Library Resources for Winter Quarter and Beyond Provided by DePaul Librarian, Jessica Alverson

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rsz_jessica_libguides2 (2)Welcome to Winter Quarter at SNL Online. You may have had to use the library in one of your past courses, or perhaps you are taking Research Seminar this quarter or in a near future quarter. The library has a lot of helpful resources which are available to you as a student here at SNL Online.

I had the pleasure of interviewing DePaul Librarian Jessica Alverson, who will be featured in our upcoming Winter Newsletter. Jessica has provided a lot of useful information for students in her interview about the library and resources specifically for online students.

Read more about what she has to say:

What is your job title and what are your primary responsibilities?

I am the Assistant Coordinator for Library Instruction and Online Learning. I coordinate the scheduling of library instruction at the Loop, as well as teach library instruction sessions (along with my colleagues) for LL 250 (Foundations) and LL 300 (Research Seminar), and any other classes that require a library instruction session. In my “online” role, I embed in LL 300 online courses, and I develop online tutorials, as well as other online instructional pieces (research guides, etc.)

What is your educational background and where did you work prior to DePaul?

I have a B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina, and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I worked at Columbia College Chicago as a librarian for almost 5 years before moving to New York University where I worked as the Librarian for Journalism, Media, Culture, and Communication.

What resources does the library offer for students who reside outside the Chicago area? What resources are available for students at the suburban libraries who reside around the Chicago area?

All students have access to a number of online resources. In addition to having access to our numerous online article databases (complete listing here: http://bit.ly/mnn8nI), students also have immediate access to books through our online ebook collections including Books 24X7 and Safari Tech Books. A complete listing of our ebook collections can be found here: http://libguides.depaul.edu/ebooks

Students also have access to streaming media collections including Naxos Music (classical, jazz and world music) and Paley iCenter (contains a selection of full-length television and radio programs). A complete listing is available here:  http://libguides.depaul.edu/streamingmedia

Of course, all students have access to our physical book collections, as well as access to borrow books from the 70+ Illinois academic libraries that are part of I-Share. Students at the suburban campuses can use the classic catalog and I-Share to request that books be sent from any of our campuses/I-Share libraries to a DePaul campus that’s convenient to them for pickup. Distance students may request to have books sent to their home address. The books are mailed with a postage-paid envelope, so students can easily return the books at no cost. More information about how to use that service is available here: http://bit.ly/SNMnho

And last, but not least, all students have access to help from a librarian, regardless of location. Students can email, chat or telephone us for help. Students should just look for the AskALibrarian box on the library’s home page to get to these services.

I understand there is a librarian assigned to the online Research Seminar course; can you tell us more about the work the librarians do with students taking Research Seminar?

Librarians work with the online Research Seminars in several ways. As an embedded librarian, we are part of and have access to the D2L course. Students are given two assignments–assignment 2.2 (a key concepts assignment) and assignment 3.1 (choosing databases) which are submitted via D2L and graded by a librarian. We don’t just grade the assignments, but take the time to provide meaningful and helpful feedback to the students. In addition, each online LL 300 course has an Ask A Librarian Discussion board which we monitor. And of course, we respond to individual students with questions via email, and sometimes we even have a research consultation via phone. We are always looking for ways to better support these online learners, so we are open to any suggestions!

Do you have any additional advice for online students who are taking researched based programs or writing papers using Library resources?

Yes! I have a few pieces of advice:

1) Ask us! We are here to help, and students should feel free to contact us at any point in their research process. We answer both simple and complicated questions. We never want a student to get to the point of frustration!

2) Don’t overlook books and encyclopedias, especially when you are researching a topic with which you don’t have familiarity. Students often go straight to searching for articles, but it’s incredibly difficult to get the larger context of a topic or issue by looking through a list of articles. Without the context that a book or encyclopedia entry can provide, students have a difficult time judging which articles may be relevant or important, as well as figuring out the scope of their topic. We have some amazing online encyclopedia collections that get surprisingly very subject-specific. These can all be found here: http://libguides.depaul.edu/ereference

3) Use a research guide! We have an amazing collection of research guides that are both topic-specific as well as task related (ex. How do I find articles). These provide nice self-help options for students. http://libguides.depaul.edu

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