Library Tutorials and Help

Library Orientation

How Do I …?

These FAQs contain answers to the questions most commonly asked by IWS students regarding library services. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email the library staff. Library staff work limited hours, and messages left on the library phone get sent by email anyway, so email is the best method to contact library staff for assistance. ^ back to table of contents ^

How do I … find articles if the full-text is not online?

Although the Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS database offers the full-text of many resources, it also includes citations and abstracts for resources that are not available in full-text. If you find a citation without a link to full-text, there are several additional places you can look:

  • Try searching Google and Google Scholar for the author/title of the resource, or for the title of the journal. Many subscription journals embargo access to recently published issues and articles, but make archived copies of older issues available free on the Internet.
  • Check with the library of the college or university where you received your previous degree to find out their alumni user policy. Some academic libraries grant alumni privileges to search their online databases or place requests for electronic copies of resources online.
  • If in the United States, contact your local public library about their InterLibrary Loan (ILL) policy. For a nominal fee (usually under $5.00), many public libraries will request copies of articles or books from other libraries for your use. You can usually get a public library card free from the library serving the city or county where you live.
  • Look for a university or a seminary library within driving distance of where you live. Many academic institutions will allow guest users to access their online subscription databases via a library computer on their campus. The full-text article may be available through a database other than Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS. Call the library in advance to verify their guest use policies.
  • Search for the journal title on to look for a nearby library that owns the print copy of the journal. Libraries will frequently let guests come browse their periodicals collections and pay to photocopy articles they need. Call the library in advance to verify their guest use policies.
  • If you are unable to get a copy of the article from sources nearby where you live, email us for assistance. The librarian may be able to obtain a copy from a sister institution to scan and email to you.

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How do I … find books in the IWS Library?

For instructions on searching the online library catalog to find books, see the FAQs section IWS Library Catalog Tutorials. When you discover a book you want in the catalog, you will need the name of the collection where it is located and the call number to find it on the shelf.

  • Within each collection, IWS library books are arranged by Library of Congress Classification. The call number in the catalog matches the label on the spine of the book on the shelf.
  • The IWS Library is located in Building D. See this Interactive Library Map for additional information.

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How do I … find books near where I live?

The easiest way to find books in a library near your home is to search for what you need on WorldCat is an online database of library holdings world-wide and includes a feature that allows you to “find it in a library near you.” See the FAQ section WorldCat Tutorials for more instructions about searching WorldCat.

Students in the U.S. and Canada may live near a theological library participating in one of our Library Partners reciprocal borrowing programs.

In the U.S., your local public library may be able to help you borrow books from other libraries through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). Check with your local library about their ILL policies and fees. Library systems in other countries may offer similar services, depending upon their national and international interlibrary loan policies. ^ back to table of contents ^

How do I … get help with my research?

If you need assistance with using library resources for your research, please feel free to email library staff. Library staff work limited hours, and the library phone goes to VOIP email, so email is the best method to contact library staff for assistance. If you need assistance choosing a topic, writing your paper, identifying plagiarism, or formatting citations, contact your IWS professor or thesis advisor.

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How do I … login to the Library Catalog?

You can search the IWS Library Catalog without an account. Logging in to your account lets you save lists, see your checked-out books, and place holds.

To login: Go to > Resources > Library > Catalog, and then click on My Account [login].

  • New student login:
    • User ID = firstname.lastname
    • Password = lastname4iws
  • Upon first login, change your password (suggestion: use your Canvas/Populi password so it is easy to remember).
  • For password help, email the library.

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How do I … login to Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS database?

Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS are subscription databases. To search Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS, you must login.

  • To login: Go to > Resources > Library > Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS
  • Use the same User ID and Password as your Canvas/Populi account

Once you are in the Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS platform, you can create an EBSCO folder to save searches, citations, and notes. This is a personal folder and you create the account for it. Remember your own username and password, as IWS will not have access to it.

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How do I … get around the “unable to validate your login credentials”/Authentication Error Code 103 errors?

IWS and EBSCOhost use something called a “Referring URL” to validate students’ access to journal articles and ebooks. This long-standing feature of the open web has become a tool sometimes used by media and ad companies to track users, and more and more software is blocking our ability to do this kind of validation (examples: recent versions of Apple’s Safari web browser and DuckDuckGo’s privacy extension for other browsers). Basically: EBSCO is being blocked from knowing that you came from the IWS library.

Some students who have had trouble logging in to Atla with Safari on Mac were able to log in to the EBSCO platform by using the Firefox browser on their Mac. If you are using Windows or another browser on a Mac, try disabling all extensions, refreshing the Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS login page at the IWS website and logging in again. If it works, you can try to narrow down which add-in or extension is causing the problem, or go through the process to disable each time you need to use ATLA. You will probably want to re-enable your extensions once you have successfully logged in.

If that doesn’t describe or fix your issue, then we’ll need some more information to help us troubleshoot: what kind of device are you using, what browser you are using, where you are trying to login from (the library access pages like or from within the library catalog). It would also help to have a screenshot.

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How do I … login to eBooks on EBSCOhost?

IWS eBooks on EBSCOhost is a subscription database. To search eBooks, you must login.

  • To login: > Resources > Library > eBooks (EBSCO)
  • Use the same User ID and Password as your Canvas/Populi account

Once you are in the IWS eBook platform, you can create an EBSCO folder to save searches, citations, and notes. This is a personal folder and you create the account for it. Remember your own username and password, as IWS will not have access to it.

You can also search for eBooks through the library catalog and click on a link there to access them. Before using the catalog to search for eBooks, first login directly to the EBSCOhost platform as described above. This will set a cookie in your browser to enable you to access links directly from the catalog.

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How do I … request a book to be mailed to me?

Requests for books owned by IWS can be placed through the IWS Library Catalog, using the Library Cart feature.

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How do I … obtain a copy of an IWS thesis?

A list of IWS theses can be found on the IWS website at Resources > Library > IWS Theses. Print copies of IWS theses are available in the library for use on-site. Digital copies of IWS theses are available to IWS students, staff, and faculty by searching the IWS Library Catalog. Instructions for accessing digital copies are in this IWS Theses tutorial.

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Library Resource Help & Tutorials

The help links and tutorials on this page give guidance for using library resources provided to IWS students, faculty and staff. Some links go to general tutorials provided by vendors, and others are tailored to the needs of IWS library users. If you need more in-depth research assistance, please feel free to email the library staff.

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Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS Tutorials

Additional help:

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eBooks Tutorials

The EBSCOhost interface is the search platform that hosts the IWS eBook collection. For help using the EBSCOhost platform, see the Atla RDB and Atlas PLUS tutorials. For help using eBooks on EBSCOhost, see the EBSCO support site.

Finding eBooks in the IWS catalog:

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IWS Library Catalog Tutorials

The IWS Library Catalog allows you to search approximately 10,000 books and other materials housed in the library collection on the IWS campus. You can search the IWS Library Catalog without an account. Logging in to your account lets you save lists, e-mail requests for books to be mailed, see your checked-out books, and place holds.

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TREN (Theological Research Exchange Network) Tutorial

The Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN) is an index of over 25,400 theological thesis/dissertation titles, as well as conference papers, representing research from as many as 150 different institutions. The Using TREN tutorial is a brief introduction to searching TREN and obtaining TREN documents free through the IWS library.
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Google Scholar Tutorials

Google Scholar is a free web search engine that indexes the full text or citations of scholarly resources across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Extensive instructions for using Google Scholar are available on the Google website.
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WorldCat Tutorial

WorldCat is an online catalog that indexes the titles from thousands of libraries worldwide. You can search WorldCat free on the Internet at Using WorldCat explains how to search WorldCat and use advanced features of the database such as how to find materials in a library near you.

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Citation Help

Citation Managers

A citation manager helps you keep track of articles and books as you find them, tag and annotate them, and create citations and bibliographies. Using citation management software will help you organize and compile your notes and citations when writing papers. The IWS library does not offer support for citation managers, but you can read about each one on the following websites and choose the one that works best for you.

Free citation managers:

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Zotero Tutorials

Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. You can find help for using Zotero here:

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Turabian Help

Turabian is a style for formatting citations published by the University of Chicago Press and sometimes referred to as Chicago/Turabian. The IWS library retains one non-circulating copy of the most recent edition of Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations on the Reserve shelf. It is highly recommended that students purchase their own copy for use while writing papers for IWS courses using this preferred citation style. Most research databases and citation managers will auto-generate footnote and bibliography citations in Turabian style that are extracted from metadata describing a resource. However, students need to check these computerized citations for the accuracy of spelling, punctuation, and the content provided.

For quick reference to examples of citations for a variety of resources, you can use this guide on the publisher’s website:

For additional hints and helps, please see the Luther Rice Seminary Turabian Guide. Always check the information found in help guides by looking up answers to your questions in the current version of Turabian’s Manual.

It is important for IWS students to obtain permission and properly cite copyrighted resources when creating worship services as a student at IWS. In the United States, copyright is the law. IWS must abide by U.S. copyright law for its worship services. If you created something, such as music, lyrics, poetry, a prayer, etc., then that work is owned by you and protected by copyright. Copyright deals with whether you have permission to use a source someone else created.

The Worship Copyright Guidance for IWS Students was created by the IWS Library to help IWS students navigate copyright in the context of worship. Links to helpful resources and context-specific examples are included in the guide, but please note that it is not a definitive legal source on all matters of copyright.