June 24 - July 15, 2009

Library Use Suggestions

The following suggestions may increase the efficiency of your research time in the libraries.

1. Plan Ahead. Do not wait until arriving at the library to decide what will be done. Spare time should be used to plan out each trip to the library.

2. Prioritize and Set Goals. Once "what to do" has been decided, organize the order of action and set a goal as to how much will be accomplished. Plan action based on library organization to minimize movement. Think big! Plan more than you expect to do.

3. Sit Alone. The presence of others and the temptation to talk will decrease efficiency. Tables in the stacks of Baker provide ideal work-stations and privacy.

4. Eliminate distractions. Turnoff e-mail, facebook, IM, etc. Head phones help minimize distractions.
5. Use the library during library time. Only work which can be accomplished in the library should be done there. Work which may be completed just as well in the residence hall should be done there. Use all your time in the library for research. Resist temptations to socialize or ask questions which can wait until later at the residence hall.

6. Avoid the Rush. Photocopying and checking out items should be planned throughout the evening to avoid creating "peak times" which will necessitate standing in line. This applies to our Workshop collection, as well as the College libraries.

7. Do thorough bibliographic searches first. Extensive bibliographic work will help you prioritize sources. It also lets you get the necessary borrow direrct / inter-library loan requests in as early as possible. Do, however, make sure you have work to take with you after your library hours end.

8. Keep a permanent bibliographic record. Use a notebook or computer to keep a record of all the reference sources and search terms you have investigated. Searches done on public computers can be saved on your flash drive or blitzmailed to yourself. Record the search engines / indexes and the search terms used. This record will help you keep track for updates and going farther back in time; it will help you keep organized in making a complete and thorough investigation; and, it will help someone researching a similar area or picking up your assignment.

9. Record Footnotes. Do be sure to record footnotes as you read. This is especially important when your source cites an advocate of a position, but does not advocate that view him or herself.

10. Ask for Help. Workshop librarians are in the library to assist you with your research. They are familiar with both the library system and with debate. Do not waste your time trying to figure out how to do something; have the library staff show you. Caroline Brandt and Nisanth Reddy will be in Novack and Caoline Harkins and Cyrus Akrami will be in Berry Reference.

Fundamental Research Sources

It is highly recommended that you do a thorough searches before even beginning to read. The following are in priority order.

Library Catalog
Save and e-mail or print by page
Check subject hotlinks
Printed hearings have more in them than is on Lexis
Keep a record of search terms and dates

E-resournce ( link is on library catalog page)
Search 360
Find E-Resources subject listings list "Economics," “Environmental Studies,” “Government,” and “Law” will provide most of the indexes you might need.

Lexis Nexis full law version with a password.
Keep a record of search terms and date of search in your notebook.
Save a citation list and print or e-mail so you can to compare to other indexes.

The following should be searched early because you are likely to need Interlibrary Loan
Alternative Press Index
Air University Library [Air University Index to Military Periodicals]
Books in Print
Library of Congress