Can we just Google it?

October 27, 2017

Upon opening the doors to the Master’s University Library, it takes more than a quick first glance to comprehend the amounts of knowledge available to the students. TMU’s Library is full of different research resources, and people who are devoted to guide students
to becoming better researchers. Research, however is not a popular activity among
college students.

Research is not my favorite thing to do. Usually if I have a question, I will just Google the answer to get it pretty quick,” says Mark Bolen, a freshmen.

The Master’s library is a place where students will be welcomed by people who know how to research, and who desire for them to know how to research.  

“Why we exist here is to help you guys soar in your education so that you can move from being turkeys to being eagles. Turkeys can fly, but they don’t get far off the ground, so we
want you to get far off the ground,” says John Stone, the Master’s Library Director.

Research is not popular with students because it is time consuming, as they need to access many different materials, and spend time reading through them, comprehend what
is being said, and tie the information into the paper you are writing, or topic you are studying.

“My fear of research is wasting my time on books and other sources that don’t have what I need to know,” says Preheim.

The daunting task of research begins with the problem of knowing where to begin. The Master’s library cultivates an environment that works to ease the anxieties of students setting out to research.

“I have seen that students don’t understand the intensity of research, and so we strive to teach kids how to research topics effectively, but we can’t teach students how to keep their butts in the chair to find the benefits that fruitful research provides. This is what we want to instill in our students,” says Stone.

As academics continue to change the library continues to make improvements to adapt its access to all the reliable resources out there for a University students benefit.

“The process we go through to find materials is done by first starting with a trial period for the students to interact with it, and then receive feedback. We then see if it will be a good addition for our databases,” says Stone, “Our databases are good because they are geared towards different types of disciplines that will help you be effective in a given area.”

Master’s Library staff is always looking for new materials to better the students research making it more effective. It was not always this way, however.

“My fears of research are the overwhelming amounts of resources to choose from,” says Hannah Preheim, a junior.

“Years ago our catalog, which is an index of everything we have in the library,  could only specifically search for certain types of items that are contained in that catalog, and that was because these were items that we had access to in our library,” says Stone,  “When we did remodeling, we specifically moved forward with technology to instead of having everything  in their segregated sections, we wanted to create a means for things to be found by a single point of access. So, we put everything in proximity of each other by relating topic and subtopics and putting them in the same location.”

As time continued to pass, and print resources underwent convergence to print resources, the
Master’s library made the necessary changes to keep up with the ever growing advancements in technology. The online databases not only has  the resources that are also available in print, but they also have access to a wide variety of materials not in print.

“A really big change we see in our catalog today is the opportunity to keyword search. Catalogs today are designed with key searches in mind. People used to need to find information, by looking up an author’s name in a catalog, looking up a broad subject matter, or looking up specific titles. Now all of that is still involved in searching, but it is enhanced in keyword searching,” says Stone.

The Master’s library’s purpose is to adapt to the changes of the current, to continue to enhance students education experience, and prepare them for the world in every way they
can.

One thing the library hopes to do, is better students research capabilities, and provide workshops, where students will be taught how to navigate the libraries resources, and
effectively use the computer when researching.

“We love it when students come to ask us questions about how to research, and like I said
earlier, this is why we exist, and  this is a part of our everyday, but I believe it would benefit students if they have more experience, as I see most of the students have hard time going back to  the bigger picture, and leading into the specific thing they are asking.” says Stone.

“We want these workshops to help students effectively understand and use the technology that is for them to use. We want them to know how to research, with what they have here, and
research well,” says Stone.   

As this library looks to create workshops for students to have more confidence when approaching research, they also look to make improvements within the structure of the physical library to help students be more effective, in areas of academics, and social interactions in their everyday life.

“Eventually we will make collaborative study rooms, for students to work in group projects, which I think is an enormous benefit real world application of how students will excel in the real world, as life is meant to live integrated with other people,” says Stone.

These collaborative study rooms will give students an opportunity to prepare for the life after college in a way that is engaging, and not only helps to get their assignments done, and research accomplished, but teach them social skills as they collaborate with one another.

“Research is difficult, but take advantage of the library and the workers who are there to help. This is a time when research matters, as we continue to pursue an education here, and we have been privileged with a library that seeks to help in that are in any way it can,” says Morgan Maycumber, library student worker.

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