Research Help @Milne

Librarian Sherry Rhodes, helping out a student in our new Research Consultation space in the Center for Academic Excellence

Are you taking advantage of one of Milne Library’s best kept secrets?  The Reference (or Research) Librarians at SUNY Geneseo frequently hear from their professorial partners, as well as campus tour guides, that we are a gem to be discovered and utilized heavily.  They compare (and praise) our level of service to that of past experiences they have had at other (many times, distinguished) universities.  But don’t take your professors’ word for it!   See just what your classmates and peers have to say.

Sparked by Fall 2011 observations of students in need of research help at the Service Desk and Reference Desk, Anna Wilson, a recently graduated Spanish major with a minor in Latin American Studies, interviewed and filmed fellow students regarding their awareness and experience with Milne Library’s Research Librarians.  In anticipation of her participant observation study, she wrote,”I predict that many of the students in the library are as in the dark about what goes on at the reference desk as I was until this (Fall 2011) semester.”

Does this statement represent your awareness about who the Reference Librarians are and what we can help you with?  If so, be sure to watch Anna’s video and then come see us when you are in need of research help!

Librarian Kim Hoffman works on searching with a student.

Reference Librarians are on duty for nearly all hours that the library is open with official desk duty in the Center for Academic Excellence from 10 am – 5 pm (Mon-Thurs), 10 am – 2 pm (Fri) and 10 am – 2 pm (Sat) and on-call reference assistance as early as 8 am and as late as 1 am.  Just ask for help at the Service Desk and a librarian will be around to help.

Additionally, our very popular Research Consultation service (as well as our Technology Consultation service) offers students the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments with a specialist when the time is convenient for you or you and your group.  Both services offer a dedicated time slot to focus solely on your research project needs, without having to compete with other students’ questions.

As the due dates for your research projects approach and the semester gets busier and busier, see what assistance (and time savings) a Reference Librarian can offer you!

A New Home for the Center for Academic Excellence

Center for Academic Excellence in Milne Library

As students were off for the summer – enjoying warm temperatures, taking a well-deserved break from school and making money through summer jobs – projects and activities in Milne Library went into overdrive.

One of many moves within the library positively affected the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).  Relocated to a larger space (what once was the Genesee Valley Study Room) and enhanced by additional services, the CAE is realizing its dream of becoming a one-stop academic stop for students.

Students should feel free to stop in if they need assistance in any of the following services:

Enhanced features of the CAE include a student concierge service that will serve as the welcoming point into the center, on-the-spot writing support (no longer on an appointment basis), an almost sound-proof testing center, and closer proximity for essential academic support units so that easier transition can take place between course content, research and writing.

Reference Librarians are currently providing research assistance in the CAE and all other services will begin in earnest, starting September 6.

For further information and hours of operation, see the newly created homepage for the Center for Academic Excellence.

The new CAE is located on the main floor of Milne Library.

Need Some Help? We’ve Got It!

Help is Available! Photo Credit: Flickr user gruntzooki

Librarians are always available to help with your research and technology needs.

Working with a group?  We can accommodate. Sciences? Got it.  Business Stats? Yep.  Need help with web sites, podcasting, powerpoint or excel? For sure!  Music Media? You know it!   And that’s only a taste of the subject coverage available.

Want to contact a librarian right away?  Simply fill out a Consultation Request form telling us a bit about your project or research needs, and a librarian will contact you to set up an appointment.

If you still have questions, don’t forget that the service desk or IM a Librarian reference chat is always a great place to start.

It’s not ALL about the Citations…

Writing and Style guides and manuals
Writing and Style guides and manuals

You may think that APA and MLA and all those other acronym-laden guides are tedious and exhausting. I mean, c’mon! Who cares that much about spaces and commas and italicization, right?

Your professors, for one. Other scholars in your discipline, for another. Oh, and if you ever decide to publish in a scholarly publication? The editors who will evaluate your manuscript, that’s who! Scholars are required to follow the style guides of organizations in their disciplines when they submit articles and books to academic journals and academic book publishers in those disciplines for consideration of publication.  Are you a college student? Then you’re a scholar and you need to learn – and use – the rules.

There are an endless amount of websites maintained by librarians to assist in the confusing maze of citations (including our own Guide to Citing Sources) and they’re great for checking the fine details of your works cited page at the end of your writing project. Milne’s librarians are always willing and happy to assist you in this portion of your project.

Unfortunately, students often tend to think of the guides solely as a quick place to check on whether a citation is correct or perhaps to determine if the bibliography is formatted properly, and while they serve that purpose, I promise you, they’re so much more than that!

Outline Draft
Outline Draft, used courtesy of Flickr User CanadianAEh

Try picking up the guide or style manual – especially if it’s one you’re not accustomed to using – before you begin to write your research paper.  There are often suggestions for ways to organize and make transitions between your ideas. Peruse it again once you’ve written your first draft. Are you using the passive voice? That’s not a good idea and there are examples for using active verbs. And take a look again when you’ve finished your paper. You’ll find advice for how to write in a scholarly manner with suggestions for dealing with bias, and striking the proper tone. You might be surprised with all the things you’ve ignored or forgotten.

Perhaps you’ve always written well, but aren’t you always looking improve and be a stronger writer? People like to cherry-pick the bits of information that we need in order to save time, but when we do this, it is at the expense of the larger context. Do yourself a favor and spend some quality time getting to know the writing guide most often used for your discipline while you’re here at Geneseo.

There are copies of several manuals at Milne. The latest editions of the most heavily used guides are on 4 hour loan at the Service Desk so that students always have access to the information and there are additional copies that may be checked out, too.

Here’s a list of the most common styles:

Citation Manuals

Need help with your GREAT Day project?

Librarians are always available to help with your research and technology needs.

Working with a group? We can accommodate. Sciences? Got it. Business Stats? Yep. Need help with web sites, podcasting, powerpoint or excel? For sure! Music Media? You know it! And that’s only a taste of the subject coverage available.

Want to contact a librarian right away? Simply fill out a Consultation Request form telling us a bit about your project or research needs, and a librarian will contact you to set up an appointment.

If you still have questions, don’t forget that the reference desk is always a great place to start.

Need help with your research? Schedule a meeting now for after Spring Break!

As the semester and your schedules get busier and busier, don’t forget about all those pesky research projects that will be due anytime from the week after Spring Break to the end of the semester. Milne Library’s Reference Librarians are ready to help you with your research!

By scheduling a Student Research Consultation, a librarian will set up a one-on-one meeting with you, at a time that’s convenient for all involved, and will work closely with you on the specific needs for your research. Save time! Get better grades! By scheduling one meeting with a librarian, you could have most, if not all, of your research complete within 30 minutes.

Set up a meeting today and arrange a time to meet after Spring Break. You will be so happy you did!

Additionally, one-on-one meetings are available to work on technology projects. Sign up for a Student Technology Consultation and have a software specialist help you create a professional looking Powerpoint, Website, or InDesign poster presentation.