5 Library Resources for the Pros

By January 21, 2013Writing about Writing

Richardson LibraryJust a hunch, but I’m willing to bet not many people made a New Year’s resolution to unearth the best resources the library has to offer–and which everybody should use more often.  So I’m going to do it for you: here are five things that make DePaul’s libraries awesome.

1.  The Mac lab

If you’re tired of crowded work areas, greasy keyboards, and clunky PC programs, we’ve got you covered.  Tucked away to the left when you enter the Richardson library’s ground floor, the Mac lab is stacked with almost two dozen gorgeous iMac desktops running industry-standard graphic design, audio-, and film-editing software.  Perhaps more importantly, it’s a clean, quiet workspace withhigh-ceilings and sleek, modern furnishings.  If you’re like me and work best in cool surroundings, try it out.

2.  I-Share

The average student will spend around $1,168 a year on books, but as an I-Share addict, I don’t understand why. I-Share is the online interface for Illinois’ interlibrary loan system, but more than that, it puts you in touch with nearly any book in any edition you might need: you simply put in a request, specify a pick-up point, and whichever Illinois university library that has it will send it your way.  Most students will use I-Share for research projects, in order to get access to books that they can’t find at the DePaul campus libraries.  But as I just suggested, it’s a also a great way to load up on your textbooks for the quarter and save some cash.

3.  The research librarians

Do I really have to say more?  No matter what your research project is, the research librarians’ job is to help you find the most pertinent sources in the field, specify the slant of your argument, and execute something worthwhile that will in turn become a resource of its own to other scholars in the field.  This is academic support at its finest.  If you’re curious as to who can help you, then browse the librarians by their specialty and set up a consultation.

4.  The online research guides

Don’t have time to get to the library? You can still get the help you need by checking out their research guides.  Organized by discipline, the guides are quick and easy to read, and they’re compiled by experts in the field.  They include everything from management to international studies to chemistry, and offer a great starting point to any research project you have for class.

5. Dissertations & Theses Full-Text

This probably confirms once and for all what a nerd I am, but I can’t stress enough how excited I was when I first found out about this database.  Of course, all the databases the library offers are great for their own reasons, but D&TFT is a one-stop shop for any prospective graduate student to pinpoint which universities and scholars are advising the most cutting-edge research in a given field.  Are you curious about which English programs are supporting the latest and greatest in Don DeLillo studies?  Want to see what Columbia’s doctoral candidates in neuroscience are up to?  There’s no shortage of ways to kill time with D&TFT.  Check it out for yourself.

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