Friday, January 30, 2009

Bill Svitavsky Rocks at Life

On Wednesday, we attend an information session with Bill Svitavsky the Electronic Resource Librarian. Going into this session, I thought that it was just going to be a repeat on everything that I already know about doing research. This is my last semester of undergrad and I have written a ton of research papers and attended numerous olin library information session; however this library session reinforce the information that I already learn while presenting new information that I did not know at all.
Bill begin with an in depth look at the Reference Books. He pulled books that would be useful for our research paper. I haven’t used Reference Books since high school. In college I solely relied on electronic scholarly journals. I really enjoyed flipping through the Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Learning how to utilize the reference book for broader information and then hone into the specific information through scholar journals.
Even though I have written plenty of research papers in my academic career, I have never relied on primary sources of information. It never really occurred to me how vital these sources can be for my paper. Bill pointed out that we will have to have both primary and secondary sources for our research paper. I started to get a little nervous because I had no idea how to find or incorporate the primary sources within my paper; however, Bill explained in detail how to find primary sources using Olin’s online resources, including New York Times (Historical) which contains New York Times articles from 1851 to 2002. Also, Bill emphasized the importance of starting research early so I could use interlibrary loans. I also thought that the interlibrary loans process was complicated and unnecessary; but through this information session I realized that it can be extremely helpful and easy (just fill out one online form).

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