Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A familiar face

You may recognise a familiar face at the Student Information Desk (SID) this week. Lisa, who has worked with the Marketing team at Reception, has now joined SID.

Lisa completes the SID team of Lisa, Kathleen, Geraldine and Helen, and the library team of Sarah, Sandra, Linda and Áine, as well as the librarian, Aidín.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stop, look, listen!

Noise is a contentious issue in modern libraries. Some people prefer a very very quiet library; some people prefer a group study area. And, at different times, most people like it to be a bit of both!

Earlier this year, the librarian issued a survey to students asking their preferences. Most replies indicated that they would prefer a combination of quiet areas and group study areas. So ta-dah, this is it!

From today the library has a:

Green Zone = Group Study Area
This is based in the left-hand wing of the library, both on level 1 and level 2.
On level 1, there is one big desk per PC to enable you to study in groups.
On level 2, feel free to study together.
Green is a shush-free zone

Orange Zone = Quiet Individual Study
This is based in the right-hand wing of the library, both on level 1 and level 2.
On level 1, there are PCs for individual use.
On level 2, please keep the noise to a minimum.
Orange is a whisper zone

Red Zone = Silent Study
This is based in the Seminar Room on level 1.
Please observe complete silence in this room.
Red is a noise-free zone

Please choose to sit in the area that best suits your needs; and remember to respect the other library users. Remember to follow the signs!

What is this thing called "Referencing"?

Are you having problems referencing? Do you really know what it is? If you have any queries then please call into the Library and we'll help.

If you are in the School of Business and Humanities, the chances are you will be asked to use the Harvard style of referencing. If you are in the School of Informatics and Engineering, you will use the IEEE style. However, some courses use modified versions of these - so ask your lecturer too!

We have leaflets on both these styles in the Library, and there's a booklet in the Reference section . Also, check out the homepage of the online catalogue. You'll find a tutorial and a quiz on referencing.

Related to this is plagiarism - any ideas?? Check out the online catalogue for this too - there's a tutorial and a quiz.
Please also read the Institute's policy on plagiarism in assignments and examinations. You can find it on the Document Management System (DMS). Search for document number 3AS08 . The DMS is accessed via the Intranet (on-campus only).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sourcing and evaluating information

As many of you are busy completing assignments, an interesting report has been issued about how students source and evaluate the information they include in their course work.

The Project Information Literacy report surveyed over 8,000 students across 21 American campuses. Some of their findings included:
  • Students in the sample took little at face value and reported they were frequent evaluators of information culled from the Web and to a lesser extent, the campus library. More often than anything else, respondents considered whether information was up-todate and current when evaluating Web content (77%) and library materials (67%) for course work.
  • Evaluating information was often a collaborative process—almost two-thirds of the respondents (61%) reportedly turned to friends and/or family members when they needed help and advice with sorting through and evaluating information for personal use. Nearly half of the students in the sample (49%) frequently asked instructors for assistance with assessing the quality of sources for course work—far fewer asked librarians (11%) for assistance.
  • The majority of the sample used routines for completing one research assignment to the next, including writing a thesis statement (58%), adding personal perspective to papers (55%), and developing a working outline (51%). Many techniques were learned in high school and ported to college, according to students we interviewed.
  • Despite their reputation of being avid computer users who are fluent with new technologies, few students in our sample had used a growing number of Web 2.0 applications within the past six months for collaborating on course research assignments and/or managing research tasks.
  • For over three-fourths (84%) of the students surveyed, the most difficult step of the course-related research process was getting started. Defining a topic (66%), narrowing it down (62%), and filtering through irrelevant results (61%) frequently hampered students in the sample, too. Follow-up interviews suggest students lacked the research acumen for framing an inquiry in the digital age where information abounds and intellectual discovery was paradoxically overwhelming for them.
  • Comparatively, students reported having far fewer problems finding information for personal use, though sorting through results for solving an information problem in their daily lives hamstrung more than a third of the students in the sample (41%).
  • Unsurprisingly, what mattered most to students while they were working on courserelated research assignments was passing the course (99%), finishing the assignment (97%), and getting a good grade (97%). Yet, three-quarters of the sample also reported they considered carrying out comprehensive research of a topic (78%) and learning something new (78%) of importance to them, too.
If you are having trouble getting started there are a number of online tutorials that may be helpful:, DCU's LETS tutorial, WIT's OLAS tutorial and Intute's Internet detective tutorial.

For assistance with evaluating resources, please see ITB's guide; don't forget to use the library databases - you can find leaflets for each database in the library.

And finally, be one of the 11%! If you need help, ask us at the library desk.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Science Week!

This year Science Week has a variety of events, from exploring the solar system to life in your back garden to how your ipod works. Here are some of the features.

See what events are on in Dublin North and Dublin City.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jump the queue!

Our brand-spanking new self-issue machine now allows you to return books as easily as you borrow.

Try it out today and jump the queue at the library desk.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Best wishes to all our graduates today!

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson