Monday, June 4, 2012

#3 Research Assistance

Gloria colored a cowboy and cowgirl with wheels, lassos, saguaro, and snake letters
Gloria H, Chaparral, NM, 9 y.o.

When you have a pesky problem to solve, Google may be the first thing you think of, but a librarian (and the library) can provide depth, context, and help identifying the real question.
Google spelled with a striped blanket, ceramic pottery, turquoise jewelry, and a pueblo style ladder
Merrit B, Santa Fe, 13 y.o.

We have helped with information on legal forms, medical conditions, and shopping comparisons.  As librarians, we cannot advise on legal or health matters, but we can help you think through what you really want to ask.  We can share books, websites, and county or state government resources, which define terms, explain the steps necessary for filing a form, or to whom else you might best ask your questions.

If you are considering a new pet, vehicle, or vacation, we'd love to help you.  We have books for all ages on which pet fits your personality, how to take care of the pet you have, or how to mourn the loss of a pet.  The library subscribes to Consumer Reports, both the magazine and the annual buying guide.   If you cannot decide on where to spend your vacation, you may check out travelogues, travel guides, and how-to travel books (hiking, trains, cruises, or accessibility).

If you are interested in very deep research, you can set up an appointment with a librarian to take a quarter of an hour or more to explore your topic, then give the library some time, maybe a few days, to gather the very best resources for you to explore.  One of my favorite tasks at the library is demonstrating Grzimek's (said Chimex) Animal Encyclopedia or Opposing Viewpoints (two online databases or encyclopediae) for a student writing a paper on zebras or the economy.  

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