LGC Library Streamlines Student Research Efforts

Photo by Ed Robertson via Unsplash

Have you ever found yourself falling down a rabbit hole of research, searching in vain for the information you desperately need for a paper or homework assignment? Are your search terms unspooling your efforts, taking you far afield from the information you need?

There’s an app for that!

Well, not an app, exactly, an actual librarian at the Lowcountry Graduate Center who provides myriad services to students and professors, primary among them her invaluable research guidance.

And most students don’t even know this invaluable service exists.

LGC’s Full-time Librarian
Jannette Finch is a 20-year library veteran with a long list of scholarly achievements and particular expertise in information design and online learning. She regularly applies that expertise to help students streamline their research and find what they’re seeking.

“There are hundreds of databases available and you don’t know which to choose unless you come to the research guides provided by each school that is a member of the graduate center. The worst problem students have is identifying the nouns they need to use in Boolean searches,” she said.

For example, Finch assisted an education student searching for information on autistic children. The database employed by the student only recognized the term “autism spectrum disorder.” Finch showed her how to consult the research guide for her database, which provided her with the keywords she needed to find her information.

Lowcountry Graduate Center computers are equipped with online databases from Clemson, South Carolina. College of Charleston, MUSC and The Citadel, with research guides for each. Finch has helped students save thousands of hours on their inquiries.

“It’s amazing seeing them realize quickly they can be much more efficient, particularly if they’re a working adult for whom time is precious,” she said.

Many Other Library Services
The LGC library offerings stretch far beyond the five member schools. Students can borrow on-site reference materials and order books and other information from any library in the world through interlibrary loan.  Those items usually arrive within a day.

The library also provides 16 computer stations, including two MACs, and quiet study rooms that accommodate groups of four or fewer and come equipped with erasable whiteboards. Many students prefer to study at the LGC because it’s quiet and the parking is free.  It is, of course, open late weekday evenings and all day Saturday because of scheduled classes.

Finch regularly provides library instruction to classes at the instructor’s request and aides professors in their research as well.

The Lowcountry Graduate Center provides Finch’s vital services free. Make an appointment to see her at finchj@cofc.edu.

“You’re going to have to do research for rest of your life, whether it’s to get a mortgage or find information for an employer,” she notes. “It’s a lifelong skill I can help you develop.”