Research consultations with a librarian are a core library service available to UNLV students, faculty, and staff. To establish a formal and visible space for subject liaison librarians to meet and address in-depth research questions, the UNLV University Libraries recently unveiled the Research Consultation Room in Lied Library on the first floor near the north entrance.
The new Research Consultation Room is part of the ongoing Lied Library Space Enhancement Project. To address the needs of users and groups requiring in-depth research assistance, the library committed to providing a new space for the existing service. In 2013, the Libraries saw an increase in research consultations by 20%.
“Research consultations are not new; librarians have been working one-on-one with patrons assisting them with their research needs for as long as I can remember,” said Nancy Fawley, head of the library liaisons program. “Now, we have a dedicated space where we can better engage students in learning effective research strategies.” With the new space comes new branding, transforming everyday librarian appointments into the Rebel Research Service.
Financial support for the Research Consultation Room included a $10,000 contribution from the Library Advisory Board. The Board committed funds gifted from generous donors that support library facilities and projects that otherwise would not be funded through other channels.
The new Research Consultation Room is defined by its flexibility. Wheeled furniture accommodates multiple consultation configurations around two consultation pods appointed with large LCD screens.
Along with the space is a new Rebel Research Service online form for students and faculty to set up an appointment with a librarian. The online form routes the appointment request to a librarian with expertise in your discipline, major or course. Requests are responded to within one work day and the 20 to 60 minute consultations are generally scheduled Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Make an appointment with a librarian by clicking on "Research Help" on the Libraries' homepage.
For students, the Rebel Research Service assists with focusing a research topic, identifying and evaluating sources, and searching library databases effectively.
The Research Consultation Room has been used for several consultations over the past month. A sampling of the recent topics that librarians have assisted undergraduate students with are: psychological reasons of theft and why people shoplift cosmetics; Chinese dining preferences in casinos and its impact on loyalty; and evidence of osteoarthritis in great ape hip joints in anthropological record. A graduate student utilized the Rebel Research Service to explore primary sources about the Revolutionary War repatriation of enslaved blacks who fought for the British in Canada, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Humanities librarian Priscilla Finley is among those who have been working with students in the new space. “Since it’s easy for both of us to read on the large monitors, students get a chance to take the keyboard and ‘drive’ in an online search. One approach I rely on is examining the bibliographies of books and articles published on a topic, so we’ve been able to spread out materials on the table, find good leads, and locate them online.” In recent appointments, she has worked with students to find books and newspaper articles printed before 1800. “Sometimes finding sources that shed light on a research question requires some digging around. A half hour appointment gives us more time to read and talk about the information we’re finding,” she added.
Erin Rinto, undergraduate learning librarian, meets with an undergraduate student for a research consultation.
Students have been excited about the Rebel Research Service and their experience. Student Sylvia Tetteth, who recently completed a consultation appointment for an English 102 assignment, stated “The new Research Consultation space is outstanding, and the help I received is just what I needed. After my session, I proudly informed my friends how useful the service was.”
The Rebel Research Service and research consultations are not just for undergrads! Subject liaison librarians will meet and work with graduate students, faculty, and community members in the new Research Consultation Room by appointment as well.
For more information about the Rebel Research Service and to book a consultation, visit: http://www.library.unlv.edu/consultation.