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Learn from a senior: Talk to a librarian!

by Max Schulman

An excellent staff of research librarians offers just one of the many opportunities Harvard students don’t take full advantage of. In my four years here I met with a librarian only once, to help me find sources for my thesis research. That forty-minute meeting saved me countless hours of muddling through online portals and search interfaces. I would have done myself an even bigger favor by making use of this excellent resource early and often in my Harvard career. A Harvard librarian can give you advice on how to find and evaluate sources for your topic, how to organize your citations, and whom to ask if you need more guidance. Each department has its own library liaison or research contact who can give you advice specific to your discipline, by email or in person.

Harvard’s library collections and online resources present unparalleled research prospects for nearly any paper topic, but it’s not always clear how best to access this wealth of information. HOLLIS, JSTOR, ProQuest—all this can be confusing if you’re not an expert. Harvard librarians are, and they can answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Whether you’re starting research for a senior thesis or an Expos paper, save yourself some time and trouble. Talk to a librarian.

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