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International Students Library Guide

This guide is designed to help international students use the URI Libraries.

Library Terms Defined


A brief summary of a book, article, or other source.  Some databases may use "Abstracts" in their titles to signify that they primarily contain abstracts of sources rather than the full-text (although you may be able to still find full-text using the Search @ URI Libraries link!).

Boolean Operators/Boolean Terms

The Boolean operators used by the URI library catalog and most databases are AND, OR, and NOT.  Using these words, you can combine search terms in order to get better search results.  For example, you could search caffeine AND addiction if you were interested in researching the addictive qualities of caffeine.

Call Number

Call numbers are groups of letters and numbers that identify a specific physical item in the library and give you the information you need to locate that item.  URI Libraries use the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) for call numbers, which enables sources to be organized by subject.


The library catalog, which can be accessed on the library homepage, is your go-to spot for finding print and other physical resources at the library, although you can also find many online resources using the library catalog as well.  You can conduct a simple search from the library homepage, or select Advanced Search to search for items by title, author, subject, ISBN, ISSN, call number, or course reserve.

Check Out

Check out refers to borrowing an item from the library.  The amount of time you can borrow an item for depends on what you are borrowing.  For more information on borrowing books, see our Circulation & Borrowing guide.  For more information about borrowing DVDs and Blu rays, see our Media Collection guide.

Circulation Desk

The Circulation Desk is where you will go to check out books and other items from the library.  It is located on the main floor of the library across from the 24-hour room.

Citation Manager

A citation manager is a program that allows you to organize, store, edit, and save your research citations.  Learn more about citation managers in our Citation Managers guide

Course Reserves

Course reserves are materials (e.g. books, articles, videos) that your professor has had held at the library for your course.  These materials tend to be high-use, and therefore have shorter loan periods.  Some course reserves can only be used while in the library.  Not all faculty use course reserves, so you should check with your faculty to see if items have been put aside at the library for your course.

For Fall 2020, course reserves will not be available at Carothers Library due to health and safety precautions.


Databases are organized collections of materials (like articles, book chapters, books, conference proceedings, images, datasets) that can be searched to locate relevant resources for your research and information needs.  Some databases are interdisciplinary, which means they contain resources related to many subjects and disciplines, while others are subject-specific, which means they hold resources related to a specific field of study.

Due Date

Due dates let you know by what date you should return items that you have borrowed from the library.  To learn more about how to renew your loan (i.e. ask for an extension of your due date), see the Circulation and Borrowing guide.


E-journals (also known as electronic journals) are journals that you can access online via the library catalog or databases.  

Info & Research Help Desk

The Info & Research Help Desk is located on the main floor of Carothers Library and is staffed with librarians who can assist you with your research.  You can contact the Info & Research Help Desk in person, via email, by phone, or by live chat.  Learn more about these options by visiting Reference & Research Help.

Information Literacy

According to the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, "information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning."

Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad)

Interlibrary loan service allows URI students, staff, and faculty to request books, book chapters, articles, and other materials from other libraries.  Some items (like articles and book chapters) are typically sent electronically as a PDF, while others (like books) are usually sent to the library for you to pick up from the Circulation Desk.  Learn more about ILL in our Interlibrary Loan guide.


Most libguides are subject research guides that provide you with resources and tips for conducting research as a URI student.  However, some libguides provide general research help or explain library services (like the Interlibrary Loan guide linked above).  All libguides are created by URI librarians and library staff to help you navigate the library and its resources.  You can find a full list of URI libguides here.

Off-Campus Access/EZproxy

To access the URI Libraries online resources when you're off-campus, you'll sign in through an EZproxy page using your URI credentials (e-campus username and your Brightspace/wireless/LDAP password).  For more information, visit our Remote Access to Online Library Resources (EZproxy) page.


To renew a loan means that you are getting an extension on your due date.  To learn more about how to renew your loan (i.e. ask for an extension of your due date), see the Circulation and Borrowing guide.


Periodicals are materials that are published "periodically," which could refer to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, or even at irregular intervals.  The most common examples of periodicals are newspapers, magazines, and scholarly articles.

Reference Collection

The reference collection is a collection of materials that provide general information on topics.  Examples of these materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, and handbooks.  The reference collection in Carothers Library can be found in the northeast corner of the main floor.  Materials from the reference collection cannot be checked out, although you can scan or copy relevant sections of materials using one of the printers in the library. 

Search @ URI Libraries

This feature is available in library databases and will allow you to search across all URI library databases to locate the full text of an article.


Stacks are the shelves on which library materials are stored.  URI Libraries use open stacks, which means that library patrons are free to explore the stacks and retrieve materials.  You will use call numbers to find the items in the stacks that you would like to use.  

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.