Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Doing Research: University of Sheffield

Image: St. Pancras Domestic

Yesterday, I hopped on a train from St. Pancras up to Sheffield to do research at the St. George's Library, one of the University of Sheffield Libraries. I will be looking at the University Libraries in my research paper, and the University has the best-ranked LIS school in the UK, so they also hold a large collection of LIS materials.

Image: View out a little back window, St. George's Library, Sheffield

I had received a very encouraging response from the Libraries in reply to my question about ILI resources, which emboldened me to take the 2-hour trip up. As promised, I was readily admitted to the library to use their materials (reference only). The St. George's Library is small for a university library, but there was a lot to choose from in the way of LIS books and journals, on both general and specific topics. Internet access and wifi in the building was limited to those associated with U Sheffield, so I worked old-school style: browsing the stacks, taking notes with pencil and paper, and digging through (gasp) bound copies of journals. It was a surprise to find Dewey in use at a university library, as all the universities I've visited in the States use LC, but I am much better at Dewey, so it was a good surprise. As an online student accustomed to finding all my materials online, it took a conscious effort to switching gears from online searching to shelf searching, but flipping around in paper books turned out to be quite comforting. I also got a lot of help from the employee at the Information desk. He got a gold star for giving bang-on directions to materials in stacks on another floor, another for being quite polite (not a prerequisite for desk work in any country, I've been sorry to find), and a third for wearing a plaid shirt. I do love plaid shirts.

Best of all, I found plenty of information to get me on the right track with the rest of my research!

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