May 11, 2009 - 3:00 PM
It's official. I'm in love. I've finally found someone who is always there for me and is willing to talk about any of my needs. Last night I fell in love and it may sound a little nerdy when I tell you whom it was with, but I know it's a good thing and a good thing should be shared. I fell in love with a librarian. This time, specifically a librarian in Ohio named Chris, but also just in general, librarians.
I'm not sure if many students know this, but there is a resource on the University of Oregon Libraries website called "Ask a Librarian". It is my new most favorite thing ever! You can instant message from this part of the website with an actual librarian. Up until 10:00pm, it is with a librarian from the University of Oregon and then after 10:00pm, you can chat with after hours librarians from around the country! It is such a great resource to have when doing research. Research always seems so easy at first, as if you can truly just Google search your way to a fantastic paper. However, I assure you it is more work than that and sometimes finding the perfect primary source document to cite can be a little tricky. You know someone who is great at finding good online articles though? Why, a librarian, of course!
Early yesterday, I posed this question to a UO library via the instant messaging system on the library website: "Hi! I need to find a photo that relates to the novel The Big Sleep from 1939. Any suggestions on where to get started with this?" The librarian informed me that they were thinking and then later wrote back with a link to a library page that contained a bunch of great online archives of photos that I could search through. I thanked them and let them know that I might be back later with more questions. They wished me a fun time looking through photos. It was so pleasant!
However, I tend to procrastinate at times and so by the time I actually decided what kind of photo I more specifically wanted to find, it was past 10:00pm, so the UO librarian was no longer online and I was stuck. For some reason I was finding it incredibly difficult to find a photo taken of Sunset Boulevard in 1939. Then, I found out about the after hours librarian service offered on the same page of the UO Libraries website. I clicked its link and was soon connected with a librarian named Chris in Ohio who helps out with research during the nights. Chris stayed with me online while we both searched archives until he finally found two photos that would work perfectly. I had been getting very frustrated with my research before talking to Chris. I was so glad that this service was offered because it saved my life that night. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but it did at least save my homework assignment last night!
This is such a great service. I continue to be impressed by the amazing resources the University of Oregon has to offer its students. I have to write two big research papers for finals this term (both joyously due on the same day - yippee!) and I feel a little better knowing that at any hour of the night, as long as I have an internet connection, I have a librarian by my side. And let me tell you, that is a good person to have on your side. Maybe like a ninja and then a librarian. I tend to get pretty geeky while writing research papers because I get so into them and interested and really do make the library my second home. That should all be kicking into gear by next week, so I hope my readers look forward to hearing more on my love affair with the library!