March 12, 2009

Getting the Most Out of Your Library

Here’s a great article from U.S. News and World Report, geared toward college students, on getting the most out of the 21st century library, written by Alice Sneary, head of the community team at the Online Community Library Center library cooperative, known as OCLC.

Among her tips, good for all library users to keep in mind, are:

Use the library’s website – the virtual library. It is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Don’t miss the databases. “There’s a world of knowledge beyond the quick Google search, including scholarly content that your library pays for that is NOT indexed in search engines,” Sneary writes.

Take advantage of Audiobooks. The author advises: “Audio versions of classics like Shakespeare's works are entertaining and can help unlock meanings you might miss on the page. E-audiobooks can also help with learning foreign languages. Transfer titles to a portable device, and take them with you.”

And, finally, Sneary's most important tip: “Ask for help. Take a tour, and get to know the librarians on staff. With your GPA and those tuition dollars at stake, it’s time well spent. Librarians are trained professionals who are there to help you find and make sense of information. Plus, many university libraries have subject specialists with advanced degrees in your field. Use them.”

[via stephenslighthouse]

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