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COMP (Online Sections)

Getting Started for Comp 1000

Review each section below and complete the quiz at the end. To prepare for the quiz, download the worksheet. The quiz is based on the questions from this worksheet. If you need assistance answering a question, please ask a librarian.

After reviewing this page, you will better understand:

  • The types of resources available through the library
  • How to search the library catalog
  • What a library database is
  • Use Ask A Librarian for help

1. Razor's Research Bytes

Razor's Research Bytes is a self-paced library orientation within Canvas. It is a series of "bite-size" online modules that introduce general research concepts and illustrate how to efficiently use library resources.

  1. Login to Canvas to complete Razor's Research Bytes (if you have not done so already for another class).
  2. After completing the modules, come back to this page to continue.

Don't know how to login in Canvas? Follow the instructions here.

Tip: If you are unable to access the library's course in Canvas, please contact the Alvin Sherman Library at

2. Types of Library Resources

library books, dvds, and video games on a tableThe Alvin Sherman Library provides access to many different resources that you    can check out for free with your NSU SharkCard including:

  • Books & ebooks
  • Scholarly articles
  • Video games
  • DVDs & Blu-Rays
  • Newspapers
  • Graphing calculators


Tip: Ask a librarian if you do not know how to access any of these resources. We are happy to help!

3. Searching the Catalog

NovaCat is the online library catalog for all NSU libraries. Search the catalog to find books, video games, movies, sheet music, and more.

To find print books at the library:

  • Type a keyword, title, or author into the catalog search.
  • Then, write down the call number. This helps you find the item on the shelf.
  • Finally, use a library map or ask a librarian to find the item's location in the library.

    library catalog result for book showing the location, call number, and availability

    The image above is the catalog result for the book Life on the Rocks by Juli Berwald. The book was found by searching the keyword "coral reefs" in the catalog. Now what?

  • The yellow box indicates the location, or in which NSU Library you'll find the book. This book is available at the Alvin Sherman Library.

  • The blue box is the book's call number. Write down or screenshot your book's call number. It is used like an address to find the book on the shelves. (Tip: Ask a Librarian to point you in the right direction!)

  • The red box indicates the book's status. If the status says AVAILABLE, the item may be checked out at the Circulation Desk with your NSU SharkCard. If the status is "DUE" or "LIB USE ONLY," you will not be able to check out the item. If an item is currently checked out by someone else, you can even place a hold on it to be notified when it is available.

4. Ebooks at the Library

The library also provides online access to ebooks and audiobooks.

To find ebooks at the library:

  • Type a keyword, title, or author into the catalog search.
  • Under "Refine your search," choose the format E-Book.
  • To open an ebook, select the blue hyperlink that says: Available via [name of the ebook vendor]: Click here for access.

library catalog record showing ebook access link


Tip: Download the free CloudLibrary app to read popular and new release ebooks and audiobooks. Learn more about CloudLibrary here.

5. Getting Started with Databases

A library database is an electronic collection of information and documents, including newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and more.

Databases are not considered "the internet." We use an internet browser to access library databases, but we are not searching a website. Unlike searching Google, using a library database will allow you to:

  • Limit a search by a keyword, author, date, publication, etc.
  • Find scholarly or peer reviewed sources
  • Avoid paywalls or other paid subscription content

The databases below tend to be helpful when getting started with topics:

Tip: Ask a librarian for help with using library databases, including choosing a database, searching for articles, and opening articles.

6. Quiz (COMP 1000)

Now that you have completed each section of this module, submit your quiz to your COMP professor for credit! To begin the quiz, click on the link below that corresponds to your course/professor.

You may use your completed worksheet to answer each question on the quiz. When finished, click "submit."
(Note: Answers will not save unless the quiz is submitted.  Do not close the quiz window before you submit the quiz.)

Select the quiz for your course/professor: