Librarians save lives during research paper process

It’s that time of the semester. With spring break around the corner, midterms and group projects are quickly approaching.Common sense advice — avoid a mountain of stress and start early to get your research paper done before the last minute.

An even better tip — get help from a librarian with a database of information.

The librarians at CSUF’s Pollak Library are willing to help students find relevant material for projects and personally locate specific information.

“That is why most of us became librarians,” said Will Breitbach, head of Instruction and Information Services at the Pollak Library, “we relish the hunt for information and love to help students sniff out those hard-to-find bits of info.”

Librarians who work “behind the scenes” doing computer programming and managing databases to help students find relevant material. CSUF’s librarians welcome the challenge and invite students to ask about any topic.

“That is what we do,” Breitbach said.

Kimberly Cartier, 22, a BFA graphic design senior, had no idea that the library had research services.

“That’s like having someone write your paper for free — almost. That most definitely would have made my G.E. years easier if I had known,” said Cartier.

If students don’t have a topic, librarians can also help students develop a manageable focus or thesis. Once a focus is developed, the librarians can help break it down strategically.

“Helping students with their search strategy may be the most important part of being a reference librarian,” Breitbach said. “Librarians spend a great deal of time teaching students how to translate their topics.”

A brief chat with a librarian can save a great deal of time.

When working on projects, students can often spend hours searching for sources without any luck. A librarian can usually solve the problem within a few minutes.

The CSUF library also offers 24-hour online assistance.

In order to access this service, students only need to visit the library’s website.

According to Breitbach, “Students tend to ask a higher percentage of challenging, difficult or more research oriented questions via our online services than they do in person.”

Through their online reference, librarians will send links, walk you step by step through the research process, and even create customized, on-the-fly, videos for students which show them how to discover information on their topic.

“We get all of this help and selection for free. It is so helpful and credible,” said Amanda Newton, a senior business major.

Students can spend more time completing an assignment and when they use consult with a librarian.

Newton said that she has spent hours trying to unravel the complex databases.

“After speaking with a librarian for five minutes my search was so much quicker,” said Newton.

In order to get help, students can visit the Pollak Library’s reference desk, schedule an appointment, chat online, send a text message, call or email.

The ILC Reference and Research Service Desk are located on the first floor of Pollak Library.

About Sheila Del Cid