NDSU librarians are happy to help you track down that citation, find that book, or show you how to search a new database. We also do much more and enjoy, more than anything, working one-on-one with students, faculty, staff, and our community on in-depth research questions. We help with a wide variety of needs, tracking down not just traditionally academic resources like journal articles and books, but also government information, statistics, trade publications, images, archival sources, industry standards, company information, and much more.
For National Library Week, we would like to share some of NDSU librarians’ most memorable and challenging reference experiences. We take great pride and pleasure in helping you find what you need so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your subject librarian.
“Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?” This question was posed through our IM chat service. Using Google, I came across a Reddit thread discussing this very question. One of the responses included a quote from the book Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burrows. To confirm the quote was accurate, I found a digital copy of the book on the Internet Archive. The Reddit thread did not include a page number so I searched the book using a phrase from the quote, and was able to provide an answer straight from the source.
- Nicole Juve, Agricultural Sciences Librarian
A professor was looking into establishing supportive partnerships with hospitals in developing countries. Reliable information about the state of their facilities and equipment was difficult to find so we turned to blogs. Visiting doctors from other countries would often blog about their experiences at these hospitals including images or descriptions of the equipment. The blogs allowed us to provide the professor with information about what resources the hospitals had available, so as to predict what additional support would be most helpful.
- Robert Correll, Sciences Librarian
A North Dakota veteran needed an aerial photograph of the air force base he was stationed at in a Southeast Asian country to confirm he was exposed to Agent Orange. While I was able to find declassified government documents confirming Agent Orange was used at the base, I was unable to find a photo. I decided to tackle it from the Southeast Asian side and found the country’s air force museum website. I emailed them to ask if they could help. They sent me a scan of the photo needed the next day.
- Beth Twomey, Head, Research and Instruction
A researcher in the Netherlands working on an Encyclopedic Dictionary of Bagpipe Terminology was following up on a reference from a general encyclopedia of instruments which referred to the bagpipe in Bulgaria as a rouchalo or ruchilo. He thought that seemed incorrect because that is the term for the drone. I checked an older edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians for him to see if this was the case. It turns out the encyclopedia of instruments was wrong and the Grove Dictionary had correctly referred to the drone as the rouchalo or ruchilo and the bagpipe as the gayda.
- Lisa Eggebraaten, Humanities Librarian
Students needed to find newspaper coverage related to U.S. Presidential Summits in order to examine similarities and differences in U.S. and international news coverage of these important events. We worked together to develop targeted search strategies in LexisNexis and ProQuest Newsstand, and gathered articles from newspapers in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, China, and Africa.
- Jylisa Doney, Social Sciences Librarian
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