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Getting Started with Information Studies Research: the IST Subject Guide

Here is a fun exercise for Information Studies students, try and count the number of times you have used library resources while working on your graduate degree. Have you lost count? I liken it to lying in bed as a kid and trying to count to a million, it can’t be done! Whether you are just beginning the program or are towards the end of your time here, the library resources are an invaluable tool in your quest for a degree in Information Studies. You could make the case that the library is one of the most important factors in completing your degree here at SUNY. Now, things may have changed over your time in the program, specifically on the library website, one of the best developments has been the creation of Research by Subject��? pages on the library website. The page on Information and Library Science is particularly good, and can help you to complete your degree in no time at all!

Forgive me as I wax poetic, Information and Library Science Subject page, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways (that you help students complete their degrees)…

1. In nearly every class in the program, students are asked to access articles and information from various journals on all different subjects. The best way to do this is to access a database that compiles many of these articles into one easy to use interface. Upon entering the Information and library Science subject page, you will see a link that reads Library and Information Science Databases. This will bring you to a list of key databases for library students that expands to show all of the databases the library subscribes to. Using these you will easily be able to complete that extensive research paper or that pesky annotated bibliography with ease.

2. Have you ever taken a tour or a city or even a museum? There is usually a guide that points out all of the best sites or pieces of art in their collection. This is exactly what the research guides will do for library school students. Depending on your concentration, choose accordingly. The guide for Library and Information Studies is organized into tabs that will bring you to the databases the library subscribes to as well as open access and internet resources to help you broaden your research. There is also a tab that highlights encyclopedias and dictionaries specifically tailored for library students. There are also tabs to highlight specific topics such as statistics, research reports, and collection development. Finally if you are thinking ahead to post graduation, there are tabs that explore the future of the library as well as employment resources for library students.

3. One of the most popular concentrations in this program is the School Library Media track. The next research guide is built just for you, it is called Children’s Literature/School Library Media. This guide has the basics such as databases, background information, and online resources to get you started. It also features book review resources as well as author guides, and a tab featuring various awards and prizes for children’s and young adult literature. It also features a tab that guides you to excellent collection development resources to build your children of young adult book collection. This is a great guide that can help you in Young Adult Literature as well as Children’s Literature classes and even in collection development as well.

4. The final guide will be most useful for students in the Archiving track, it is entitled Archives: a Guide to Information Sources. This guide will direct you to pertinent books, and articles related to archiving as well as outside resources important to the field. There is a tab that will help you locate archival collections around the world, as well as one that links you to dictionaries and encyclopedias vital to archival students. Again if you are thinking beyond graduation there is a tab that links you to professional organizations that can help archivists in their future careers.

There you have it, a good start on basic resources you need, no matter what concentration you have chosen to pursue. If you have any other questions or need a recommendation for your Information Studies research or class work, do not hesitate to contact our bibliographer for Information Studies, Deborah Bernnard. You can email her at dbernnard@albany.edu or give her a call at (518) 442-3699. Good luck in your studies, the library is here to help, come see us with any questions.

Blog post created by Ben Knowles