As a Penn State World Campus student, you may be required to complete a research assignment worth a significant part of your grade. You may need to decide for yourself what resources are credible or know which databases will contain the information you need. Do you feel confident doing this? Victoria Raish, Penn State World Campus Online Learning Librarian, has compiled some key resources on the University Libraries website that can help you with your next assignment.
There are over 90 subject and campus librarians at Penn State. This means that there are a lot of librarians available to assist you, but it can be tricky to know which librarian to contact. The Experts by Subject page allows you to search by specific discipline to see who specializes in your area of interest. The page lists contact information, including emails and phone numbers. The number one job of librarians is to help students, so please contact them to ask for additional help when researching for your assignments.
New search results
Some of you have used the Libraries’ search engine before; starting with the find box on the home page. If so, you might notice that the results look different now than they did in spring of 2018. The new search interface separates results into category boxes. Articles are separated from books and media, which are separated from newspapers and magazines. The top three results in each category will be displayed. To see the full listing of results in a category, click on the link at the bottom of that category’s box. From the home page search box, you can also perform an advanced search or search the CAT. It can take some time to get used to the new search, so if you feel like you are getting stuck, just use the Ask-a-Librarian chat window or contact Victoria for help!
Subject guides are not new. However, the Libraries website redesign has made them much more obvious to students. You can think of a subject guide as a way for a librarian to review all of the information and learning resources that we have available and only pull the ones that are relevant for you. When a class project requires you to use the Libraries, you can get to the subject guides from the link in the Library Resources tab in Canvas or from the Library Guides page. On the Library Guides page, you can also find course guides for individual courses and helpful tips for conducting research. If you still have questions after reviewing this information, contact the subject librarian listed on the guide page you are interested in or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully, you now have some additional knowledge in your arsenal and will feel confident when it comes time for you to use the University Libraries. If you have any questions relating to research, finding information, or evaluating information, do not hesitate to ask for help.