Online Learning Resources

For Durham Technical Community College students exclusively taking online learning courses, they can access a number of services and resources from the College’s Library.  

Searching the Library Catalog (CCLINC)

CCLINC is a shared catalog linking most of North Carolina's community college libraries together.

Access: From the Durham Tech Library webpage, select the link for Books and DVDs Online Catalog. The default search is “Durham Libraries” which includes Main Campus, Northern Durham Center, and Orange County Campus.

How to search: Type the terms you are looking for inside the search box. Then select the kind of search that you would like to conduct from these choices: search by “words or phrase,” which searches everything, “author,” “title,” “subject,” or “series.”

General catalog searching tips: With all searches, correct spelling is very important; a misspelled name or subject will probably result in no hits or the wrong hits. However, using either upper or lower case letters should not matter.

Results will appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recently published materials appearing first, and in groups of 20 hits per page. Each item should have an individual call number at the top. Since books are shelved from A-to-Z using this system, it’s important to keep track of this number in order to find the material. Items that are designated as “Reference Material” cannot be checked out. Look for the words “copy available” to see if an item is on the shelf; “estimated wait” means an item is already checked out. If any help is needed when searching, contact us.

  • To search by author: Type the first name and last name or the last name followed by a comma and then the first name. Example: Maya Angelou
    Example: Steinbeck, John
  • To search by title: Type as much of the title as you know.
    Example: To Kill a Mockingbird
    Example: Scribner Handbook for Writers
  • To search by subject:Type the subject as it appears exactly in the Library of Congress Subject Headings list. This is a controlled vocabulary, and terms must match the specific LC term.
    Example: Capital Punishment
    Example: Sociology
  • Search using words or phrase (keyword):Type any words, and they will be searched from the entire record, including the title, content notes, organization name, etc. This type of search casts the broadest possible net for your search and is best when you want to find as much as possible. Also, keywords can be combined. Using the word AND includes both terms while using the word OR means either term can be included.
    Example: gun control
    Example: cloning
    Example (combined): women AND military
    Example (combined): World War II OR holocaust
  • Search by Series: Type the series name that’s being searched. This works best when the specific name of the series is entered.
    Example: Opposing Viewpoints
  • Searching other Libraries' holdings: Below the search box there is another box that will let the patron select the library of his of her choosing. This selection can be changed from “Durham Libraries” to either another library or all libraries at once, which can be done by selecting ALL from the top of the menu.


Electronic Books

Electronic books are available through the following resources:


Searching the Library’s Electronic Databases

Databases available at Durham Tech

All the databases available to Durham Tech students are listed on the Library’s database page.

Accessing databases remotely

Databases that can be accessed from off campus require authentication by way of a proxy server or username and password. When a database link is clicked, the Durham Tech Library proxy server page appears. The patron can enter his or her WebAdvisor username and password to continue to the search screen. If a database is inaccessible, contact the library for assistance.

Tips and Strategies for Database Searching


Keywords are the important terms, concepts, or ideas that are identified as search terms.

  • Example: You are seeking information on stem cell research and the controversy surrounding this issue.

  • Keywords: stem cells and controversy

  • Example: You are interested in finding out about possible treatment options for pediatric AIDS.

  • Keywords: pediatric and treatment and (AIDS or HIV)

Boolean Operators

The Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT tell computer databases and search engines which way to conduct searches that best suit the user's needs.

  • The AND operator: You can specify that terms must appear in the items you retrieve by using the AND operator. (It's best to capitalize Boolean operators because some search engines require this). -- Example: gender AND crime

    • The above search statement will find documents containing both the terms "gender" and "crime.” You can use the AND operator more than once in a search.

    • For example: gender AND crime AND poverty

  • The OR operator: Using the OR operator states a preference that either or both of your search terms appear in your results. -- Example: college OR university

    • The above search statement will retrieve documents with either the term "college" or "university" or both the terms "college" and "university."

    • You can use the OR operator more than once in a search.
      Example: college OR university OR higher education

  • The NOT operator: Forbids the subsequent word from appearing in the search result’s items. -- Example: Mexico NOT New Mexico

    • The above search statement will retrieve documents containing the term "Mexico" but not containing the term "New Mexico.”


Truncation is a method of including all the possible ending forms of a word through the use of a symbol. It is an effective tool for expanding a search that has retrieved too few results. For example, consider a word that has several possible variations - “environment.” To truncate this word, type the word “environment” followed by the appropriate truncation symbol for the particular database:

  • environment*

  These are some of the terms that will be searched:

  • "environmental"

  • "environmentalism"

  • "environmentalist"

  • "environmentally"

  • "environments"

The most common symbol for truncation is *.

Internal Truncation

A symbol within a word provides for all possible variants inside a word or word stem. The most commonly used symbol for internal truncation is *. For example, a search for wom*n will retrieve both “woman” and “women.”

Sample search in ProQuest databases:

  • analy*e

  • -analyze

  • -analyse

Parentheses or Nesting

Use parentheses to clarify relationships between search terms when using the OR operator.

  • Example: (television OR mass media) AND violence combines "violence" with either "television" or "mass media".
  • Example: (jam OR preserves OR jelly) AND recipe combines "recipe" with either "jam" or "jelly" or "preserves"

Which keywords to search should be based on important concepts or questions from the research. Try to use Boolean operators and truncation when creating the final search phrase.

Examples of using keywords, Boolean operators, and truncation:

  1. What effect does sleep have on memory?
    sleep AND memory
  2. I need statistics on child abuse in North Carolina.
    child abuse AND North Carolina AND statistic*

  3. How can I find criticism on Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery?"
    Shirley Jackson AND The Lottery AND critic*

  4. Where can I find articles on women's education in Afghanistan?
    Wom*n AND educat* AND Afghanistan

  5. I need information on teenage pregnancy.
    (teenagers OR adolescents) AND pregnancy

  6. I need articles on the Titanic, the actual ship, not the film.
    Titanic NOT (film or movie)

Sakai Help

Help is available on the Sakai website. For additional technical assistance, Durham Tech’s Instructional Computing Team may be contacted.