Virtual Students Services

Virtual College Students:


You have access to all the resources and services that on campus students have access to.  Forsyth Library staff are happy to assist you in any way we can.  This includes:

  • Personal assistance by phone or email (785.628.5283 OR 1.800.628.FHSU, ext 5283 / ). 
  • Limited research and literature searches with approval of your professor
  • Access to our online catalogs (AquaBrowser OR Online Classic Catalog)
  • Online databases containing articles/article citations on virtually every topic, from journals, newspapers, and magazines, most of which are not freely available on the web.
  • Full-text electronic books  which can be read online.
  • Distance Services, through which you can obtain books and articles owned by Forsyth Library or from other libraries.
  • Research Subject Guides which contain the best databases, journals, reference books, citation guides and more, tailored to a specific topic or discipline.


Off Campus Access to Library Resources 

Off-campus access to most Forsyth Library electronic resources is restricted to authorized users (FHSU faculty, students, staff).  If you are off-campus and select a restricted resource you will be directed to the FHSU Secure Authorization page.  Enter your TigerTracks username and password.  That’s it. You are authenticated! If you are already logged-in to TigerTracks or Blackboard you are already authenticated. 

If you have questions about accessing or using library electronic resources, please contact the Reference Desk at 785-628-5283 or at


Locating Resources for Research
On the Library’s web page, to the right of the picture banner, are two tabs:  1)  Research and 2) Services.

Under the Research tab you will find the resources you need to locate books, both in print and e-book collections (Find Books), articles in our many online databases(Find Articles and Databases), subject guides on multiple disciplines (Find Research Guides by Subject), and other resources such as citation guides, search engines, web sites by subject-choose Reference websites by type of source (Find Other Resources).

Distance Services Department

This department can obtain articles or books (those owned by Forsyth Library as well as other libraries).  Choose the link above or choose the tab  “Distance Services” from the library’s web page . 

You may submit your requests in one of three ways:

  1. Fill out and submit the distance request form (book or periodical )
  2. Submit the full book or article reference citation in the body of an email to: 
  3. Submit the full book or article reference citation as an attachment to an email to: 

 *** Note*** Fill out and submit a Statement of Responsibility Form , it is required for a first time user and/or if your information has changed since your last request.
Receiving articles from Forsyth Library using our Electronic Document Delivery System:

Most or our requested articles come to us electronically.   We scan and post the document information (usually articles) to a website for you. You will receive an email from: FHSU Forsyth Library ILL <>. This email will give you a password (which is case sensitive and usually some form of your name) and an URL. At that URL , you will enter your email address and the password (supplied in the email from InterLibrary Loan). You will then be taken to a web page designated for you with your document(s) listed. Select an article and it will appear on your screen. (You will need Adobe Acrobat on your machine (latest version preferred — free download at: ). You will also need Java (free download at: ) on your computer (there are links for both on the URL page). Make sure you have disabled any pop-up blockers as the document opens in another window. You can then read your document or print it off. The article/item will stay at this website for 28 days.

Receiving Books:  via mail (you must reimburse the library for postage) 

If we own the book you request, we will check it out to you and mail it to you via the U.S. Postal Service.  If we do not own the book, we will request it from another library, mail it to you, and you return it to us prior to its due date.  Due dates can vary from each lending library.  Sometimes the lending library will allow renewals, if requested prior to the items due date.  Sometimes if you live close to a public library, you might request the item via them as you probably will not have to pay postage and can have the item for a longer period of time.

Assistance with research:

Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or e-mail if you need help finding information for your assignments.  We will be glad to “walk you through” searching the databases or online catalog.  We will also do limited research for you with professor approval.  When we do the research, we will email you citations so that you can decide if the material is relevant or not.

Reference Desk:          785.628.5283 or e-mail us at

Distance Services:      785.628.5566 or e-mail at

Regular Library Hours during Fall & Spring Semesters:

Mon – Thurs:       7:30 am – Midnight     (Librarian on duty until 10:00 pm)
Fri   7:30 am – 7:00 pm (Librarian on duty until 5:00 pm)
Sat   10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Librarian on duty all day)
  1:00 pm – Midnight (Librarian on duty until 10:00 pm

Check the Library’s Hours page for special holiday hours and Summer Hours, etc.


Remember, Ask a Librarian if you need to, Do Not Hesitate!!!

Black Sunday in Kansas

I have had several requests recently about the Dust Bowl, so that got me to thinking it would be a good topic for the blog. I want to focus on one particular day which affected Western Kansas and the region in ways that we probably cannot imagine today. Last year was the 75th anniversary of that dark day in our region’s history.

I found an article that tells the background into how and why the Dust Bowl occurred. The Reader’s Companion to American History says the following about the Dust Bowl:

The Dust Bowl was the name given to the Great Plains region devastated by drought in 1930s depression-ridden America. The 150,000-square-mile area, encompassing the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and neighboring sections of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, has little rainfall, light soil, and high winds, a potentially destructive combination. Ranchers and farmers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, driven by the American agricultural ethos of expansion and a sense of autonomy from nature, aggressively exploited the land and set up the region for ecological disaster. Most early settlers used the land for livestock grazing until agricultural mechanization combined with high grain prices during World War I enticed farmers to plow up millions of acres of natural grass cover to plant wheat. When drought struck from 1934 to 1937, the soil lacked the stronger root system of grass as an anchor, so the winds easily picked up the loose topsoil and swirled it into dense dust clouds, called “black blizzards.” Recurrent dust storms wreaked havoc, choking cattle and pasture lands and driving 60 percent of the population from the region. Most of these “exodusters” went to agricultural areas first and then to cities, especially in the Far West.

In response, the federal government mobilized several New Deal agencies, principally the Soil Conservation Service formed in 1935, to promote farm rehabilitation. Working on the local level, the government instructed farmers to plant trees and grass to anchor the soil, to plow and terrace in contour patterns to hold rainwater, and to allow portions of farmland to lie fallow each year so the soil could regenerate. The government also purchased 11.3 million acres of submarginal land to keep it out of production. By 1941 much of the land was rehabilitated, but the region repeated its mistakes during World War II as farmers again plowed up grassland to plant wheat when grain prices rose. Drought threatened another disaster in the 1950s, prompting Congress to subsidize farmers in restoring millions of acres of wheat back to grassland.

The Dust Bowl prompted a cultural response from artists like Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie, and John Steinbeck, who lamented the American economic ethos that had created the disaster. To them, the Dust Bowl signified the final destruction of the old Jeffersonian ideal of agrarian harmony with nature.

The residents of the Great Plains had been dealing with dust storms for several years, but none were like the one that struck on April 14, 1935. It was Palm Sunday that year, but it became known as Black Sunday after a massive front with winds of up to 60 mph came through the Great Plains. The winds scooped up the loose top soil which became dust clouds hundreds of feet high.

“People hurried home, for to be caught outside could mean suffocation and death. The dust and darkness halted all forms of transportation and the fine silt sifting through any crack or joint forced the closure of hospitals, flour mills, schools and businesses.”  – Kansaspedia

Here is another description of what people were doing that day:

“By 24 March [1935] southeastern Colorado and western Kansas had seen twelve consecutive days of dust storms, but there was worse to come. Near the end of March a new duster swept across the southern plains, destroying one-half the wheat crop in Kansas, one-quarter of it in Oklahoma, and all of it in Nebraska—5 million acres blown out. The storm carried away from the plains twice as much earth as men and machines had scooped out to make the Panama Canal, depositing it once again over the East Coast states and the Atlantic Ocean. Then the wind slackened off a bit, gathering strength, as it were, for the spectacular finale of that unusual spring season—Black Sunday, 14 April.

Dawn came clear and rosy all across the plains that day. By noon the skies were so fresh and blue that people could not remain indoors; they remembered how many jobs they had been postponing, and with a revived spirit they rushed outside to get them done. They went on picnics, planted gardens, repaired henhouses, attended funerals, drove to the neighbors for a visit. In mid-afternoon the summery air rapidly turned colder, falling as many as 50 degrees in a few hours, and the people noticed then that the yards were full of birds nervously fluttering and chattering—and more were arriving every moment, as though fleeing from some unseen enemy. Suddenly there appeared on the northern horizon a black blizzard, moving toward them; there was no sound, no wind, nothing but an immense “boogery” cloud.” – Dust Bowl : The Southern Plains in the 1930s

It was this black day that gave a name to this particular era.

As the nation had become aware of the dust storms, journalists such as Associated Press staff writer Robert Geiger were in Guymon [Oklahoma] writing a series of articles. In his April 15 release for the Washington, D.C., Evening Star he wrote: “Three little words achingly familiar on a Western farmer’s tongue rule life today in the dust bowl of the continent. If it rains. . . .”

Geiger used the term “dust bowl” for the first time in print. Within three months “dust bowl” was being used throughout the nation. He specifically referred to “the western third of Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the Oklahoma Panhandle, the northern two-thirds of the Texas Panhandle, and northeastern New Mexico.” That area is almost identical to the Dust Bowl boundary as formally designated in 1939 by the Soil Conservation Service as the geographical extent of the severe wind damage by 1939. – Dust Bowl Lore

The library has a number of books on the Dust Bowl, so look in the online catalog for titles. There are also a number of web sites on the Internet that provide good sources. I have listed below some primary and seccondary sources about Black Sunday. Oral histories, written essays, and photographs are included within these links.

Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of History & Culture –

National Weather Service –

Living History Farm, York, Nebraska –

Dust Bowl Oral History Project, Ford County Historical Society, Dodge City, Kansas –

PBS Series: American Experience –

Kansas Memory –

Wind Erosion Research at KSU –

Field and Stream Magazine – –


Sources cited:

Logsdon, Guy. “Dust Bowl Lore.” Oklahoma Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of History & Culture. 16 March 2011 <;.

“Reader’s Companion to American History.” 1991. Credo Reference. Houghton Mifflin. 16 March 2011 <;.

Society, Kansas State Historical. “Kansapedia.” Kansas State Historical Society. 16 March 2011 <;.

Worster, Donald. Dust Bowl : The Southern Plains in the 1930s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.


Picture is from


Research – Plagiarism


                                      What is Plagiarism

 All of the following are considered plagiarism: 

  • turning in someone else’s work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.” MORE Plagiarism FAQs.

SOURCE:  What is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved Dec. 16,2010, from <>

                                Fort Hays’ policy on Honesty

(From the University catalog)

FHSU Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures


                                   Interactive Tutorial on Plagiarism

 The penalties for plagiarism can range from  a low grade to failing the class or even expulsion from the university.  Learn how to identify and correct such mistakes by using this tutorial:

                                          Interactive Plagiarism Tutorial

Created by librarians at Vaughan Memorial Library at Acadia University. Used by permission.


                                      Who me?  Plagiarize?

You may be plagiarising without realizing it.  Plagiarism isn’t only obvious theft such as buying a paper off the web or copying and pasting entire papers.  Failing to properly cite the source of the words and ideas you use in your paper also constitutes plagiarism. 

Plagiarism is theft of someone’s words or ideas.  “Plagiarism is pretending that an idea is yours when in fact you found it in a source.  You can therefore be guilty of plagiarism even if you thoroughly rewrite the source’s words.  One of the goals of education is to help you work with and credit the ideas of others.  When you use another’s idea, whether from a book, a lecture, a Web page, a friend’s paper, or any other source, and whether you quote the words or restate the idea in your own words, you must give that person credit with a citation.”

Harris, Robert A.  Appendix. The Plagiarism Handbook:  Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing with Plagiarism. Pyrczak Publishing:  Los Angeles, California,  2001. 132-133.


Research – Evaluating and Citing your Sources

Evaluating and Citing your Sources

When you search for information, you might find plenty… but is it accurate and reliable? You will have to determine this for yourself, and the CRAAP Test can help. The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help determine if the information you find is good quality. Your information source may not meet every criterion on this list; different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need. So why guess? Is your source giving you truly credible and useful information, or just a lot of…?!

Currency: The timeliness of the information.

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or too out-of-date for my topic?
  • Are all the links functional or are there dead links?*
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to my topic or answer my question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too simple or advanced) for my needs?
  • Did I look at a variety of sources before deciding to use this one?
  • Would I be comfortable using this source for my college research paper?
Authority: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? Examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net*
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed by anyone else?
  • Can I verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased? Or is it free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, typographical, or other errors?
Purpose: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
*criteria specifically for evaluating Web site information***adapted from:  Evaluating information – Applying the CRAAP test, 10/24/2007. Reference & Instruction, Meriam Library ReSEARCH Station, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, CA. 17 Mar 2008. <>   Prepared for University Library lobby display, Evaluating information from the World Wide Web, March 2008. ***


                                                Citing your sources:

As you compile your sources, make sure you have full bibliographic information on each one .  This includes: 

1)  Book:  Author(s), Title, Place of publication, Publisher, copyright date, and pages for your quotes

2) Journal:  Author(s), Article title, Journal title, Volume, Issue, Date, Year and Pages

There are several style manuals that you can use, but you will need to consult your professor and to the appropriate one for your discipline.  The library has the most used ones at the Reference Desk (APA Handbook, MLA Handbook, Turabian Manual for Writers, Chicago Manual of Style, and the ACS Style Guide). 

There are several university websites that have online examples of how to cite your sources.  Below are a few good ones:

Purdue Online Writing Lab “OWL”

Northwest Missouri State University

Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison Writing Center

One thing to note is that when you are doing research in the library’s online databases, there may be a link on “how to cite your article”.  This will give you an example for a specific style manual, BUT you should always verify the source in your style manual, as sometimes the example is wrong.


Lyin’ Around Waitin’ For a Good Book?

Take a proactive stance instead and use Forsyth Library’s online catalog to help you find the books you really need.  Click on “Find Books” on the library’s homepage and then “Forsyth Library Catalog.”  Key in your topic and click “Search.”

For example, if you’re looking for some new or fairly current reference books for psychology, world politics, Asian-American literature, or study guides, you might find these titles:

The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
Ref BF31/.E52

One of the most desirable resources for psychology, The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, has been recently received.  It has articles on DSM disorders, treatment methods, commonly used tests, scales, and assessment methods, statistical methods and issues, as well as biographical entries.

Other new psychological resources received include Campbell’s Psychiatric Dictionary; Handbook of Psychological Assessment; Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook; The Professional Counselor’s Desk Reference; Encyclopedia of Addictions; The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology: and Encyclopedia of Counseling: Changes and Challenges for Counseling in the 21st Century.

Europa World Year Book: 2010
Ref JN1/.E85

This new 2 volume set provides detailed country surveys with statistical, analytical, and directory information for over 250 countries and territories.  The statistical section is particularly valuable and has the most up-to-date figures from official national, regional, and international statistical offices and agencies on agriculture, industry, finance, trade, health and welfare, etc.  International and regional organizations are also listed.

Other sets in the Reference Collection that have background information about countries include The Statesman’s Yearbook and Countries of the World.

Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature
Ref PS153/.A84/037

Specialists of Asian-American literature have written entries about important Asian-American authors in this current reference book.  A brief synopsis and critical analysis are also provided for their major works.

A number of other useful works in the Reference Collection provides criticisms of writers’ works.  Some of the well-known titles include Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Poetry Criticism, and Short Story Criticism.  Criticism for children’s literature can also be found in Children’s Literature Review and Something About the Author.

Peterson’s Master the GRE
Ref LB2367.4/.P48

Are you planning on taking the GRE this semester?  If so, we have a fairly current study guide in the Reference Collection.  Study guides are also available at the Reserve Desk or in the Reference Collection for several other standardized tests given on campus such as the ACT, SAT, PPST, LSAT, CLEP, DAT, GMAT, MCAT, OAT, and TOEFL.

Remember, if you’re not finding the book or article that you need in our library, please utilize our Interlibrary Loan Department.  They will be glad to order materials for you from other libraries.–J.A.S.