Skip to main content

FAQ - BPL Electronic Resources

Frequently asked questions about using the library's resources during remote and online learning.

Access & Research

How do I access the library's electronic resources?

All of the library's e-resources can be found through our catalog, librarycatalog.vts.edu. This is the library's home page; from there, you can search for books or articles and find links to additional guides. In the main catalog search box, there is an option to limit your results by "electronic only." 

Once you find the resource you want, click on it. On the resource's page below the title information, there will be a series of links "click on the following to:" Use the link that says "read or download" and you'll be taken to a vendor-specific page to access the resource. From there, you can read the resource online, or download portions to PDF. 

Example:

undefined


Do I need to log-in or authenticate to access resources?

Yes. When you are off-campus, you need to authenticate as a library patron. When you click through to view an e-book or e-journal article, the system will automatically prompt you to authenticate. On this page, you'll need to enter your last name and library barcode. You'll only need to do this once per browsing session.

undefined

For an in-depth guide to remote access, visit: https://vts.libguides.com/remoteaccess


What are the differences between the 3 catalog search boxes?

The library catalog has 3 main entry-points at librarycatalog.vts.edu. The Main Catalog, the ATLA Religion Database, and the EBSCO Discovery Service. While these often overlap, each search method has unique features.

  • Main Catalog: This is the main entry point. Use this search box when doing basic searches for *books* in the library's collection (optionally limit to "electronic-only"). The search will default to "keyword" searching - if you type in an author, defined subject, or title, you'll get good results. This method is helpful when you think the library has the type of resource you're looking for.

undefined

  • ATLA Religion Database: This database is the primary index for journal articles, reviews, and essays in religion. Use this search box to look for journal articles on a particular topic (e-versions will link in search results). Like the main catalog, this search method defaults to "keyword" which means you can type in an author, title, journal, or subject to get results.

undefined

  • EBSCO Discovery Service: This search box allows you to cast the widest net. It includes print and electronic books as well as journal articles. But, to use it effectively, you have to be more specific in your search relative to the other search boxes. Use this method of searching when you're looking for specific phrases, authors, citations, or articles on narrowly defined topics. The features in the search options allow you the most customizability in your searches: limit by many criteria in the left-hand menu bar. Remember to be specific with search terms here, otherwise, you will get too many results to sift through.

undefined


How do I download articles or book chapters?

Different vendors provide resources to the BPL collection, so the process is slightly different depending on how you access resources. To download pages, you'll need to click through on the resource you're looking for. Look for this button: undefined

  • For books, you'll have the option to download chapters via PDF. Normally, this is the easiest way to download resources. Some resources will give you the option to do a "full download" which is different and requires additional e-reader software. Most books will only let you download a set number of pages due to publisher restrictions, usually a couple of chapters at a time.
  • For articles, it's much easier to simply download to PDF. Click on variations of "PDF Full Text" to access.

For in-depth instructions on downloading resources, visit http://vts.libguides.com/ebooks


The book I need is not available electronically, what are my options?

Many resources are only available in print format, often due to publisher restrictions. If there is a specific resource you need, email paynelib@vts.edu and library staff will try to find an e-version for you. If we cannot, we will work with you to identify alternative resources for your research.