Mardigian Library News: New search tool, research assistance and LibGuides

1/31/2011

Search the Mardigian Library collection with a single starting point

Last semester the Mardigian Library participated in beta testing a new search discovery tool, Summon. Now fully functioning, students using a single search box can simultaneously search the library's numerous subscription databases and the library catalog for books, articles, e-books and other materials. Summon is designed to be an entry point for a variety of scholarly research, with tools in its interface to help limit searches, save references and read abstracts.

With this new search discovery tool researchers have a wide range of functions and features to customize, expand or narrow their research. Summon delivers search results in a relevancy-ranked list so the most relevant results appear at the top of the list. Researchers can easily refine search results using such functions as filtering, faceting and sorting the list of results. Use the scholarship filter to limit results to "scholarly" publications including peer-reviewed material. Faceted searching allows users to narrow the results by content type, subject, library location, language, etc. Or, choose to set off on a path of discovery by clicking on various links of interest. Valuable information is conveniently displayed within the results list, allowing for a quick review. This information includes abstracts, subject headings, online full text availability, basic bibliographical information and more.

The library catalog, as well as individual journal databases, will continue to be available. Many users are accustomed to these interfaces which have their own particular strengths.

To try Summon, our new search discovery tool, go to the library website and enter a search in the first search box listed.

Library Research Center (LRC) Services: Research Assistance/Research Education

Research Assistance
Need help with an assignment or with what resources are available in the library? LRC librarians are here to assist you with your information needs.

There are several types of services:

  • Regular walk-in hours, Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.
  • Instant Message (IM): Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Text-A-Librarian: Anytime. Texts received after regular research assistance hours will be answered the next day
  • Ask-A-Question (e-mail): Anytime
  • Phone: 313-593-5563
  • By appointment: LRC librarians will work one-on-one with students, faculty and staff for any research needs.

The LRC is staffed by librarians Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. along with student assistants and peer information counselors (Peers are usually graduate library/information science students); weekends by experienced student assistants, and peer information counselors. All student workers can refer you to a LRC librarian if additional assistance is needed.

We also have how-to guides and tutorials that show how to use the library databases and assist in locating resources. Visit our Library Guides page for more information.

Research Education
Schedule a Research Education class-Library research education classes teach students to use resources, locate, identify and evaluate information. Even if students have done research before, repeated exposure to information literacy concepts can build skills they will use for a lifetime.
The Research Education classes provide both basic and course-related instruction. Basic teaches demonstration and hands-on exercises with the library catalog and research databases, and practical application assignments.

Course related instruction includes:

  • Instructors assign research projects throughout the semester
  • A librarian and the instructor plan classroom session
  • A librarian explains specialized materials needed for assignments
  • Research Guides are distributed during classroom session

If you would like to set up an instruction session for your class, contact: mardigian-library-re-dl@umd.umich.edu or fill out our form.

For more information, view the brochure in PDF: Research Education: Building Library Skills

Need a resource? Make a library purchase suggestion

If users find that the Library doesn't own a needed resource, the Mardigian Library requests that students, faculty, staff and alumni fill out a Library Purchase Suggestions Form. Scholarly books or audiovisual items must be published within the last five years in order to be considered for purchase. The Library will not purchase textbooks.

Faculty should coordinate their purchase suggestions through their library liaison. Contact your department for the name of your current liaison. If you need further information regarding library collection purchases, contact Fu Schuttringer, collection development coordinator.

LibGuides: Online guides help faculty and students with specific research needs

A number of online research guides have been created to help faculty and students find information on particular subjects or courses. The LibGuides (short for "Library Guides") product was implemented by the Library Research Center in 2010 and new guides continue to be added on a regular basis. These guides provide links to appropriate books, articles, subscription databases, websites and more.

Each LibGuide includes an embedded library catalog search box and a reference chat box allowing users to search the library catalog directly from the LibGuide and to chat live with a librarian on duty. LibGuides also have the capability to include embedded video, podcasts, RSS feeds and interactive polls.

Look for articles highlighting individual LibGuides in upcoming issues of the Reporter. For a list of LibGuides currently available, visit http://libguides.umd.umich.edu/browse.php. To have a LibGuide set up for your particular course or subject area, contact the Library Research Center at 313-593-5563 or e-mail us at ask-a-question@umd.umich.edu.

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