In the Library

Your librarian

Library hours

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Welcome, instructors! This guide will introduce you to the DCTC Library's resources and services. We have something for everyone!

Think of this page as a virtual tour of our library's spaces and the resources within. The following pages highlight the ways we support the courses you teach and the work you and your students are doing.

Circulation desk

As you enter the Library, the circulation desk is right in front of you. Our latest display of books and videos is on the side facing you. We change the theme every few weeks, choosing topics like gardening, travel, women's history, and fun reads. If you want to borrow one of these - or anything in the Library - you've come to the right place. The circulation desk is where we circulate materials; you can check them out and return them here during our regular hours.

After hours, there's a book return slot next to the staff door and a book return box outside the west entrance to the building.


Use our catalog, OneSearch, to find the books and videos on our shelves, plus ebooks and streaming videos.

The best way to begin your search is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. To narrow your results, use the Modify My Results options on the left side of the screen. You can also click on a relevant title and click on one of its subject headings to focus your search on that particular topic.

Please ask a librarian if you need help locating anything you find in our catalog.


Yes, we have books! Our Main collection takes up most of the stacks in the back half of the Library and our Oversize collection runs along the back wall. In the very back we have collections for fiction, young adult novels, and graphic novels. In the middle of the Library we have our Very Short Introductions collection on spinning display towers and our Juvenile collection of children's books. You can borrow these for three weeks at a time with a limited number of renewals.

Books from our Reference collection are for in-library use only, but we can make exceptions for faculty upon request. Just ask if there's something you need.

Videos & audiobooks

Along the wall next to our computers and tables you'll find our audiovisual collection. Most DVDs check out for three days at a time while others, like our Great Courses collection and television series, check out for three weeks. Let us know if there are videos you regularly need to check out and show your students; we can restrict these to ensure they are always here when you need them. We also have a handful of music CDs and a growing collection of audiobooks.


Past the tables you'll see a display of the most recent issues of our magazines. These include titles like Better Homes & Gardens, Consumer Reports, Discover, Fast Company, Health, Minnesota History, Motor Trend, National Geographic, People, Wired, and more.


Course Resources

Course reserves

As an instructor, you may place items from the Library or from your own personal collection on reserve behind the circulation desk. In the past, for example, anatomy & physiology instructors have given us a model skeleton for their students to study in the Library. You decide the time limit of the loan and whether it may leave the Library. Popular loan periods include two hours, overnight, or three days, and you can always make exceptions in particular cases if you choose to.

Because we depend on instructors to share copies of their textbooks with us, course reserves do not include all assigned texts for every class. We highly encourage you to lend us any extra copies of your assigned texts that you may have.

You can search course reserves with OneSearch by selecting Course Resources in the search box drop-down menu. To place items on reserve, please contact Melanie Ellston in person, at, or at 651-423-8345.

Suggestions for purchase

You can use our catalog, OneSearch, to find the books and videos on our shelves, plus ebooks and streaming videos. If there's a title you'd like us to have but you can't find it in our catalog, please contact Michael Kirby in person, at, or at 651-423-8406.

Your textbooks... online?

Textbooks can be prohibitively expensive for students. The Library has helped many instructors and students by purchasing ebook versions of assigned texts, which can be accessed by all students at no cost to them.

EBSCO eBooks

Most often, we add these titles to our EBSCO eBooks collection, which includes over 80,000 ebooks on all academic subjects. You can create page-specific links - in case you want to direct your students to a certain chapter, for example. Each ebook is fully searchable and has a table of contents and index to help with navigation. You can control page size with the icons in the lower right corner. Ebooks work on mobile devices too, but cannot be easily downloaded for offline use.

Not all books and textbooks are available as ebooks that the Library can share with all students. Please e-mail if you'd like us to check on the availability of any of your assigned texts.

Research & Instruction

Research help

Michael Kirby loves to help students and instructors find the information they need, whether it's finding a book about nothing (we have one) or the kind of research that requires multiple visits to the Library over several weeks. Visit Michael in the Library, e-mail, or call 651-423-8406.

Library guides

Michael Kirby also enjoys creating online Library Guides. These are helpful for all students but especially those in asynchronous classes. With your input, Michael will create a guide to the best and most relevant library resources for your program or even a specific course. See this Composition I guide, for example.

Library instruction

Michael Kirby can meet with your class to show your students how to efficiently and effectively find the information they need. The duration, location, and content of each session depends on your specific needs. Here are some examples:

  • A general 50-minute session. This is ideal for students working on a paper or project. Michael will meet your students in a computer lab and cover the Library's resources and services, including how to use our catalog and databases to find accurate, relevant information and cite sources. Students will be given time to practice using these resources on their own and ask any questions that come up.
  • A 10- to 20-minute session on a specific topic or resource. This is ideal for students who have already had a general library session. Michael will join your class online or in person and skip the general stuff, saving time. Examples:
    • The best resources for students writing a pro/con argument paper
    • How to research a company and find demographic data
    • Where to find trustworthy medical/science information

A good session requires planning, so please try to schedule sessions at least two weeks in advance. To request a session, please contact Michael in person, at, or at 651-423-8406.

Online Resources

Online resources

The Library provides access to a wide variety of online resources, including nearly 100 databases. Some are general in scope and offer millions of articles, while others are highly specific like our Chilton automotive database, Business Insights, or Fairchild Books Interior Design Library. You can view the entire list with brief descriptions on our Databases A-Z list.

Most of the databases on this list are paid subscriptions and accessible only to DCTC students and employees. When off campus, you will need to sign in with your StarID. Please e-mail if you have any difficulty logging in.

Please contact Michael Kirby in person, at, or at 651-423-8406 if you have any questions about our online resources or if you'd like to discuss adding a new resource.

Online reference

LinkedIn Learning


EBSCO eBooks

Our EBSCO eBooks collection includes about 80,000 ebooks on all academic subjects. Some content can be downloaded to read later, but it's easier to just read these ebooks online. You can use the table of contents and index to find exactly what you're looking for in each ebook.





Swank Digital Campus

Depending on copyright and availability, our Kanopy and Swank Digital Campus subscriptions can provide access to many documentaries and films. Please e-mail if there's a video you'd like your students to be able to view both on and off campus.

LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library

LearningExpress Library is an outstanding resource for academic and career development. Students can review their math, reading, grammar, writing, and science skills; prepare for placement tests and graduate school entrance exams; practice for the TEAS and many occupational exams and certifications; learn how to write resumes and cover letters and prepare for interviews; and more.

Other Services

Interlibrary loan (ILL)

Sometimes the DCTC Library doesn't have the exact book, video, or article that you need. Current DCTC students and employees can request items from other libraries throughout Minnesota. Those libraries send the books or videos to us and we e-mail you when they're ready to pick up. Then you return the items to us by the due date and we return them to the lending library. How long you can borrow items and whether you can renew them depends on the lending library's policies.

Articles are even easier: the other library scans the article and you receive a copy via e-mail.

Please allow about a week for your requested items to arrive. E-mail Danielle Hoveland at to check on the status of your ILL request.

See our Requesting materials through ILL guide for more information.

Laptop carts

You can borrow our cart of Windows-based Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and turn any classroom into a computer lab. Just use your StarID to reserve it through our booking module, or e-mail to let us know when you'll need it.