When we work with rapidly evolving technologies, people may wonder why libraries still exist, since all knowledge appears to be at their fingertips. Here is an overview of the role of an academic library such as the one at ETS, which is alive and well in 2017!
The ETS library (French language site) exists to support the academic and intellectual activities of students, professors and staff by:
- offering specialized literature,
- assisting Internet users to become as efficient as possible,
- helping to demystify the world of scientific communication,
- providing an environment conducive for individual and team work.
This mediating role between ubiquitous information of varying quality and a researcher’s precise questions is more essential today.
So much information, so little time
First, recall that the library staff are the ones who carefully select and acquire all the resources offered by the library, including:
- databases indexing hundreds of thousands of scientific papers published in Engineering;
- the growing collections of electronic books and handbooks;
- and, of course, books and magazines located in the stacks.
Then, to ensure all this knowledge is within the reach of the users, facilities must be set up and maintained. Previously, an adequate classification system placed physical documents in the stacks located where we would expect to find them. Today, we must also ensure that access to the library’s electronic resources is effortless, including making the Library’s website (French language site) a gateway to the existing literature. As we strive to make the process as smooth as possible, our users will often access online resources through a library subscription without even realising it! For example, when you search using Google, and you find a scientific paper in full, there is a good chance that the access was provided to you by a library.
Navigation Help: Training Workshops and Personalized Assistance
Through the practice of librarian science, we get to know fairly well the best engineering information sources and how to access them effectively. Thus, the role of the library is to make these available to students and researchers and enable them to use these sources to their full potential.
This is why we provide training workshops on methods and research tools (some of which are mandatory) and optional workshops for those who want to know more. These courses may be on methodologies (search, find, evaluate information), on information organisation (software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Diigo), on research tools (Compendex, IEEE, Web of science) or collaborative tools (conceptual diagrams and alert monitoring tools). In addition, librarians and technicians are always available to answer users’ questions from the simplest to the most complex in person, by phone, by email and even instant messaging (French language site).
Support for Scientific Publishing Activities
One of the recent and growing roles of academic libraries is support for scientific publication. Librarians are well informed on the process of scholarly communication and can help researchers and students select the best journal in which to publish their work, avoid pitfalls, make their papers freely available, and maximise visibility on the web and publication impact. Contact us for personalized assistance!
Friendly Spaces for Work and Study
Finally, although increasingly more intellectual activities are performed in front of a computer monitor, it is still necessary to find the perfect place to sit comfortably in front of it. The ETS Library offers desks in quiet or chat areas, armchairs, teamwork rooms, collaborative work rooms, and the “Espace 3C”, a room dedicated to creativity and collaboration. None of these spaces seems ideal for your academic work? Feel free to tell us what we can do to accommodate you!
Soon in Substance ÉTS
In the coming weeks, Substance ETS will offer guidance you need from librarians to learn about:
- how to start your research and what are the best research tools;
- how to make the most of the facilities and technological tools found on site at the library;
- how to choose the best journal for one’s article.