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Fogler Library informs students on overcoming paywalls and optimal research techniques

Fogler Library has hosted a series of events and informative workshops throughout this fall, many of which will be offered again next semester. The University of Maine’s exceptionally skilled faculty of librarians develop workshop initiatives based on input from students about specific fields of interest.

Such feedback can be shared in a multitude of ways. For instance, on the first floor of the library, there is a large notepad set up for students to express areas that they want guidance on or give suggestions on ways to introduce students to all that Fogler has to offer. Along with that, they send out surveys as well as encourage people to reach out via email with thoughts and ideas.

This semester, there were seven different workshops available to anyone interested. The main objective of these programs is to build and enhance graduate, undergraduate, and staff skill sets. They offer tailored, focused support for your interests in order to make the task at hand engaging and interactive.

“Students feel more confident about their capacity to do research after participation in these programs and are more equipped to move forward with completing their projects,” said Jennifer Bonnet, a librarian at Fogler Library.

The intent is to demystify any confusion or intimidation in regard to utilizing library resources. Seeking guidance from librarians is a convenient way to become more familiar with your topic of interest. Each faculty member of the library has a specific subject that they have a vast knowledge of and strive to provide useful insight within the realm of the topic. They are considered cheerleaders for the students of UMaine and greatly value support, guidance and collaboration. You can set up meetings with librarians at any time through email or the messaging forum located on their website.

“The topics of this particular series of workshops was decided based on a larger survey sent out last year asking undergraduate students what they do not understand within the library to identify the set of needs,” explained Joe McGaw, a specialist in inter-library loans.

Throughout this year, there were six different workshops available to everyone (two-thirds of which were in-person and the remainder online). The most popular workshop was “Finding Information.” This program in particular is considered “Library 101.” It provided an overview of the resources available within the library such as books, scholarly articles and electronic sources by means of introducing to students how information can be easily accessed.

The second most-attended workshop was “Overcoming Paywalls,” which can be done through the library website. If UMaine does not have a particular source available, the librarians can access a PDF of the site that they will send you. Paying the tuition to attend this university allows students to utilize just about any article or source of information, free of charge.

There was also “Choosing Databases,” which reviewed the process of distinguishing the broad from the specific. The next was “Topic Searching.” Deciding exactly what to base your paper on can be rather unnerving, so this workshop guided students about determining how to approach specific assignments.

Another workshop focused on maximizing Google Scholar. The final workshop was titled “Why cite,” and it covered why citations are so imperative and how to go about completing them.

During the week of Oct. 24 to 28, Fogler Library is collaborating with the Writing Center for a Literature Review Challenge that will be both online and asynchronous. Once you RSVP for this event, you will receive daily emails throughout that week with brief, self-paced tasks designed to help enhance your research skills. They can be completed at your convenience with the primary objective being to practice specific methods of research until it eventually comes naturally.

In addition, there will be citation drop-in sessions from Nov. 7 to 9 for a one-on-one or group consultation on references. The leaders of this workshop will teach students how to cite their sources formally and correctly in MLA, APA, Chicago or any other style of citation. More workshops will be available starting in January and are open to RSVPs over Winter Break.

Upcoming library events:

Literature review challenge: KkLvd5Q/viewform

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