Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Devika Jagarlamudi 

As we Kick off on a new semester here at the University of North Texas Libraries, we have an engaging lineup of events planned for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. From workshops to films, exhibits to Storytimes, there is something for everyone this spring. Please see our calendar for the most up to date listings, but below are some highlights you won’t want to miss. 

Got Kids? We’ve got you covered with Family Study Hours stuffed with activities so you can jam on your research projects in peace while the little ones play while you tap into our resources and expertise. Join us on March 6th, 19th, April 2nd, 12th, and May 7th in Willis 250H. Come take advantage of our family friendly study sessions and get your work done while the kids enjoy themselves. Check out our Student-Parent and Family Resources guide for a full list of events and more information.  

We’re happy that the Student Snapshot Symposium is returning again this spring to spotlight our library assistants. On April 10th from 1- 4pm, we’re converting Room 250H into a stage just for our talented student library assistants to showcase their knowledge and passion gained from working behind the scenes in circulation, tech services, reference, outreach, and special projects where they do presentations, artistic posters, or other innovative formats.  

Need to seriously crush those last few chapters of your Honors thesis? Give it what it needs at the upcoming Honors Thesis Camp. We’ve perfectly optimized the environment to help you crush those chapters. No distractions allowed – just you, your laptop, and dozens of other determined Honors students, motivated to transform their manuscripts into works of art. Enjoy snacks, swag, and advisors on standby to address any thesis troubles. Come inhabit our productivity bubble on March 26th, 27th and April 23rd, 24th in Willis 250J. 

Calling all bookworms! UNT Libraries Monthly Books display offers a revolving cycle of different literary adventures. Every month, we create a new theme to attract readers of all kinds. From timely topics to timeless classics, you never know what curated selection our library employees will cook up next. Additionally, don’t miss our semester-long book displays, with this semester’s theme being “Books for You”. Swing by the first floor of Willis Library and check that out. 

Mark your calendars for a special Bookmark making event on April 2nd. We’ll be setting it up outside the entrance near Willis, ready to help you decorate bookmarks perfect for all your spring reads. Join us as part of the library’s events and leave with a custom bookmark you’ll want to use again and again. This crafting event is one you won’t want to miss! 

Students working on crafting their own bookmarks by Anna Esparza from the UNT Digital Library  

Bored on campus? Looking for something fun to do with friends? Well, get ready to level up your downtime with the Media Library’s Tabletop Time events this spring! Every month they’ll be hosting themed game nights with popcorn and snacks to fuel the fun. In March it is all about showing off your dexterity skills and while in April, gather your crew for Party Games. Drop by Willis library on March 7th and April 4th   from 2-4 pm for a much needed break. 

Media Library tabletop by Anna Esparza from the UNT Digital Library 

The Spark is celebrating National Crafting Month with Crafting Hours at all locations including Willis, Discovery Park and Frisco Landing in March. For tech-savvy students, Spark has also a lineup of workshops and events which offers a splash of everything – resources, software, and more. Check out their workshop series plus intro courses. Additionally, the Spark also provides hands-on workshops in laser cutting, Milling, 3D printing and many more which are perfect for bringing your creative ideas to life. Learn how to design objects and make them a reality using the high-tech tools available. Level up your DIY skills and produce custom creations at one of these maker workshops. 

Spark 3-D printing workstation at Willis by Anna Esparza from the UNT Digital Library 

With so many cool events happening this spring, there’s something for every interest at the library. Don’t miss out on these fun opportunities to learn, create, and connect. Let us know which events you’re most excited about in the comments! Please reach out to AskUs if you have any additional questions. 


UNT Libraries. (n.d.). UNT Libraries Calendar Retrieved February 21, 2024, from   

The Spark. (n.d).The spark : Events/ Instruction/ Outreach at university of North Texas. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from  

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Pranathi Akula

As we step into Willis Library, we’re greeted with exciting changes and enhancements that promise to enrich the academic journey of every student and visitor. I want to provide a comprehensive list of the recent updates that have transformed this hub of knowledge and learning into an even more dynamic space. 

Media Library Relocation 

One significant update that has caught the attention of many is the relocation of the Media Library from Chilton Hall to the 2nd floor of Willis Library. Spring 2024 marked the milestone as we bid farewell to our previous location and embraced the new space within Willis. This move not only consolidates resources but also enhances accessibility, providing students with easier access to a wealth of multimedia materials (UNT Libraries, 2024a). 

The integration of the Media Library within Willis Library brings several benefits to the University of North Texas community. Students now have seamless access to a wide range of multimedia resources, including DVDs, Blu-rays, streaming services, gaming equipment such as Xbox, PlayStation 5, Nintendo and many more, all conveniently located within the heart of the campus. You can look at the equipment we have for check out in “Equipment” page of media library.  

Furthermore, Moving the media library inside Willis Library will hopefully encourage students to explore their creative side and take a break from their studies.

Media library service desk on second floor of Willis library. Image by Pranathi Akula
Media library on second floor of Willis library. Image by Pranathi Akula

Self-Service Pickup at Willis 

Nestled within the Willis Library, the Willis Self-Service Pickup offers students a seamless and efficient way to access library materials. Located on the first floor, this innovative solution provides lockers equipped with touchscreen interfaces, allowing students to retrieve their items at their convenience, even outside of regular service desk hours. Accommodations for accessibility needs can be easily arranged during the hold process, ensuring inclusivity for all users. Items remain available for pickup for 48 hours, granting ample time for retrieval, while media and music audio collection items maintain their own designated pickup locations within the library. With Willis Self-Service Pickup, accessing knowledge has never been easier or more accessible (UNT Libraries, 2024b). 

Image showing Self-service pick up by the service desk at Willis first floor
Willis Self-service pickup on first floor of Willis library by the service desk. Image by Pranathi Akula

Willis Library Book Displays 

Among the exciting additions to Willis Library is the introduction of the Willis Library Book Displays. These displays serve as focal points for showcasing a diverse array of books, ranging from new releases to timeless classics. With an extensive collection at our disposal, the Featured Books display takes center stage, captivating students, and visitors alike with its thematic selections. 

Located on the first floor of Willis Library, the Featured Books display readers to embark on literary adventures tailored to their interests. The theme for Spring 2024 is “Books for YOU,” designed to offer readers a book that aligns with their personalities and interests. For instance, there will be selections like “Books for the Mathematician” and “Books for the Foodie” and many more. (UNT Libraries, 2024c). 

Students who wish to explore the available books can access an online display featuring a list of the books found on these displays, which they can check out using the link “Book displays”.   

Book Display on first floor of Willis library. Image by Abby Stovall

Final Thoughts 

As Willis Library continues to evolve and innovate, these updates reflect our ongoing commitment to providing an enriching educational experience for all. Whether you’re seeking knowledge, inspiration, or simply a moment of respite, Willis Library welcomes you to explore, engage, and discover the wonders that await within its walls. 

I highly recommend coming to see the changes in Willis Library and with that, check out our books, media, and updates. We look forward to embarking on this journey of discovery together. 

Visit Willis Library today and embark on your next literary adventure!


UNT Libraries. (2024, February 2024). Media Library. 

UNT Libraries. (2024, February 2024). Online Holds. 

UNT Libraries. (2024, February 2024). Willis Library Book Displays. 

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Compiled by: Abbie Teel

Hands typing on computer.
CottonBro Studio. (2023). Person using Macbook Pro On Table.

Curious to explore the engaging and educational databases housed within the UNT Libraries catalog?

During this semester, three GSAs undertook research on databases of their preference for one of their projects. They delivered presentations covering various aspects such as background information, materials/collections, target audience, features, search functionalities, and more. I have compiled key highlights with the help of the presenters, from these presentations, including my own, so that anyone interested can easily access and explore them.

Name: Abbie Teel

Database: Everyday Life & Women in America c. 1800-1920

Link to PowerPoint Presentation:

Audience: Adults: Researchers (i.e., historians, educators, higher education students, anyone interested in gaining insights into the daily lives and experiences of women in the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries). It would be helpful for anyone who studies Women’s Studies, History, Literature, or Education.

Topics Covered: Cookery, Education, Farming, Fashion and Beauty, Marginalized Voices, Medicine, Political and Social Issues, Popular Fiction and Sensational Literature, Racism and Representations of Race, Religion, Women’s Advice Literature, Work

Features: This database encompasses a broad range of subjects through digitized materials like monographs, pamphlets, periodicals, rare books, and broadsides. These materials were sourced from the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture and The New York Public Library. Featuring a plethora of primary sources from both men and women, it vividly captures the essence of life and the narratives surrounding individuals during this specified time period.

Information for Searching: The database provides comprehensive guidance on effective searching. Three key tips are highlighted. First, for finding people, it recommends using the language of the time to unveil narratives. Second, utilizing filters to narrow down results based on document type, date, author’s name, library or archive, etc. Lastly, it introduces browsing pathways, allowing users to view documents in a Google-search-like format, explore search directories, and delve into thematic areas. Additionally, research tools such as contextual essays, periodical case studies, thematic areas (focused searches by theme, e.g., cookery), and a chronology (an interactive timeline) are available to enhance the research experience. Navigating this database effectively requires practice to become proficient in its use. I recommend that the target audience should possess a minimum level of education equivalent to that of a college student since it is a little tricky.

Subject Librarian: Julie Leuzinger (Women’s Studies Librarian)

Name: Ashra Londa

Database: LGBT Magazine Archive

Link to PowerPoint Presentation:

Audience: Adults – Researchers, the Queer-Curious, and the Queer Community

Topic/s Covered: Homosexuality, Gay Rights/Culture/Literature/Movements, Gender Identity, Political Science, Women’s Interests, Psychology

Features: The LGBT Magazine Archive features a host of digitized paper resources (including magazines, scholarly sources, journals, and more) that span from the years of 1967-2020. The contents within each publication are queer-positive primary sources that derive from the LGBT community. These resources are vulnerable, personal, and unabashedly honest. They offer an incredible unfiltered glimpse into moments of queer history in the past 50 years, all items preserved in high quality and clearly archived.

Information for Searching: Keywords are the most effective for searching. Boolean operations (AND/NOT) work well. Be aware that explicit adult content cannot be filtered out of the search results. The facets limit time period, source type, and subjects. There is a save function to keep track of searched articles as well as a history function for easy management. Some publications do not have the full text.

Subject Libarian: Julie Leuzinger (LGBT+ Studies Librarian)

Name: Lakshmi Dubey

Database: Science Direct

Audience: Students/Researchers

Topics Covered: ScienceDirect offers access to a large collection of more than 16 million peer-reviewed papers from a variety of scientific fields. Precise investigation of academic content is made possible by its sophisticated search capabilities. Real-time updates provide researchers with access to the most recent articles, which is beneficial. Multimedia content is supported by the database, which improves the educational process. ScienceDirect provides tailored suggestions according on search history and user preferences. It also offers collaboration tracking and citation analysis features. Convenient study while on the go is further encouraged by mobile accessibility. ScienceDirect, with its vast collection, user-friendly interface, and cutting-edge features, is a leading platform that makes scientific discovery efficient and thorough for scholars and researchers around the globe.

Information for Searching: Enhance your search precision by leveraging advanced search options. Tailor your results by filtering based on factors such as publication type, publication year, author, and other relevant criteria. Additionally, explore the option to establish alerts for specific keywords or topics of interest, incorporating Boolean operators for even more refined search outcomes.

Subject Librarian: Pilar Baskett (Science Librarian)

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written by:  Abbie Teel 

Colorful Text on White Paper
Winstead, T. (2023). Congrats Grad.

The University of North Texas Libraries extend their services not only to current faculty, staff, and students but also to alumni. As fall graduation approaches, I’ve compiled a guide to help alumni make the most of the library’s resources even after earning their degree. 

Courtesy Cards 

Alumni can access the library’s resources through a courtesy card. Qualifying for a courtesy card is straightforward for alumni who are current members of the UNT Alumni Association or residing in Denton County. Additional qualifications for obtaining a courtesy card can be found on the library’s website. While a courtesy card provides borrowing privileges similar to a library card, it comes with distinct circulation policies, including specific loan periods, eligibility criteria, fines rates, and rental procedures (UNT Libraries 2023a). It’s important to note that a courtesy card does not grant off-site access to electronic resources or Wi-Fi. To apply for a courtesy card, alumni who qualify can fill out the online application, choosing to have it mailed or picking it up at the Willis Library service desk. If opting for in-person pickup, please bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Once you have been issued a Courtesy Card, you can view your account from the library’s homepage.  

TexShare Cards 

The TexShare program, designed to facilitate resource sharing among Texas academic and public libraries, also benefits UNT alumni. If alumni possess a TexShare card from another library/institution, they are eligible for a UNT Courtesy Card. However, it’s important to be aware that UNT Libraries can only issue TexShare cards to current students, faculty, and staff (UNT Libraries. 2023b). If you have questions regarding the TexShare program, feel free to reach out to Access Services or AskUs.

Interlibrary Loan 

For alumni seeking a book available at UNT Libraries, the Interlibrary Loan service is a valuable resource. Alumni can approach their local public library or the library of the institution where they are pursuing further education to request the desired materials through Interlibrary Loan. This service enables patrons of one library to borrow physical materials and access electronic documents held by another library.  

Internet Access 

While Wi-Fi access is currently limited to university-affiliated individuals, alumni can use computers available (also known as community workstations) in the Willis (near the elevators on 3rd and 4th floors), Discovery Park, or Sycamore libraries to access the library’s databases and, consequently, the internet. This provides a means for alumni to stay connected and continue benefiting from the wealth of information housed within UNT Libraries. 

Please Don’t Be a Stranger 

The library is committed to providing ongoing support, and we recognize the immense value of our alumni to the university. I share your passion for UNT and encourage you not to be a stranger – come check out our libraries!  Feel free to explore our stacks, check out our displays, and make the most of the resources available to you. Congratulations, graduates, on such an achievement!   

*Please note that the information provided in this post is subject to change.  


UNT Libraries. (2023a). Courtesy Cards.   

 UNT Libraries. (2023b). TexShare Cards.,materials%20at%20another%20participating%20institution.  

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Lakshmi Dubey 

University education may be a difficult and demanding experience, and for parents, it at times entails taking on additional responsibilities for household management and parenting. This post will discuss the study suggestions for student-parents attending college.  

UNT Libraries offer multiple resources for families and student-parents, such as kids activity kits that are available for checkout and family study nights. A great option for parents attending college would be to join networking groups through which they can get support and valuable insights by attending study sessions with other parents.  

UNT Libraries offers several spaces which are available for group study sessions or individual sessions. Rooms are available between 7am-12 am in Willis library and from 8am-9 pm at the Sycamore library. There are multiple books available for parents which can guide them on how they can navigate through difficult courses, cultural norms, and parenthood through academia. To name a few: “Mothers in Academia”, “The Parent Track”, and “Back in school”. 

Over 10,000 works of juvenile literature are available at UNT Libraries. These are kept at Sycamore Library and include both well-known children’s novels and current Young Adult literature. You can pick them up at Sycamore Library or place a pickup order for them through the catalog. To name a few: “Storybook Stew”, “Hair Love” and “The Giving Tree”. While the parents are involved in classes, study sessions, or homework, they could use these books and resources in order keep the children engaged with books and activity kits. Activity kits are available at Willis library for kids for a checkout period of 6 hours. If needed, the patron can renew it as well.  

By offering targeted services and spreading awareness of this parent-student group. Off-Campus Student Services acts as the link between student parents and departments. They offer outstanding resources, for instance for finding childcare, funds, and guidance for parenting. 

UNT hosts multiple events for the engagement of kids and parents. Join us on Friday, 10th November at the Willis library for a family fun night. We are hosting a stuffed animal sleepover at Willis library for kids and parents. Feel free to wear your PJ’s. Stuffed animal registration and check-in begins at 5pm and story time begins at 5:30 pm. If you would like to register your stuffed animal for this event, the pickup time will be from 10 am-12 pm on Saturday at the Union Circle. Your child’s stuffed animal will be able to receive a diploma for Graduating from the UNT Stuffed Animal Night School!  

This post discusses the challenges and resources available to student-parents attending the University of North Texas (UNT). UNT Libraries hosts resources such as family study nights, kids’ activity kits, and a range of literature that might assist parents in juggling the rigors of education with parenting their kids. The Sycamore Library offers ample room for both solo and group study sessions in addition to an extensive library of kid-friendly material to keep kids interested. The article also discusses how Off-Campus Student Services helps student parents find resources like financial assistance and childcare. To further include parents and children, UNT organizes family-friendly activities like a stuffed animal sleepover at the Willis library. 

Father is studying while kid is playing.
Father and Son using desk by Ketut Subiyanto, licensed under Pexels.

References (APA format):  

Division of Student Affairs. Family Fun Night | Division of Student Affairs. 

Parents and family. Parents and Family | University of North Texas | University of North Texas. 

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Pranathi Akula

In the heart of academic excellence at the University of North Texas (UNT), The SPARK at Willis Library stands as a beacon of creativity and innovation. More than just a space, the SPARK is a combination of a hands-on learning lab (Also known as maker space) and a library circulation collection that provides access to a wide range of technologies to not only support but also enhance the educational experiences of students at UNT. 

A Fusion of Creativity and Technology: 

The Makerspace at SPARK is not your typical library space. It is an innovative facility that seamlessly blends technology, collaboration, and innovativeness Equipped with state-of-the-art tools and resources, this innovative space is a testament to UNT’s commitment to providing students with an environment that nurtures both academic and creative pursuits. 

Windowed classroom with equipment
The Spark Makerspace at Willis Library Image by UNT Libraries 


Other than the one at Willis Library (room W150), the SPARK also has its branches at Discovery Park (room M152) and Frisco Landing (room 150) as well (UNT Libraries, 2023a). 

The SPARK at Discovery Park is open to all UNT students, faculty, and staff. Uniquely, in this location, the SPARK is partnering with the Mechanical Engineering department and will also have ME resources for checkout by ME students.  

Contact information and hours of operation: 

The SPARK can be reached via e-mail,, or using their phone numbers available on the SPARK page. The hours of operation vary at various locations. You can check them out the operating hours on the website (UNT Libraries, 2023a).  

Innovation Studios: 

For those looking to explore emerging technologies and bring their ideas to life, SPARK’s Innovation Studios are a game-changer. These studios are equipped with innovative equipment, including 3D printers, Laser cutting, dye cutting, and more. Students and faculty alike can use these resources to prototype inventions, create multimedia projects, or delve into the world of augmented reality. 

3D Printing: 

The SPARK’s 3D printing lab is a standout feature, allowing users to transform digital designs into tangible objects. From engineering prototypes to artistic creations, the possibilities are endless. Staff members are available to assist with the printing process and provide guidance on design considerations (UNT Libraries, 2023b). 

A 3D printing machine making an object.
Object in making at 3D printing station image by Pranathi Akula 

Laser cutting: 

SPARK’s laser cutting lab is like having magical light scissors for turning digital designs into real objects. From engineering models to artistic creations, it is a space full of possibilities. Friendly staff are there to guide users through the cutting process and offer design tips. Various locations have special tools for specific tasks, making it a versatile and creative experience. Safe materials like wood and acrylic can only be used for laser cutting (UNT Libraries, 2023c).


The equipment in The SPARK has distinct categories such as bookable equipment, circulation equipment, in-space equipment, service-based equipment, and paid services. Although many items in the Spark collection are circulating, there are special loan periods, booking procedures, renewal rules, and fine rates that apply. Makerspace project requests are subject to the Spark’s review/approval process. You can find more information about this on the Circulation page of the website (UNT Libraries, 2023d).  

Specialized Equipment and Booking Procedures: 

The SPARK boasts an impressive array of equipment, some of which is bookable for in-depth projects. Items such as Cameras and lenses are available through booking requests, come with specific rules: 

  • Available to UNT currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff 
  • Loan Period: 4 days 
  • Renewals Allowed: No 
  • Check Out Limits: Varied, e.g., 1 camera, 2 lenses max. 
  • Fines Rate: $10.00 per day, $100.00 maximum fine 
  • Repair/Replacement Cost: Damages incurred while in use may be charged to the patron.

Circulating Equipment and In-Space Use Equipment:

The SPARK’s equipment falls into two primary categories: Circulating and In-Space. 

Circulating Equipment: 

The Equipment which are available for checkout are termed as circulating items. Laptops, chargers, cameras, headsets, sound equipment, lightening kits, markers, etc., are the few items that can be checked out at the SPARK. 

  • Available to UNT currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff 
  • Loan Period: Varies 
  • Renewals Allowed: Yes, if no holds 
  • Fines Rate: Depending on Equipment 
  • Repair/Replacement Cost: Damages incurred while in use may be charged to the patron 

In-Space Equipment:  

This in-space equipment can be checked out but can only be used within the library.  

Some of the in-space equipment are hand and electric tools, scientific/probe ware, soldering equipment, drawing tools, presentation tools, pottery tools, etc. 

  • Available to UNT currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff 
  • Loan Period: Varies based on equipment 
  • Renewals Allowed: Yes, if no one is waiting 
  • Check Out Limits: 1 item 
  • Fines Rate: $10.00 per hour, $100.00 maximum fine 
  • Repair/Replacement Cost: Damages incurred while in use may be charged to the patron 

Service-Based Equipment and Paid Services: 

Certain equipment within the Maker space requires a trained operator and has specific use rules. Additionally, SPARK offers paid services, such as full-service 3D printing, laser cutting, die cutting, etc., but, before using them students and staff should get trained. Please refer to the Trainings & Workshops page.  

  • Available to UNT community (students, faculty, and staff) 
  • Use: Subject to review and approval 
  • Production Limits: 1 item 
  • Materials: Supplied by the patron, including a test piece 
  • Repair/Replacement Cost: Damages incurred while in use may be charged to the patron. 
  • Full-Service 3D Printing: 
  • Available to: Anyone 
  • USE: Subject to review and approval, submit .stl file 
  • Time frame: 7-10 days from the date paid. 
  • Materials: ABS or PLA 
  • Cost: $1/hour 
  • Files:  .stl format 

Creative Workshops and Events:

The SPARK is not just a physical space; it is a vibrant community that thrives on knowledge-sharing and skill-building. Regular workshops and events hosted at the SPARK cover a range of topics, from digital media production to coding and beyond. These opportunities ensure that the UNT community is not just consumers of technology but active contributors to the ever-evolving landscape of innovation. You can find more information related to workshops and scheduling training and workshops in the Trainings & Workshops page of the website.  


In the heart of UNT’s Willis Library, the SPARK is a testament to the university’s dedication to fostering creativity and innovation. By providing innovative technology, collaborative spaces, and a supportive community, the SPARK at Willis Library catalyzes the ideas and inventions that will shape the future. The SPARK is more than a space; it is a spark that ignites the imagination and propels the UNT community towards limitless possibilities. 

Did this blog help you to learn more about the SPARK at UNT Libraries? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services.  


UNT Libraries. (2023a, November 02). The SPARK. 

UNT Libraries. (2023b, November 02). 3D Printing. 

UNT Libraries. (2023c, November 02). Laser Cutting. 

UNT Libraries. (2023d, November 02). Circulation. 

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Valerie Cummins

The Fall semester is well underway, and mid-term season with its exams and papers is almost here. To help get the most out of your studying and be able to find articles for midterm papers (and those soon to be appearing term papers), today’s blog post is focusing on Boolean Operators and search modifiers to empower you and give you the skills to perform effective searches in library catalogs, databases, and search engines. 

Woman writing while on laptop with notebook
Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

What are Boolean Operators?

Boolean Operators are logical operators based in mathematical theory. They are used in computer science to determine whether things fit into an element or set. In the context of search engines, they are used to include, exclude, and generally define what things a search is allowed to return and what it is not allowed to return.  

While not as intuitive as natural language search queries that use a question format —  “biographies about Victoria Beckham” as an example— searches that utilize Boolean operators are powerful and able to return very refined results based on user inputs.  

Common Boolean Operators and Search Modifiers

Boolean Operators break down into the following functions: 

AND, which will return items that include both search terms 

Example: Pokemon AND Learning.  

This can be used to find specific results when you are looking for keywords that are not directly related to each other. In some search engines, they may use AND or +.  

OR, which will return items that include either search term utilized 

Example: ChatGPT OR Bard 

This can be used to find results which when you are looking for keywords that are associated with each other but will not necessarily be in the same articles. In some search engines, they may use OR or |.  

NOT, which will return keywords related to the first item while excluding the second term 

Example: Plant-based NOT vegan 

This can be useful when you are looking for items related to a keyword that have some associated terms you do not need or are not looking for. In some search engines, they may use NOT or -.  

“Quotation Mark”, which will return anything that includes the exact set of words inside of them. 

Example: “Taylor Swift” will return results that include only the exact phrase within the quotation marks.  

This can be useful when you are looking for exact multi-word items, phrases, or people.  

Nested operators, which use parentheses to create grouped search strings. 

Example: Earthquakes (Japan OR Pacific) 

This will return results about earthquakes that also include matches on Japan OR the Pacific. It allows for more complex and defined searches. 

Wildcards, which will return results that partially match the requested word by looking for letters that can either replace the ? symbol  (single letters) or the * symbol (as many apply) when they are used in any part of a word. 

Example: Part*, Wom?n  

This will return results that include words that use Part in it such as Partner, Participants, Particles for the asterisk and for Wom?n words such as Woman, Women, and Womyn for words that have a single letter that replace the question mark.  

A Table of Boolean Operators

AND+Pokémon AND Learning
Comics + Libraries
Combine Keywords
OR|ChatGPT OR Bard
Pasta | Pizza
Either Keyword
NOTPlant-based NOT vegan 
Animals -horses 
Exclude all results with the unwanted keyword 
Quotations“”“Taylor Swift” 
“Social Work”
Will only find results with the phrase included in the quotations 
Nested (Parentheses)()“pop music” AND (“21st century”-“Taylor Swift”) 
Earthquakes AND (Japan OR Pacific) 
Nests different search operators 
Wildcard? or *Wom?n 
? will look for single character replacements; 
* will find all results that have the rest of the word in it with any replacement characters 

How to use Boolean Operators in the Find Articles and Discover

These can all be used throughout the UNT Libraries search engines including our Find Articles Search and the Discover Catalog.  

This can be utilized alongside the “Refine your search” and “Limit your search” filters or by doing an advanced search using Search Options in Find Articles and the Advanced Search in Discover. This makes it possible to create refined searches that only return specific items created during a specific range of dates related to a specific subject while excluding closely related unwanted keywords. You can also exclude specific authors entirely, which may be useful if you’re trying to find alternate articles or books on a subject that has a prominent or prolific writer. 

Even without using advanced search options, Boolean modifiers are able to be a powerful tool and can help with basic searches.  

 Other Search Engines and Websites 

Beyond library searches, Boolean searches can be used on other databases, search engines, and websites as well. 

All of the academic databases that the UNT Libraries provide to students, staff, faculty can be searched through with Boolean modifiers, and each will generally have their own instructions on which specific operators and the format they prefer in their own help guide. As an example, EbscoHost has its own help section that breaks down multiple kinds of search methods, including a whole section on Boolean. 

The various search engines that are commonly used— Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo— also still support Boolean searches. While they all support natural language searches, Boolean searches can help support effective searches that won’t fall prey to deceptive search engine optimization practices. Boolean search is also supported on the Google Scholar search engine.  

Boolean is able to be used on plenty of other websites as well: Sites such as Twitter/X, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Archive of Our Own, and more all have various different methods of how to utilize the different forms of Boolean search operators: Some will require the operator word (such as “Vegetarian NOT vegan”), while others utilize the symbols only (“Vegetarian -vegan”). 

With all of this in mind, hopefully you will find your future searches— whether for school research, work, or your own personal uses— all the more personalized.  

Did this blog help you learn about improving your searches, both at the libraries and beyond? Let us know in the comments! Please contact AskUs if you have questions about doing library research.  

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Zoë (Abbie) Teel 

LibGuide by Greg Hardin about using APA.
Screenshot of UNT Information Science LibGuide: APA Tab. UNT seal in top-left corner.
Accessed from


As the semester kicks off, the world of APA and references might be uncharted territory for many fellow students out there. Now, as a graduate student who’s been navigating the intricacies of APA ever since my high school days, I couldn’t help but whip up a nifty guide filled with all tips and tricks to master the art of APA in your papers.

Purpose of APA

The American Psychological Association emphasizes that using citations lays the groundwork for successful scholarly communication (APA, 2019). In academic settings, maintaining writer integrity and consistently acknowledging the originators of ideas are crucial aspects. It is all about giving credit and providing structure to a piece of writing.

Important to Know

When it comes to APA style, diving into the world of citations can feel like navigating a labyrinth where books, articles, journals, and other resources each have their unique set of guidelines.

At Willis Library, here at the University of North Texas, you can find a total of fourteen copies of the most recent (2020) edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which serves as the authoritative resource for APA style.

Within this manual, comprehensive explanations are provided for each specific aspect of APA style, including in-text citations and crafting references for the reference page. Through careful review, I have identified and highlighted what I consider to be the most prevalent and beneficial points for someone new to utilizing APA style.


  1. Author Format:
    • For one or more authors, list the last name followed by initials. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name.
    • Example: Teel, Z. A., & Lund, B. D.
  2. In-Text Citations:
    • Include the author’s last name and publication year in parentheses.
    • Example: (Teel & Wang, 2023).
  3. Reference Page:
    • Begin with the word “References” centered at the top of a new page.
    • List all sources alphabetically by the author’s last name.
    • Arrange sources with identical last names based on their publication year.
  4. Italics:
    • Italicize book and journal titles.
    • Example: Title of Book or Title of Journal.
  5. Capitalization:
    • Capitalize the first word of the title, subtitle, and proper nouns.
    • Use sentence case for article and chapter titles.
    • Example: The Art of Writing.
    • On the reference page, journal articles should only have the first word capitalized, the following should all be lowercase.
    • Example: “Information literacy, data literacy, privacy literacy, and chatgpt: technology literacies align with perspectives on emerging technology adoption within communities”
  6. URLs:
  7. DOIs:
    • Include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for sources with DOIs.
    • Example: doi:10.12345/xyz.
  8. Book Citations:
    • Author(s) Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.
    • Example: Teel, Z. A. (2023). The Science of Psychology. Academic Press.
  9. Journal Citations:
    • Author(s) Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Article. Title of Journal, Volume(Issue), Page Range. DOI (if available).
    • Example: Teel, Z. A. (2023). Understanding APA Citations. Journal of Psychology, 10(2), 123-145. doi:10.6789/abc123.
  10. Multiple Authors, Same Source:
    • In the first citation, list all authors up to three. For more than three authors, use “et al.” after the first author’s name.
    • Example: (Teel, Lund, & Wang, 2023) or (Teel et al., 2023).
  11. Same Author, Multiple Sources:
    • Distinguish between multiple works by the same author and year with lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
    • Example: (Teel, 2023a) or (Teel, 2023b).

Overview Table (Condensed Information From Numbered List)

GuidelinesFormat & Example
Author FormatTeel, Z.A., & Lund, B.D.
In-Text Citations(Teel & Wang, 2023)
Reference PageReferences (the title at the top) centered
 List sources alphabetically by author’s last name.
 Arrange sources with identical last names based on their publication year.
ItalicsItalicize book and journal titles
 Example: Title of Book or Title of Journal
CapitalizationCapitalize first word of title, subtitle, proper nouns
 – Use sentence case for article and chapter titles
 Example: The Art of APA
 On reference page, only first word of journal article
 Example: “Information literacy, data literacy…”
URLsInclude complete URL for online sources
DOIsInclude DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for sources
 Example: doi:10.12345/xyz
Book CitationsAuthor(s) Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.
 Example: Teel, Z. A. (2023). The Science of Psychology. Academic Press.
Journal CitationsAuthor(s) Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Article. Title of Journal, Volume(Issue), Page Range. DOI (if available).
 Example: Teel, Z. A. (2023). Understanding APA Citations. Journal of Psychology, 10(2), 123-145. doi:10.6789/abc123.
Multiple AuthorsList all authors up to three in first citation. For more than three, use “et al.” after first author’s name.
 Example: (Teel, Lund, & Wang, 2023) or (Teel et al., 2023).
Same Author, Multiple SourcesDistinguish between multiple works by the same author and year with lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).
 Example: (Teel, 2023a) or (Teel, 2023b).

Library Help & Conclusion

Learning the intricacies of APA formatting and style can greatly enhance the quality and professionalism of your academic work. To further assist you on your APA journey, consider utilizing the resources provided by the Purdue Owl, a highly recommended platform offering comprehensive APA Formatting and Style Guide overviews, an APA Style Introduction, and illustrative example papers. While the tips and tricks shared in this paper offer valuable insights, it’s worth noting that the UNT Libraries’ extensive LibGuide dedicated to APA serves as an invaluable resource. Greg Hardin, the subject librarian for this topic, stands ready to provide expert assistance. Additionally, the Writing Center offers access to APA manuals and a guide for correctly citing and formatting references in APA style, and appointments available both in person and online. By leveraging these tools and expert guidance, you can navigate the complexities of APA with confidence, ensuring your scholarly endeavors adhere to the highest standards of precision and clarity.


American Psychological Association. (2019). About APA Style. APA Style.