Where did I put my dunce cap?

Have you ever been told something and in that exact moment you are wondering how it is possible that you ever lacked this information. You wonder if you really did in fact know this information. You convince yourself that you must have been aware of this nugget of knowledge, even though you know deep down that you really had no clue. I’ve been a student here at U of T for nearly four years. In that time I have been enrolled in approximately sixteen classes. Each of these classes, except for one,  was accessible via Portal. Just put this in you back pocket for a moment while I explain what it is I’m writing about. Last week in one of my classes my Prof. led us to the library for a research seminar with a librarian. This is at least the tenth time I’ve attended  one of these seminars. I always enter the experience a little suspicious that there is anything about the journal search engines that I have not already been told. Yet, every time I am pleased to leave the seminar with a new skill in researching. Last week, I was perhaps a little more short-tempered than usual…bogged down with essays and fast approaching mid-terms I really didn’t feel like attending another research seminar. I can humbly say that I am so happy that I went. Mid-way through this particular research seminar the librarian mentioned the library resources tab on Blackboard. Remember a few lines ago I mentioned how many courses I’ve had on Blackboard…take that out of your back pocket and now integrate it I know this little tale. Okay so I was like, “ya, I know that tab. It’s useless. It’s empty or it just takes you to the Library homepage.” Ya. No. Unbeknownst to me this tab is actually useful. How did I not know this? It is possible that at some point in my first year I clicked on the Library resources tab for one of my courses and it was empty. It might even be possible that this tab wasn’t active on all my courses. Whatever the case I had no clue how very amazing the contents of this tab are. Apparently, when a Prof sets up their course they are able to request customized course specific library sources under the Library Tools Tab. I’m four years in people. I’ve spent four years fumbling through journal databases for specific subject content. I could have been using this tab for four years! I felt like a fool. I really felt like the kid in the corner with the dunce cap! Well live and learn…right? I don’t know how many of you out there in the U of T universe are aware of this function on Blackboard. If you are then, stop judging me and if you aren’t then you’re welcome. I’m not a statistician, but I can confidently confirm that this little tab has cut the time I spend researching by at least 25%. So I implore you...go to Blackboard and click on this tab. If you have a proactive instructor he will have customized this tab for you. Happy Essay writing people. -Lori

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