Library Research: Getting (Back) in the Swing of Things

Photo of swing setThe semester is zipping by! How is your research going? Whether it’s your first, fifth, or even fifteenth semester at the Graduate Center, you might need a little help getting (back) in the swing of library research: finding the information you need, evaluating the sources you read, citing the information you use, and sharing the work you produce. We in the library can give you a boost so your research can go faster, fly higher, and be a more exhilarating experience.

Workshops Every Week: We offer a wide variety of research-related workshops, from A (archival research) to Z (citation management with Zotero) and everything in between (introduction to library resources, boosting your scholarly profile, and sniffing out fake journals, to name a few). Consult our events list for details.

Whenever, Wherever: Further, you can receive one-on-one research assistance whenever and wherever you are. We welcome your research queries at the reference desk whenever we’re there (11am-8pm Mon-Thu, 11am-6pm Fri), but there are a lot of other times when you might need help. Happily, you can chat online with a reference librarian 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You won’t always be connected with a Graduate Center or CUNY librarian, but, thanks to a consortium that spans several time zones, you will always find a qualified academic librarian (never a bot!) on the other end of the exchange.

Who’s Your Librarian? Sometimes you need a librarian’s undivided attention for more than a few minutes, and sometimes you need a librarian who deeply understands the research resources for your field (and is determined to learn more as necessary). At those times, contact your subject librarian. Yes, there really is a librarian for every degree program and MALS track, and yes, we really are happy to meet with you!

We Pay So You Don’t Have To: In addition to making many books and journals available, the library can help you save money in two key ways:

  1. Interlibrary Loan: When you’re looking for a journal article and hit a publisher paywall, do not pay for the article! First, check our journal finder to see if we have the journal in question. If we don’t (or if we don’t have the year you need), request the article through interlibrary loan, and we will secure a PDF of the article for you — often in a day or less, always for free. You can also request books, book chapters, theses, music scores, and video and audio recordings via interlibrary loan.
  2. Free NYT and WSJ Subscriptions: CUNY libraries offer all students, faculty, and staff free access to the New York Times (learn more) and Wall Street Journal (learn more).

Share with Others: When you’re all done with the research projects you’re working on, what will you do with them? Will you share them with the public, allowing others to find, read, and build upon your research? If you’d like to maximize the reach of your research, upload it to CUNY Academic Works, the open access repository for scholarly and creative works by the CUNY community (learn more).

Stay in the Swing: To stay on top of important library announcements, database highlights, upcoming workshops, and more, subscribe to the library blog by email, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook. And, of course, swing by the circulation desk or reference desk anytime you have a question!

About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Associate Librarian for Public Services and Scholarly Communication at the Graduate Center, CUNY.