The Murray State University library website offers an array of databases and catalogues/indexes to help students find the resources they need, whether the resource is available through Murray State, or another library via an InterLibrary Loan. In order for a student to obtain the most relevant information pertaining to their research, they must first understand how to use and search the databases and catalogues properly. One way to bypass blindly searching through catalogues and databases is to use library guides.
Library guides are used to help students find useful resources most relevant to a certain major, subject area, or department. Some of the subject areas include: Advertising, Biology, Communication, English, Law, Marketing, Psychology, and Religion. Not every individual major is listed, but virtually every department has at least one library guide to refer to. After locating the appropriate library guide that is most relevant to your research, click on the link.
A specific librarian is assigned to different library guides, but one librarian may be in charge of all the library guides pertaining to a certain department/subject area. For example, I am a public relations major and my department is Journalism and Mass Communication. Journalism and Mass Communication has a library guide, but majors within this department, such as; public relations, advertising, communication, and organizational communication, all have individual/separate library guides. Melissa Engleman is the librarian designated to all of the library guides related to the Journalism and Mass Communication department.
Each library guide is customized for each subject area to help students find relevant information relating to their research. Basically, library guides are an overview, and literally "a guide," of helpful services available to students who are performing research. Depending on the librarian, the resources available on particular subject may vary. For instance, the library guide for Public Relations offers information about important websites related to public relations, citation guides, and business law. Whereas the library guide for Biology provides information on biological information on the web, current biological research, and how to find biological information in the appropriate database.
I strongly recommend that if a Murray State student has not taken a library course that teaches them how to properly search for resources through the different databases and catalogues, that they use the library guides. Library guides are like having your own librarian at your service to assist in finding resources related to the specific topic you are researching.