10 Cool Things: Research Help

Image of a vampire appearing from behind a red velvet curtain
“Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #2 through 32 (Day is Done): Lonely Vampire,” 2004-2005, Mike Kelley, UW Image Bank.

Welcome to Week 3 of Spring Quarter! I greatly enjoy surprising you, my patrons, with cool tips to support and enhance your research and information discovery. While I delight in your delight, I don’t want to keep these things a secret! Here are 10 things I want you to know about:

  1. I’m never too busy for you. You’re never bothering me when I’m at the Research Help desk. Yes, I might be reading or typing, but it’s only to fill the time when you don’t need me! Ask for help–students are our priority!
  2. I can reveal my magic internet-searching powers. I don’t just work within the library website–I speak Google, too! I can show you how to speed up your access to articles you find in Google Scholar and I can help you narrow your general internet searching with some super-sweet search codes.
  3. You’ll find me in unexpected places. We pop up at the Center for Equity & Inclusion (WCG) on Wednesdays at lunch. Drop by for the same first-class service there as you’ll receive in SNO!
  4. I’m not chained to the desk. I’m happy to sit down with you at your library computer station to get you started on your research journey.
  5. We have all the things! Or rather, we can usually get them for you. Ask us for any published article or book and our wizards in Interlibrary Loan will get it for you–for free!
  6. Newbies are welcome. You don’t have to have a specific research question to get started. We are overjoyed by the patron who stops by to ask how to use the library!
  7. Would you believe that we still use encyclopedias and dictionaries? These are hugely helpful in getting started in understanding a subject area or figuring out the terminology and general ideas of a topic. This will often be the first place we take you to visit online when you are starting a project.
  8. We use Wikipedia and we don’t think it’s evil. Now, we don’t tend to use Wikipedia as a basis for our arguments, but it is terrific in giving the average human the general ideas in a topic. Protip: look at the sources in the Notes and Further Reading sections for potential research material.
  9. We have “the little things” to encourage your study in the library. Borrow a pen or pencil. Take some scratch paper to brainstorm. Use our stapler, tape, and citation guides to finish your work. Request a sanitizing wipe to wipe down your keyboard. Ask us for tissue for your runny nose. Use our hand sanitizer when you’re done
  10. I never sleep. Okay, well, maybe I do, but research help never does! We make sure that live (not dead and not undead) librarians are awake and ready to chat with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays and in all kinds of weather. Prod us for all of your research questions: What database should I use? How do I find peer-reviewed, scholarly articles? How do I format a Chicago-style citation?

So these are my cool things. Are they cool to you? No, wait. Don’t answer that. How about, what sorts of cool things have you found from Research Help?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *