Underutilized resources at the library

Underutilized resources at the library

According to the New College Fact Book, with more than 129,000 visits in 2017 alone the Jane Bancroft Cook Library is a popular resource for students and community members alike. However, according to a poll conducted on the Forum, while some library resources—like the Writing Resource Center (WRC) and the Center for Engagement and Opportunity (CEO)—are well-known, others—like the Technology Services and the Information Literacy Librarians—are known to only a few students.

Only 12.5 percent of the 40 students who responded to the poll knew about the Library’s Data Services Librarian. Data Services Librarian Winn Wasson can help students find data sets and organize data to ensure they are using quantitative information effectively. Some of the tools that Wasson recommends to help students manage academic and personal information are: Zotero, which manages bibliographic data, Dashlane, which manages password and Mint, a personal finance management service.

“Students can come to me for general questions, I have a background in Social Sciences,” Wasson said. “I can help find general sources, data sets or create a plan for creating their own data or find some tools to help analyze data for a research paper or for a senior thesis.”

Only 32.5 percent of the 40 students who responded to the poll knew about the Information Literacy Librarian. Students can make an appointment with these Librarians for help when they are doing research. They can help narrow down a topic and ensure the research question is specific enough for the assignment.

“If it takes more than 20 minutes to find something, come see a librarian,” Information Literacy Librarian Helene Gold said. “We are expert researchers. In our shared resources with University of South Florida (USF), we have access to over 600 academic databases. We know how to use controlled vocabulary, navigate databases, to really hone in on materials that give you exactly what you’re actually looking for.”

The Library’s Technology Services are also relatively unknown, with only 37.5 percent of students who responded to the poll aware of this resource. If students have a technical question in regards to software such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Google applications, Youtube and Canva, this department can help. Technology Services can provide help to individual students or groups.

Technology Services also offers free rentals of microphones, cameras and GoPros, among other technology equipment that can be checked out for academic projects.

Another underutilized resource is the Library’s research program, run by Lee Ann Rodriguez, which provides information on how to successfully apply for grant and scholarship money that can be put toward both student and professor research.

Students writing research papers for classes, working on their thesis, running a club or looking for a job or an internship opportunity can utilize the Library’s many resources to help them achieve their personal, academic and career ambitions.

“We have a lot of resources here,” Senior Library Technical Assistant Jeff Thompson said. “There is a lot of information available in the library. It’s immense, but there is staff willing to assist you and don’t hesitate to ask a question.”

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