Posted by & filed under Events, Research Help.

Join the GSAs of Access Services on November 18th at 2pm US Central for our Virtual Workshop, “Know Your News: Evaluating Fake, Bias, and Fair Media Sources”.

In an era of Fake News, it can be difficult as an academic researcher to know which resources to trust. Join us for a workshop on how the library can not only connect you with reliable articles, newspapers, and magazines but also learn life-long strategies on how to determine trustworthy resources from the bad. Special guest is Journalism Subject Librarian Doug Campbell, who will be there to answer questions and discuss the role libraries play in teaching media literacy.

It’s sure to be an interesting discussion, so please register for the event here- https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bklc8RcSS4Jxsfr

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Sarah Diaz

The first step to writing a research paper is deciding what topic to focus on. If your professor has assigned a topic, you already know what you are going to research, but if the choice is up to you, you may be wondering where to begin. This can be a challenging process, but don’t panic! Here are some tips that can help you pick a great research topic:

A good way to get started is by brainstorming ideas. The Purdue OWL (n.d.) guide to choosing a topic describes the brainstorming process: start thinking about the research project, set a timer, and write down all ideas that occur to you. Then, examine the list to look for patterns or trends among the topic ideas. Not all ideas that come up in brainstorming will be viable, but it is a good first step to start generating possibilities.

When brainstorming ideas for a class project such as a research paper, I often start by thinking about why I chose to take the class and what I was hoping to learn. Is there something I still have questions about or would like to explore further? It’s also helpful to think about what issues you are aware of in the subjects you are studying. Research is described by the ACRL (2016) as a process of “inquiry” driven by “problems or questions” in the researcher’s field; current problems, trends, issues, or unresolved questions often make excellent topics. Finally, it can help to think about what topics you find most interesting. A topic you are genuinely curious to learn more about will be easier to stay engaged with throughout the research process.

Once you have done some brainstorming, the next step is to evaluate each potential topic. The Purdue OWL (n.d.) recommends looking for trends or repeated ideas that suggest a strong interest in a particular area. It is also important to pay close attention to any guidelines given by your instructor, and to think about the scope of the paper. A long paper assigned as a final project will likely need a broader topic than a short paper to be completed in a few weeks.

The library has resources that can help! Be sure to check out the subject and course guides. If there is a guide for your course, it may include more guidance about choosing a topic, locating sources, or other helpful information. Once you have a couple of ideas for research topics, a good next step is to start searching for potential sources on the library website. Find out what books or articles are available, and reach out to Ask Us or your Subject Librarian if you have questions or need help with this process.

Finally, be prepared to keep developing your topic as you do your research. As the Purdue OWL (n.d.) explains, “an initial topic that you come up with may not be the exact topic about which you end up writing”. The ACRL (2016) likewise encourages students to “value persistence, adaptability, and flexibility” in the research process. As you learn more about your topic, you may discover new ideas or questions you were not previously aware of, which will take your paper in a new direction. You may also discover that your topic needs to be narrowed down or broadened because there is too much or too little information available. This is not a bad thing! However, it is a good reason to start your research early. That way, if you need to modify your topic, you can do so well before the due date.

What are your favorite strategies for choosing a research topic? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to contact Ask Us if you need help with your research.

References:
ACRL. (2016). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Purdue OWL. (n.d.) Choosing a Research Topic. Purdue University. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/choosing_a_topic.html

Posted by & filed under Library Resources, Research Help.

Written by: Madison Brents Do virtual classes have you feeling disconnected from the university? As someone who has always taken primarily virtual classes, even before the pandemic, I understand how easy it is to be out-of-touch with academic life when you are not actually there. Fortunately, UNT Libraries has developed many resources just for virtual learners. Here is my list of ways I get the most out of the library… from home!

1. Discover Catalog (https://discover.library.unt.edu)
  • First, the library has recently unveiled the new and improved Discover Catalog. This new search system makes it easier to find the materials you need, and the faceted search allows you to sort results to those just available online (meaning you can use them anywhere). And it’s not just books! Here you can find research articles, stream movies or music (check out the Reese Witherspoon in Wild or listen to music by Elton John), and of course, you will find e-books (I’ve been reading American Gods).
2. Virtual Research Consultations (https://library.unt.edu/subject-librarians/)
  • Struggling to find resources using the online catalog? Just want some research tips? The Subject Librarians are here to help! Each discipline has a librarian who is an expert on research in that field. Many are offering virtual research consultations, where they can help you find articles for your upcoming midterm or even just teach you tricks to make you a better overall researcher. Interested in this service? Find your Subject Librarian here and send them an e-mail with your research questions or to set up a virtual research consultation.
3. Lib Guides (https://guides.library.unt.edu/home)
  • Studying after library hours? The library has LibGuides to get you through a variety of topics. Need help with citations, creating an e-portfolio, or finding articles? There’s a LibGuide for that! There are even LibGuides for specific classes. If you are interested in learning more about LibGuides, check out our previous posts: https://blogs.library.unt.edu/scholar-speak/2019/05/03/unt-subject-course-guides
4. Free Textbooks
  • Can’t find a textbook (or trying to save money)? We have resources for you! In undergrad I rarely had to buy textbooks thanks to Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/). Now, HathiTrust is a personal favorite with its millions of free e-books (https://www.hathitrust.org/).
5. Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/)
  • While library resources are great, there are times Google Scholar comes in handy. If you are new to the academic research process, or struggling to find a particular article, this can be a great starting point. The best part is the library can help you get past those pesky paywalls by linking the two accounts together. Find instructions here: https://guides.library.unt.edu/c.php?g=69875&p=451912
6. Interlibrary Loan (https://guides.library.unt.edu/continuity/e-delivery)
  • Looking for an article, but the Library doesn’t own it? No worries! Through Interlibrary Loan we will electronically send you articles, or even a chapter from a book. To get started using this free service, create an account here- https://unt.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/logon.html
7. Ask Us (https://Library.unt.edu/ask-us/)
  • This semester will be busy enough, don’t do it alone. Questions about how to find peer-reviewed articles? Just want to know library hours or how to get a laptop? Just curious about LibGuides? Ask Us! We are happy to help by chat, text, e-mail, and phone.
What have you found most challenging about virtual learning? Any tips to share? Please let us know in the comments!

For More Scholar Speak posts on the above topics, check out:

Access to Library Resources for Distance Learning Students:
https://blogs.library.unt.edu/scholar-speak/2020/03/10/access-to-library-resources-for-distance-learning-students/

UNT Subject & Course Guides:
https://blogs.library.unt.edu/scholar-speak/2019/05/03/unt-subject-course-guides/

A Library Without Walls: Harnessing the Power of Interlibrary Loan:
https://blogs.library.unt.edu/scholar-speak/2019/02/24/a-library-without-walls-harnessing-the-power-of-interlibrary-loan/

Posted by & filed under Events.

Banned Books Week, which will take place September 27 – October 3 of this year, is described by the American Library Association (2020) as “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read”. Banned Books Week originated in the 1980s as a response to an increase in censorship and challenges to books. It is promoted by the ALA as well as several other organizations, and it has continued to the present day.

Banned Books Week recognizes both banned and challenged books. A book that has been challenged has been targeted for removal from a school or library, often due to its content; however, in most cases, the challenge will not be successful, and the book remains available. If a book is banned, this means that the challenge was successful, and the book was removed. The ALA’s website states that, although most challenges do not result in a book being banned, “part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available” (ALA, 2020).

To celebrate Banned Books Week, test your knowledge about banned and challenged books with our trivia quiz! When you finish the quiz, you can choose a favorite banned book for a mad libs-style activity. The quiz can be found at https://unt.libwizard.com/f/bannedbooktrivia and will remain available for the rest of the Fall 2020 semester.

What is your favorite banned book? Let us know in the comments!

References
American Library Association. (2020). Banned Books Week (September 27 – October 3, 2020). http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned

Posted by & filed under Library Resources, Research Help.

Written By: Scholar Speak Team
As aspiring researchers, there is a lot we want to learn about Scholarly Communication. So, we brainstormed our most pressing questions regarding Scholarly Communication and sent them to the Library’s Scholarly Communication Librarian, John Martin. John was more than happy to answer our questions and encouraged anyone who had questions or needed help with a publication project to reach out to him at John.Martin@unt.edu.

Below is what he had to say:

For those new to the process, do you have any tips on how we start researching? How do we know what to research? 

If you mean doing research in your areas of study or work, then I recommend always starting with your strongest interests or significant questions in your field. These may come out of your coursework, your job duties, projects you’ve worked on, or things you’ve been reading about. Pay attention to what other researchers or practitioners in your field are writing and talking about. See what questions they’re asking, what research has already been done, and what gaps remain to be filled. Read journal articles, attend conference panels or talks in your field, join a professional organization (or at least browse their websites). These can provide lots of ideas for new research, but ultimately, you have to pursue questions that interest you.

The key components of any research you hope to publish are these:
1. What are your research questions? What are you trying to understand, analyze, explain, argue, or demonstrate through empirical evidence or persuasive argument? Your questions should be relevant to your field of study and address the needs of other researchers, practitioners, or students. This is the Why of your research.

2. What is your methodology/approach? Are you gathering and analyzing new data, working with existing data from previous studies, using case studies, interviews, reviewing the literature on a topic, offering an original (qualitative) argument, explaining a project or process in your workplace, etc? This is the How of your research.

3. Who is your audience? Other researchers in your field, librarians, other professionals, students, the general public? This will help determine what kind of journal you want to aim for and what kind of methods and analysis you’ll need to explain your topic. This is the Who of your research.

If your original question was about researching publication venues, you might start by checking out our Increase Your Scholarly Impact guide, specifically the section called “Consider Your Publication Options” for a list of questions to ask yourself as you begin looking at options, and some links to resources for investigating particular journals or publishers. You’re also welcome to talk to me (john.martin@unt.edu) or a subject librarian in your areas of interest for more ideas on finding publication venues. Your faculty advisors or library supervisors and mentors are also a good source for finding leads.

Where should we look for calls for proposals? 
The best place to find calls for submissions to journals is on the journal sites themselves. Some journals have calls for specific topics or special issues; others just have a general “Submissions” tab that explains how to submit articles to the journal. Generally, these are open submissions, meaning that they can be on any topic that falls within the journal’s scope (see their “About” page). It’s usually not necessary to submit a proposal, but rather, you submit complete articles, which the editor will review for fit or scope. The article should follow the submission and author guidelines that are available on the site. If you’re unsure about whether your article idea fits with the journal before you start writing, you can always send the editor an email to inquire. Let them know that you’re an early career researcher, that you’re starting on a new article project, and that you want more information on the types of work that the journal is interested in (if that isn’t already clear from their About page or their Submissions guidelines).

Calls for book chapters or articles that will be part of a published collection are often disseminated via listservs, newsgroups, or social media pages hosted by professional organizations, publishers, or the editors of the volume. Following or subscribing to a few of these in your areas of interest is a good idea.

If you’re looking for Calls for Proposals for conference papers, posters, roundtables, or other events, there are a number of options: You can check the websites of the hosting organizations (look for an “Events” or “Conferences” tab), follow their social media pages, or subscribe to a listserv of organizations that you belong to. Besides the major library organizations like ALA, the ACRL, the TLA, etc., you can also follow or join more discipline-specific organizations or those that represent particular segments of the library profession. See this page for a list of library professional organizations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_library_associations

Do you recommend any resources on how to write more… scholarly?  
In fact, we have a Scholarly Writing Guide specifically for that! There are a number of resources there for developing your writing both generally and for academic and professional writing. You might start with a couple of the shorter articles on this page, and then decide what aspects of your writing need further development with some of the books or other resources listed on that guide. There’s also a page on that guide about getting published.

How do we design a poster, and represent the info well in a small space?
I’m not a real expert on poster-design, since I don’t come from a discipline (English) that frequently uses posters at academic conferences. But library conferences do often feature posters, so I’ve now been inspired by this question to add a tab to our Scholarly Writing Guide specifically on posters and conference papers! It may take me a couple of weeks to get that up and accessible, but here are a few beginning resources you might consult: How to Create a Research Poster: Poster Basics (NYU Libraries)  Design Guide: Academic Posters (UNC Libraries) Creating Scholarly Posters in PowerPoint (UCSD Libraries)

Are there any academic journals that publish just graduate students? (the big journals seem so intimidating!) 

There are, in fact, a lot of academic journals specifically for graduate students and early career professionals, though almost all scholarly journals will accept graduate student work if it’s of the quality that they’re looking for. Many journals will indicate this in their Author or Submission guidelines, and that’s a good sign that they’re open to work that’s still in development or at an early stage. A lot of newer journals, “niche” journals (those on specialized topics), and Open Access journals are very open to early-career work. Journals that utilize “open” peer review or “formative/developmental” review are also likely to work with new scholars who may need more feedback or revision suggestions.

By “big journals”, you probably mean the more prestigious or highly-ranked journals in some fields that can be very competitive. This is true whether or not you’re a graduate student or early-career researcher! So it’s probably best not to start with those kinds of journals your first time out. Get a couple of publications under your belt, learn how to go through the writing, peer review, and revision process, and develop a project that you feel is strong enough to submit to a major journal. Don’t get discouraged if it’s rejected or sent back for revision, as this is common even for experienced researchers.

Do you have any books you recommend for graduate students new to the whole process? 
There are a number of books listed on the Scholarly Writing Guide that might be useful. Wayne Booth’s The Craft of Research is a classic on doing serious academic research & writing, though some of the information may be a bit dated. Wendy Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks might be useful for some more practical tips specifically on writing for journals. There’s also a short video on that guide that might be worth watching for an overview of the journal submission process.

Has the digital age brought on any new trends with Scholarly Communication that are worth pursuing? Like with social media and blogs?
Absolutely. There’s been no greater change or challenge to the whole system of scholarly communication than that brought about by digital technologies. It’s worth reading the ACRL’s short white paper, “Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication” (2003) for a statement of how that technology, and many of the legal and technical questions it raises (especially about access, dissemination, and control), have impacted the way with think about scholarly communication, especially in libraries. Social media and blogs are two of the ways that scholarly work now gets disseminated, as are online scholarly profiles, web-pages, listservs, repositories, and databases, but we’re just beginning to discover what effects they have on things like “impact”, citations, and bibliometrics (all the ways that we measure how scholarly work is read, cited, and used). Scholars have, to some extent, become principal promoters of their own work in ways that were once relegated to publishers, professional societies, or institutions. That means we have more direct control over how our work gets shared and used, but also more responsibility for making it accessible, relevant, and useful to our audiences.

What was your first experiences like with Scholarly Communication? 
Like many of you, I never really thought about engaging in scholarly publications until graduate school, and even then, we weren’t under the kind of pressure to start publishing at such an early stage that many students are now. There were no publication requirements when I earned either my Ph.D. or my MLS, and the first time I had any expectation of publishing was when I entered my first full-time, tenure-track job. While still in grad school, I did participate in conferences, so my first experiences were delivering papers at scholarly conferences. For me, these were literary conferences where we typically deliver a 15-20 minute paper, often just read directly from a written copy, on a panel of 2-3 other people. Then there would be a Q&A session afterward. The first time I did so was at an International Poe Conference with two other people, both big-name scholars in the field. Needless to say, I was terrified and intimidated! But both of them, and the audience, were very kind, supportive, and generous in offering me suggestions and ideas for developing my research, so it ended up being a good experience.

Only when I became a librarian did I attend conferences where reading a paper aloud on a panel wasn’t the main mode of delivery. Slide presentations, videos, posters, roundtables, free-form discussions, workshops, and technological demonstrations were all new to me! I’m still learning how to do some of these things effectively or comfortably.

In terms of publishing, I began like many people do with short pieces: book reviews, encyclopedia entries, short articles in niche journals related to topics I had previously researched. I mined my dissertation for my first couple of articles and published a book chapter on pedagogy (“teaching horror”). Since becoming a librarian, I’ve published a couple of chapters or short articles on scholarly communication topics—careers, creating a journal—but also continued working in my subject areas with a recent chapter on Poe and another article on comics studies in progress. One of the advantages of working in libraries, I think, is that we aren’t bound by particular disciplinary practices or subject matter. We can publish on library-related topics or anything related to the many disciplines and curricula that we support in the library. Creative work like exhibits, performances, curatorial work, editing, and pedagogical work can also count as “scholarly activity”, depending on your institution’s guidelines.  

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Utsav Ranjit

This Scholar Speak post is the inspiration for the upcoming event “Speaking with Scholars on Scholarly Publishing”. Please join us Thursday (07/16) at 2pm to hear about our experiences with submitting proposals for grants, posters, columns, and exchange tips for getting through the process as a student scholar. Come to ask questions, exchange tips, and commiserate with your peers on how intimidating the whole process can be.

Register for the event at: https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eFi0no9u31LOfaZ

Photo of a typewriter.
A close up of a typewriter by Pereanu Sebastian licensed under Unsplash

The process of writing a scholarly work can be arduous. Not to discourage you, scholars, out there, but the process of publishing your work can be equally cumbersome. Thankfully, the UNT Libraries have resources and a dedicated subject librarian who can guide you through the process of getting work published! I attended one of the workshops on scholarly publishing conducted by the Scholarly Communication Librarian at UNT, John Edward Martin. From the workshop, I learned there are quite a few things that you should consider when planning to publish your scholarly work. There are various forms of scholarly work, but this post will focus on journal articles.

According to the handout provided by Martin (2019), one of the first things to consider when publishing a scholarly article is selecting a journal. You need to know or find out as much as you can about the journals and publishers with whom you want to share your work. This is important because journals tend to be discipline-specific and selecting the appropriate journal ensures that your work reaches your target audience, since different journals and publishers have different target audiences, for instance, students, researchers, internal staff, etc. To help you find the most appropriate publishing opportunities, you can use online periodical directories, like UlrichsWeb, Cabell’s Scholarly Analytics, and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Additionally, information such as editorial policies, especially peer review type, turnaround time, and the terms of their copyright/publication agreement should also be considered when selecting a journal as these factors govern the length of the publishing process and, more importantly, the author’s rights. UNT Libraries’ Copyright Advisory Services can help you review a publisher’s agreement and request specific rights you want to retain. You can also contact editors with specific questions regarding requirements and policies if they are not clear to you from the outset. There are also resources such as Think Check Submit checklist or COPE guidelines that you can consult if you have doubts about the quality or practices of a particular journal.

Once you’ve identified the journal, the second step is the submission. Different journals have their respective submission process, but most of the submissions are done through online submission forms. Journals have author guidelines and submission guidelines that outline the requirements for a submission to be accepted. These guidelines can include instructions on use of required citation style, preference for footnotes or endnotes, section headings, use of keywords, writing an abstract, image formats, fonts, and so forth. Submissions are often anonymized, so it is suggested not to put your name on anything but the cover sheet/submission form unless requested. Additionally, the author is also responsible for securing written permissions for any materials not covered under ‘fair use’.

After the requirements have been met and the work is submitted, it is reviewed by an editor or a team of editors, which is usually not anonymous. The editor(s) accept or reject the submission for peer review. The peer-review process takes longer than an editorial review, somewhere around 2-6 months. The peer-review process is usually “double-blind”, which means that both the reviewer and the author are kept anonymous from each other. But it can also be “single-blind”, in which the reviewers are kept anonymous to the author, “open”, in which author and reviewers both know each other’s names, and may correspond during the review process or, “community”, in which the comments or reports of the review are shared on a community forum consisting of members of that scholarly community. Very rarely is the submission accepted as is. The most common case is the author being asked to revise and resubmit the work based on the reviewers’ reports. Sometimes the editors may suggest submitting the work elsewhere, to a better-suited journal. After assessing the work to address the reviewers’ comments and meeting the revision deadline, the work is considered accepted. During this process of revision and acceptance, the author should also consider the publication agreement/contract with the journal. UNT’s Copyright Advisory Services can offer some insight pertaining to this as mentioned earlier. Then, the editor provides a copyedited and typeset draft for final proofreading to the author to double-check before publication.

Because of the digital nature of much scholarly publishing, ‘authors are increasingly involved in promoting, disseminating, and archiving their work’ (Martin, 2019). For this purpose, the UNT Digital Libraries provides digital repository services. Authors can submit their work to UNT Scholarly Works to be hosted in the UNT Digital Library. Additionally, UNT Libraries also provide a central archive, UNT Data Repository, for any research datasets that the authors use in their work, which can be linked to the articles in Scholarly Works. Both repositories provide unique identifiers and persistent URLs that make the work easy to cite and share on other platforms.

Do you have an article ready to publish? Check library resources like Scholarly Writing Guide and Scholarly Impact Guide. Reach out to UNT Libraries Scholarly Publishing Services to help with your publication needs. If you have any questions about the UNT Libraries Scholarly Publishing Services, feel free to Ask Us or contact John Martin, our Scholarly Communication Librarian directly.

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

Reference
Martin, J. (2019). The scholarly publication process [Workshop handout]. UNT Libraries Scholarly Communication Office, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Posted by & filed under Events, Research Help.

Scholar Speak Blog Logo
Scholar Speak is going virtual this summer! The GSAs from Access Services will be hosting two student-to-student sessions providing useful tips, tricks, and trivia to sharpen your research skills.

The event for June, Google it! How to Google like a Scholar, is to be held on Wednesday, June 17th at 1pm. Come and join our virtual scavenger hunt to learn more about research using library resources vs Google. Our Scholar Speak student experts will provide practical advice on when to use Google and the library to conduct research, as well as share tricks for how to combine the powers of Google with the UNT Libraries to boost your research skills.

The event for July, Speaking with Scholars on Publishing, is to be held on Thursday, July 16th at 2pm. It focuses on Scholarly Publishing as Graduate Students. Join the GSAs of Scholar Speak to learn more about the process of scholarly publication. We will talk about our experiences with submitting proposals for grants, posters, columns, and exchange tips for getting through the process as a student scholar. Come to ask questions, exchange tips, and commiserate with your peers on how intimidating the whole process can be.

Use the link below to register these two wonderful events or contact us at AskUs for more information: https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eFi0no9u31LOfaZ 

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written By: Emily Akers

Electronic reserves, or e-reserves, are just like print course reserves, which Angela Whitfield describes in Clearing the Air About Course Reserves. They are course materials that the instructor has designated as required reading for their class. The only difference is that they are accessed online and often only contain small portions of a book as opposed to the entire text. This option makes course material easily accessible to students.

But did you know that in some cases, if you use an e-reserve which says print or view, you can have it read out loud to you? Willis Library Access Services is piloting a new accessibility initiative for our electronic reserves in which the material undergoes an extra editing process before it is uploaded to the library website. This editing process not only allows the documents to become text readable, but it also enables the document to be read in “logical reading order.” This means that the flow of the reading carries on in the same way in which a person would logically read through a document. This is not necessarily the order in which the document displays the information. For example, if a paragraph is broken up by a picture, the logical reading order would, if possible, allow the paragraph to read all the way through before indicating that there is a picture, instead of stopping the paragraph in the middle to announce the presence of a picture. It also excludes extraneous information such as interrupting the reading flow with running headers or page numbers. Additionally, along with the reading order, this editing process tags each piece of the document, indicating whether each section is a heading, subheading, text, figure, or other elements.

All you need to do to access this feature is to click on an electronic reserve which says print or view, which indicates that it is a pdf scanned by the library. Then log in with your EUID and password, and the course password provided by your instructor. Then download the document and open it again in Adobe Acrobat DC. Once you are in Adobe Acrobat DC, you can click View in the top left-hand corner, scroll down to “Read out loud” and then choose “Read to the end of document.” The document should begin reading immediately. While the document is reading, you also have the option to choose “pause,” “stop,” or “read this page only.”

a screenshot of Read out loud option selected under View menu option

Screenshot from Adobe Acrobat DC by Emily Akers

This pilot initiative is a great way to expand accessibility within the library, especially in regards to course material. Please take advantage of this feature if listening instead of reading aids your studies in any way.
For more information on this topic, please email us at AskUs@unt.edu or contact Reserves Manager Emily Akers directly at Emily.Akers@unt.edu

Will this library service benefit you? We would love to hear about your experience. Comment below!

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Finals week is around the corner as the semester draws closer to the end. Take a break from studying and join us for some fun activities to de-stress. The GSAs from Access Services will be hosting a virtual brunch this Saturday, May 2, from 12 pm to 4 pm. This event features a trivia competition, origami, a caption the library’s photos contest, and coloring. Bring your brunch/lunch and enjoy it!

Looking for more information or have questions? Contact us at AskUs.

Flyer for Fun before Finals brunch using zoom

Posted by & filed under Library Resources, Research Help.

Written By: Scholar Speak Team

As a part of UNT’s evolving response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the UNT library is committed to helping faculty and students to access the resources and services they need for their teaching and learning. The drastic change for the AskUs team is moving to provide virtual reference services only to library users via email, texting, and live chat. Just use AskUs to let us know your needs. During this challenging time, Student Engagement Librarian, Jenn, and the AskUs team would like to share their challenges and tips to adapt to such a new lifestyle change.

Jenn
Perhaps the most striking difference for me and the hardest to overcome is the new realness I feel for the digital divide. The divide was something of an abstract concept to me before the pandemic. I had an awareness of the impact of income inequality on education from my experiences working with low income and rural students at UNT and other academic libraries. But that knowledge seems vague and cloudy compared to the piercingly clear picture I have now.
Those who relied on the library to bridge the divide were certainly there but safely in my peripheral. Their basic needs were met with our library services and materials, so I only really “saw” them as the faces of those I helped each day and the numbers in our annual reports. Now, they have my full attention as we all struggle to face the awful truth that we could not keep them from being swallowed by the divide. It is unsettling for me to be in a position where I can no longer help everyone. My only hope is that we use this new awareness of the digital divide to remake our libraries into centers of learning that are truly accessible for all students.
Anima
Adapting to a new lifestyle, working remotely, and taking full-time online classes has been a challenge. To remain focused, motivated, and stay home. Here are some tips that I am trying my best to follow:
  • To eat right and stay healthy, which has helped me to stay focused and make the college experience more productive.
  • Know what my resources are and develop an appropriate plan.
  • Develop new hobbies such as gardening, sketching, cooking, and still looking for more.
Lastly, a motto: “You can still make something beautiful and something powerful out of a really bad situation.” by Gabe Grunewald.
Sarah
I live in a tiny studio apartment, so as I’m sure you can imagine, suddenly having to spend all my work, school, and leisure time at home has been a challenge. One thing I was already doing before which has become even more important in the past few weeks is to set aside different spaces for different activities. I try to always eat in my kitchen area, work and study at my desk, etc. This makes it easier to follow a routine, focus on my work when I need to, and fully relax during my free time. Creating that separation also helps to make the small space feel bigger, which is much-needed right now.
Frances
I’ve slowly adapted to this new lifestyle of doing everything at home by trying to create a sense of normalcy through the routine. This mainly involves sticking to healthy habits such as cleaning my space regularly and cooking full meals. Mentally, reminding myself that I still have school and work responsibilities and that I’m lucky to be able to stay home pushes me to take care of myself. When being at home all day inevitably gets boring, I look for excitement in activities such as exploring new recipes or doing puzzles. Even simple tasks like rearranging my desk or bookshelf can be an adventure. In times of uncertainty, I often feel like I’ve lost track of time, but I find comfort and reality in these routine tasks and new hobbies.
Utsav
I am the kind of person who prefers staying home even during breaks but having to stay home for classes and work has been a challenge. This may be because the choice of actually going outside has been stripped away as it is rather unsafe. It has been challenging to focus on studies and work from home, where I usually just de-stress and play videogames. To remain productive and keep a sense of normalcy while staying home all day, I follow a routine to ensure both study and work time are well managed. Things that have helped me during this situation are talking to my mom on the phone and having her walk me through her recipes while I miserably fail to recreate her dishes, learning to play guitar and of course, playing videogames!
Hui-Yu
Here are my personal tips to effectively study or work from home during the COVID-19 crisis. First, have a dedicated workspace in the home to help avoid distractions. Even if you live in a small apartment, it can be a corner of a living room or bedroom. Second, create a to-do list and prioritize tasks to remain focused and help with procrastination. In addition, taking short breaks is a great way to refresh yourself during the long work/study day. I usually use my break time to do a house chore. It is a good way to help myself reduce stress. At the end of the day, I video call my family back home and cook for the next day. Last and the most importantly, keep your spirits up!
Madison
The most challenging aspect of this change has been trying to balance working remotely, completing homework, and helping my toddler understand why mom has to work sometimes. This is what has helped me deal with the situation.
  • Communication- As someone who has never submitted an assignment late, it has been difficult to let my professors know that I need an extension. I have always worked to maintain a balance between my professional life and my parent life, so it has been difficult to now have my toddler yelling in the background of a Zoom meeting. I have pushed myself to communicate with my boss and professors about my situation and am fortunate that everyone is so understanding.
  • Staying in the moment-Since work-life and home-life have collided, I have found myself more often thinking about my kid at work and thinking about work when I am with my kid. This leads to me feeling like I am not doing either right. To combat this, I am trying to stay in the moment and focus at the task at hand. Though difficult, this has helped me.
I personally find it helpful to know I am not alone in this, and I hope other parents in this situation will find me sharing my experience helpful as well.

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