Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that isn't answered on this page, please contact us.

Access to the Quinney Library Collections

Are any computers in the Quinney Library accessible to the public?

YES - We have unfiltered public computers available on the first and the second floor of the library. Library guests can access the Internet through USU's wireless network using and following the prompts. The Quinney Computer labs, however, are not available to those patrons outside of the College of Natural Resources.

I am not affiliated with the College. How can I get access to the article databases?

Our licensing agreements restrict off-campus access to current students, faculty, and staff of Utah State University, however, if you are using one of the computers on-campus, you have full access to the resources available, including the databases and electronic journals. Librarians are standing by to assist you with any query.

Where is there wireless access in the library?

Quinney Library has wireless internet access inside and out. Guests can use the Blue Zone server while on campus.

I am a graduate of Utah State University. May I continue to use the resources?

Everyone can use the resources while they are on campus. Alumni can purchase a card that will allow them to check-out books but you can only access electronic resources off campus if you are taking classes.

Can the Library's catalog or other databases be accessed by from off campus?

The Quinney Library catalog can be searched via the Library website from any off campus location. To access the subscription databases follow the instructions provided. You will need to use your A-number/PIN for authentication.

What is the address for the Library? Is there a directory of library contacts?

The mailing address is 5260 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322. Phone number is 435-797-2464, and E-mail is For other contact information visit our About page.

General Questions

Can I buy books at the library?

The library benefits from kind and generous donors. Donated books that we do not add to our collection (most often because of duplication) are placed in our book sale. We have an extensive selection of books available to consumers covering all topics and time periods. Visit our Amazon Store Front to view all the titles available.

Are any computers in the Quinney Library accessible to the public?

YES - We have unfiltered public computers available on the first and the second floor of the library. Library guests can access the Internet through USU's wireless network using and following the prompts. The Quinney Computer labs, however, are not available to those patrons outside of the College of Natural Resources.

What is Boolean searching and why should I use it?

Boolean searching is a database tool that allows you to combine concepts within a topic. This is done by using the following connectors: and, or, not. And is most frequently used to narrow a topic, e.g., 'invasive species' AND plants. Or is used to expand a topic, e.g., 'invasive species' OR plants would retrieve all items pertaining to either topic. Not is used to exclude unwanted topics, e.g., 'invasive species' NOT plants. This tool is available on most browsers and databases.

When was the Library built?

The library opened its doors in October of 1992. Funding is provided by the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation. Read more about the Library and the Foundations from our About Page.

Where is the computer lab? Where are the printers?

The Computer Labs (rooms 304 and 306) and the open computers are on the third floor of the Library. The computers are networked to a laser black and white printer and a color printer. Each fall and spring semester a free quota of prints is given to each person with an account. Accounts are for QCNR declared students only.

Who can use the computer labs?

The computer labs are provided to all students who have declared degrees in Natural Resources. Funding for the labs comes mainly from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation and therefore not a USU open access lab.

What is a VPN? Do I need to use the VPN service?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that creates a secure network connection for a private network owned by a service provider. While USU continues to maintain a VPN through Information Technology, the Library now allows access to library resources off-campus using your A number and banner password when prompted.

I would like to donate books to the library. How should I proceed?

The library solicits and welcomes gifts of books, documents, and items in other formats, as well as gifts of money for the purchase of library materials. Please call 435-797-4051 for more information.

What does it mean if a reading is on reserve? How do I access reserve materials?

Reserve items are materials set aside by professors for students to use in their classes. The majority of these reserves is electronic and can be accessed through Canvas. Physical reserves (such as books and videos) are found at the Merrill-Cazier reserve desk on the first floor.

What is Copyright?

Fundamentally, copyright is a law that gives you ownership over the things you create. Be it a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel, if you created it, you own it and it’s the copyright law itself that assures that ownership. Visit the USU Copyright page.

Where are the books?

Books and other materials are shelved on the Library’s second floor. Most are in Library of Congress call number order which means they are shelved besides book with a similar topic.

Where is the Quinney Natural Resources Tutor Center?

The tutor center is on the 1st floor of the library and open to everyone – yup everyone. The purpose of the Tutoring Center is to provide students with the opportunity to achieve academic success with the support and encouragement of peer tutors. We invite students to utilize the Center to enhance their achievement and improve the quality of their education. The Tutoring Center works hard to offer excellent tutelage in biology, scientific writing, GIS, and library research.

Who can use the Library and check out books?

The primary users of the Quinney Library are current students, faculty and staff. These individuals have full access to all library resources and services. The Library also extends limited library privileges to USU alumni and other public users.

Where does the name Quinney come from?

The Library was built thanks to the support of the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation in Salt Lake City Utah. The Foundation was established by Joe Quinney and his wife Jessie Eccles Quinney. Read more about our benefactors.

Photocopying, Printing, & Scanning

How do I make photocopies at the Quinney Library?

The photocopier in the Library can be found on the first floor. Copies cost $.05/page for black and white jobs and $.25 for color. Transparencies and heavy paper can be used and paper sizes of letter and tabloid are accommodated. Both copy machines have document feed capabilities and will do two-sided copying.

Can I use my Student ID to pay for photocopies in the library?

Sorry but we do not have the ability to use your aggie express for any short of payment.

I am a visitor. Can I copy / print / scan?

Everyone can print / copy / scan!

How can I print / copy / scan double-sided pages?

All machines will recognize double-sided pages. Charges will be per page printed not per sheet of paper. Follow the prompts for printer options at the time of the request. Ask for help beforehand as user errors will not be reimbursed.

How long will purchased printing dollars remain in my lab account?

Once purchased, lab account funds are non-refundable. Unused balances will be removed from the system each semester.

Can I make and send pdfs from the library?

Quinney Library has an all-in-one printer / copy machine that will scan to pdf and send documents to your email. This is a free service for all patrons.

How much do photocopies / prints / scans cost?

Photocopies and prints are $.05/page for black and white and $.025 for colored. Scanning is free. Additional charges will apply for paper other than 8 ½ x 11”.

How can I get credit for printing errors?

User caused error will not be reimbursed. These include unauthorized printing done on a computer left logged-in, not selecting black/white or color printing options, manually changing the printer features, accidentally selecting multiple copies, or improper setup of the document orientation or margins. For other types of error see the circulation desk assistants.

I have a printing account in the lab, how can I purchase printing dollars?

You will begin each semester with a $5.00 balance. Additional money can be added to your printing account at the first floor circulation desk.

Is it legal to photocopy textbooks?

While the best approach is to lawfully purchase or rent a textbook, you may photocopy a small section of the book for a single assignment without violating copyright laws. However, photocopying too much of a textbook could potentially lead to costly copyright infringement claims.

Special Collections

Can I use the Quinney Library's photos in Flickr?

Flickr is where we store and share our photos online. Our images can be used free of charge but please note that the images are protected by intellectual property rights and that use may be conditional. Take a look at our flickr page to see our ever-expanding stream.

What material do you have for environmental education?

Quinney Library offers Natural Science Kits to loan to educators in Cache County. The kits investigate the local ecology from birds and mammals to streams and forests. Local teachers may check out the kits for FREE! Kits are on a first come, first served basis and may be kept for a two-week period.

Where can I find the Forest Camp Images?

The Utah State University Forestry Summer Camp has an extensive and significant history. For almost 70 years the camp trained students in the skills necessary for forestry, wildlife, conservation, and range management. For photographs of the students that spans nearly all those 70 years visit the Camp Photos section of Flickr.

What is Digital Commons?

The USU Digital Commons collects, preserves, and makes visible the University’s intellectual output; including pre-prints, working papers, journal articles, dissertations, master's theses, conference proceedings, etc. Visit the Quinney Library special collections.

Where can I find information about Bear Lake and the Bear River System?

Utah State University has a long history of research on the Bear River Watershed. For information and assess to this research visit the Bear River Info Bank.

Borrowing & Renewing

What are the circulation policies for the Quinney Library?

The Quinney Library abides by the same circulation policies in place at the Merrill-Cazier Library. Use the LibAnswers service to find your specific answer.

Do I have to come to the Library in person to renew the books I have checked out?

You may renew library materials by phone at 435-797-2464 (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm) or you may sign into your “My Account” at the Merrill-Cazier Library Online Catalog using your A-number and super password. From there you can view due dates, request titles, and renew selected items.

How do I find a DVD in the library?

The library provides a record for our video and DVD holdings in the online catalog available from the homepage. Most are also cataloged in the Merrill-Cazier online catalog. Our video collection checks out for 5 day. Please stop by the library for browsing the collection.

What kinds of materials can Interlibrary Loan provide?

Through Interlibrary Loan you may request materials not owned by USU Libraries. Books and documents can be borrowed in their original form and can be picked-up at the Merrill-Cazier circulation desk for a loan period determined by the lending library. Journal articles will be delivered in PDF form to your active email address, usually within 2 days. Interlibrary loan is a free service for all those with USU privileges.

Computing, Laptops, Wireless

Where is there wireless access in the library?

Quinney Library has wireless internet access inside and out. Guests can use the Blue Zone server while on campus.

Where can I do word processing?

The Quinney Tutor Center and the Computer Labs offer Macintosh and Windows stations, printers, and a selection of software.

Can I use Campus Print in the Quinney Library?

The Quinney Library is not a Campus Print Release Station. Several manned and unmanned stations can be found around campus. Visit campus print.

Does the library have computer equipment for check-out?

The Quinney Library does not have equipment for check-out. The Merrill-Cazier, however, will lend iPads, laptops (both HP and Mac), graphing calculators, and chargers from the first floor circulation desk.

Research Help

Are there people who can help me with my research?

We love to help with research! We recommend visiting our Tutoring Center where you will meet our peer-tutors. Or, for quick in-person help, stop by the librarian’s office (Quinney Library Room 105). You also can chat with a librarian online.

How do I get full text online articles?

The Quinney Library partners with the Merrill-Cazier to offer extensive access to electronic journals. To see if USU owns a particular e-journal, search for the journal title from the Electronic Journals List from the Merrill-Cazier homepage. If you discover the article while searching in a USU database use the Article Linker to directly link to the article. Several databases, like JStor, Google Scholar, and BioOne, provide the full-text version of all their indexed articles

How do I know which database to use for my research?

Use the USU Library Articles & Databases. It provides a list that groups the databases by general subject. Choose the subject that applies to your topic and click the link to see what databases might be useful to you. A description of each database can be found here.

How do I find graduate thesis and dissertations?

To find dissertations available here at Quinney visit the second floor where they are shelved by date/authors last name. All USU published dissertations are included in the Merrill-Cazier Library catalog. For all USU Ph.D. dissertation published 1996-present, connect to the UMI Dissertation Database. Members of the USU community have free access to PDF versions of the dissertations. The public has open access to a limited number through the Digital Commons archive. Dissertations published in other Universities can typically be borrowed through interlibrary loan.

I am in a database looking for articles. How can I check whether USU has a journal without exiting the database?

Citation records found in most databases USU subscribes to will include the Article Linker button at the end of the citation. Locate it and click on it. A new window will pop-up and will give you the options to link to the full text of the article or the online version of the journal or, if the journal is NOT available electronically, a link to check if the journal is available in print on the USU campus.

I know the title of the journal - how do I find if it is available full-text?

An e-journal is the online equivalent of the traditional printed journal. These journals are made available through a license purchased by the university. Electronic Journals are will only be available to those affiliated with the University. Make sure to notice the available date ranges for each title. For print versions of the journal and barn requests check the library catalog.

My professor wants us to use only scholarly journals. How can I make sure that my results will be acceptable?

Scholarly articles are written by experts and are published in academic journals. Scholarly articles (also known as peer-reviewed or refereed articles) have the highest level of credibility because they have been put through a rigorous system of review.

What are subject headings?

A controlled vocabulary is a restricted set of words used to describe things. The book records in the library catalog have controlled subject headings that describe the key topics of the books. Finding subject headings that match your topic is a good way of locating library materials. Search the library Using “Subject Headings” in the Merrill-Cazier online catalog for an introduction to finding and searching with subject headings in the library catalog.

Why not just use Google for my research?

Google (or any other search engine) is not the enemy of careful research; in fact many experts rely heavily on the web in their work. However, results turned up by a search engines are only the topmost layer of information about any subject: from there, you’ve got to do a lot of digging. Google isn’t the end of the search, in other words—it’s just the beginning. The University provides databases designed by scholars to help with this digging. When using a database, you will retrieve fewer results, but most of them will to be relevant.

What is full-text? How do I find a full-text article?

Full-text is a document / article that can viewed, printed, or downloaded online. A full-text database is a database that indexes document chapters or journal articles and offers them for immediate viewing. An example would be JStor.

What are the databases? Where can I get access?

The journal databases are a set of subject based indexes to records. Each record contains all of the information for an individual article within the journal or a chapter in a document. A comprehensive list of databases can be found on the Articles and Databases page.

What is peer review?

Answer Peer review is a process of subjecting an author's scholarly work to the examination of experts in the same field. Most scholarly journals, as opposed to the popular press, are peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by consulting Ulrich's periodicals directory. The icon next to the journal title indicates a "refereed" (peer-reviewed) journal.

How do I choose the right article database or journal index?

Choosing the right online database can be challenging but rewarding. In order to find the right database, you should analyze your topic to decide what subject area is most likely to cover your topic. Listed on the Articles and Databases Index page is a subject area list to help you determine what disciplines (or subjects) will best meet your needs.

How do I know if a web page is reliable?

Information gathered on the Internet, without the scrutiny of a trustworthy organization, may not be as reliable, comprehensive, or permanent as research requires. However, this does not mean you should discount the valuable sources that may be found on the Web.

How do I know which kinds of sources to use?

There’s a lot of information out there, not all of which is reliable. Basically, the type of source you use depends on the type of information you need. For example: a fact-based question might be best answered by an encyclopedia or almanac. Whereas, a specific research project will require using electronic article databases and indexes to find scholarly journal articles. Start your research with some general research to narrow your question. Look through books, browse journals and web sites: essentially your goal at this point is to strengthen your understanding of your topic and develop specific questions that you can research further. Then move onto focused research. During focused research, you will carefully examine peer-reviewed articles from appropriate journals, reports, documents or online resources. In this stage, your goal is clear: to bring together a set of sources suitable for your writing task.

How do I choose the right article database or journal index when I am not a USU student?

The key to finding the right database is knowing what's in it. Here are some questions to ask about any database before you use it. What subject area does it cover? What date range does it cover? And What types of material does it include? Noodletools is a service to help.

I have a research project – Where do I start?

Research starts with a question and ends with an answer. Everything between is search. Your success depends on the tools you use. Information comes in many different formats - books, articles, webpages, and more. Start a search by selecting the specific format you are seeking. Then, select your preferred tool specific to that format. For articles try Science Direct database. For a combination search try the Discovery Panel on the USU Libraries Home Page.

Is Wikipedia a good source for research?

Wikipedia can be a great tool for learning and researching information if you do it with a skeptical eye. Do be aware, not everything in Wikipedia is accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased. At this time I think most would say - no it is not considered a good source for a research paper. However, it can be a good place to start research and will often lead to good sources.

What are "scholarly journals”?

Scholarly journals; also called professional, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals; are academic journals that report on original research and are written and reviewed by credentialed experts in their field. Characteristically the articles contain footnotes, a bibliography, specialized language, graphs, and tables. You can often tell if a journal is scholarly by its title and professional publisher. An example of a scholarly journal is The Journal of Wildlife Management published by the Wildlife Society.

What is plagiarism and how can I avoid it?

Failing to properly acknowledge and cite your sources, or pretending that the work of others is actually your own is called plagiarism and is a serious violation of University rules. Here is a plagiarism game to learn about avoiding plagiarism.

Does the Library provide a citation management application?

While at the University you have access to the My Endnote Web software package. Visit this site to find tutorials and step-by-step instructions.

What are Document Delivery Services?

Through this service USU Faculty, Graduate Students and Staff can receive a PDF copy of an article or book chapter from the print collections at USU. Visit Resource Sharing and Document Delivery for more information.

What should I do if an article is unavailable as a pdf?

First check to see if a print copy of the journal is available through the USU Library Catalog.

If it is you should see a page titled ASRS link. Follow the prompts and submit. Pick up your journal on the second floor of the Merrill-Cazier Library. You can check out the journal for 2 days.

Still can't find an article you need? If we don't have an electronic or print subscription, you can request the article for free through InterLibrary Services.

I am not affiliated with the College. How can I get research assistance?

Our licensing agreements restrict off-campus access to current students, faculty, and staff of Utah State University, however, if you are using one of the computers on-campus, you have full access to the resources available, including the databases and electronic journals. Librarians are standing by to assist you with any query.

Formatting and Citation Help

When do I use quotation marks in a search?

When searching in an Internet search engine or on many databases a limiting tool is the quotation mark. Quotation marks can be used around a phrase or concept of two or more words. Doing this ensures that the concept will be searched for as a whole and not picked apart into separate terms.

How do I cite electronic information?

The elements you need when citing something from the Internet are typically: author, title of page, source information (i.e. site title, journal title with volume info, blog name), date, publisher, date you viewed the site, the complete URL. Rules vary for online articles found through university subscriptions. Here are some places to go for recommended electronic information citation guides.

MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications) from the Purdue Online Writing Lab

APA Formatting and Style Guide: Reference List: Electronic Sources from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

How do I format a bibliography?

The purpose of a bibliography, also called references or works cited, is to list the sources you used to write your paper. Bibliographic entries, listed in alphabetical order by authors last name, must contain enough information for readers to locate the materials on their own. There are several formats for bibliographies, including APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). Visit the OWL Writing lab for more info.

What is a works cited page? What is a reference list? How do I format them?

A reference list or works cited page is a list of sources directly cited in a paper. The reference list should provide complete publication or access information on all cited works so that readers can seek out these sources on their own.

It is most helpful to use citation management software tools like EndNote and RefWorks to create bibliographies.

The citation style you use in your bibliography depends on your subject. Your professor should let you know which citation style to use. To learn more about using these styles from the OWL Writing Lab.

What is literature cited and why do we need it?

The literature cited list, found at the end of scholarly work, provides a reference point for all the sources you used in your research paper. It may seem like citing your sources is tedious, but it's important and there are many reasons to do it. When you use someone else's ideas, images, or words in your writing you need to give respect to the authors by giving them proper credit. Plus, citation lists allow the reader to find your research sources and follow your evidence. It provides support for your arguments, which adds credibility to your work.

How do I cite my sources and prepare a bibliography?

There are several very good online citation guides for each of the major citation styles. See citing your sources. Members of the Internet community have access to sites like "RefWorks" or "Zotero", both are citation management tools. When you enter information regarding the sources you used for a paper (such as author, title, date etc.), they will create a bibliography in the format that you want – and it is all for free.

What is a citation?

A citation is the basic information that allows you to locate and identify a resource.

For a journal article, the citation includes the author(s), title of the article, name of journal, volume, issue, date, year, and page numbers.

For a book, the citation includes the title, author(s), publisher, place of publication and date.

My favorite source about citations and how to use them is the OWL Writing Lab.

Does the Library provide a citation management application?

While at the University you have access to the My Endnote Web software package. Visit this site to find tutorials and step-by-step instructions.