Dakota County Technical College Library

Library 101: Getting to Know the DCTC Library

About This Guide
Welcome to the Library 101: Getting to Know the DCTC Library research guide. Library 101 is a basic introduction to the resources and services available from the DCTC Library. In this guide you'll learn about:
  • activating and using your library account
  • visiting our library and navigating our collection
  • using databases
  • finding books, videos, ebooks, and online videos
  • finding magazine, journal, and newspaper articles
  • citing your sources
  • and how to contact us for help
Please contact us if you'd like help with a specific database or subject. More research guides like this one are coming soon!

circulation desk

Your Account
Off-Campus Access

Many of our online resources are available only to current DCTC students and employees. If you are off campus, a form will ask for your StarID username and password. You may also log in with your ID card barcode or Aleph Patron ID if you have used these before.

View or Renew Your Checked Out Items

To view or renew your checked out items, you'll need to log into your MnPALS Plus account. You can do this here or on the 
MnPALS Plus Login page. Once you are logged in, click on Checked Out Items. If you have permission to renew an item, there will be a Renew this link under the item's due date. If you've reached the maximum number of renewals or if another patron has requested the item, you won't be able to renew it. If you have any questions, please visit the Library or e-mail library@dctc.edu.

MnPALS Plus login:

  1. Find the 14-digit barcode number on the back of your DCTC ID card.
  2. Enter that number here:
  3. Enter your last name here:

ID card

Visit the Library
Please Stop In!

The DCTC Library is a great place to study, work on projects, meet in groups, or even just relax! We are located on the lower level on the west end of the college campus.

Computer and Internet Access

The DCTC Library offers 16 computers with Internet access. All computers feature both the Windows and Mac operating systems and all are equipped with the Microsoft Office Suite for all your assignment and classroom needs.

If you need help or instruction in using Microsoft Office, please consider taking advantage of our LearningLibrary Express database which offers free instruction for these computer skills. Information about LearningExpress Library is located in the right sidebar of this guide.

Meeting Rooms

The Library features 4 meeting rooms: 2 meeting rooms seat 8 comfortably; the other 2 each seat 4. Each of the rooms is equipped with special features. We offer:

​2 DVD/VHS players and monitors

A keyboard for practicing with headphones

Large, pull-down maps

Overhead projector and screens

Find Books and Videos

MnPALS Plus: Our Catalog

Use our catalog, MnPALS Plus, to find books and videos in our collection, as well as ebooks and online videos.

The best way to begin a search in MnPALS Plus is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. To focus your search, use the Refine your search links that appear to the left of your results. You can also click on a relevant title and look for Similar Items on the right side of the screen.


Interlibrary Loan

If you don't find what you're looking for here, you can expand your search to include all libraries in the MnPALS system. Items from other libraries can be requested through interlibrary loan (ILL). The items will be delivered to the DCTC Library and you'll receive a notice when they're ready to pick up.

Films on Demand

There are nearly 45,000 online videos in Films On Demand, which you can also find in our catalog, MnPALS Plus.


There are more than 161,000 ebooks in our EBSCOhost eBook Collection, which you can also find in our catalog, MnPALS Plus.

EBSCOhost eBooks

Magazine, Journal & Newspaper Articles

These are just a few of our Online Resources for finding articles. The best way to begin searching a database is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. Each database is different, but there will be ways to limit and focus your results so that you find the most relevant and useful articles available.

Please visit the Library or contact us if you have any questions about our databases or if you'd like help finding articles on your topic.

See PALSconnect Linker for a list of magazines and journals you can access online, with links to full text.

PALSconnect Linker

Our EBSCOhost databases are an excellent place to search for magazine and journal articles.

EBSCO databases

Our Gale databases are another great place to find magazine and journal articles.


Search nearly 2,800 newspapers, newswires, and news sites with ProQuest Global Newsstream.


Find full-text articles, legal information, and business content from more than 15,000 sources using LexisNexis Academic.

Writing Center

The Writing Center offers writing help to all DCTC students, including help with citing your sources. You can schedule an appointment by calling 651-423-8420 or visiting in person at the Learning Center, room 2-141L.

How to Cite Your Sources

There are different styles for citing the sources you use in your assignments. Your instructor will let you know whether to use APA, Chicago, MLA, or some other style.

Here are some introductory guides to these styles from the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

For more details and examples, see the style guides listed on the right side of this page.


Our catalog and many databases can provide citations for the books, videos, and articles you find in them. Just look for a link that says Cite or Citation while the catalog or article record is on the screen, then select the appropriate style. It's easy to copy and paste citations into your bibliography! Be aware that these citations aren't always 100% accurate, so check them before turning in your assignment.

To cite sources from LexisNexis Academic, see this guide from the McGraw-Page Library at Randolph-Macon College.

Evaluating Web Sources

Here are some useful guides from other universities to help you evaluate information you find on the web.

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet (Johns Hopkins University)

Evaluating Print vs. Internet Sources (Purdue University)

Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask (UC Berkeley)


Avoid Plagiarism​

"Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment."

This definition of plagiarism comes from the DCTC Student Code of Conduct, which you'll find on page 31 of the 2012 Student Handbook. See how easy that was?

Citing your sources is an essential step in the research process. This allows others to verify your information and gives credit to previous researchers and writers for their hard work.

Contact Us

Contact All of Us

Use the e-mail address or phone number below to reach us as quickly as possible:


These are shared by all library staff, so whoever checks their e-mail or answers the phone first will help you.

Contact a Specific Librarian

Danielle Hoveland, Circulation Technician
Areas of responsibility: circulation, interlibrary loan (ILL), course reserves, weeding
Regular hours: 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Danielle.Hoveland@dctc.edu , 651-423-8654

Michael Kirby, Head Librarian
Areas of responsibility: budget, collection development, policies, subscriptions, systems, web site
Regular hours: 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Michael.Kirby@dctc.edu , 651-423-8406

Barbara Schuldt, Cataloging Technician
Areas of responsibility: cataloging, interlibrary loan (ILL), processing, weeding
Regular hours: 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday
Barbara.Schuldt@dctc.edu , 651-423-8598

Barbara Tuttle, Reference Librarian
Areas of responsibility: collection development, instruction, reference, research assistance
Regular hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Barbara.Tuttle@dctc.edu , 651-423-8345


Fall & Spring Semesters: 
Monday - Thursday: 
7:30 AM to 6:00 PM
7:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Summer Sessions: 
Monday - Thursday: 
8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Follow the Library on Social Media
Follow Us on Pinterest!
The DCTC Library has put together some great boards with YOU in mind! We have boards reflecting our majors as well as helpful boards with pins for Career Development, Community Resources, and more. Check out our boards and send us pins that you think would benefit the DCTC community. We're always adding new pins, so check back often!
  Visit DCTC Library's profile on Pinterest.

Dakota County Technical College
1300 145th Street East
Rosemount, MN 55068

Your Librarians
Michael Kirby
Head Librarian


Barbara Tuttle
Reference Librarian


Contact Info:
DCTC Library
1300 145th St. E
Rosemount, MN

Using Databases

Today's library is much more than the materials you see in the library's collection when you visit the library. The DCTC Library subscribes to many databases which are addtional collections containing thousands of materials that are available to our patrons, but would be impossible to house within the library itself. Databases offer users access to scholarly journal, magazine, and newspaper articles; reference e-books; reports; practice tests for board exams; tutorials; even tools that can help you with a job search! The DCTC databases can be accessed on or off-campus on the library's home page using the "Online Resources" link. Some of these databases are also featured in this guide.
Academic & Career Development

LearningExpress Library is a massive database of academic and career development resources, featuring hundreds of online tutorials, practice tests and ebooks. Features include:

Online Tutorials

  • downloading ebooks

Practice Tests

  • college entrance exams
  • occupational exams
  • joining the military


  • reading
  • writing
  • math
  • becoming a U.S.citizen
  • computer

Career Development

  • job searching
  • writing resumes
  • preparing for interviews

Click HERE for more information.

The following logo links to the Dakota County Library's listing of online resources (not a direct link to Lynda.com). You can scroll down the page to access Lynda.com.

Dakota County Library offers free access to Lynda.com. All you need is a library card! The library website says that Lynda.com is:

Easy-to-use video tutorials to help you learn software, technical, creative and  business skills — anytime, anywhere. Log in with your Dakota County Library card, create your profile and you are ready to start learning.  The Library’s contract allows for 75 simultaneous users – if that number is reached, you may be asked to wait until a seat is free to use.
Funded by MELSA*


All of our online resources and librarian-approved web sites are bookmarked in Delicious.



Reference books and online resources like Britannica Online and Credo Reference are great for improving your background knowledge on almost any topic. These resources also provide images and videos, which you can use to liven up your papers and presentations.

Britannica Online

Credo Reference

Style Guides
You'll find these citation style guides in our Reference collection:

Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.
Call Number: Reference BF76.7 .P83 2010

MLA handbook for writers of research papers, 7th ed.
Call Number: Reference LB2369 .G53 2009

The Chicago manual of style, 16th ed.
Call Number: Reference Z253 .U69 2010

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