- Don't re-invent the wheel: use others' work to fuel your own research
- Let your feet (and fingers) do the walking: physical browsing can be as good or better than electronic searching
- Schedule for serendipity: browsing the library stacks is one of the best ways to discover new resources
- Pulling books off the shelf and looking at the titles, tables of contents & indexes of adjacent books often leads to significant serendipitous discoveries.
- When retrieving a known book from the shelf never just pull the book you came for. Always look at (and IN) the books around it.**
- This allows library staff to retrieve it and make sure it gets put back in the right place. (misshelved books are often "lost" for years). Books are reshelved within 24 hours.
- We also keep track of which books are looked at or checked out in order to learn better what kinds of materials our customers are using (and focus on getting more of those kinds of materials in the future).
- Get to know bibliographic records. They are your friends
- Don't do it alone: Use library services (ILL, Librarians, Reference desks, Chat, etc.)
- Google is good (but only to a point)
- Start broadly then limit thoughtfully
- Use Union lists: learn what is "out there"
- Don't avoid library catalogs
- Don't forget about print resources
- Learning about the history of research in the subject and the relevant scholars is as important as (and is part of) researching the subject
- If you find what looks to be a promising source, don't give up on it
- Keep a good record of everything you look at (or at least everything you take notes from)
- Join academic listservs They are an invaluable resource (for now and later)
** If you have removed a book from the shelf, please DON'T put it back! Put it on a table nearby or even on the floor.