Library workshops teach research skills
Selecting the right research tools to optimize searches and knowing where to look for specific information was the focus of a workshop Tuesday at the M.D. Anderson Library.
Librarian Irene Ke instructed students on the correct way to employ the collections, services, space and equipment available to students.
Students can use the library’s home page to search online databases for articles, journals and book chapters, according to Ke.
"Google can go out and collect from all over," Ke said, "but if you want the most information it’s not the best. WorldCat.org is a resource that a lot of people don’t know about. It has most of the libraries in North America on one database."
Electronic and print journals can easily be accessed from the UH library homepage, either via quick search or browsing a list of journals, Ke said.
"The most useful link (on the UH Library Web site) is ‘Research Tools,’" Ke said. Students can access databases, journals and WorldCat.org to satisfy almost any query from the library site.
Through the "Help and Assistance" link, students can get in touch with librarians if they experience any problems gaining access.
"If you like to chat online, we even have ‘Chat with a Librarian,’" Ke said.
The chat function is available from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
"Ask a Librarian" is a separate function that handles questions via e-mail on the library Web site.
Remote access to online resources can be accomplished by logging in to CougarNet either from work or at home.
Borrowing books from other libraries is made possible by getting Houston Area Research Library Consortium or TexShare library cards that are issued at the Service Desk and allow the holder to borrow books from many Texas higher education institutions and public libraries.
The library contains many resources students may not know about, Ke said.
The service desk has 72 laptops available for checkout along with headphones and power cords. The laptops must stay inside the security gates, Ke said.
Students are also granted 500 free single-sided black-and-white prints per semester at the library, which has more than 25 network-connected workstations, seven collaborative workrooms and study areas scattered throughout.
"These (are the) kinds of techniques we won’t be able to cover in regular classes. That’s why we have these kinds of workshops," Ke said.
For assistance and questions, contact Ke at [email protected] or call (713) 743-9765. Scheduled workshops are listed on the UH libraries Web site, www.info.lib.uh.edu.