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Information Literacy Tutorial: The Research Plan

I'm learning about the library!

For hearing impaired students:

I just ran into my friend Jess.  She took me on a tour of the library and even told me how to get started on my paper.  I guess I need to choose a topic.  Check out the link Know Your Library to see all that the library offers.  I had no idea!  I searched Google and found a website that lists all of the steps in the research process.  There are a lot!  It's a good thing I'm starting early.  Now back to choosing a topic.  The possibilities are endless.  How am I going to decide?  Ugh!  This isn't going to be easy.

Develop a Research Plan

  1. Make sure you understand the assignment
  2. Select a topic
  3. Develop your topic into a manageable focus
  4. Determine what types of information you need
  5. Determine how to locate those types of information sources
  6. Create effective search strategies for retrieving the needed information from the appropriate databases
  7. Begin gathering together sources of information to create a working bibliography
  8. Evaluate the sources of information and select the best to use in your assignement
  9. Create citations for the sources you have selected

Note: These are the steps for conducting research, after you have done your research, you will want to follow the steps in the writing process.

The different folder tabs at the top of this page will take you through the steps of the research process.

Virtual Library Tour . . . Know Your Library!

The Library

The library is located in building A, and provides students' access to a wide variety of resources. Use the grey tabs above to explore what the library has to offer, then take the short quiz at the end to test your knowledge! 

Reference Desk

The reference desk (on the right in the image above) is where you would go to:

  • Ask for research assistance
  • Ask for assistance using library computers
  • Get help locating and using library resources
  • Report library computer problems
  • Get assistance and instruction using resources available on the library web site
  • Contact librarians by phone, email, chat, text, or in person.

Circulation Desk

The circulation desk (on the left in the image above) is the place you would go to:

  • Apply for a library card
  • Check out, renew, &  return materials
  • Pay overdue fines
  • Borrow textbooks for use within the Library
  • Get course reserve materials
  • Get help locating missing books from the shelves
  • Get and turn in interlibrary loan forms
  • Get help with copier


All of the library's computers are networked to two laser printers, located near the front doors and the circulation desk. Printing is free, but is limited to 25 pages per day. 

Wi-Fi Printer

The library has a wireless printer connected to the MCC Wireless network. Students may use their own devices (laptops, cell phones, or tablets) to print to this printer. Reference librarians are available for assistance with this. 


The library has a photocopier at the end of the circulation desk. Photocopies are ten cents a page. The copier accepts dollar bills and will make change. You may also ask for  change at the circulation desk and for assistance using the copier.


A flatbed scanner is located near the end of the circulation desk, and is available for student use. Students may save scans to their student drive or an external memory device, or can immediately print the scan from the scanning station. Printing from the scanner is free. 

Classroom Space

The round tables are used for library instruction classes. When the tables are not being used for instruction, they may be used by students for group study. 

Reference Area

The reference collection consists of sources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, almanacs, etc. Reference books must be used in the library and may not be checked out. The reference collection is organized by Library of Congress Classification System. Reference librarians are available to assist you in locating and using reference sources.


The stacks refers to books in the general collection, or in other words, sources you can check out with your library card.  They are arranged by Library of Congress Classification System.

In the stacks you will  find two additional computers with access to the Library Catalog to quickly search for a book or call number.

This area (shaded in purple in the above image) is a quiet study area, and has numerous tables and carrels.


In addition to subscribing to many periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) electronically in databases, the library also subscribes to a number of periodicals in hard copy. These periodicals are divided into three categories (popular, academic, and newspapers) and are shelved in the area shown above. The current issue faces out, and the shelves flip up and older issues are kept below. Periodicals may be checked out for one week. 


The library's DVD collection can be found in the shelving unit on the far left in the above image (shown in blue). The collection includes popular and academic titles which are available for one week check out. 


There are over 40 computers available in the library for public use. These computers have Internet access, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and are networked to laser printers, which can be found near the circulation desk. An accessible computer station is available (shown in the upper right section of the highlighted area in the above image).

People needing to conduct research on the computers are given priority over all other uses. 

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Ben Franklin Says...

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."

MCC Library

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Phone: 815-455-8762


Fall 2019 Hours

August 19 - December 13

Monday through Thursday:  8:00am to 8:30pm

Friday:  8:00am to 4:30pm

Closed September 2 for Labor Day

October 15 for Professional Development Day

& November 27-29 for Thanksgiving