Ask a Librarian

Find what you need in our searchable FAQ.

I need help downloading or playing my e-book through Overdrive.

905 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015 is our help page for Overdrive and NC Digital Library materials. 

You can also try NC LIVE's ebooks available to all NC residents: They have a help page here:
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I need an article.

843 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

We can help you find articles through NC LIVE. NC LIVE has thousands of articles on a variety of topics designed for academic and public library users. For best results, let us know clearly what topic you are researching and whether the articles need to be scholarly or not.

You can also try this:

1. go to
2. Click articles, then consider trying Academic Search Complete (contains scholarly articles and more) or Masterfile Complete. 
3. Once in the database, search for your subject. You can combine terms using "and", for example: China and turtles. 
4. Click full text only if that is important.

If you need help please try chatting with NCknows for live assistance.
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Can you check my citations or works cited list? 

837 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

We cannot take final responsibility for any academic work, including works cited lists. However, we are more than happy to help you with them. Some things to consider:

1. : this site is very useful. It offers guides to all the major citation sites with plenty of examples and rules. 

2. Citebuilder: there are many citebuilders out there that automatically build up citations from forms. 

3. Database citation helpers. In many databases, including EBSCO, there is a link to "cite" in the article's record. This link will provide citations for you that you can copy and paste into a works cited page.
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When I try to use NCknows, it says I'm "blocked"- why? 

837 views   |   1   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

If abusive or inappropriate calls repeatedly come in from the same IP address, we will block that IP address for 24 hours. This can ocassionally effect users who were not involved in the earlier incidents. If this has happened to you, please contact your local library. Please remember, real people staff the service and they deserve to be treated with respect. 
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How can I get a book my library doesn't own? Can I suggest a purchase?

791 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

If your library doesn't own a book that you are looking for, you can request it through interlibrary loan. Almost all academic and public libraries offer this service to their patrons. You can ask about this at your local library. In addition, many public libraries encourage patrons to suggest purchases. However, if you are interested in getting materials in the quickest way possible, please use interlibrary loan. 
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Where can I find recent news stories from North Carolina? 

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Recent news stories from North Carolina can be found in many places. 

1. NC LIVE's Community Newspapers:

2. Google News:

3. For archives or for articles that aren't available freely online, here's how to check to see if you have access: 
  • You can check NC LIVE's newspapers holdings here: . If NC LIVE has the title on this list, it will be available online. Check the dates to make sure it has what you need. 
  • You can also check your local library's online catalog for the names of newspapers you are interested in. Libraries often have these in non-online formats, such as microfilm. For assistance with using these, ask your local librarians. 
  • If you have access to a local academic library, you may want to check their holdings as well. Many university libraries allow you to use their online resources or archival resources if you are physically inside the libraries.
4. Finally, you can almost always request articles from your library through interlibrary loan. Check with your local library's help desk for more help.
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Are you real or a robot? 

768 views   |   1   1   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

NCknows is staffed by real people. In this case, librarians from all over the state of North Carolina. This FAQ service is, of course, a robot.
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What book should I read next? Can you suggest a good book? 

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Yes! We would love to. NCknows is staffed by experienced librarians who can suggest books you might like. We also use tools like Novelist Plus and other web resources to find books that you might like.  For best results, please list two or three of the sort of books you like. 
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What is the state bird, seal, soil type, etc...

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NCpedia maintains a page of state symbols
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Do you have Martin Luther King resources?

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Martin Luther King Jr. Resources
All of these resources can be found in NC LIVE. . NC LIVE is a collection of library resources that librarians have reviewed for quality. These can be used as a reliable alternative to sites like Wikipedia and Google. NC LIVE requires a password which your teacher will provide you with. If your teacher doesn't have a password, please let us know at

Basic Biographies

SIRS Knowledge Source Package: Search "Martin Luther King" and be sure to limit the results to "Encyclopedias." Spend some time browsing results.

Literature Resource Center: This database has excellent biographies of Martin Luther King Jr and some other historical figures.

In Depth Articles

Proquest Research Library: This database has a very large variety of both academic and popular articles on Martin Luther King Jr. If you need academic articles, be sure to click "peer reviewed" on the search page or on the results page.  

Also, if you need focused articles, for example Martin Luther King Jr. and nonviolence, you can search using the term "and":

Martin Luther King and nonviolence

Ebooks : Be sure to combine terms when you search: 

"Martin Luther King" and march
"Martin Luther King" and selma
...and poor people's campaign
...and assassination


Quality Outside Sites:

King Center:

Speeches and Interviews:


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Do you have the book I am looking for? 

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To see if your local library has a book you want, go to their online catalog and check the title. Online library catalogs (sometimes called OPACs) offer a variety of ways to check their holdings, including title, author or keyword. Feel free to try two or three searches just in case the title is incorrect. If you can't find the book in your libraries catalog, check with your local library about their interlibrary loan. Often libraries can get books for you even if they don't have them.   
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How do I get a library card? 

722 views   |   1   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

To get a library card, contact your local public library. Every library has different policies on this although most are able to give you a card with a photo ID and proof of residence in the area they serve. This can be often be a bill or a lease addressed to you with your address on it. 
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How can I research these topics?The Great Depression 9/11 Holocaust Disenfranchisement of Native Americans Civil Rights Movement

702 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

There is a lot of information on these topics. To help you organize it, let's think of them by type:

1. Online Encyclopedias 
2. eBooks
3. Articles in databases
4. Quality online sources

All of these can be found online and through, here's how:

1. Encyclopedias

Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia:

Student Research Center:

Both of these will give you broad articles on your topics that will be helpful.
All of the topics can be searched with their names, for example, "holocaust", "civil rights movement", etc., except for Native American disenfranchisment. For that topic, search "Native Americans and voting".

2. Books and eBooks 

eBooks (online books) are available here: When you find a title you like, try to choose "view epub" or "view full text"

Video tutorial on downloading ebooks here:

3. Articles in Databases

Articles tend to be shorter than books and focused on more specific aspects of the topic. If they are too broad, go back and use books and encyclopedias. 

Student Research Center:

MAS Complete: : this has magazine articles and primary sources such as speeches and texts.

Masterfile Complete:  : Be sure to click full text only. 

4. Quality Online Sources

It is possible to find quality online sources for these topics. Of course, many online sources are not reliable. Here are some tips.

*  add "" to your search to get government websites on these topics. For instance...

The government has a lot of valuable information on these historical topics, including information from museums like the Smithsonian, United States Memorial Holocaust Museum and others. 

More Help

If you need more help, please ask NCknows. If you are in a class, try to take turns so we can provide the best service. 

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Do you have books on the  ASVAB,  SAT,  GRE, GED  tests?

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NC LIVE provides these through their Learning Express Library. This resource includes practice tests as well as e-books to help you prepare.
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How do I find reliable statistics for population, poverty, income, and general demographic data?

688 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

American FactFinder, based on data gathered in the US Census, has a wealth of statistics available.  It is searchable by zip code, city, county, and state.  
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I owe fines and/or have overdue fines, who should I talk to? 

674 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

NCknows is unable to help with fines or overdue materials. If you need help with this, please contact the circulation desk at the library where these materials were checked out. 
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I am looking for legal information. Can you help me find a law? 

650 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

NCknows is not staffed with legal professionals. We are librarians who have no legal training or expertise and cannot offer any legal advice or counsel in any way. 

For those looking for local laws, you can use the North Carolina General Assemblies' website here: 

For those looking for legal help, please try a local lawyer or try Legal Aid North Carolina:

In addition, news articles about legal issues can sometimes be useful. Please try NC LIVE's articles resources to search for these. 
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Can I put a book on hold? 

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Many libraries now offer this capability online. To check, go to your library's online catalog and search for a book. Often nearby you will see a link to "request item" or "request next available item" or "hold" or "reserve". In addition to holding this item, many services will ship the book to your closest library for you as well. For help with this, feel free to chat with NCknows. 
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I need a password to get into NC LIVE.

457 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015    NC LIVE

NC LIVE requires users to submit a password or library card # to use the service. If you need help with this, contact your local library or chat with us and we can guide you through it.
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What sort of questions can you answer? 

386 views   |   0   0   |   Last updated on Nov 04, 2015   

NCknows can help you with anything related to your library research. We can help you find and use articles, websites, ebooks, print books from your local library and much more. We are not, however, a homework tutoring service in that we can't provide direct help with math, science or writing questions. We can try to point you in the right direction however. 
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