Hekman Library’s Subject Guides

Calvin’s Hekman library is a beneficial resource for students, however the Hekman library website is just as valuable with many different tools that students can utilize while doing research. Some may think that the website’s only function is to find research materials through a variety of databases. However, tools such as KnightCite, how-tos, tutorials, and class guides are available for Calvin students. Each of the tools are beneficial to students, but an unknown resource on the Hekman library website are the subject guides, located on the right side of the screen under the Research Help heading.

Once students have clicked on the subject guide link, a list filled with various subjects pertaining to a variety of majors illuminates the screen. “The library’s Subject Guides offer an overview of the best finding tools for a subject,” the website explains. “If you don’t see your subject listed here, or would like to suggest a new subject guide, please contact us,” the website adds in a sidebar of the page. When a student decides on a subject and clicks the link, they are brought to a page with different options of helpful research. Focusing on the psychology subject guide, six varying links show up to help students hoping to conduct research.

Starting Your Research

The first of the six links on the site is “Starting Your Research”. “Use reference materials to start gathering information about your topic,” the website said. This portion of the subject guide offers three different books each for introductory and general reference sources, handbooks for psychology research and writing, human development, counseling psychology, and educational and social psychology. In addition, there are two books offered for cognition and behavioral health. Each book includes their call number so that students can find it in Hekman Library effortlessly.

Finding Books

The section entitled “Finding Books” is used for offering “tips for finding books in the Hekman Library,” explains the website. “This is an advanced search, and it allow you to limit your search by publication date, by collection, and by type.” In addition to the criteria explained by the website, a student can select audience, literary form, and even shelving location. At the bottom of the page, the website explains how to easily find books about a psychologist and how to easily find books by a psychologist. To further explain how to use this portion of the subject guide, the website provides a picture example of the book search engine.

Finding Articles

The “Find Articles” section of the psychology subject guide is a resource used “for finding scholarly journal articles using the library’s research databases.” Once the student is brought to the link provided, there are more specific resources than just searching a generic database through Hekman Library’s homepage. Here, one can choose from four preselected current journals, two core databases in psychology, or two databases with relevance to psychology. In addition, this portion of the subject guide gives tips on how to find full-text articles and scholarly articles. “Probably the most helpful, across the board, is the ‘Finding Articles’ and using the research databases,” said Head of Research and Instruction, Kathy DeMey. “There’s a lot of explanatory material here.”


The “Websites” portion of the subject guide provides a list of “recommended websites for the study of psychology.” Eight websites are listed when the student is redirected to the new webpage. Each website has a brief description beneath it’s link so that the student can choose which one would best suit his or her needs for their research. For example, for a website called “Psych Central”, it has the description of “Psych central is a source for mental health information. It provides annotated guides to the most useful websites, newsgroups, and mailing lists in mental health, psychology, social work, and psychiatry.”

Psychology as a Career

As the subject guides are, for the most part, major specific, psychology majors would find this particular portion of the subject guide to be useful for them personally. In this section, there are, “books and websites for career development and guidance.” Four preselected books on graduate training and career options are offered, again with each of their call numbers for easy access in the Hekman Library. In addition, links to career resources pertaining to psychology at Calvin and graduate school information is offered. Similar to the “Websites” portion discussed prior, there are helpful career websites listed for psychology majors, along with a brief description of each website.

Faculty Publications

The final portion of the subject guide is “Faculty Publications”. This section is dedicated to helping students “find books and articles written by Calvin’s psychology faculty.” Here, students can find six preselected books featuring work by Calvin faculty. In addition, there are ten preselected journal articles featuring Calvin faculty. Although each list is not exhaustive, the website encourages the student to “check out the links below to see how you can find the publications in the Hekman Library.”

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Morgan Luchies’s story.