5 Tips for Library Success
Spring semester 2016. Whether it’s your second semester at Baylor and you finally feel like you’re no longer a newbie, or your last semester at Baylor before heading out in to the real world, beyond the Baylor bubble, we’ve got some library tips for you to help make your research, study and life easier for you this semester.
1. Plan Your Research Papers
Whether you’re a procrastinator or a planner, writing a research paper is a daunting task. There’s just so much that has to be done – selecting a topic, narrowing down a thesis, doing library research to find sources, writing and editing. Use the library’s Research Paper Planner to break it down for you step by step, with deadlines and email reminders for each step! It will help you stay on track and get it done!
2. Use OneSearch to Find Stuff
The Baylor Libraries have a lot of databases, wonderful sites filled to the brim with academic, peer-reviewed, full-text gems, or digitized, historic, primary source awesomeness, or even straight up, informative data and statistics. If you don’t know what database to use, you could ask a librarian where to start, or you could use OneSearch, which searches through a large majority of our databases, plus BearCat and our digital collections all at once! You will get a LOT of results, so make sure to use the limiters on the left hand side of the page. But, yay! Results!
3. Learn how to use Zotero
Is your professor requiring you to cite your paper using Turabian and you’ve only ever used MLA? Do the little nitpicky details about how to cite different numbers of authors in the APA style drive you nuts? Did you find the perfect source during a late night library study session and now you can’t remember what it was? Perhaps you just need help getting your sources organized. If any of those things are true you should learn about the citation management tool called Zotero, which will change your life. Seriously! You can sign up for a workshop on Zotero here, and while you’re at it, look around at the other great workshops the library offers.
4. Record Your Presentations, Speeches or Interview Practice
Nervous about talking in front of groups of people? Use the Video Booth, on the garden level of Moody Library to record yourself with one push of a button. No technical savvy needed. Really.
5. Meet With Your Subject Liaison Librarian
We’ve got a lot of resources in print and electronic form here at the library, but one of the best resources you could get to know would be the liaison librarian for your subject. The librarians are here to help you figure out a good research strategies and to connect you with the best information. Every department at Baylor has a liaison librarian who knows his or her way around the subject at hand. Make an appointment and get to know your librarian and how they can help you.
What are your tips for library and research success? Do you have a favorite database? Do you have a great library study spot? Do you have any Zotero success stories? Has a librarian changed your life?