A Guide to Library Research Methods

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1987 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 199 pages
In this age of information explosion, job hunters, students, professionals and researchers have long needed a comprehensive yet user-friendly handbook to guide them through the bewildering maze of resources now available. This book, written by a reference librarian at the Library of Congress, introduces a distinctive, new approach to the fact-finding process. It provides an exceptional overview not only of the range of materials that exist, but, more importantly, of the several conceptual options that individuals have in using them.
Dr. Mann's problem-solving technique emphasizes seven different research methods that can be applied to any inquiry. These can be used as a set of easily remembered "mental pegs" that enables individuals to get further into a subject more quickly, and with less wasted effort. While using the more conventional research models that categorise sources by type-of-literature (dictionaries, almanacs, etc.) and by subject discipline (Business, English, Psychology, etc.), the author's approach enables individuals to pursue their inquiries in a cross-disciplinary and more thorough fashion.
The seven research methods described include computer searches, subject heading inquiries, bibliographies, systematic browsing, key word searches and citation searches, and more. Mann discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the several methods (for example, the pitfalls of relying exclusively on computer searches), the use of unique sources like the National Union Catalog, and the treasures to be found in frequently neglected sources like special collections, microform sets, and government documents. An invaluable feature of the book is its provision of numerous examples of actual searches, including examples of the mistakes and omissions that most people (even university professors) are guilty of, without ever realizing that they have gone off the best track.
Library Research Methods should be required reading for every individual--whether scholar or journalist, law student or scientist--who has ever asked, "Where should I start to find out about this?"

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User Review  - flemmily - LibraryThing

I have a little librarian crush on Thomas Mann. He is excellent at communicating the logic of his ideas. He presents a wonderful overview of research methods. To some extent he may be considered a ... Read full review

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User Review  - sarahdeanjean - LibraryThing

Mann’s Oxford Guide to Library Research is a comprehensive and practical guide for all levels of research and researchers. The guide is based on Mann’s experience working with patrons and materials ... Read full review


Subject Headings and the Card Catalog
Systematic Browsing and
Subject Headings and Indexes

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About the author (1987)

About the author:
Thomas Mann received his Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago and his M.L.S. degree from Louisiana State University. A former private investigator, he is now a general reference librarian in the Main Reading Room of the Library of the Congress.

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