Monday, February 20, 2006

At the Library. . .

Today for class we met in the library’s computer lab contrary to our usual Haley rendezvous. After the ten minutes of the students, who have not been blogging regularly, were throwing out arguments trying to persuade Professor Malesh to not count off of their final grades before the date of her e-mail sent with the consequences, we had a guest speaker come in.
The guest speaker was a librarian here at Randolph- Macon College. During the time that she had with us, she talked about the many different choices that our library’s website allows us, as students, to access. After the class was over, there were many people in and out of the class that I talked to that said that they had also had the same type of lecture tons of times here and that they knew all about everything that was covered. However, I had not.
I mean, I was well aware that R-MC’s library page allowed you to access certain online journals and what not through the Expanded Academic link, but I had no idea about the page that she had pulled up with all of the “Finding articles and more” that displayed about fifty different “scholarly” and “popular” advanced search engines. Most of these links allow you to choose a specific searcher that will help you with particular topics that you are looking for; omitting half of the struggle and stress that finding reliable sources usually is. Even some little things were new news to me. For example, when we were discussing the difference between scholarly texts and popular texts, which come to find out are only really easy to spot out when looking at them first hand. When looking at a magazine like People, you can clearly tell that it is a popular text due to its simpler language as well as its general appeal with its context and displays (such as color and pictures), but when those articles from a magazine like that are just a bunch of black and white text on a piece of white paper, it is a lot harder to tell. The same also goes for the scholarly texts. When looking at them in their published “hard copy” version, it is rather easy to pick one out on a book shelf, but when taken out of its final, boring looking form, but it is in reading its much higher educated, well sculpted language that we can decipher what kind of manuscript it is. Our speaker today was useful to me in that I leaned some things that are now going to be a necessity to me when researching.
I am almost embarrassed to admit to my not knowing about all of these different resources that have been within my grasp for the past two years, but I look at it as finding out later is better than never finding out something at all. Now that I am well acquainted with our library’s many different uses, I will be sure to use it whenever the chance presents itself.


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