The Libraries 7 Tips for Student Success
Melissa Mallon, Associate University Librarian for Teaching and Learning
Welcome to the fall semester! While you’re finding your classes, checking out the campus dining options, and meeting your roommate(s), you may feel a little overwhelmed. As you get settled on campus, remember that the Vanderbilt Libraries are open and our staff are ready to help you! Check out the tips below for some of our most-recommended resources and services.
Meet your Personal Librarian
Faced with your first research assignment? Trying to navigate the books & articles you need for class? Your librarian is here to help! There are librarians dedicated to working with students in every major on campus. Librarians are available to meet in the library, outside, or via Zoom, or 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 more easily access library resources and get you 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 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? Meeting with a librarian is a great way to learn how to best navigate scholarly research, but you can also check out our curated Research Guides and video tutorials to start exploring. Our friends at both the Writing Studio and Tutoring Services also have lots of resources that can help make the semester more successful.
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 meditation options!).
Find Your Favorite Study Spot
When you have a break from class, or you need a break from your roommate, you should stop by one of the nine Vanderbilt libraries. Learn about what the different library locations have to offer; for example, the Gear2Go technology lending program in the Science & Engineering Library, the extensive video collection at the Central Library, or the analog design studio at Peabody Library.
The Libraries have a variety of individual study spaces, and you can also book a group study room for all of those group projects you’ll get assigned.
Keep a Critical Eye out for Misinformation
There has been a lot of conversation 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 Vanderbilt Libraries are committed to creating a welcoming and accessible environment for all students in the Vanderbilt community. Check out the library’s website for more information on student services and resources, including our accessibility services. 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.
We can’t wait to see you in the libraries!