The Lure of the Library


Reading for Research

The modern world has come to realize the value of doing research, and libraries are still one of the best places to begin any project. The books and papers needed are generally available to be taken home, but some are restricted to use only within the building. If a book, periodical or paper is not available locally, many times the staff can arrange to borrow it from another institution. Research is not always fun, but doing the work can save time and effort in the long run.

Many research projects involve reading, so starting with a review of what has already been done is often recommended. A student who is embarking on a science project might need to know more about the concept they are exploring, and reading about their particular area is usually necessary. If their project is about rockets, they will need to know what has already been done. Those seeking to build an experimental rocket system will be able to find information on different systems that have been proposed in the past.

Gathering information is the goal of research, but that does not mean it has to be dull or boring. A person interested in their subject will often find more material to read than they might have expected. They can spend countless hours reading about their main subject, and many of them find there is plenty of ancillary information available as well. They may find they have enough material for several papers before they have completed the reading for even the first project.

Reading for research is not always the first choice of students, but learning how to use the resources of the library correctly will give them their best chance for a successful project. If they know where to look for information, their search might take a lot less time than planned.