Empowering Student Researchers | Inspiring Future Librarians

Information Fluency Workshop 2014

A group of undergraduates, armed with new research strategies!
A group of undergraduates, armed with new research strategies!

July 8th marked the beginning of the Center for Hellenic Studies’ second workshop on information fluency in classics. Each of the seminar’s sessions covered a different aspect of gathering and communicating information, including research strategies, critical assessment of sources, social media, and copyright. The students were also introduced to a variety of resources to help them research papers and compile bibliographies, like L’Annee Philologique, Dyabola, and Zotero. Finally, each participating student learned the basics of WordPress site design, and crafted their own websites and online research guides.
As informative as the formal sessions were, the highlight of the workshop was the two trips the group made to downtown DC. On our second day, to learn more about library organization and resources, we ventured to the world’s largest library: The Library of Congress. Our morning began with a private meeting with Thomas Mann, a reference librarian at the Library of Congress, who introduced us to Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings. After the lecture, we were led on an art and architecture tour of the Jefferson Building, including the Main Reading Room, the Gutenberg and Mainz Bibles and the exhibit on Jefferson’s Library, which contains some of the 6,487 books Congress purchased from Jefferson in 1815.
Our other trip came the next week, when we went to tour the National Archives. In addition to seeing the famous documents in the Rotunda Room — The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence — we were taken through the public vault to see some of the materials on display there. The most popular exhibit for our group were the letters sent to the president by schoolchildren. After the tour, archivist Rebecca Martin explained to us the archive’s role in storing and preserving the documents of the Federal Government and answered any questions we had about an archivist’s duties.
We would like to express our gratitude, not only to Thomas Mann and Rebecca Martin who made our field trips so memorable, but to everyone who took the time to address our group and share their expertise: Neil Coffee (SUNY Buffalo) and Deb Brown, Prathmesh Mengane, Jonathan Shea, and Lain Wilson (Dumbarton Oaks). We would especially like to thank Phoebe Acheson, who led the seminar.
Learn more about the workshop at https://wp.chs.harvard.edu/chs-library/