A Few Thoughts on the Library Visit

Please be sure that you visit the Clark College library, as these librarians encounter hundreds of students each year working on the (dreaded) research essay.  In addition, Clark has many resources targeted specifically for academic research– public libraries have a less specialized audience, and therefore provide access to a completely different realm of sources.

As we went over in class, the Clark College Library Website allows you to interact with the librarians both F2F and online.  While Jen prefers that you visit the Clark College library F2F, previous students have had success interacting with the librarians online via the chat function. 

When you enter the library and walk to the research desk, don’t forget to Introduce yourself.  It is helpful to tell the librarian that you are in English 102 here at Clark and that you are researching for the ten page research essay.  Remember that you want to tell him/her your INQUIRY QUESTION.

You also want to give the librarian the backstory of your research (what have you already found out as you developed your WORKING knowledge?  What do you need to find out to move from a Working Knowledge to a FOCUSED Knowledge?)  The more specific you are about what you have already done and what you need, the more the librarian will be able to help you.

Lindsay here: Here’s a how-to-talk-to-librarians resource (yay Colorado!) that might seem terribly obvious, but it also might provide some language to use and maybe offer a few ideas of what to expect: http://lib.colostate.edu/howto/askgood.html. Remember that you’re moving from Background to In-Depth research as you build your Focused Knowledge.

Distinction Between the Visit to the Librarian (Part of Your “Process” grade) and Blog Entry #3: Blog Entry #3 is about your LEARNING this week.  As usual, anything we have covered in class is fair game.  Never underestimate how powerful just recording what we did in class (from your perspective) and what you learned (what you didn’t know, what you re-learned, what gaps in your knowledge were filled, what questions you have, what personal experiences what we did in class triggered, etc) is incredibly valuable.  You think you will remember . . . but you will not.  Eventually, it all becomes a blur.  Keeping a record (even if you think Why am I writing this?  I will NEVER forget x!) not only ensures you deepen your understanding of the material . . . it is really fun to read several weeks (or years) later!  Jen did this (sporadically) in college, and decades later, she marvels at how much she has forgotten.

Notes from Monday’s Class (from Jen): Inquiry Questions– what you learned, how you felt during the activities on Monday– how your inquiry question is evolving– what sources you have found on your own– HOW you might use these sources in your paper– anything in Ballenger you read that you found interesting . . .

Library Visit is a separate blog entry.  NARRATIVE (story) about your visit or online session with the librarian.  Concrete specific details: What was the librarian wearing?  What did you say?  What did he/she say back (Dialogue)?  What color were the librarian’s eyes?

What you talked about.

What specifically the librarian showed you (books.  Articles.  Databases.  References).

Where did you GO in the library?

What specific sources were useful and WHY and HOW?


3 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on the Library Visit

  1. I feel like it’s appropriate to call a librarian just to ask her all these questions… What do you know about x and y?… What articles are great for x and y?… WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?… WHAT IS THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES?…
    Creepy tree house status, Jen… :p
    ❤ Siarra

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