Are you a grad student (or the type of undergrad who reads the grad college blog) looking for a new favorite library? Are you looking for a place where you can get help with pretty much any problems involving data, technology, and finding ways of doing research better? Does any of the following sound like your life right now:
- ArcGIS has you feeling lost?
- Interested in finding ways to let more people use that research you spent so much time and blood sweat and tears on?
- Looking for a place where you can work with a scanner, OCR, and Photoshop to digitize materials for your research?
- Want to use something better than Excel to conduct statistical analyses?
- Feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities for research that open up when computers can read thousands of books in the time it takes to go from here to Espresso Royale to grab a snack?
- Trying to get some feedback on your data management plan before you send it off to the program officers at NSF or NIH?
- Want to beef up your business plan and get an edge on the competition by incorporating census and other government data?
- Wondering if the website you created is actually as user-friendly and accessible as you intended?
- Want to bring the past back to life by displaying your archival findings in an online exhibit?
- Still puzzled over whether the HathiTrust logo looks more like an elephant or a particularly exotic scorpion?
You’re in luck. Visit Scholarly Commons Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or online anytime.
The Scholarly Commons is located on the third floor of the Main Library, across from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (seriously, take a look at a Sumerian tablet or a Shakespeare folio before you leave this place), the Lincoln Library (in case you forgot you were in Illinois), and down the hall from International Area Studies Library (their North Korean Children’s Literature collection is a must even if the only Korean you know is from rapping along to Gangnam Style).
During open hours, the Scholarly Commons provides the technology and digital scholarship expertise you need to succeed in your research. We’re also a quiet comfortable study space where you can sip your coffee and use software like STATA, Photoshop, and SAS. Come to our workshops during the school year and go from Regular Boring Researcher to Savvy Researcher.
And this is truly your library: we appreciate your feedback and have added new software, like JMP, due to popular demand. Did I mention we have friendly librarians and staff who are there to help you figure out what will work best for your project? If we don’t have the person on hand to help you, we will find someone on campus, or help you find the books and online resources that will get you off to a great start. There are so many resources here for all kinds of students so please make the most of your university experience and stop by the space, get some work done, and remember we are here to help you with your research questions!
Jasmine Kirby received her Master's of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Illinois. She now works as a librarian at Iowa State University. While at Illinois. she worked as the Scholarly Commons Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant. Keep your eyes out for some future posts about research techniques and resources from the Scholarly Commons.