“I have to write a research paper. How should I start?”
We’re hearing this question a lot these days, and we aren’t surprised. The librarians at the Research Desk have helped many students begin working on research papers — and the process is a little different every time. Depending on the assignment (how long is the paper? what are the requirements and goals? when is it due?), the topic, and the prep work you’ve done already, we might suggest beginning in Summon, or MIDCAT, or… on a sheet of notebook paper where you’ll jot down a few keywords to get the thoughts flowing.
If this trending question has been on your mind lately too, go ahead and ask a librarian! Find us at the Research Desk in the Davis Family Library, behind the Circulation Desk at the Armstrong Library, or online at go/askus/.
There is, of course, no curtain at the Davis Family Library Research Desk! But still, sometimes it seems like we should be making what we do at the desk more visible. So, let’s (air quotes) “pull back the curtain” —
Many people think you have to have a question to talk with a librarian at the Research Desk. If you do have a question, please talk with us! But even if you don’t know what your question is, we still can help. Just tell us about your assignment and together, we’ll figure out what you should do next.
What can I do at the Research Desk?
- Get help finding a book!
- Explore the magical world of citations!
- Learn how to use Interlibrary Loan!
- Have someone listen to your research woes and offer you sound advice!
- Or, just ask directions to the restrooms!
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
We’re at the Research Desk Sunday-Friday, and in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Find our hours (and lots of other research help) at go/askus/.
Research Questions, Week 1 (2016 and 2017)
Great job, students!
We’ve enjoyed talking with you at the Research Desk at the Davis Family Library. You’ve asked us a lot of questions! More this year than last year, even.
In just the first week of classes, you stopped by 142 times, which is up from the 124 questions we received in Week 1 last year. That’s a 14.5% increase. Even more significantly, 72 of your questions were research-related, which is a 33% increase over last year!
What’s been going on at the Research Desk?
- We’ve helped people find books and DVDs (“Where is this call number located?”)
- We’ve figured out how to cite unusual sources (“How do I cite something I read in Chinese?”)
- We’ve discussed how to narrow a research topic, how to refine a search for scholarly articles, how to decide when it’s time to shift to a different research topic, and more
What do students say?
- “I just came from a research workshop for my first-year seminar, and I wanted to continue my search.”
- “Thank you! I’ve never known how to use Interlibrary Loan, so I’m glad I asked!”
- “I wish I’d come to see you last year!”
So please, keep on asking! We’re glad to answer.
Welcome (or, welcome back!) to the libraries! Whether you’re new to campus or returning from summer break, we’re looking forward to seeing you.
Want a virtual tour? Watch the video called Davis Family Library: 5 Quick Tips in the Midd Libraries Quick Guide. While you’re in the guide, take a look at all of the other advice we provide for navigating the libraries.
Want a deeper dive in our collections? Find your favorite research guide (there’s one for every subject) at go.middlebury.edu/guides:
Hello, Class of 2021!
We know you have questions — who doesn’t? Introduce yourself to a librarian at the Research Desk. You’ll find that we’re always happy to help. Tell us what you’re working on and together, we’ll figure out what to do next.
Fall Research Desk Hours
(September 10-December 15)
Mon – Wed: 11 am – 5 pm
and 7 pm – 10 pm
Thursday: 11 am – 5 pm
Friday: 11 am – 4 pm
Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
And online anytime!
No one available at the Research Desk?
Visit us in our offices! Librarians are conveniently located right behind the Research Desk.
Over time, the Japan Times changed its official title a few times, so it can be hard to find a particular article from a particular date. Now that we have access to The Japan Times Archives, here’s a guide:
Today’s Japan Times and content from recent weeks can be found by anyone anywhere at the Japan Times website. (An individual without a subscription is limited to a few articles per month.) Text-only is also available for 1998 to present by searching LexisNexis.
For older content, Middlebury users now have access to the Japan Times Archives
The archive include articles published since its inception in 1897, including all of these variations:
- Japan Times (1897-1940)
- Japan Advertiser (1905-1940)
- Japan Times and Advertiser (1940-1942)
- Nippon Times (1943-1956)
- Japan Times (1956-present)
As of this writing, the Archives include content through December 31, 2015; 2016 content is expected in the near future.
We know you miss NExpress. (Wait, what happened to NExpress?) We miss NExpress, too, and we want you to know that we’re thinking of you! We’ve added a “WorldCat” button to MIDCAT to make it easier to request items from other libraries. The WorldCat button is on the right-hand side of most results pages in MIDCAT, exactly where the NExpress button used to be.
If you search MIDCAT and don’t find what you want, click on the “Find it in WorldCat” button. When you’re viewing a MIDCAT record for just one item, WorldCat will be able to look for that item and others like it. Once you find something you want in WorldCat, just click on the “Request item through Interlibrary Loan” button.
- Yes! You may request items owned by Middlebury if they’re not available here (for example, if they’re checked out to someone else or missing). More answers to your ILL questions here.
- If you’ve never used Interlibrary Loan, now would be a good time to log in to go.middlebury.edu/ill to sign up for ILLiad. Then, the “Request item through Interlibrary Loan” button in WorldCat will be able to fill out your request form for you!
Stay tuned, because we’re continuing to work on improvements to the interlibrary loan process with our former NExpress partners.
Going away this summer? Take the library with you! Yes, you can search library databases from off campus. Just start at the library site: go.middlebury.edu/lib. From there, JSTOR, ebooks, audiobooks, Summon and all of our online journals, magazines and newspapers are available to you…no matter where you are!
When you’re off campus, links that are on library web pages (a few examples of library web pages include Research Guides, Summon and the Journals list) will ask you to log in with Midd credentials. It’s as easy as that!
Seniors: Here’s how to get alumni access to library databases!
Enjoy the summer!