‘Got Books?’ offers tips, tricks for effectively using library resources

Rebecca Moidel


Credit: Jason Hall

Kent State University Library opens its Got Books? program today to students looking for instruction on basic research skills.

Mary Lee Jensen, head of instructional services, organized this program several years ago particularly to help the freshmen class in English courses 11001, 11011 and 21011. Students learn hands-on how to access materials through online cataloging using KentLINK and OhioLINK.

Got Books? will provide the basics of using these online catalogs, including search strategies and how to request items. Jensen said the program will run at various times throughout the first half of the semester until Nov. 6.

All seminars will be held in the computer lab, Room 333, in the library and will last 45 minutes to an hour, Jensen said. Seminars are free and, although geared toward the freshmen class, Jensen said the program is open to anyone who’d like to attend.

“We welcome anyone, but we’re marketed heavily toward English classes,” Jensen said. “It’s a painless way to get introduced to key resources. We just try to get students involved.”

Seminars are open to walk-ins, but Jensen said students are encouraged to sign up on a sheet posted outside the computer lab the morning of each seminar. Seminars are only open to the first 25 students.

The library faculty helps run the seminars to show the students how to use the library more resourcefully.

“We show them tricks and tips,” Jensen said. “The students try it, then report to us. Then we can say, ‘OK, now try this.'”

Sara Smith, integrated social studies major, said as a senior at Kent State she is familiar with using KentLINK and OhioLINK. Although she was not familiar with the Got Books? program, Smith said many professors in her education classes taught them how to use online cataloging.

“I wish I would have known about the program. It probably would have been useful,” Smith said.

Jensen said two other programs are being offered this year along with Got Books? to give students more options. One of these programs is called, Help! I Need Three Articles!. Jensen said this seminar is similar to Got Books?, only its primary focus is helping students find journals, magazines and newspaper articles. These seminars begin Sept. 25.

Online library skill modules are also now available to students. Jensen said the six online modules, which offer tips on anything from search strategies to KentLINK, were created this summer so students no longer have to sit through hour-long seminars. These modules allow students to work at their own pace.

“This is a new venture for us, and we want to get the word out,” Jensen said.

Jensen said her main goal is to get students involved in these programs and to get information literacy out to students in a helpful fashion so they can learn how to evaluate information for life.

“We want to have students graduate with good information-seeking skills,” she said. “We want students to feel comfortable and confident in where and how to find the information they need.”

To access the schedule for these seminars, students can visit http://seminars.lms.kent.edu/index.asp?d-Ims.

Contact library reporter Rebecca Moidel at [email protected].