This year’s J-Sem projects have ranged from the history and significance of Ikebana in Japanese culture to the development of the modern Japanese toilet. Students have been doing very high level research, taking full advantage of our databases and searching Google Scholar. The library staff have visited the classroom several times to discuss search strategies and introduce databases such as EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier. Students have emailed us with titles of articles they need help accessing and asking for citation help. Chicago endnotes are tricky, but in the end the job got done!
The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:
1. A portal that delivers students, teachers, scholars, and the public to incredible resources, wherever they may be. Far more than a search engine, the portal provides innovative ways to search and scan through the united collection of millions of items, including by timeline, map, virtual bookshelf, format, and topic.
2. A platform that enables new and transformative uses of our digitized cultural heritage. With an application programming interface (API) and maximally open data, the DPLA can be used by software developers, researchers, and others to create novel environments for learning, tools for discovery, and engaging apps.
There is so much going on! The 9th Grade I-Search project is in full swing. The students are asked to begin with “a passion to know something.” They choose a topic of great personal interest. They write down what they know about their topic and then begin to explore. The librarians’ part in this is to introduce the students to the library catalog and all the neat things it can do for them, show them how to generate keywords and search strings, how to navigate databases, how to authenticate their resources to make sure the information they are getting is reliable, and how to “Google” more effectively. They craft their paper under the guidance of their English teachers. Unlike most research papers, this one focuses more on the journey of discovery rather than on the results of their research (although that is part of it). At the end of the process, we go back into the classroom to help the students create their bibliographies and their in-text citations. Students come to us for one on one assistance. We also support the unit by buying new books, both print and digital, when our existing collection does not have the information they need. This is a great way to develop a dynamic, up-to-date collection.
The I-Search topics this year.
At the same time, juniors and seniors in Mrs. Krauth’s Japan Seminar class are exploring issues related to Japan and producing very high level research papers. Each student is expected to have a reference interview with a librarian to help them locate the best print and digital resources for their topic. In this case we are using databases and search engines the students will encounter at college such as Academic Search Premier, JSTOR and Google Scholar.
Some of the J-Sem topics this year.
There is more…. we will post on some of the other research happening at ASIJ in a couple of days!
We have subscribed to a wonderful platform and content management system for aiding student research. It is called LibGuides and it allows the ASIJ library media specialists to curate information targeted for specific units of study. Teachers can also add information to the guides. So far, we have used our new LibGuides for three classes: AP Environmental Science, Modern World History and Psychology.
Please take a look at our new guides at http://asij.libguides.com/index.php.
Psychology students visited the library and used the new collaboration spaces to brainstorm ideas for areas of study this year. The library staff created a pathfinder to help them with their research.
Librarians all over the world have put together guides on a wide variety of topics. Just type in some keywords and see what comes up. http://libguides.com/community.php?m=i&ref=libguides.com
Did you know that more than half of the information on the web is invisible to search engines?
Click here to read more.
Image courtesy of CloserLook Search: Invisible Web (deep web) Search Engine