Social workers assist millions of people every day. Clients can be anyone, from veterans to children, families and entire communities. Social workers often work with people who are going through devastating illnesses or mental health crises. Furthermore, social workers handle complex issues that can range from public policy to social justice and community services. As a result, social workers need research tools that tackle the evolving needs of many clients in many different situations.
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work, PSU Library’s featured resource, is a powerful tool for researchers. Use it to search for valuable background information on topics related to social work. In addition, references at the end of entries will lead you to key researchers and foundational works on those topics.
Like the field of social work, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work gets updated as policies and trends change. Consequently, the Encyclopedia’s newest edition covers updates like demographic changes from immigration, technology, managed care, faith-based care, evidence-based practice, gerontology, trauma, and disaster care. In addition to subjects relating to social work, the encyclopedia also has biographies of people who shaped the field.
Social work research at the PSU library
Librarians at the PSU Library have created helpful guides for researchers studying social work and related topics. Learn more about the Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work and other PSU Library resources. In addition, learn more about related topics like community health and public policy.
The Library’s services for students will help you no matter where you are in the term. The guide below covers some of our most frequently asked questions, but is by no means comprehensive. View all of our student services at the Library for a full list of resources.
Access the Library Online
The PSU Library website has services and research guides will help you throughout the term. Find your next research article or search a database for class. Our subject guides connect you to what you need for a specific class or subject. Our tutorial videos show you how to use our website, research databases, citation software, and other research tools. Finally, Ask a Librarian for research help if you have any questions.
Reference Desk and Computers
Get help with your research at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor in the main computer lab. Reference Librarians will assist you with all stages of your research, including brainstorming topics, finding articles, and citing sources. Furthermore, you can get research help in person or 24/7 online. Get research help whether you are forming your research topic or burning the midnight oil in your dorm. Computer labs are on the 1st and 2nd floors. Both labs have PC and Mac computers, wheelchair accessible stations, scanners, and color printers. Print from your own laptop at the Library, or at one of the lab computers.
Learning Center and Writing Center Outpost
The Learning Center on the 2nd floor will help you with tutoring, study skills, and many other services. Drop in tutoring begins early in the term and is available throughout the term. The full schedule of drop-in tutoring is available on the Learning Center’s website, along with other services designed to help PSU students succeed. The Writing Center Outpost will help you with your paper at any stage of the writing process. Drop in from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekdays during the term.
Quiet Floors and Study Rooms
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the Library have tables and technology arranged for group collaboration. Designated quiet floors are on the basement, 4th and 5th floors to provide students with places to focus and study.
Study rooms are available throughout the Library for a space to study, practice a presentation, or work on a group project. A special family study room is available for students with children, while other study rooms have specialized equipment for collaboration or different layouts to accommodate different groups. Furthermore, you can book study rooms online up to a week in advance. Check out keys for your study room from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.
Borrow Equipment and Textbooks
Many course textbooks are available for checkout as course reserves. Search the Library Catalog to see if we have your textbook in the reserve collection behind the 1st floor Circulation Desk or on the shelves. Select “Course Reserves” and type in your course number to see if your course textbook is on reserve. Course reserve textbooks can be borrowed for a short period of time for students to read, study, and take notes.
Borrow equipment from the Portland State University Library, including mobile device chargers, headphones, graphing calculators, laptops, and iPads from the 1st floor Circulation Desk.
When you have time to spare, check out the unique collections at the PSU Library in print and online.
PDXScholar, PSU Library’s digital repository, contains research by Portland State students, staff and faculty, along with local research, university archives, theses and dissertations, faculty profiles, and open access textbooks.
The Dark Horse Comics collection is available through a partnership between Dark Horse comics and the PSU Library. The collection has over 10,000 comics and is updated throughout the year. Dark Horse Comics are available for checkout from the PSU Library on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors.
About the Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies is a featured resource at the PSU Library. Gender and sexuality studies is an interdisciplinary social science, which means that it spans more than one field of study. Researchers examine gender and sexuality along with race and culture as part of a larger context. Subjects range from sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and politics, to contemporary history and psychology. Furthermore, researchers can explore these topics zoomed in at a local level, or at a larger cultural or regional view.
Using Encyclopedias for Research
Encyclopedias are organized by subject. Subjects can range from specific events or people to broad concepts. As a result, researchers can home in on a topic or zoom out to examine broader context. Furthermore, helpful information is listed at the end of each entry. Related subjects let researchers find more information and build upon their research. Finally, references and reading lists at the end of each entry help to point researchers to additional information.
PSU Library’s online encyclopedias accessible and easy to use, and they are also scholarly. They are edited by verified experts and scholars in each discipline. In addition, the information, references and related topics are up-to-date. Researchers can use PSU Library’s scholarly resources to search for a topic, find current reliable information, and use that to find other related information online through the PSU Library.
Gender and Sexuality Studies Resources at the PSU Library
Along with Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, PSU has many other resources such as databases of scholarly journals and articles, dissertations and theses, multimedia, and books.
Our research guide on Women, Gender and Sexuality studies will direct researchers to appropriate resources and how to develop your topic, use Library resources, cite sources, and find other helpful information about researching this topic
PDXScholar is the Portland State Library’s institutional repository, meaning it contains dissertations, theses, and research articles by PSU students, staff and faculty. All content on PDXScholar is open access.
Are you an undergraduate at Portland State who is seeking opportunities to get involved with making public policy? Are you inspired to work for social and economic justice? Senator Jeff Merkley wants you to join him and his staff in Washington, D.C., this summer!
From Sen. Merkley’s press release:
“Senator Merkley is offering a $5,000 stipend for a summer internship position based in his Washington, DC office. The Otto and Verdell Rutherford Summer Congressional Internship provides an opportunity to an undergraduate student from Oregon who seeks to experience public policy-making up close and to further the causes of economic and social justice.
“The ideal candidate is inquisitive, adaptable, rooted in community service, and possesses a keen interest in advancing social and economic justice issues.”
This internship honors Otto and Verdell Rutherford, prominent Portland civil rights leaders whose efforts were key to the success of the passage of Oregon’s Public Accommodations Act in 1953. The Rutherfords held leadership positions in the Portland NAACP and worked with numerous community organizations throughout their lives. Portland State University Library Special Collections is proud to make the Rutherford Family Collection, a rich resource documenting the personal, political, and community life of the Rutherfords and African Americans in Portland during the twentieth century, available to the public.
Urban Studies Abstracts, our featured resource, is a collection of abstracts and trade publications that describe urban planning. Trade publications specialize in a specific trade or industry, while abstracts condense a large amount of research into a summary. This information includes urban affairs, community development, history and urban planning. This collection of abstracts coupled with trade publications means that researchers will find the latest information, all in one place.
Use Abstracts for Research
An abstract is a self-contained, short and powerful summary with keywords that describe the research. Urban studies abstracts discuss the scope, purpose, and results of the research. The structure of abstracts may vary by academic field, but they all have the same goal – to make research easier.
Abstracts save the researcher time in addition to providing information about the research. Readers read the summary in an abstract and can quickly decide whether or not to read more. Likewise, online databases use information in the abstract to make it easier to find similar research.
Finally, researchers use abstracts to find more research outside of the PSU Library. PSU students, staff and faculty can request items not held by the PSU Library through Summit or Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Summit and Interlibrary Loan allow researchers to request print books and online articles from other libraries, even across the world.
Urban Studies Resources at the PSU Library
Urban Studies Abstracts is one of many sources of urban studies research available through the PSU Library. Urban studies research is usually interdisciplinary, meaning you get more out of your research by exploring other guides and databases for more context. PSU Library’s urban studies resources all focus on a common goal — understanding metropolitan regions, issues, and policies.
The PSU Library has several tools for researchers to explore urban studies, including:
PDXScholar also has valuable urban planning research by PSU students, staff and faculty.
Please note that some PSU Library resources, including Urban Studies Abstracts, are licensed for use by on-site patrons and current Portland State University students, faculty, and staff.
1“Preliminary Sketch by Jeff Thierfelder.” Andreades, Debra; Khan, Arif; Hughes, Emily; and Konkol, Tony, Boise Neighborhood Gateway Project (2003). Master of Urban and Regional Planning Workshop Projects. http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/usp_murp/143, p. 35.
The PSU Library hours will change to a Winter Intersession schedule between terms. The library will be closed on weekends and open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m during the intersession. This schedule begins Saturday, December 10 and runs until Friday, December 23.
The Library will be closed from December 24 through January 2.
Intersession hours resume Tuesday, January 3 through Friday, January 6. We will be closed Saturday, January 7.
Regular Winter Term hours begin Sunday, January 8th at 12:00 p.m.
The Library website and databases are available 24/7 during Intersession, including the closure. Chat reference help is available most of the days the Library is closed, but it will be unavailable December 24–26 and December 31–January 2. We will be able to check in books returned to the book drop. We will not be able to process Summit and Interlibrary Loan requests will not be processed during the closure, but requests received during the closure will be processed when we re-open.
Winter Schedule Changes for the Library
December 8-9: Regular hours
December 10–23: Winter Intersession schedule (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday)
December 24–January 2: Library closed
January 3–7: Winter Intersession schedule (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday)
January 8: Regular hours resume
Resources for Intersession
There are many things to do around PSU campus and around the Portland metro area during break. Be sure to check to see if hours have changed for the holiday season before you head out.
The Oregon Food Bank has resources to find food this holiday season, including holiday-specific resources. Be sure to check the hours of the location you are planning to visit.
Culture Passes at the Public Libraries
Multnomah County Library, Clackamas County Library, and Washington County Library (WCCLS) have passes available to explore places like museums and cultural centers around town. The passes provide free admission, and often cover admission for groups of people and families. The amount of admission covered varies depending on where you are visiting.
In order to check out a culture pass, you will need a public library card. Remember, you can have a public library card outside of your county of residence, and you can also have more than one library card. Check each public library system’s website for more information about reserving and using the culture passes.
We will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Chat reference will not be available on November 24 or 25. The library will re-open on Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m. Building hours remain normal for the rest of the weekend.
The Library’s Research Guides will help you find resources for your research while the Library is closed. Search for research and information by subject or search for resources for a specific course.
24/7 Library During Dead Week and Finals
The PSU Library’s 24/7 schedule will begin on Monday, November 28 at 7:30 a.m. and last through Thursday, December 8 at midnight. These hours run from the beginning of Dead Week through Finals.
The Library will be open to anyone until midnight. Only PSU students, faculty, and staff may be in the Library after midnight. Enter the Library after midnight by scanning your white PSU ID Card at the card reader by the ADA-accessible door. If you only have a PSU OneCard, please visit ID Card Services in Neuberger for your Student ID/Access Card.
At any time, Campus Public Safety will provide a safety escort to your vehicle or dorm. Ask the Officer in the Library or call Dispatch at (503) 725-4407 for a safety escort. College Housing Northwest (CHN) also offers extended hours for their Goose Hollow Shuttle during the 24/7 Library service.
Extra Library staff will assist you during the extended hours. Room 160 on the first floor will be opened up to provide an additional study room for students. Branford’s Bean coffee shop is also open longer, and they will continue their tradition of leaving coffee out for students after they close.
Follow the steps below to get into the Library after midnight
Have your white PSU ID/Access Card to enter the Library late at night
Place the PSU ID card near the black card reader at the ADA-accessible entrance.
After scanning the PSU ID card, push the blue ADA-accessible door button.
Wait few seconds. That door takes a long time to open!
You made it in! Good luck on finals!
Upcoming Library Schedule Changes November 24-25: Closed for Thanksgiving
November 26-27: Regular hours
November 28-December 8: Library open 24/7
December 9: Regular hours resume
With generous support from the Portland State University Alumni Association, the Portland State University Library is pleased to announce a new round of funding that will expand its open textbook initiative, PDXOpen. As a result, PSU faculty have financial support to create at least 5 new open textbooks. Ultimately, open textbooks reduce costs for students and enhance student learning.
PDXOpen textbooks have saved PSU students $85,094 as of Fall 2016. Since the program began in 2013, PSU faculty have published 10 open textbooks. Support from the PSU Alumni Association allows the Library to work with PSU faculty and provide a platform to make open textbooks accessible to students.
“This project allowed me to help in tailoring a book for the very specific needs of my PSU students of Arabic… without the hurdles of cost or lack of resources availability.”
– Lina Gomaa, Instructor of Arabic and PDXOpen author
Open textbooks already created through PDXOpen cover several Portland State disciplines, including University Studies, World Languages, Math, Education, Psychology, and Urban Studies. PSU faculty authors tailor these open textbooks to their students’ needs. In addition, the textbooks created through PDXOpen can be accessed beyond Portland State University, even after graduation. As a measure of success, PDXOpen textbooks have been downloaded over 10,000 times across the globe. The partnership between the PSU Alumni Association and the Library will continue to reduce costs and enhance learning for PSU students by expanding open textbooks for PSU students.
The Routledge Handbooks Online is the Portland State University Library’s featured resource. Routledge Handbooks Online is a collection of many scholarly reference eBooks. The eBooks have information on research topics vital to PSU students and faculty. Topics include historic and current research, and future trends in the Social Sciences and Humanities. They are scholarly guides to theory, method, and primary topics. PSU faculty have authored several works in the collection. The PSU Library has access to works in the following collections in Routledge Handbooks Online:
Communication & Media
Environmental & Sustainability
Middle East Studies
Using Routledge Handbooks Online at Portland State University
Anyone can access Routledge Handbooks Online while on campus. PSU students, faculty and staff can access the collection off campus 24/7. Researchers can choose whether they want to browse the eBooks like books on a shelf, or search by specific keyword or topic.
The PSU Library has more collections with resources about the above topics. Online subject guides through the PSU Library will point researchers to even more resources outside of the eBooks collection, like physical resources, scholarly articles, government documents, and print books. The Library’s PDXScholar collection will also point researchers to additional scholarly sources, many by PSU faculty and student authors.