Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Things have slowed down a lot at the reference desk in the last few days, because final exams ended last Friday. The campus is empty now. I love a college town in the first weeks of summer. All the faculty and staff walk around with strange expressions on their faces. Expressions of relief and calm.

But for some strange reason, the desk is a madhouse today.
  • I'm looking for information on Yoruba art. I have no idea how to use any of the resources in the library--the catalog, databases, etc.
  • I'm looking for information on agoraphobia. I have no voice. I don't know how to do research at all.
  • I'm looking for a long-term longitudinal study of the depletion of natural resources since pre-industrialization. All resources, all parts of the world. I need some figures on how much has been lost, etc.
  • I need a refresher on doing research so I can find information on Maria de Zayas, a Spanish writer. I haven't used the library in years.
  • I'm looking for a book that I saw mentioned in the NYTRB a while ago, about anti-Semitism. I'm not familiar with the library's catalog.
  • I'm looking for a copy of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling in English. (Our copies are all out, although we had one in Danish.)
  • I'm looking for information about recovery from a particular kind of thoracic disc injury. I don't know how to get full-text articles; all I can find is abstracts.
  • Where can I find out information about the Lega, an African ethnic group in what used to be Zaire? I need to do a research paper on their art, and I need background information--demographics, population, religion, culture, etc. I've only ever used PsycInfo.
  • Where can I find information about Oregon bills before they become law? I'm looking for any evidence of lobbying for or against, changes proposed, who proposed the bill, etc...

It was one of those days when everyone who came to the desk prefaced their question with, "I don't know how to do research at all." It actually got funny after a while. We're not backing up this week because it's supposed to be slow, and the line-up was getting sort of...intense.


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