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CSS101: College Success Strategies (Duffy): Books, Ebooks, & Media



Books are a valuable tool for academic research which provide in-depth coverage of a topic, valuable background (and often historical) information on a topic, and an overview of key issues related to a topic. You do not necessarily have to read an entire book for every research project you are assigned.  Utilize the introduction, index, and chapter titles to narrow down which sections of a book are most pertinent to your research. You can also find other important sources through their bibliographies.

Films can also be a valuable source of information, and this page links to our film databases.

HELM : Powered by Koha

What is HELM?  What is Koha?

Founded in 2017, HELM (Higher Education Libraries of Massachusetts) is an association of Massachusetts college libraries in public higher education. HELM libraries are also members of the Fenway Library Organization (FLO), a consortium of academic and special libraries in Massachusetts. FLO provides library support and hosts the HELM catalog

Koha Library Software is the world's first free and open source library system, and is the software used to manage the online catalog for HELM.  Koha is a fully featured, scalable library management system. Development is sponsored by libraries of varying types and sizes, volunteers, and support companies worldwide.

HELM is the online catalog for the Bristol Library & Learning Commons.  It helps you learn about materials the library owns, and provides you with call numbers for where the materials are shelved.

HELM provides circulation information (whether the item is checked out and, if so, when it is due), allows you to recall and renew items online, and contains information on materials placed on reserve for your classes. HELM bibliographic records also link to electronic resources such as journals and full-text books if the library has a subscription.

Materials Found in HELM

Here are some of the kinds of materials you can find using HELM:

  • Books (including electronic books)
  • Library holdings for journals, magazines and newspapers (periodicals)
  • Audio and video recordings (including CDs & DVDs)
  • Music scores
  • Government publications, microforms
  • Maps, atlases and archives

Note: You won't find individual periodical articles in HELM. Where are they? Check out the Find Articles tutorial to learn more about how to find them. 

Keyword Searching in HELM

There are many ways to search HELM. You can search by:

  • The title of a book, periodical, or other item
  • The author
  • The author and title (or title words)
  • Any keywords that appear in the title or subject
  • The subject category of an item
  • The call number of an item

When looking for items on a topic or subject, start with a keyword search instead of a subject search. Keyword searching is a bit more flexible in the way it searches and may retrieve a wider variety of results as you begin your research.

Remember to combine multiple terms with the words "and," "or" and "not."

eBook Tutorial - eBook Central & eBook Ebscohost

Why should I look in books?

Why should you do research in books?

  • Books provide in-depth coverage of a topic
  • Books often provide valuable background information on a topic
  • Books can also provide an overview of all issues pertaining to a topic
  • Books can lead readers to other sources through their bibliographies

You do not necessarily have to read an entire book for every research paper you have to do.  Utilize the index and the chapter titles to narrow down which section of the book is most pertinent to your research.

Electronic Books

BCC eBook Collections can be accessed from anywhere- both on and off campus, on your smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. eBook Central is a great place to start. You will need to use your 900 number to access from off campus.

Film Databases