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research tips

Library Extended Hours Have Begun!

The Wheelock College Library has extended its hours through the end of the semester to help you stay productive through those late night study sessions!

ExtendedHoursPosterFall2015

Need some research help for those final papers and projects? Come to the service desk for drop-in research help any time during extended hours.

Stressed out about your finals? Take a mental break with adult coloring pages, puzzles, and library bingo!

Need some extra fuel to keep your brain working? Stop by for a Snack Break, Wednesdays December 2nd and 9th starting at 9:00 pm.


Trains, the Internet, and Librarians

Green Line Snow

Picture used under a creative commons license courtesy of Pi.1415926535

Up until mid-December, when I started working here at Wheelock, I could count on one hand the number of times I had ridden the T.  But traffic and parking being like it is here in Boston, I decided that I would rely on the T to get to and from work like I suspect many other students, faculty, and staff at Wheelock do.

For better or worse, my initial experiences with T have coincided with one of the worst winters in recent memory, which has led to delays, closures, and potentially contributed to the resignation of the present head of the MBTA.  But in spite of the unpredictable timing of trains, the frequently overcrowded cars, and the ever so stubborn disabled trains that cause congestion, I have found the T to still be better than sitting in traffic and using the T has certainly helped me reduce my carbon footprint.

As I was riding the T the other day and was glancing over the prominently posted transit maps throughout the car, I started to wonder about its history.  For instance, why is it that there are B, C, D, and E branches to the Green Line, but no A branch?  Also, why exactly does the Orange Line originate at Oak Grove and not further north?  Speaking of colors, where did the decision to label the lines according to color originate and do the colors have any historical significance?

When questions like this crop up in our minds, many of us, including librarians, are used to reaching into our pockets, grabbing our smartphone, and consulting Google.  For matters of trivia or quick historical facts, the Internet can be the most convenient resource.  Google any of the questions I posed above concerning the T and you are sure to find an answer pretty quickly.

The Internet is full of answers, but sometimes it’s hard to know if the answers you find are the right ones.  A savvy Internet user knows that nothing on the Internet can be taken at face value and careful consideration must be paid to the source, author, and intent in order to determine the likelihood that the information is accurate.

In this way, the Internet is like the T.  It can be convenient and may sometimes seem like the best option, but from time to time, like a disabled train, factual errors or bias perspectives can slow things down to a crawl.

While we can’t help you find a better alternative to the T (not for lack of trying), we can help you find a better alternative to the Internet: the library.  Our resources are carefully selected by staff and come from trusted publishers and providers who vet the information before it is made available.  The information we provide is trustworthy, accurate, and supported by references, so all the guesswork over determining if what you’re reading is true is eliminated and you can focus on the content.

So while we can’t save you time getting from Wheelock to downtown, we can save you time finding credible, useful resources.  And best if all, if you lose your way, librarians can help!


It’s never too early…

Now that summer session has begun, it’s never too early to get started on your research papers and projects!  The Wheelock College Library is here to support you the entire way– from the day you get the assignment, to choosing your topic and finding sources, all the way to formatting your citations in your finished paper.  When you’re at the beginning of your project, a good place to get started is one of our Research Guides.  Here are a few we designed to support the subjects, topics, and courses being taught this summer:

Photo by Flickr user Fazia, cc-by-nc-nd2.0

Photo by Flickr user Fazia, cc-by-nc-nd2.0

Find more guides on our website.  And don’t forget that there are people here at the library who can help you with your specific research needs!  Whether you are taking a class on campus, online, in Worcester or in Singapore, individualized research services are available to you!  If you’re not available during our drop-in hours, you can schedule a research appointment with a librarian.  Get in touch with us— we love to hear from you!

 


Confused by citations?

At the library, we provide tools to help you make sense of citations. Check out our guide to citation and writing for reputable information on creating and understanding citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago style. Or check out our YouTube playlist on using citations to find more sources for your papers.

Have specific questions? Stop by the library front desk during our drop-in hours, or email us at reference@wheelock.edu. We’d be happy to help you find more sources from citations, or to figure out how to cite the sources you used in your paper.


Drop-in research help, 7 days/week

Did you know that you can get one-on-one research help at the library?  During the semester, we offer drop-in assistance 7 days a week, in the afternoons and evenings.

  • Sunday through Thursday, 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday, 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm

If you can’t make it in to the library, no worries! You can also call us (617-879-2222), email us (reference@wheelock.edu), or chat with us from our website.

What can you help me with? We can help you at any point in the research process, whether you are still trying to settle on a topic, to refine your research question, to find scholarly articles or demographic statistics, or to format your paper and reference list in APA (or MLA, or Chicago) style.

Maybe it's time to drop by the library!

Maybe it’s time to drop by the library!

We can be especially helpful when you feel like you’ve hit a wall in your own research, so don’t be afraid of getting in touch! We have been trained to help you find a way up, around, or through the obstacle standing in the way of your information-gathering.

Who will be helping me? Many talented people staff our drop-in hours and can assist you with your research. Some of us are librarians, and some of us are librarians-in-training. All of us are excited to assist students with their research projects! Get to know us a little better:

What if my project is really complicated? Are you doing an independent study, an honors paper, or a graduate research project? For more in-depth research needs, you can make an appointment ahead of time to meet with a research librarian for up to 60 minutes. It’s best to request these appointments a few days in advance. We can help you come up with a strategy for consulting a variety of sources in order to hone in on the ones that best suit your project.