As we head into the last few weeks of the Fall semester, many CSUN students will undoubtedly be working on final assignments and papers. Those papers often require the use of outside resources, which may include newspaper and magazine articles, books, scholarly/academic journal articles, films, and interviews, among others.
If you’re trying to find research for your topic, but are coming up empty, don’t forget to ask for help! A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve been searching for a solid 30 minutes and are stuck, that’s a really good time to stop and reevaluate what you’re doing. A librarian can help you narrow your topic, guide you towards the best resources for your assignment, and show you where to find guides for your citations. You can get help in the following ways.
The Reference Desk: Your best bet is to come to the Oviatt, if you can, and talk to a librarian in person at the Reference Desk. Just walk through the lobby and past the coffee cart, and you’re right there in the Reference Room. You’ll see a big wooden desk, and there will be 1 or 2 librarians sitting there, waiting for you and your research questions. It’s staffed most of the hours that the library is open. You can also call and talk to someone at the Reference Desk – (818) 677-2285
Make an appointment with a Librarian: Did you know that we have Librarians who work with specific majors and fields? You can make an appointment with your subject area Librarian for a lengthier consultation than you can get at the Reference Desk. Don’t know who your librarian is? Try this page: http://library.csun.edu/About/SubjectSpecialists. Because we’re not always sitting in our offices, you’ll probably have better luck setting up an appointment with us by email, rather than by phone.
Text A Librarian: Store this number in your contacts, and the next time you have a quick question, just text it to us: (818) 900-2965.
Ask Us!: You can also access our LibAnswers FAQ. Just type in your question at the top of the page in the “Ask Us Anything” box. If it matches a question in our FAQ we’ll direct you to the answer. If it’s not in our FAQ, we’ll redirect you to a form where you can email us your question. We’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. Often, during the week, we respond within an hour, if not 15 minutes.
Live Chat: We know that students often do their research at times when the Library is closed, and we are unable to answer any questions. But you can log into our QuestionPoint Live Chat service 24/7, 365 days a year. No webcams are needed – unlike FaceTime or Skype, this chat service is done strictly through the keyboard. You won’t usually be chatting with a CSUN librarian, but they will know you’re a CSUN student and which databases and resources you have access to.
Research Therapy: Check out our series of short videos explaining different aspects of the research process – it’s Research Therapy! Finally, you can see all your options for getting in touch with a Reference Librarian on our Ask A Librarian page.
Good luck with your final projects and papers! Hope to see you at the Reference Desk!