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May 1995, Week 1


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Scott Allen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 May 1995 13:13:41 CDT
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
        I would like to add my 2 cents on this topic by saying that for any
"initial information" on a subject, one should always seek help and advice
from your institutions library staff.  Hopefully, they will be both helpful
and competent enough to aid you in the early stages of advanced research.
Remember, libraries are ceasing to be places where information is stored
and becoming places where information may be obtained from a myriad of
locations and sources throughout the globe.  The question is not the amount
of holdings in one's own library but rather the amount of access one's
library has to information.
        I see a number of questions posted on this list as well as other
lists, that could have been easily answered by the most inexperienced
librarian.  I have even had to stop myself on many occasions from dropping
what I was doing and looking for the answer to a question that, in one way
or another was of interest to me, because I have to use my time to address
the needs of the faculty and staff at my own school.
        Please ask a libraian - that's what were paid for.
>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>>----------------------------Original message----------------------------
>>Thank you Kristin Brancolini for taking the time to look up a reference
>>useful not only to the person asking but to many of us reading.  Can we
>>be a little kinder to those of us not teaching at research universities
>>with massive library holdings?  Creekmur's comment to the person looking
>>for information on Duras struck me as harsh and intimidating to those
>>beginning to work in the field.  This list has functioned most
>>effectively from what I've seen when so many pool their resources as
>>occurred in the "recorded messages" exchange.
>I'd like to defend myself here -- I was concerned as well with the list
>"functioning most effectively," and I don't think it does so when people
>ask for initial information that should be very easy to obtain, if not on
>the shelves of all libraries, certaintly through reference works,
>interlibrary loan, etc.  I hope many on this list will recognize that I've
>happily tracked down sources, references, etc. on a range of topics when I
>felt I could help.  The question about "recorded messages" is obviously not
>something one could look up in straightforward way, and I agree that asking
>about such things on this list is useful and enjoyable.  But asking if
>there is anything at all written on Duras or HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR is not so
>far removed from asking if anything has ever been written about Ernest
>Hemingway, or BREATHLESS.  It's quite a different matter if someone has
>done some basic searching and asks if people have recommendations among the
>great body of material available.
>        I will admit that I may be spoiled by access to decent libraries --
>if not my own school's, then quite a few nearby.  But surely computers,
>interlibrary loan systems, etc. have broken down some of the problems with
>poorly stocked libraries?  Though they posted responses privately to me, a
>couple of librarians suggested that they agreed with my response: they were
>going to respond to the original request until their initial searches
>revealed a few hundred items on the topic.  I believe they didn't respond
>then, recognizing how broad the request was.  (One noted that close to a
>dozen Duras books were available at a local Walden's, not known for
>stocking your minor writers!)
>        Again, I want the list to be useful, and I want to be helpful as
>well, but there are ways in which requests can themselves foster useful
>help -- by being specific, and by doing a little groundwork first; when
>people say that they've looked all over but still can't find something, I
>want to immediately help if I can; when they imply that they haven't
>bothered to look very hard, but want someone else to hand them an initial
>bibliography, I respond as I did, which is to say in a wishy-washy way, by
>complaining AND by providing a useful source.
Scott Allen                                             [log in to unmask]
Media Librarian                                    "Trying to stay afloat in
Midwestern State University                in the seas of technology"