Tag Archives: reference

Meet the Librarians at the Oviatt

Meet one of our Reference Librarians, Laura Wimberley. She’s been with the Oviatt team since 2011 and really enjoys working with students. Read more about her personal interests and why she became a librarian . . .

Laura Wimberley

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware (just outside of Philadelphia), but I’ve lived all over the country since then, in Ohio, Oregon, Colorado, and California.

What do you like/admire most about CSUN students?

I really appreciate how CSUN students are willing to admit when they don’t know something and ask questions.  That’s the only way to learn!

What’s your favorite book or your top 5?

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is an epic love song to America. Whitman was an abolitionist, a proto-feminist, and arguably the first out gay public figure in American life.  Leaves of Grass is his masterwork; its spirituality and landscape imagery are just beautiful.

What songs would you include on the soundtrack of your life?

My absolute lifetime top five albums:

Paul Simon, Graceland

Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls

The Strokes, Is This It

The Postal Service, Give Up

The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema

Why did you become a librarian?

As I was wrapping up my doctorate in political science, I realized that even though I loved uncovering new information, I didn’t love the long, isolated process of social science research.  Being a librarian gets me all of the fun of discovery with more opportunities to share that process and try out different directions.

What do you wish every student knew about the library or librarians?

We really like answering your questions – the more obscure, the better!  Never be afraid that your question is a hassle.

What is your favorite quote?

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire

It’s a call to act and to accept that your flawed best is still better than nothing: it’s encouraging.

If you could learn any skill what would it be?

I’m hoping to learn American Sign Language soon.  The similarities yet differences between ASL and spoken English fascinate me, and I would love to be able to offer better help to CSUN’s Deaf community.

If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

This is a tough question!  The most fascinating characters often have the unhappiest lives, so I don’t want to be everyone I love reading about.  If I got to be fictional, I’d definitely want to be able to work magic, so I’ll go with Hermione Granger (not a real stretch for me as a personality, either).

What are some of your current projects that you are working on?

I’m part of the usability team for Oviatt’s website. Please let us know about your experience with our new website design.  We want to hear your feedback!

- Laurie Borchard

 

Need Help Using OneSearch?

Just in case you’re confused about our new search tool on the library’s homepage, we’ve created a short video showing you how it works and how you can narrow your results in order to get exactly what you need. We also have a OneSearch FAQ.

When you do a search your results are broken down into two different tabs, one is labeled Articles and one labeled Books & Media. The Articles tab are items that you would normally find in our online databases and the Books & Media tab are what you would find in our library catalog. The image below describes the types of resources found in both.

trouble with OneSearch Image
OneSearch is a powerful tool and we’re pretty excited about it. However, if you’re looking for specific types of resources you might want to check out our other discovery tools.

Just beginning your research?          OneSearch

Want different types of resources in various formats?           OneSearch

Looking for a textbook?          Course Reserves or Library Catalog

Looking for a specific article?          OneSearch

Books by a specific author?          Library Catalog

Is your topic a little complicated?          Find Articles by Subject

Are you looking for archival sources?          Special Collections and Archives FAD

Still not sure where to go?          Ask a Librarian

-Laurie Borchard

Reference Services: What can we do for you?

librarian with glasses and books

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

girl on cell phone

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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!

- Susanna Eng-Ziskin