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What Was the Name of That Book?

We’ve all been there. You are madly searching the library resources for material that will earn you an A on your final paper of the semester when suddenly you reach information overload and start to lose track of all the items that looked good. Back in the day, scholars noted down their sources on paper using a pencil. In your parents’ day they may have printed out the catalog record so they could look it up later. Today we are way past that, and we can do better research without as many trees being processed into scrap paper or writing implements.

Try this, click on the little tab on the library page marked eShelf. Log yourself in and then as you use Scholarsearch you can ask it to remember all the items you like in your search results.

For example if you are writing about the importance of water in children’s books you would enter your search terms in the Scholarsearch box. When you get your results you can skim through the items and when you see something that interests you, just click in the “Add to eShelf” box.

When your item has been added the system remembers you and your research so the next time you search, even if you use different search terms, the items you already like will appear with a check mark in the box that notes they are on your eShelf. That way you will not follow the same link twice.

When you’ve searched enough, just click on eShelf and your favorites will be waiting for you.

Other nice features eShelf provides include the ability to e-mail yourself all of the items you’ve selected. The journal article titles, books, even film titles can all be sent to your e-mail account so you can move your work to whichever platform you enjoy working on. There is also an RSS feed option. This is really cool. You can tell the eShelf to keep looking for items that you have been searching for and if something new shows up it will send you a note. It’s a little like the way you can’t remember a book title when you are looking for it and then, BAM!, at 3:00 am it pops into your head. When you think about some of the things going on in the world right now, you know that while you are asleep new articles are being released somewhere around the world at all hours of the day and night. If you spend some time setting up your eShelf it will reward you with information.

Or, if you prefer the old methods, the library still has a large number of pencil sharpeners available. Some are even electric if you’re up to trying one of those as a step toward newer systems.