At the Threefold Advocate, we realize that research is one of the main things students do. If we do not have the needed resources available, it can be very frustrating and even hurt our grades. Finding those resources can be a headache, using hours of our scarce time.
The first place we go to accomplish research is the University library. At first the library seems like a stuffy, boring place to be. But if you use the system right, there is much valuable information at your fingertips. The trick is finding it, and that is easier said than done.
Many resources are available. The library staff is excited about their new online tool, SuperSearch, which can search simultaneously across several databases. That makes research easier. Now, their collection of e-books is over 90,000 titles, nearly surpassing the print collection. Over 15,000 journal titles are available, so even specific articles can be easy to find. Recently, the library purchased all the books needed for the core curriculum classes, and those are now on reserve for any student to use. Simply check out your text, stay in the library for three hours, and get your reading done for class. That is pretty wonderful.
Keeping the book collections up to date is hard work. The library relies on the faculty to help them do this. So for example, your science professor is asked to come in and look at the books related to his or her specialty. They take out the ones that are out-of-date or irrelevant, and ask the library to order new ones that fit students’ needs. Faculty, students need your help to keep the library up to date, so we can use the resources to perform well in your classes. We encourage you to please help accomplish this goal by being attentive and proactive about student research needs.
Finally, finding the right information can be very tricky. The librarians who have worked in the library for years still sometimes have to ask each other for advice on finding things. So, don’t expect to be able to do it all yourself. When you check out, the desk clerk is supposed to ask you, “Did you find everything you needed?” We encourage you to be honest. If you did not find everything you sought, ask a few more questions. Your research paper might just get a better grade because of it.