Hi and welcome to the first week of the Reference Quick Tips series, where we’ll share some strategies that librarians use to find information. If you’ve ever wondered how librarians are able to search for information so quickly, you’re in the right spot! Whether you’re using a search engine such as Google or one of our library research databases, you can use these tips to be a more effective searcher and save time! This week, we’ll focus on the basics of searching which involves using keywords to get straight to the source.
Have you ever tried finding information using a search engine or a database only to come up with hundreds or thousands of unrelated results? The issue may have to do with how you’re searching. Let’s turn to our first tip.
Tip #1: Turn your question or topic into keywords.
Explanation: While Google and search engines are pretty good at returning search results based on typing your question as if you were speaking to another person (that is, natural language), sometimes, it can be faster to use the most important words in your question.
Rather than typing in “Why is TikTok getting banned?”
You could type in “TikTok ban” or “TikTok banned”to bring up websites and other sources of information that address your question.
When searching for information in the library research databases, it’s important to use keywords rather than full sentences. The databases don’t always understand natural language and so you may not get the results you want right away. Sometimes, you may need to re-do your search by using different keywords to find relevant information.
The good news is that a librarian can help you come up with keywords to use in a search engine or database. Contact a librarian with your question to get started!
Stop by next week for another entry in our Reference Quick Tips series where we’ll discuss strategies for searching the library’s catalog.
We’ve all heard it said that these are “strange and unprecedented times.” In all the turmoil, it’s important to step away from the news and find fun ways to keep busy or activities to engage with our families or roommates. That’s why we’ve compiled a healthy diversions guide you can use for entertainment and enrichment during COVID-19. The library may be closed, but we’re still here to provide you with the resources you need to excel in any circumstance. If you have ideas about activities to include, you can reach out to Paula Deroy. Her contact information is on the guide.
Technology is an essential component to this modern world, which is why here at the Annandale Campus Library we strive to equip our students with the resources they need to succeed. You all may know about our public computers, printers, and charging stations, but did you know we have a team dedicated to helping students with all their technology needs?
Monique Clark, Technology Librarian – Our team lead, who provides technology planning, coordination, and support
Michelle Echols, Technology & Reference Specialist – Provides computer and printer maintenance and troubleshooting, technology recommendations and purchasing
Soo Bae, Reference/Technology Librarian (Not pictured) – Oversees technology training and support, social media and online research guides
J.P. Garces – Circulation department liaison to technology team, providing backup and support
Simran, Digital Media Studio Consultant – Assists with equipment checkout and Digital Media Studio maintenance
Saron, AcePrint Consultant (Not pictured) – Assists students with printing in the library
Abigail, Peer Technology Consultant – Provides technology tutoring for Digital Media Studio software and equipment
The Library Technology Team exists to help students by providing assistance and access to all the resources the library has to offer. That’s why this semester the library is introducing a new member of the team, a Peer Technology Tutor, who is available to provide one-on-one assistance with Digital Media Studio software and Library equipment. The Digital Media Studio is a space within the Library that students can use for their photo, video editing, audio, or graphic design projects, equipped with the software students need. All you need to do to get started is book a seat in the studio. Stay tuned for future posts highlighting featured equipment and software. What will you create?