Librarians share tips for getting more out of resources



Libraries are big, sometimes confusing, but always resourceful.

Here is a guide to help Detroit Mercy students use campus library resources more efficiently.

Librarian Sandra H. Wilson has over 10 years of experience and says a librarian’s job is to “assist students, help research, find books/journals and purchase new material for the library.”

Students who need help locating a book in the library or searching through the online databases can always speak to a librarian in research and information services.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Wilson advised.

 Rebecca Tull, another Detroit Mercy librarian, posed this question: “What can the library do to help make your academic research stronger?”

Tull and Wilson encourage students to simply ask.

“There are no silly questions. All questions are valid,” said Tull.

Tull and Wilson gave a list of tips to consider while conducting research:

Be patient because research takes time.

Commit to the research, “search, read, repeat,” one said.

Keep an open mind because your research topic may evolve.

Start your search through a general database.

Databases can be found on the Detroit Mercy library website.

If you need help understanding databases or how to search them, you can schedule an appointment with a librarian knowledgeable on the specific topic.

Tull said, “Know what you need.”

Become knowledgeable on your topic and assignment so the library can better assist you.

“The more information you share with us about the assignment the more we will be able to help,” Wilson said.

Another thing to consider before conducting research is the type of materials you need.

Do you need scholarly articles, journals or books?

How deep into the topic do you need to dive?

Do you need surface-level information or sub-level information within a larger topic?

After you complete your research and discover you need help physically finding material within the library, you can visit the check out and user services.

Libraries use call numbers to organize their collections.

Materials are located on multiple levels of the library. DVDs and CDs are retrieved from behind the desk when the DVD/CD case you need is presented.

The normal check-out period for students is four weeks but can vary depending on the materials.

Faculty can reserve materials behind the desk for students to use and those have varying circulation specifications but the most popular specifies the material must stay in the library and can only be reviewed for three hours.

If you are unable to find a specific material, you can ask a librarian about an interlibrary loan – a loan through the mail from another library.

Bottom line, said Wilson: “We are here to help you study smarter, not harder.”