The beloved institution of the Albert S. Cook library is a prominent fixture on our campus. You probably know it most fondly as the place you watch the sunrise during finals week or by the wooden study cubbies you carve your frustration into. But the studying struggle needs no longer to be solitary, Cook library is a vibrant hub of knowledge and educational interactions—and it’s time for you to start engaging in it.
The library offers a variety of resources to take advantage of that can help relieve the stress of a large looming research paper, or a rushed frantic morning assignment. No matter what kind of student you are, and what situations you find yourself in, here is how Cook Library is the perfect place for you to accomplish all of your goals.
The Nervous Student: You have a huge research project due at the end of the semester, and it wasn’t exactly on your radar for the first month. Now your professor is bringing it up again and it may be a good time to actually start. The only problem is: How?
If you know the course subject—you know where to start. On the library’s home page, click on the subject gateways tab on the search box. Once you select your course discipline, it will take you to research databases that are relevant to that subject.
So you’ve retreated back into your wooden cubby, but you’re still a little lost about the research process. Keep an eye out for students in bright gold shirts walking around and be sure to flag them down. These are the members of Cook’s A-LIST, student research assistants that will come to you to answer any research questions you may have. Remember, if you don’t see an A-LIST student, you can always visit the Research Help desk.
If you and your librarian find the best article that matches your topic precisely, but it’s only available at another school. Since you still have a decent amount of time until it’s due, you can use interlibrary loan (http://cooklibrary.towson.edu/ill.cfm). When you make an interlibrary loan request, the school that has the article will email it to you so you can read it and use it in your paper. Interlibrary loan is available for books too, but if the book is available at another public Maryland university, you simply need to press the request button in the catalog or in OneSearch. When you turn in your paper at the end of the semester it will be filled with perfect sources that every other student in the class did not even knew existed.
The Procrastinating Student: your professor may have mentioned the research paper a couple (hundred) times but you never thought the due date would come. Well, it did and it’s due tomorrow. The clock is clicking down, how do you pull it off?
Cook library’s website has a great tool for when you’re racing the clock. Type your topic into the search box on the main page. Cook’s OneSearch tool instantly retrieves articles and books related to your subject. Just one search will look in many of the library’s resources at the same time, because frankly, you just don’t have time for individual databases.
Having trouble getting your search words right and still not finding what you need? Well you don’t have time for a full blown appointment with a librarian, but luckily for you there are still ways to contact one. You can always stop by the Research Help desk, but if don’t want to leave your computer or aren’t in the library, there are two resources available: IM chat and texting. Online chatting is available through the Cook library website (click on the “Ask a Librarian” button). Librarians will help you find sources and will give you search tips. If you’re too on-the-go to even sit down at a computer, you can text the librarians at 410-774-1398. This is a quick way to get basic questions answered when you are in a bind.
If you find a book you want that’s in the Cook Library stacks or just want to get out of your loud dorm room, you’ll be relieved to know that Cook is open until 2am Sunday through Thursday, and 24 hours during midterms and finals.
The Busy Student: You’re going to be on campus for a billion hours today and you have such a long list of things to accomplish. Where can you go in one stop to get everything done? Cook Library, obviously.
Need to print a paper for class? The new WEPA printing system allows you to print wirelessly to any of the systems through one of the library’s computers or your own. You can also select colored, black and white, and double-sided printing options.
Need to fax something? Copies Plus on the third floor will help you fax. They also have options for making copies all different kinds of ways, and printing if you only have cash.
Need to scan? Scanners are available free of charge on the first floor in the Student Computing Services lab. Photo copiers are also available; pay with either a credit card or your OneCard.
Have to fit in a meeting with a group for a project. Cubicles on the right side when you enter the 3rd floor are a perfect place to meet. There are plenty of chairs, a computer, and even dry erase boards to brainstorm on. If those are full, check out room 512 which has additional group computers and whiteboards.
Finally, some quiet time for you to get some studying done. Make sure you’re extra productive. At the back of the second floor (room 200C) is a quiet lounge where silence is assured.
No matter what kind of student you are, Cook Library has resources to make your life just a little bit easier. The successful student is our number one goal, so don’t ignore these valuable services any longer. Let the resources at the library help you achieve your highest grades yet!
Kelly Langford, Becca Hertl, and Conor Reynolds
Albert S. Cook Library Institute (A-LIST) Students.