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Resources and Services for International Students and Scholars: Home

Welcome to University Libraries

Welcome to the Appalachian State University Libraries! We hope that the University Libraries will be a home away from home for you and your research. You will find the friendly librarians to be an indispensable resource for your academic success.

Wondering what you can do at the library?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Find and check out books, DVDs, CDs and movies in different languages.
  • Access electronic journals, magazines, e-books, streaming films, and scholarly websites on public computers or your own device.
  • Borrow materials from other libraries through ABC requests and interlibrary loan service. 
  • Ask a librarian for help with your research (Library service desks, Researrch Advisory Program, Email, Zoom, etc.)
  • Copy and print materials for personal or academic use.
  • Meet with your classmates to work on a project (27 study rooms).
  • Meet your friends for a cup of coffee at Crossroads and Wired Scholar. 

When you visit the library, make sure to bring your ID (to check out materials!), writing utensils, and a plan for backing up your work if you're using the public computers (e.g. flash drive, Google Drive).

Please review the following interactive video for library introduction

Definition of Library Terms and Tools


APPsearch is our federated/default search, which allows you to search across 100 library databases and books and media simultaneously to locate books, articles, DVDs and more. APPsearch is a discovery search engine, which helps you easily find and get the most common resources available at our University Libraries through a single search.


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 APPsearch, Google Scholar, and other search tools).

Boolean Operators/Boolean Terms

The Boolean operators used by the 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. Check the Boolean Operators tutorial video here. 

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. Our libraries use the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) for call numbers, which enables sources to be organized by subject.

Catalog (Books & Media)

Books & Media (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 Books and Media as well.  You can conduct a simple keywords search from it, or select search for items by title, author, subject, Journal title, ISBN, or ISSN. Books and Media is included in the APPsearch too.

Check Out

1. 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 the library Borrowing rules and procedures here. You can go to the Library Service Desk on the first floor to check out books and other items from the library. Self checkout stations are available on the lower level and the first floor.

2. Library also has Technology Checkout Desk on the lower level for checking out digital equipment and accessories for personal use, and click here for the items you can check out and the Policies and Procedures.


A citation is a reference to a source used in your research. It is how you give credit to the author for their creative and intellectual works that you referenced as support for your research. Generally, citations should include author’s name, date, publisher information, journal information and/or DOI (Digital Object Identifier). Learn more about different citation styles from our Citation Guidelines

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 professor to see if items have been put aside at the library for your course. Check here for Course Reserves access.


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 or multidisciplinary, which means they contain resources related to many subjects and disciplines, while others are subject-specific, meaning they hold resources related to a specific field of study. Visit our library Databases page for more information. 

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 Borrowing.


E-journals (also known as electronic journals) are journals that you can access online via eJournals search box on the library homepage, APPsearch, and databases page.

Federated Search (APPsearch)

Federate search is a search technique that involves indexing multiple data sources at once, then presenting this variety of results to users in one unified interface . Most traditional search methods only indexes a single data source at a time. APPsearch at our library is a federate search.

Library Service Desk

The Library Service Desk is located on the main floor of Belk Library and is staffed with librarians, staff members, and student workers who can assist you with your research and circulation services. You can contact the Library Service Desk in person, via email, by phone, or by live chat.  Learn more about these options by visiting the Services site.

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) and ABC Express

Interlibrary loan service allows 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 Library Service Desk. ABC Express is a delivery service operated by the Western North Carolina Library Network (WNCLN) of Appalachian State University, UNC-Asheville, and Western Carolina University. If you need a book, journal, or other library material that is at UNC-Asheville or Western Carolina University libraries, ABC Express can usually have it here for you within 2-3 business days. Here is the information for both Interlibrary Loan and ABC Express service.


Most libguides are subject research or course guides that provide you with resources and tips for conducting research as a student. However, some libguides provide general research help or explain library services (such as Citation Guidelines, Distance Library Services).  All libguides are created by librarians and staff members to help you navigate the library and its resources.  You can find a full list of our libguides here.

Off-Campus Access

To access the Libraries online resources when you're off-campus, you'll sign in through an authentication page using your AppState credentials (your email user name and password).  For more information, visit the DUO- 2 Factor Authentication site here.


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 Borrowing.


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 journals.

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 our Library can be found on the main floor behind the Library Service Desk.  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 or read it in the library. 


Stacks are the shelves on which library materials are stored. Our 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. 

Subject Guide

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Xiaorong Shao

Room 138, Belk Library
(828) 262-7714