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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

* Policy, Planning, and Management: Home

Resources to support graduate level public policy research in the Policy, Planning, and Management program.

Key Resources in Policy, Planning, and Management

You can search for books at USM or in other libraries by using the links below. If you're not sure how to find what you're looking for, Ask Us!

Sign-in through the MyUSM portal for access to thousands of ebooks via the URSUS catalog or one of our ebook databases below.  In URSUS, you have access to books listing "USM Access" and "UM System-wide Access."

Searching Tips and Tricks

  • Most databases allow for searching with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
    • Use AND to focus your search and combine different aspects of your topic
    • Use OR to broaden your search and find sources that use different words for the same concept.
    • Use NOT to omit certain terms from your results.
  • Use an asterisk (*) to truncate words if you want to search for all words with that root. For example, “environment*” would search for environment, environmental, environmentalism, etc.
  • Put quotes around a phrase that you want the database to search as a phrase, rather than as individual words.
  • Group synonyms inside parentheses using OR between each one


How to search: 

URSUS is the combined library catalog for the entire University of Maine system. You can search the entire system, or select University of Southern Maine Libraries in the drop-down.

Other helpful tips:

  • If you find a book that is relevant to your needs, look at the "Subject" area of the book's record. Click on a few of the subjects to find other similar books. To search by subject you have to know the exact subject term. Most databases that use subjects have a Thesaurus that you can use to look up subject terms. You will have to look up subjects in each database independently, as not every database uses the same thesaurus. 
  • In many of the book records, you can look at the table of contents - click the link under the "Inside This Book" heading. This can help you determine if a book is right for your research.
  • If USM doesn't have a book you want, click the "Request" button at the top of the page and we can get it for you 

There are many ways you can get research materials from other libraries. 

  • From URSUS, use the  button at the top of an item's page.
  • From MaineCat, use the  button in the middle of an item's page.
  • From a database:
    • Select the item you want and find and click the  or "Article Linker" button (the placement on the page will vary by database).
    • If the library does not have access to the item, find and click the "Submit an Interlibrary Loan Request" link under Step 3 in the right panel.

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Anna Faherty
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Lewiston, ME
(207) 753-6545