Wikipedia’s impending one-day SOPA blackout last week inspired Washington Post blogger Maura Judkis to serve up a list of five alternative sources for answers in a pinch. It’s a terrific list, but of course my favorite is number 3: Why not give “that quaint little bricks-and-mortar Wikipedia called a library” a try?! Sure, “quaint” may describe some libraries, but a recent field-trip to University Library (UL) at IUPUI with a small group of high school students suggested that perhaps “cool” is the far better descriptor. For a place where complex problems are solved, community-enriching partnerships are forged, and learning happens every day, its appeal is actually quite simple.
It’s public. That means you (yes, you) can walk in and avail yourself of its amazing virtual, physical, and human resources: conduct research, find answers, and confer with experts. Present a photo ID and borrowing privileges are yours. For a mere buck, they’ll give you temporary user ID and password and you can explore their extensive electronic resources – including tens of thousand of ebooks – until the day is done.
It’s easy – even easier if you plan ahead using UL’s website. Click “guest” and you can check the university’s statewide catalog to see if UL has the books and other items you need. If you’re really inquisitive (and willing to travel), you can search for books anywhere using WorldCat. But best of all, someone else has already done the hard part for you by creating comprehensive Research Guides. Click on one of these to beeline directly to sources relevant to your topic.
And it’s easy on the eye. Spacious, brightly lit, and modern, UL is as lovely as it is functional. Whether you prefer to sink into a comfy chair or stand – whether you like to study with others or on your own – or whether you enjoy browsing the stacks or navigating links, your research experience is a breeze at University Library.
Still not convinced? There’s always Ms. Judkis’s fifth suggestion: “Call your grandpa” for answers!
Scholar’s Secret helps students develop the research, writing, and presentation skills so crucial to academic success. University Library is just one of the happy owl’s many success secrets! To learn more, contact us anytime.
Photo of University Library used with permission.