As grad students, we are bombarded with information about the library and other campus services when we first arrive in Baltimore. But the semester quickly gets under way, and we are swamped with papers, long hours in the lab, comps, negotiating advisors. The next thing you know, you’re in your third year and have forgotten all the helpful information you learned about the library in your first week here. Moreover, because we are grad students we can’t exactly ask can we? It’s the library; this is our second home. We, of all people, are supposed to know its functions intimately. So, for the benefit of all my fellow grad students out there, here are a few quick reminders about library resources that you may have forgotten, or are too embarrassed to ask about again:
1. Interlibrary Loan – the library doesn’t own the book/article/dissertation you are looking for? Chances are the gurus in the Interlibrary Services Department can find it for you. Just set up an account and fill out the form online off the library homepage. It really couldn’t be simpler.
2. Eisenhower Express – need a bunch of articles but don’t have the time/energy/moral stamina to photocopy them? One of the great perks of being a Hopkins grad student is that the library will scan an article or a book chapter for you and send it to you as a PDF. How cool is that?! Use the same account you would for Interlibrary Loan—just fill out the “Eisenhower Express Request” form.
3. The Reference Librarian – have a research project or paper but don’t know where to get started? Ask a librarian. I resisted going for a long time thinking I’d be reprimanded for not finding this stuff on my own since “I’m a grad student and should know better.” However, when I finally went, it wasn’t anything like that at all. They are exceedingly helpful, very knowledgeable, and unlike your advisor, aren’t here to judge you.