VU Libraries Share Strategies for Success in the Spring Semester
Melissa Mallon, Director of Peabody Library and Director of Teaching & Learning
As the spring semester gets underway, you’re likely faced with a lot of demand on your time. It can be hard to know how to prioritize and manage everything you need to work on, but VU Libraries are open and ready to help! Check out the tips below for some of our most-recommended resources and services.
Meet your Personal Librarian
If you haven’t had a chance to meet with your librarian this academic year, it’s not too late! There are librarians dedicated to working with students in every major on campus. Librarians are available to meet via Zoom, phone, over email – whatever works best for you! Make an appointment with your librarian today to discuss strategies to make your research easier and more efficient.
On that note, the Libraries provide many tools for tackling the research process. One tool is LibKey Nomad, a browser extension to access library resources where they are and get you to the content fast. This tool provides single-click access to library content from publisher websites, PubMed, Wikipedia, and more.
Another tool you should keep handy is Zotero – this open source citation management system keeps track of references to books, articles, and other items that you want to use in your research. Not only can does Zotero help you organize your research sources, it also creates citations!
Brush Up on Research & Writing Skills
It’s no secret that the Libraries provide access to A LOT of research sources, but how do you know the right ones to use or the best way to use them? Consider attending one of our Research Productivity workshops on Tuesdays at 2:10 pm. Led by librarians, these workshops offer concise, engaging, and practical guidance for finding, understanding, applying, evaluating, and sharing research.
Don’t forget that the Libraries are also here for you when you need a break! In addition to our lovely library buildings with quiet corners to cozy up in, check out our “for fun” collection, which includes fiction and travel books, audio books, and digital magazines.
Also be sure to check out the resources offered by the Center for Student Wellbeing (we like the virtual guided mediation options!).
Keep a Critical Eye out for Misinformation
There has been a lot of conversations lately about the spread of misinformation and each of our individual roles in combating it. Fact-checking and evaluating information with a critical eye is extremely important in order to help stop the flow of disinformation. Librarians can help you work through this process, and point you to strategies for sifting through the vast amount of information out there.
The Libraries are offering a number of workshops on Thursdays at 2:10 pm that dive into topics related to deep fakes, critically analyzing data and statistics, and evaluating information. Find out more here.
Check out the library’s website for more information on student services and resources. Throughout it all, your friendly Vanderbilt librarians are here to help — please don’t hesitate to reach out, and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction!