Library Super Services: Did you know about… the Knowledge Database?

| February 8, 2011

This mini series of posts about “super” library services is to highlight some of the interesting, hidden, under-utilized, etc. services of the Gottesman library at TC. There are many unique services and resources here at TC –this list is by no means exhaustive. I’m choosing some of my favorites but if anyone would like to see something specific highlighted, please let me know.

The Knowledge Database is the library’s Magic 8 ball…with more tailored and sophisticated answers. The database was created to provide quick answers to simple questions as well as direct users to resources better suited for tackling more involved inquiries. You can ask the Knowledge Database anything but the list of topics below illustrates the kind of information captured –mostly documentation of the library’s resources and policies.

The information in the Database is based on years of accumulated answers to frequently asked questions. In fact, the Knowledge Database is set up like an FAQ. You can use it by perusing through questions by clicking on a category on the left hand navigation bar or via the gray drop down menu OR you can type your question (think *keywords*) into the search bar. You can also read related articles and rate the information you find.

Importantly, the Database can be enhanced and edited by library staff; I am emphasizing this because we would love your feedback and encourage you to write with any suggestions you have to help us improve this service.

Are there topics we haven’t yet addressed? Have you found outdated or incomplete information?  Please consider that the Knowledge Database may not be the only resource you’ll need to answer to a comprehensive question. Our goal is that you find it to be a valuable place to start.

There is no substitute for having a librarian help you with your research. But if you’re off campus, in a hurry, or simply have a question that does not warrant reference or subject expertise, the Knowledge Database is a very handy tool and great way to get familiar with the landscape here at Gottesman.

Categories and kinds of questions addressed:

Circulation: How do I renew a book? Where are the children’s books? Where are any books?

Equipment: How can I work the printer, DVD player, microfiche machine…

Russell Hall: How do I reserve a room? What equipment is in the rooms?

Course Platforms and Distance Learning: Blackboard, My TC Portal, etc.

General Info: Hours of operation, paying fines, etc.

eReserves: eReserves.

Research and Information: In short, everything else.

The information here ranges widely from administrative (info on the VTS machines that dispense print/copy cards) to that which is more substantive in nature such as: Navigating Proquest databases; Subject guides (What are they, where are they, why would I use one?); APA format, Pocket Knowledge; Alumni access; and more. Much more.