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HUMA2680 Introduction to Library Research. Adam Taves Reference Librarian. Objectives: by the end of this session you will be able to…. Navigate the York University Libraries and the Libraries’ Website Understand distinctions between publication types

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Huma2680 introduction to library research

HUMA2680Introduction to Library Research

Adam Taves

Reference Librarian

Objectives by the end of this session you will be able to
Objectives: by the end of this session you will be able to…

  • Navigate the York University Libraries and the Libraries’ Website

  • Understand distinctions between publication types

  • Understand uses of and differences between finding tools for those publications

  • Find Books and Articles using effective keyword strategies

  • Get help in the library

What do people think about libraries
What do People think about Libraries? to…

"I read," I say. "I study and read. I bet I've read everything you read. Don't think I haven't. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM-drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it." – David Foster Wallace

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” ‑‑ Jorge Luis Borges

“We are the cornerstone of democracy. We are the community commons.” – Deborah Jacobs, Seattle city librarian

“Libraries are brothels for the mind” -- Guy Browning in The Guardian

“Librarians are the secret masters of the world. They control information. Don't ever piss one off.” ‑‑ Spider Robinson

Research as conversation
Research as Conversation to…




Starting your research

What’s been done on the topic? to…

Specialized encyclopedias

Online resources

Starting Your Research…

Background Information

Library Website

Starting your research1
Starting Your Research… to…

  • What kinds of resources are appropriate and/or useful?

    • Books

    • Articles

      • Scholarly versus Popular

Scholarly versus popular articles
Scholarly versus Popular Articles to…

Scholarly Journals

Written by scholars or researchers

Intended audience is professors, students, researchers

Lengthy articles with in-depth coverage of topics

May have a ‘serious’ look – few photos or ads

Always include a bibliography (works cited)

May use discipline-specific language or jargon

Popular (magazines, newspapers, etc.)

Often written by journalists or staff writers

Shorter articles; usually provide a broad overview of topics

Usually include photos and advertisements

Bibliography not usually provided

Uses everyday language that is accessible to the average reader

Where do i search
Where do I search? to…

In Databases

A searchable storehouse of information. Every item described in the database has a “record”. A record is composed of fields.

Primary vs secondary sources


Written by people who have direct knowledge of events/issues under discussion; participants

The work itself

Author’s diary, journals

Interviews with author or friends/acquaintances


Relies primarily on primary or other secondary sources; distant relationship

Products of reflection/research

Indirect knowledge

Often contain a re-seeing or re-envisioning of someone or something

Primary vs Secondary Sources

How do i search one

By author to…

By title

By subject or topic

How do I search one?

  • Last name first

  • Omit beginning articles like “the” or “a”

  • Using keywords and Boolean operators

How to do a keyword search
How to do a keyword search to…

  • Exercises….

Finding books
Finding Books to…

  • Use the library catalogue

    • What is this?

      • A database for finding books.

  • Demo catalogue…

Finding articles
Finding Articles to…

  • Use a periodical index

    • What is this?

      • A database for finding articles.

    • How do I find them?

      • Find Articles by Subject

  • Demo indexes…

Getting help
Getting Help to…

  • Scott Library Reference Desk (2nd floor)

  • Ask A Question

  • Library course guide on the Web


Thanks! to…