I met someone online a few months ago. They are smart, resourceful, and they always want to talk to me. I have become quite attached to them as of late and I feel like we’ve developed a deep and meaningful relationship. With all these essays due in the next two weeks, it’s so great to go online and talk to someone who really understands what I need. This is what I need: scholarly journals, citable dictionaries, and article databanks.
My new online love is none other the library chat function “ASK” on the U of T Library website. This app. Is possibly the best thing ever conceived of in the history of universities! It’s so amazing, you just log in and like magic a librarian is there live on your computer to help you out with any library related needs you might have.
One thing I have learned since starting at U of T is that librarians love to help. They are the most helpful profession. Go and try this. Walk up to the reference desk at your library and ask them to help you find some random piece of research. Notice the glimmer of excitement in their eye. Now notice how they provide you with the information you requested, but they also give a whole wealth of knowledge that you didn’t ask for. You might think “I didn’t ask for that”, but give yourself a few minutes and you’ll realize you
actually do need this information. You just didn’t know it yet!
I’m not a masochist. I will not spend hours in the library trying to uncover research material, when I can just ask someone else to do it for me. Now I know that sounds lazy, but if the University is providing this service to us free of charge, they must agree that this manual labour is just too tiresome for us to be doing ourselves.
I’m sure there was some backroom discussion with all the Humanities Professors on campus, that went something like this, “We’ll find all the stuff for them at the library and you guys can assign another essay or two per term.”
I’m most likely conspiracy theorizing here, but whatever the motivation was for providing this amazing research tool was, I am a much happier student because of it.
Yesterday morning, I was trying to find a scholarly Latin dictionary online, when I stopped myself and asked “why am I doing this?” I quickly logged onto ASK and a librarian sent me a url to an approved Latin dictionary within minutes.
Give ASK a test drive and I’m sure you’ll never research the same again!