“Everything you need for success and a better future has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.” Henri Frederic Amiel
The differences between today’s university libraries and the ones ‘in my day’ are crazy. Yikes, I can’t believe I just said, ‘in my day’. Reading that almost made me spit my Earl Grey tea all over my plaid slippers. Honestly, though. Could studying in Canada get any more fantastic? Cafes, wi-fi, and virtual lending? Not to mention the sophisticated search engines available at the touch of a finger tip…amazing!
All of the world’s information is already conveniently cataloged by author, date, and publication. What’s more, it’s cross-referenced and searchable by related sources, from scholarly articles to entire journals. As an added bonus, search engines actually keep a log of all your searches, so even if you’ve forgotten what you were looking for, it’s a snap to retrace your steps and jog your memory. Heck, the software will probably offer ideas you never considered. Visiting ‘the library’ while still in the comfort of one’s favourite armchair at home is a concept I thought only possible in science-fiction stories.
All of the university campuses CultureWorks is affiliated with have state of the art libraries for our students to use. Above and beyond searching and borrowing books, their services are astounding.
One feature of Carleton’s MacOdrum Library includes access to entire course guides, which gives you access to industry news and trends in a particular field. So if you search engineering you can access additional recommended databases outside of the library’s collection and gain a variety of information on the engineering industry, including recent patents and current standards.
Any complaints students have had in the past about the difficulty of university library’s search engines will be a thing of the past. At UOIT, Google has partnered with the university to streamline the university experience with their Google Apps for Education. Students now have UOIT specific gmail, calendar, and docs accounts, and will soon access a sophisticated Google Scholar search engine for researching papers. Who isn’t familiar with Google, right?
At Western University’s Weldon Library, they offer a helpful research consultation service. Expert librarians can be scheduled to meet and direct you to appropriate scholarly articles for your assignments, and show you how use the library’s resources most effectively.
My advice? Never underestimate the effectiveness of a library for studying. And with the welcoming atmosphere of today’s libraries, why wouldn’t you want to use them? Using your phone you squeeze in research on the bus home, and when you go there always seems to be a comfortable place to sit, enjoy a drink, or sneak a nap between classes. Not that I have ever done that before, no sir!…no, no, purely for academic purposes. Ahem…Until next time!