Don’t Forget The Databases: Librarians Go Gaga
While library research can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Students and faculty from the University of Washington’s Information School get their groove on in this 2010 parody video directed, edited, and produced by Sarah Wachter with lyrics by Sarah Wachter (compare to the original Lady Gaga song “Poker Face”).
Yes, librarians “just wanna have fun” so next time you find yourself in a library approaching a research librarian for some help, remember this video, and give the librarian a huge smile.
Most important when doing your research? As they point out, don’t forget the databases! A huge benefit of being a college student is access to these very expensive databases which can help sort through the masses of information that we have all released on to the internet. They are easy to use and the librarians are happy to help you.
How do you know whether research is legit or not? Get it through an academic database–that means it has been vetted and fact-checked. While advocacy groups like Surfrider and PETA and VCCool and even blogs like this one can offer some great information, remember they are just that–advocacy groups advocating for a specific point of view to convince you of their perspective; blogs are simply another form of a website where anyone can publish information.
Websites do not always offer unbiased information like databases do.
Not a student? Most colleges and universities will let you become a member for a very small fee. If you have graduated, consider joining your college’s alumni association.
No matter who you are, your local municipal and academic libraries are there for you and the reference librarians want to help you find the SECONDARY research that you need whether you are writing a paper or simply learning more in order to take action to solve a problem.
There are three steps in solving a problem–and they all require research and evaluation. Use this question to guide you: What action can I take to solve this problem?
- Name the problem. Conduct primary and secondary research to learn more about the problem; evaluate the information so that you can name the problem and describe it in detail.
- Reflect on possible solutions. Now that you understand the nature of the problem, conduct primary and secondary research into possible solutions, and then evaluate the solutions for which one/s you want to try for your action.
- Act. Use the primary and secondary research you’ve found about the problem and the solution to determine your course of action. What action will you take to solve the problem? Once you do take action, evaluate how the process and what you should do differently next time.