All of Loyola's Research and Learning Librarians wish you success on this journey into academic research and writing. Get started right away, stick to it, and reach out for support from librarians, your teachers, and your fellow students. Good luck!
The CPS SOAR Virtual Library provides a wealth of digital resources. These resources are available to all CPS students from home and school. The virtual library includes:
In partnership with librarians, the Libraries Team equitably provides culturally relevant training, resources, networking opportunities, and develops pipelines to grow libraries and librarianship within Chicago Public schools. The CPS Libraries resources includes:
CPL librarians offer online and phone support Monday through Friday between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. They have greater familiarity with their collections and services than Loyola librarians do and so when your questions relate to CPL's digital or print resources, start by consulting them. Tell them about your project! They will eagerly jump in to help right where you are.
You need a library card before you can use CPL's research databases, access its ebooks, or borrow print books. CPL makes getting a card easy by offering them through an online form. You can renew an expired card online, too. Report a missing card and request a new one by calling 312-747-4300.
You have access to the research databases subscribed to by the Chicago Public Library. Researchers must log in before accessing database content. Information about obtaining access appears below.
For scholar-level content, consider the research databases listed below. Others in the CPL list may also help but it may be more suitable for general readers rather than scholars.
CPL maintains several ebook collections. Consult the FAQ for guidance on using each of them. Watch especially for books published by university presses (for example, Oxford University Press or the University of Illinois Press) because these will have scholarly authors and contain scholar-level information, no matter the subject area.
CPL has restored access to its print collections at the Harold Washington Library Center, its largest collection, and at many branch libraries. A few branches remain closed and shorter hours continue at others. All of this information, and a FAQ, appear at CPL's website.
Search the print collections in CPL's catalog. Note that to see the print books in particular, apply a filter on the left side of search results.
Your paper will emphasize use of information for scholars. Your research process will include information for scholars and for general audiences. You will find the distinctions between academic journals for scholars and popular magazines for general audiences reasonably straightforward but for other content types such as government information, distinguishing between the two requires a more nuanced approach.
Consider this example: One government document on malaria exemplifies scholar-level information but another government document on the same topic does not--it provides helpful information in a compelling format for general audiences but the content lacks the depth and detail sought by a scholar.
To learn more, watch this video. (4:48; created by North Carolina State University Libraries under a Creative Commons License permitting use by libraries and students everywhere.)
Anatomy of a Scholarly Article from NC State University Libraries on Vimeo.
A privileged researcher has access to a wealth of information made available to them by paid subscription and due to their affiliation with an academic library. Examples of information privilege include:
Like all kinds of privilege, activists can challenge information privilege to make the research landscape more equitable. The Open Access Movement seeks to do just that and it's working! Today thousands of journals provide free access to all researchers, though limitations still exist and information privilege continues to favor some researchers over others. Undergraduate students have much to gain from open access and can join the movement.
Loyola University Chicago Libraries
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