You’re three weeks into the school year and are likely already getting swamped with assignments—group work, presentations, papers, and all the other fun stuff. Luckily Dal has great libraries with a ton of resources to help you survive your school work.
Dal’s five libraries cater to the needs of every program: Killam Memorial Library (Studley Campus), Dunn Law Library (Weldon Law Building), Kellogg Health Sciences Library (Carleton Campus), Sexton Design & Technology Library (Sexton Campus), and the MacRae Library (Agricultural Campus). Depending on what kind of research help you need or which subject you’re studying, one of these libraries may be more useful to you than the others. A great place to start your research is the Dalhousie Library home page to scan through each location to see which one will work best for you.
Here are four great ways Dal’s libraries can help you find the right information and ace those papers.
1. Online research
Novanet is the online consortium connecting the resources of all of Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions. Bookmark it right now! Here’s the lowdown: All of the university libraries in Nova Scotia share an online catalogue and exchange print resources free of charge to students.
Another great place to look online is Dal’s LibGuides. Also called Subject Guides, these subject-specific resources are created and maintained by Dal’s subject librarians to give you a starting point for your research. Online resources are a great place to start narrowing down your search or defining your research topic when researching your assignments.
2. Check the stacks
Your next step is to see what your library has on the shelves. This may seem overwhelming but from the front page of the Dal Libraries’ website, you can narrow your search to only look for physical books. Find the record for the book you want, jot down its call number, and head to the library maps of the stacks that are posted around each library. You can also ask for assistance at any of the service desks—they’re really helpful!
3. Document Delivery
By now you probably have a pretty good idea of what research has been done, but you may still need some more info to really answer your research question. The next thing you definitely need to take advantage of is Document Delivery. Seriously, I can’t emphasize enough how amazing this service is—and it’s FREE to students!
Document Delivery lets you request resources and books from libraries all over the world. If there’s a book you need and one of Dal’s libraries doesn’t own it, one of the librarians will try to track it down for you and have it shipped to your chosen Dal library. Dal’s Document Delivery service also includes journal articles, which can be straight sent to your email in PDF form. If the document or book you need is coming from a library in Nova Scotia, it’s guaranteed to arrive within three days, but resources coming from outside the province can take a few weeks to come in.
4. Talk to a librarian
OK, you’ve looked online, you’ve looked in the stacks, you’ve ordered your resources through Document Delivery, but you still have some unanswered questions. All Dalhousie programs have a dedicated subject liaison and they’re available to meet with you to point you in the right direction for any and all questions that you might have. There are also service points at every library where you can chat with library staff about questions you have, and a great Live Help chat service on the main Libraries web page if you can’t make it to campus to talk to someone in person.
Bonus: writing support
If you’re working on a paper and you’ve done all your research and written a draft, take a trip to the Writing Centre on the ground floor of the Killam Library (just inside the main atrium doors) and in the MacRae Library on the Agricultural Campus. It’s staffed by people (including many Dal students) who are all knowledgeable about everything there is to know about writing—including grammar, punctuation, word choice, formatting, sentence structure, and so much more. They can guide you as you give that last little bit of TLC your paper needs.