APA, MLA, Chicago Oh My: Style Guides from the Library!

Papers always seem to sneak up on you, mainly because you keep putting them off, saying “oh I’ve got a month.”  Once you finally start writing, the references always seem to be the thing that keeps you up late the night before the paper is due.

Don’t worry, we can help you with that!  We have quick guides to four of the main citation guides–APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian.  Starting on our homepage, look under User Guides (circled in red below), and pick the style you are required to use for your paper.

For most research papers in the social sciences, you’ll be required to use APA style so that’s what we’ll be working with.

style guide 1

After you’ve selected your style guide, there will be a list. This list is filled with every citation you could possibly need.

style guide 2

I’ve chosen to look up a book citation. As you can see underlined in purple, online and print books are cited differently.

style guide 3


When you click the expand button next to the blue arrow, it will take you to a more detailed citation guide that shows you the correct format for that source.  Citations are very precise so make sure you are citing the correct item. Note, when you expand the page, you must scroll (as indicated by the yellow arrow) to reach the print citations.

style guide 4


Although definite time savers, our quick-reference style guides still require you to manually create your own citations.  A faster way is to use free reference manager like Zotero, which can import sources you find by using OneSearch and then create in-text citations and a reference list in MS Word all in a few clicks of your mouse.  Thousands of citation styles are available through Zotero.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to stop by or contact us!


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Olson Library Homecoming 2018 Celebration

Join the Olson Library for a day of family-friendly fun on Saturday, September 22, from 9am-1pm. We’re celebrating NMU’s Homecoming and the Big Game!

9am-10am–Bagels and Books–we’ll have student-athletes from NMU Women’s Volleyball to read to kids while everyone enjoys bagels! We’ll have coffee & juice, too.

10am-11am–Poetry Workshop with the UP Poet Laureate Martin Achatz–Fun for kids of ALL ages! Join Martin Achatz as he guides us through the creation of a color poem, based on our favorite colors, green and gold!

9am-1pm–Classic NMU Football–View highlights from the 1975 championship season, courtesy of the Central UP and NMU Archives.

9am-1pm–NMU Sports Memorabilia–The Beaumier Upper Peninsula Heritage Center will display some sports-related items from their collection.

11am-1pm–Play Some BIG Games!–Have some fun playing large-scale games like chess, pick-up-sticks and more!

11am-1pm–Experience Virtual Reality*–Try out the Olson Library’s new virtual reality equipment and see how it can enhance learning. It’s also a lot of fun!

All activities will take place in the Lydia M. Olson Library, inside the Harden Learning Resources Building on NMU’s Campus, and all children must be supervised.

*Manufacturer’s recommendations state that children under the age of 13 should not use the equipment. There are cautions for children older than 13. We will require parental approval before allowing children 13-18 use the equipment.


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MeLCat – a great way to get books, videos, and more!

MeLCat is a book and video loan system brought to you by the libraries of Michigan featuring our very own Olson Library. It offers personal selection and fast delivery directly to our library. Over 450 libraries participate in MeLCat, offering a large variety of materials in an easy to navigate system. If a book isn’t offered in MeLCat, try InterLibrary Loan (ILL). It offers all types of media including articles, which MeLCat does not offer access to.

The Benefits of MelCat

  • Faster than ILL with books arriving in about 7-14 days
  • Many partnering Michigan libraries for a wide variety of materials
  • Simple process to get materials
  • Lends books, music, audio, and more
  • Can rent books for three weeks and then may be renewed for three weeks more
  • Videos and CD’s can be rented for a week with no renewal

So how does MelCat work? Let’s say I’m writing a report on women who have advanced far in their careers and I need specific texts to back up what I’m preaching. I looked at all the books the library has to offer but I reallllly want the book Lean In: For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg.

First, go to the home page library.nmu.edu and click on the MeLCat link as listed below.


Within MelCat you can easily search by subject, title, or author. After you have typed the title, hit Search and you’ll be taken straight to a list of results.

mel 4

Make a Decision

Look at all of your options. The original Lean In book pops up first but the book for graduates that was more recently released and revised, is what I want. The red rectangle will take you straight to the check out screen. The green arrow is pointing at a hyper link that will take you to a page with more information on the title such as what libraries have it and what the book is about.The yellow circle shows you how to search by format and underneath the circle, you are given more options as far as formats go.

mel 2.0

Check the availability 

After you decide on your title, you may click the button next to the title that says “Get this from MelCat!” or you may click on the title which will lead you to a screen like this.  It shows you where the book will come from and the specifics of the title. You can get the title by clicking next to the green arrow, see which libraries have it inside of the purple rectangle, and read the book information from the blue arrow.

mel 3


To get your books, you will have to log in. You will need your NMU ID. The red arrow shows you where to pick the instution you are registered with. A menu will drop down and you’ll have to scroll to find NMU. Then type in your name in the green box and put your card’s barcode in the box with the pink arrow pointing to it.

login in page

The barcode number can be found on the back of your ID. It’s fourteen digits and sits right above the actual barcode as shown below by the yellow rectangle.


If the title is NOT available, you will get a message like the one circled in blue. In this case, go back to the results page and find another title. Please note that electronic resources may not be checked out.


And if your title is available, you can check it out and afterwards you’ll get a screen like this. As shown by the pink rectangle, you can see that your order was successful. When your book arrives at Olson Library (roughly two weeks from the order date) you will get an email saying it is waiting for you at the front desk. There is also tracking available from your MeLCat account page.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call, chat, email, or stop by the front desk! Happy reading!

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Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Michigan Road Trips

With summer so close, thinking of ways to meet up with friends is difficult. When money is tight, look into camping and other Michigan attractions! The Lydia Olson Library offers a variety of travel guides that take you around Michigan. They include national and state parks, bizzare attractions, and fun facts for every traveler. For a few tips, check out these titles!

The Michigan Book of Bests (Call Number F 564.3 .B35 1999): This book offers a guide to Michigan’s “bests”. It is full of facts as well as places you should go by categories such as “Best Place to See Squirrels Soar” (pg. 61). This book offers a side of Michigan that isn’t widely seen,  showing spots that most people wouldn’t stumble upon randomly. It shows every part of Michigan, from waterfall spots to information on prison escapes. This book would be great to have with you during a spontaneous road trip around Michigan.

Michigan Off the Beaten Path: A guide to unique places (Call Number F 564.3 .D84 2007): This book is set into sections by area. You can choose what area you want to go to and then it is separated by county. For example, in Marquette county you can rent these rustic cabins on Little Presque Isle for $70 a night! You can find specific directions and detailed information about every place in this book. This book offers a more constructive view of Michigan than the Book of Bests and can be seen as either a planning guide or a bring along book.

Michigan State and National Parks: A complete guide (Call Number F 564.3 .P68 2007): While the other two books were great for wandering, this book is fantastic for planning. It offers a complete guide to what camp ground is right for you. With a map on the back, you can trace a route of what campsites you’d like to explore. The campsites are numbered on the back of the book and you are able to flip to the right page and find all of the information you could need such as directions, phone numbers, and all of the possibilities one campground might hold.

We also offer a variety of books on national parks, backpacking, and much more! Stop by the desk with any questions you might have! Summer is just around the corner.

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Bike Share is Back!!

8 new bicycles are ready for check out at the library service desk, courtesy of ASNMU (old link, but that’s their webpage).  They are outside the 2nd floor of the LRC at the entrance nearest New Science.

asnmubikes (400x300) asnmubikes2 (400x300)

To check out a bike you must have a valid NMU ID (your Wildcat Express card).  The first time you check out a bike for the fiscal year you will need to fill out and sign this agreement, which we will keep on file:

bike agreement

Checkouts are for 3 days, and when you return the bike, one of the library students or staff will use this checklist to determine the condition of the bike before it’s checked in:

check in form

And there you go.  This has been a popular and oft-requested checkout here at the library, but it’s ASNMU’s program.  Any questions or comments should be directed at them.

Have a good summer.


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Library Renovation Planning Survey

It’s your library! Help us re-imagine it!

All students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members, we need you to help us plan for the future of the Lydia M. Olson Library. We’re starting to gather ideas, and we need you to tell us what you think.

Please take the brief survey at LIBRARY RENOVATION . It will only take a few minutes, and it’s anonymous.

Thank you!

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Dog Night Returns to the Library

The Pet Partners therapy dogs will be back in the library on Thursday, December 6 and Tuesday, December 11 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Stop by the library to relax before exams!  Therapy dogs and coloring supplies provided.

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Escape Room!


Harry Potter and the Library Escape Room


Click HERE to make your reservation!


April 21st to April 22nd

Saturday: Noon to 6pm | Sunday: 1pm to 7pm

$1 Per Person

Library Room 223

This Harry Potter Themed Escape room was put together by the The Friends of the Lydia Olson Library.


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The Library’s new Digital Media Tutoring Center is now open!

Olson Library has opened a new tutoring center to help students with class assignments involving media. The Digital Media Tutoring Center, located in the old Microcard Reading Room on the 2nd floor of the library, contains three workstations with 34″ curved monitors, and two monitors with keyboards and mice to hook up NMU laptops.  The workstations contain a wide variety of media editing software.

Since most students are doing less advanced media projects, much editing can be done on their laptops using the open source software–OpenShot for video and Audacity for audio.  These programs are also available on the three workstations in the Center.

Three tutors–Megan Roesner, Tori Zremski, and Loren Earle–are available 25 hours a week to assist students with media editing.  Available hours are on the DMTC website: http://library.nmu.edu/digitalmedia/.  Available soon will be the ability to reserve a workstation.

Finally, the Center has limited equipment available for checkout at the Library’s Public Services Desk that will allow students to capture video and audio through camcorders, point and shoot cameras, audio recorders, and associated accessories.

If you have further questions, please contact Kevin McDonough, Reference Librarian and Coordinator of the DMTC, at 227-2118 or kmcdonou@nmu.edu.

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Taking the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT?

For those planning to take one of the many graduate school entrance tests, the Learning Express Library has a variety of practice tests available.  Made available by the Michigan eLibrary (the same folks that brought you MelCat), the Learning Express Library provides access to practice tests for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and a few other graduate school entrance exams.  You will need to create an account before taking a test but once created you can track your progress and start and stop tests at your convenience. Give it a try and see what you think!

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