Summer Research Desk Info

Welcome to the summer semester, everyone! It’s Hot Girl Summer out there, but we’d like you to know that the librarians are still available for helping you with your research and book/resource-finding needs.

The Virtual Research Desk is still alive and well! You can chat in real-time with librarians on the Ask Us page by clicking the green “Chat is Online” button. If you already started your search in the Quicksearch box, click the blue “Ask us! tab on the side of your screen to begin a chat session. You can also call at 786-1848 and email us using this form. If you have a particularly gnarly question, we can even Zoom with you!

For summer session 2021, the Virtual Reference Desk will be available 9 am – 7 pm Monday-Thursday, 9 am – 5 pm Friday, and 1 pm – 5 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Need even more options to get help? Lucky for you, librarians are also available by appointment!

If you have a pretty specialized question in your field of study, we have specific librarians whose skills are best suited to particular subjects. You can find the list of subject librarians and which majors they serve here. You can book an appointment with a specific librarian by clicking on their name and following the prompts.

You got this! Study hard and enjoy the Alaskan summer!

Black History Month in the Library

Join the Consortium Library is recognizing and celebrating Black History Month!

If you’d like to bone up on your Black history, check out this LibGuide for suggested resources: This guide has books, articles, DVDs, streaming media, and websites so you can explore the vast world of African-American history.

If you’re curious about anti-racism, check out this guide: This guide provides resources to actively recognize and combat racism and systems of oppression.

UAA as a broader community is celebrating Black History Month, too! Check out the schedule of events here: This Library Gossip Girl is particularly delighted to note a viewing of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is planned.

The Library loves and is proud of YOU, Seawolves!

The Reference Librarians are ready to Help!

Welcome to 2021, Seawolves! Let’s dust off those planners and desks and get ready to have a fabulous semester.

The Virtual Research Help Desk is still here for you in this new frontier that is 2021. If you’ve never heard of this, allow me to introduce you to a wonderful library service.

Librarians are available to help you with your homework, your research questions, your search for books, and any and all library questions. We can help you troubleshoot login issues, order library materials from other libraries, teach you how the cataloging system works, talk you through the research process . . . really, just ask anything and we can at least point you in the right direction!

The Virtual Research Help Desk is staffed from Monday-Thursday 9am-10pm, Friday 9am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 12pm-10pm. We’ll be closed January 18th and March 12th.

You can chat with us from the Ask Us page by clicking the green “Chat is Online” button. You can also call at 786-1848 and email us using this form. If you have a particularly gnarly question, we can even Zoom with you!

Aaaand just a reminder that the physical UAA/APU Consortium Library is open to UAA and APU students, staff, and faculty. You will need a valid UAA or APU ID to scan into the building. As you’re probably aware, new WolfCards were issued recently, so be sure to register that if you haven’t already.

If you still need a WolfCard, you can get that at the Consortium Library, too! Stop by the Library during open hours and call the Circulation Desk at 786-1871, option 3 for access to the building. Be sure to bring a government-issued ID with you.

Have a great semester!

The Research To-Dos

Your professor told you that this assignment would take all semester. You had every intention of starting your research early. You were going to divide the work over the course of weeks and carefully approach your paper. You were gonna nail this assignment.

And then life happened. Your big paper is due in a week (or in two days, or tomorrow. . .) and you are PANICKING. What are you going to do?

Your friendly reference librarian is here to help you in your hour of need!

Break the project down.

Read the assignment one more time. What is your professor looking for? Do you need to convince them of something? Do you need to compare and contrast things? Is it simply an informative paper? Once you know what your prof wants, the next step will be much easier.

Create your research questions.

After you know what the assignment is and what your prof wants, identify what questions will meet those needs. What do you need to know to persuade someone of your position? If you need to compare and contrast things, what do you need to know about the two topics?

Start the research.

Now, this step can be remarkably tricky. You may worry you don’t know how. You’re not sure your research questions are right. You don’t know what keywords are the best.

But you wanna know a secret? Research is all trial-and-error. While there are definitely best practices, the key is just to start. If you don’t find anything the first time you search, great! Now you know you need different search terms.

If you get really stuck, you can always contact the Virtual Reference Desk. This is a great idea if you want to skip a few iterations of the trial-and-error process.

Once you’ve started your research, you’re well on your way to completing your assignment. Congratulations!

See the Research Paper: Step-by-Step guide for more tips.  We’re all pulling for you.

You’ve got this!

When to Use an Encyclopedia

Look, we all know the general rule of thumb: cite your sources unless it’s considered common knowledge. (Or at least, we should all know that. If you didn’t, hey, you learned something new today!)

The More You Know gif

Articles, books, and websites provide you with the complex information you need for most citations.

But what do you do if the piece of knowledge is juuuust on the borderline? What if you need the square mileage of Croatia? Or how many redheads there are in the U.K? Then you may need to turn to an encyclopedia.

An encyclopedia is a source of abbreviated information on specific topics. You can find encyclopedias on countries, racial groups, even dance styles! A great source of encyclopedias in the library’s print collection are on level 1 by the reference desk next to the pendulum.

You can also find online reference collections through the library’s website. For general information, try the Gale Virtual Reference Library or Oxford Reference Online. For more specific information, take a look at ENGnetBASE (for engineering),  APA Handbooks (eBooks from the American Psychological Association), or the Nutrition Care Manual.

Don’t forget, your login for these databases is the same as your Blackboard sign-in. If you have difficulty signing in, check out this troubleshooting guide.

Happy encyclopedia-ing!