Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Selecting Your Next Leisure Read

Raise your hands, how many of you turn into a kid in a candy store when you walk into a bookstore? Now, how many of you believe the following statement to be true: “Despite the fact that I have a table, shelf, floor, etc., full of books I’ve purchased and have yet to read, I still need more?” My own hand is way up because I love books (so typical of a librarian, I know). As a matter of fact,…

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Lateral Reading: It’s What the Cool Kids are Doing

Right now we (society) are in a little bit of trouble over the proliferation of information. Specifically, how easy it is to produce and share information. Widely shared information can be deeply influential, which is why some people choose to spread misinformation, which is information that’s either misleading or just incorrect. Sometimes we share misinformation on social media because it confirms our biases (yes, we all have biases even if we think we’re perfect, fact-based beings) or because it seems like…

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Another (Very Important) Library

Hopefully, if you’re reading this blog, you’re a fan of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. Our library here at TAMU-CC is an important resource for your academic work. It’s also a great place to study, look at terrific art exhibits, hop on a computer and get those assignments done, or grab a print job on your way to class. But there’s another library that is also very important: our local public library. What’s public about a public library? It’s…

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What’s in a Name: Getting to Know Library Jargon

We here in the library, like many other occupations, have specific jargon we use in our day-to-day work. We do realize this can be confusing and do our best to make things easy to understand. For example, we renamed the reference desk and now call it the Ask-Us Desk. However, some other areas or words are not so easily interchangeable. Below I’ll go over a few of those to try and help you out. Archives Archives at TAMU-CC refers to…

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What Database Should I Use?

One of the most frequent questions we get at the Ask Us Desk is “what database should I use?” This post is here to explain the basic makeup of databases, the options available to you, and how to go about picking one for your research needs. What’s a database? A database is essentially a container. Think of it like a box. Inside the box are a bunch of journals and in the pages of those journals are the articles people…

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Getting Help from a Librarian

Whether it’s finding an article, knowing where to start your research project, or finding new paths to search when you’re stuck, your librarians are here to help! How can a librarian help? Librarians can help with anything from simple questions about accessing research materials, to developing better search strategies, to helping you evaluate the sources you find. Here are some examples of how librarians can assist: Guiding you on choosing a topic and identifying keywords to use in a searchRecommending the…

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Opening the Classroom: Using Open Educational Practices to Reimagine Teaching and Learning

Have you heard of "open educational resources" or "OER"? These are educational materials that are available for free via the Internet which can be used, reused, remixed, and redistributed by anyone who wants to learn or teach.1 We often hear about OER in the context of textbook affordability. Students these days pay a lot of money for the textbooks which are produced by for-profit publishers. Studies have shown that many students are forced to choose between paying for textbooks and…

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What is with all those library locations?

You have your research topic all picked out (Good for you! I think that might be the hardest part). Your instructor says you have to use 3 physical resources in the library, so you’ve gone to the Library’s Quick Search, searched your topic, limited your search to just the “Library Catalog” (found under the “Refine Your Search” menu on the left side of the page) and now you’ve found the perfect source, but the location says… microfilm????? What even is that?…

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What do you do with those extra books?

Have you ever started doing a spring or summer or fall or winter or some other time cleaning and come across books you haven’t seen or used in years? Have you ever wondered what to do with books you no longer want or need?   Believe it or not, there are several wonderful options available for these books if they are in good condition, i.e. all the pages are there and readable, no mold or mildew, and the binding is…

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Frame of the Day: Searching as Strategic Exploration

We’ve done it, friends. We’ve reached the final frame in the ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education: Searching as Strategic Exploration. Thanks for sticking with me!   “Searching as Strategic Exploration” addresses the part of information literacy that we think of as “Research.” It deals with the actual task of searching for information, and the word “Exploration” is a really good word to use because it’s evocative of the kind of struggle we sometimes feel when we approach research.…

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