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Library speed date

Top five tips for students using the Queen Elizabeth II Library

special feature: Back to school

Part of a special feature coinciding with the beginning of a new academic year at Memorial University.


By Kristine Power

Navigating the Queen Elizabeth II Library, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest academic libraries, can seem overwhelming.

This is particularly true if you are juggling a multitude of  new experiences, places and people as a first-year student. Writer Joan Bauer said, “When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian.”

Knowing the library and understanding its services can help you achieve your future academic success, which is why we asked some experts in the library and its commons staff to share a few tips and tricks with you. Have a look at the photo essay below.

1/ Finding what you need in the catalogue

“OneSearch is the search box you’ll see on the library’s home page," said Alison Ambi, science research liaison librarian. "You can find lots of books and articles using OneSearch, but you won’t find everything we have. If you need to find articles for a specific subject, you will often find more in a specialized database. From the library homepage under the “Research” tab, click “Databases” and then select your subject to see your best database options. If you need help searching a database, stop by the research help desk to consult the pros.”

Photo: Chris Hammond

2/ Late night paper panic

“Citing sources correctly is a critical component to academic scholarship and it can be incredibly confusing for you to shift between the various styles depending on your course work," said Dr. Kathryn Rose, humanities research liaison librarian. "We created how-to YouTube citation videos with step-by-step instructions on each major citation style so you can access them anytime from anywhere.”

Photo: Chris Hammond

3/ Avoid stress by reserving material ahead of time

“Don’t wait until the last minute to check out reserve material at Lending Services," said Donna Norman, supervisor of lending services. "Everyone will want to read the chapter or book before a test or paper, so the earlier you request it the better. And don’t wait until the last minute to sign out an individual or group study room either. They can be signed out up to three days in advance and as the term gets busier, rooms tend to get signed out early in the day and are harder to obtain. Book early and don’t be disappointed.”

Photo: Chris Hammond

4/ Free stuff at The Commons

"The Commons is your collaborative digital and study space," said Nathan Peckham, at The Commons. "You have free access to software and multimedia resources like Office 365 through The Commons. And the Digital Media Centre on the main floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Library offers you free access to Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), as well as multimedia hardware such as cameras, recording equipment and a green screen."

Photo: Chris Hammond

5/ Resources for students with disabilities

"The Commons offers resources for students with disabilities," said Rachael Brown at The Commons. "There is a private study room equipped with ergonomic options and a height-adjustable desk and ergonomic chairs, as well as assistive technology software (Kurzweil 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Inspiration). There is also an iPad, Smart Pen, magnifier and handheld scanner that is available for use."

Photo: Chris Hammond

The Queen Elizabeth II Library is an important part of your academic journey. Visit, email, ask questions through live chat or visit the website.


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