Swarthmore.
  • If the book isn't available at all from Tripod, you can use EZBorrow to request the book from a nearby academic library (like Temple or Drexel). Usually books from EZBorrow arrive within 3-5 days. If you're looking for a journal article, it might help to search for the journal title (e.g., English Historical Review) rather than the article title ("Catalog-Searching Techniques among English Nobility").
  • If the book isn't available from EZBorrow, fill out the online Interlibrary Loan form to request it. This usually takes about a week.