Google, You’re Doing it Wrong

Chris Koorzen, Staff Writer

You’re in a bind. You need to find good information, and quickly. You’re probably thinking “google it”. If it was a restaurant menu or where to find that new pair of sneakers, sure, but what if you need to do research for a term paper or that final essay? Then, you’d be making a mistake. 

Serious academic research requires access to deep knowledge. Google page results are based on popularity, not accuracy. It is simply what got the most clicks. Often, if it is useful, it is behind a paywall. Or it is surface level stuff. Or clickbait. So, where to go if you want accurate, relevant information? 

Enter the humble library. They have been around for thousands of years and will be for thousands more. Why? Because they’re packed with the collective knowledge of humankind and staffed by wizards that help you find what you need. The LLCC library is no different. Want to see some sorcery? Go down to the LLCC Library and ask them how to move the shelves. 


One Search Bar to Rule them All 

Your research journey starts with the Library Search Bar. It is the first thing you will see on the LLCC Library’s homepage. Despite its simplistic look, it is an incredibly powerful interface that gives you access to every resource in the system. On campus, that is about 234,000 items including books, e-books, videos, audio and journals. But that’s not all. LLCC Library is part of I-share, which connects to other libraries in Illinois and gives you access to 15 million unique items. Then there is WorldShare. Its connections stretch all the way across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and allow you to request any of the 516 million unique items hosted in libraries in the US and around the world. That is the Library of Congress 3 times over. For you, delivered right here, using only a simple search. 

That is a staggering number of resources. It might be intimidating to try and sort through all that by yourself. I mentioned wizards before. At LLCC Library there is full-time staff available to assist you in locating what you need and even advise on your research. They can help you track down rare volumes or answer questions on copyright. They are completely committed to helping you succeed, and no question is too big or small. From narrowing your searches to learning citation mining, their goal is to develop you as a sophisticated researcher. 

So, get down there, ask, and you might never go back to Google again. Unless you are looking for dog food.