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Complaint: Databases - Jun 08, 2010  

It does no good to have a citation feature on the 'Articles and Databases' section when it a)doesn't work at all, and b) doesn't use either MLA or APA format in the citations it DOES suggest. Why waste our time sending us on a wild goose chase after a citation? Wouldn't our money be better spent by purchasing participation in programs that are ACTUALLY FUNCTIONAL? The databases are the biggest waste of time on campus; it is IMPOSSIBLE to find any relevant information, and I'm pretty familiar with research. I have NEVER found anything useful by using the databases - it's just chasing your tail. Please stop misleading us, and allowing professors to FORCE us to use tools that are useless.

Library Response - Jun 14, 2010

The library appreciates the frankness with which you express your frustration.  As information professionals who work with students every day, librarians recognize that the research process can be extremely frustrating.  Further, you are correct when you suggest that the tools provided by the library are not always user friendly.

Regarding Databases:

It is true that the databases are challenging to use and that the syntax required to effectively search these resources is a bit counter intuitive in light of the simplicity of basic Google searching.  However, the library databases are the best place to find peer-reviewed and scholarly materials in most subject areas.  Such materials are not generally available on the free web.

Given that most scholarly and peer-reviewed materials are not available on the free web, it is essential that students learn efficient search techniques and strategies for library databases.  Such skills will benefit students throughout their college careers and possibly beyond.  An experienced researcher will be able to find information on most topics using the suite of library resources available through the GCC Libraries. 

The library encourages students who are having trouble finding research materials to Ask-a-Librarian for assistance.  Students may contact a librarian in person or via chat, email, or phone. 

Some of the most common problems that students encounter when using library databases include:

  1. search syntax: most library databases require Boolean searching (using 'and' and 'or' as connectors); simply typing in words without these connectors will often lead to poor results
  2. not scrolling: most library databases return results in reverse chronological order; thus, the best results for your search may be on the seond or third screen
  3. selecting the right database: without experience, it is difficult to know which databases are the best for a given topic; if you are not getting the results you expect, ask-a-librarian.

Regarding Citation Features:

It would be helpful to have more information about the resource that you were using when you encountered the problems described above. If a malfunction is encountered, please let the library know the resource and the nature of the malfunction so that the problem can be reported.

Unfortunately, each database handles citation information a bit differently.  Some provide users with the ability to select the citation style they are looking for.  Other databases provide the information needed for a citation but do not provide the information in standard MLA or APA style.  It is important for students to learn to recognize the required elements of a citation and be able to put these elements in the proper style using citation guides.  The ability to appropriately cite one's creative work (papers, technical reports, media productions, etc.) is an essential skill for college level and professional work.  

The library maintains a Citation Guides webpage that links to specialized resources and citation generators that help with citing sources. 

Final Thoughts:

Proprietary library systems accessing commercially controlled information (i.e. scholarly materials and other commercial publications) are currently lagging behind the search and retrieval systems provided by Google with respect to usability.  It is the hope of information professionals that one day scholarly and commercial information will be more easily accessible.  Where possible, we are working toward that vision.

Complaint: Databases - Feb 23, 2010  

Why is it that when you look up certain databases you cant find the article, or the article is not available?

Library Response - Feb 23, 2010

This is a good question.  And the complete answer to this question is a bit confusing.

First, let me see if I understand your question:

  1. You have searched in one of the article databases found on the GCC databases page
    (i.e. )
  2. You have retrieved a list of results but the full-text of some of the items in the list appears to be unavailable.

There are reasons that this is the case and there are strategies to circumvent this problem.  First, a few (of many) reasons:

  1. Many databases were indexes to journal literature before most articles were available electronically.  Thus, they provided citation information for articles (after a search) and the user then had to go find the article in print or in another database.  Databases spent a lot of time and money simply indexing journal literature.  Even today, some researchers find the index aspect of a database useful even if full-text cannot be provided right away.  
  2. Full text electronic access to publications is expensive.  Thus, many database providers cannot provide full text to every journal they index.  Further, due to copyright restrictions and licensing agreements, some full-text material is only available through certain database providers.


  1. If you get many results in your search list, look for the place in the database to 'limit to full-text'.  This will (a) ensure that all of the results listed are available in full-text within one click but (b) it will exclude some/many article citations that may lead to the full-text of an article in one of the other databases or in print.
  2. If you get results where the full-text is not displaying, be sure to look for the HTML FULL TEXT or PDF FULL TEXT links.  If full-text is NOT available for an article in the database you are searching, it may be available in another database.  To automatically query the collection of databases available through GCC, click the 'how can I get this article' link.  Sometimes you'll find a link to full-text there, sometimes you won't.
  3. If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for be sure to Ask-a-Librarian.  We know the tricks of these very confusing databases and we're happy to help and teach. We're also available 24 hours per day / 7 days per week.

Finally, if you'd like a personal response to comments submitted through the suggestion box, be sure to include your email address.

: website - Jan 28, 2010  

I suggest that the responsible person should correct both misspellings of

Library Response - Jan 28, 2010

Thank you for your willingness to point out misspellings and typos on the library website.  Unfortunately, your complete message did not come through the email system. 

When reporting a problem, it is most helpful to refer directly to a webpage.  Often this is easiest to do by copying the webpage address (URL) directly into the Suggestion Box form.  Users can also refer to a page title.  Use caution when cutting and pasting from a website as separate lines of text sometimes get lost.

I hope that you are able to re-send your message with all the information intact.  If you'd like to contact the library through email, you can contact the web coordinator .

Again, thanks for your comments in effort to improve the library website.


Suggestion: website - Jan 25, 2010  

Your website does not contain your hours of operation. What are the normal hours? The location titled hours of operation states all of your exceptions. I suggest that the library also include its normal business hours.

Library Response - Jan 28, 2010

The hours webpage for GCC Libraries has been updated to reflect Spring Semester hours.

When you accessed the page, the Spring Semester hours were available but they were at the bottom of the webpage -- after all of the exceptions associated with the winter break.  Information about hours during Spring Break is subject to change.

Thanks for taking the time to conctact the library about the website.  

Compliment: Campus - Nov 22, 2009  

Since my time at GCC i have had many great experiences, from the teachers to the learning in my classes.

As well as good times i have also had some bad, over the time being here i have noticed a disturbing amount of people who smoke! i cannot walk through the campus with out getting caught in a cloud of smoke. I do not smoke and never wish to my suggestion to you is for there to be places where people can smoke and not smoke.

I don't think walking around and smoking is a good idea, for one second hand smoke has been proven to actually be worse then smoking its self,and i do not want to have to pay for other peoples mistakes. i would greatly appreciate for you to stop the smoking outside the smoking areas. thank you for you time.

- Brittany

Library Response - Nov 25, 2009

Hello Brittany -

Thank you for taking the time to use our the Library Suggestion Box and for the recognition of the positive experiences that you have enjoyed at GCC. 

As the campus smoking policy is not an issue administered by the Library, I have forwarded your concern to college officials who may have jurisdiction in this area including the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Administrative Services and Planning, and the Office of the President. 

The current GCC smoking policy is available online. 

More information on the implementation of the smoke-free policy is available on page two of the August 13, 2007 GCC Administrative Services & Planning newsletter. 

Suggestion: website - Nov 19, 2009  

on the Staff page, the laptop link goes to the student laptop info rather than the employee one (AKA Critter Farm) - how about redirecting the link?

Library Response - Nov 19, 2009

Thanks for your feedback on the website.  We concur that the link location that you suggest is more appropriate for the "for Staff" webpage and have made the change.

The library welcomes suggestions about the website and services.  Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think. 

Compliment: Collections - Nov 12, 2009  

I love these articles... it gave me an [A] (grade letter not entered by student.)

Library Response - Nov 19, 2009

Thanks for the compliment.  The library strives to provide high quality resources for student assignments. 

Further, librarians are available to assist students 24/7 via the Ask-a-Librarian online chat service and in person all the hours that the library is open!

Suggestion: news item - Oct 27, 2009  

I would like to know how to access the short story database. I have tried both my eGCC and MEID identities. Perhaps this could be made clear on the login page, in case other folk are as confused as I am.

Library Response - Oct 28, 2009

Access to short stories as described in the NEWS item of October 27, 2009 is provided via the Masterfile Premier database.  To access any of the library subscribed databases from off-campus you must use your eGCC username and password. 

That said, the original news provided a link to the database that was valid only on-campus.  The news item has been updated to include a link to the resource that will function from off-campus.

Compliment: Circulation - May 05, 2009  

I think this [increased fines on reserve items] is outrageous. I can almost promise you there will be no more reserves. It would be just as easy to say, we are short hand or short of funding and are ceasing to put anything on hold as the cost if not picked up is too high. Please cancel anything I may have on hold and I assure I will not place anything on hold again.

Library Response - May 05, 2009

The comment above is in reference to the May 5 Library News Item, "Fines to Increase on Reserve Material".

It appears that the comment is concerned that there will soon be fines if requested items are not picked up.  This is not the case.  Students will NOT be fined if they fail to pick up requested items.  Fines are increasing on RESERVE items, though.

For clarity, note the description of each service:

RESERVES are items that the library holds behind the circulation counter for in-library use.  These items are held at the request of a faculty member because they are high use items that many students need to have access to.  As such, they circulate to students for a very short period of time (usually 2 hours). 

The fines are increasing on THESE items because some students have taken advantage of the system and kept these items for days or even weeks; thereby, limiting access for other students.


REQUESTS / HOLDS are items that are typically requested by library users because (a) the item is at another campus or (b) the item is currently check-out.  There is no change in the HOLD POLICY at this point.  Items are held for the requesting student for several days.  There are no fines if you fail to pick up an item that is being held for you.

Thanks again for your feedback.  The input of students helps to make the library a better place for everyone.

Complaint: databases / IT - Apr 29, 2009  

It would be nice if your website database was up to date and accessible from off-campus. It seems, along with your technical support it is outdated and useless. It is too bad that your help desk and technical support do not communicate with each other, this might help when some one is looking for help with server questions.

Library Response - May 05, 2009

Unfortunately, it is difficult to understand which system you are referring to.  Please be more specific when offering a comment about a particular webpage, website, or database.

That said, the vast majority of databases to which the library subscribes ARE available from off-campus.  Off-campus access requires authentication with your eGCC ID and password.  

Databases that do not provide remote access are noted on the database listing of the GCC Libraries webpage. 

If you are unable to connect to a particular database, please contact the library for assistance or report the problem to the library via the Suggestion Box or by Contacting Us directly. 

If you are unable to access ANY library database, it is likely a problem with your eGCC account; contact the Student Help Desk

Your complaint has been forwarded to the Library chair and the campus IT department so that we may revisit possible communication problems between various service points.

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