Librarians offer techniques for research

Nick Zinovenko, Contributing Writer

“Be the Google Ninja,” “Crap Detection 101” and “Excel Basics” are three of many workshops offered by Owen Library staff for students, faculty and staff.

These workshops, led by one of four librarians, are intended to improve research skills.

The “Be the Google Ninja” workshop guides participants through functions of the search engine, such as advanced search, Google Scholar and Google Images.

Led by Pitt-Johnstown librarian Paul Bond this semester, participants watch and follow examples to gain a better understanding of how to effectively perform Internet searches using Google.

“The deed to my house can be found online, but Google won’t take you there,” Bond said, making a point about the limitations of Google.

While workshops are available at set dates for students to attend, some professors, like one of Pitt-Johnstown’s composition instructor, Holly Meisel, use class time to have students attend workshops.

“We try to make the workshops useful to the audience,” Bond said.

Pitt-Johnstown student Katie Bucchin said she attended a “Be the Google Ninja” workshop for extra credit being offered in her composition class with instructor Scott Sheets.

“A lot of students come for the extra credit,” Bond said, explaining that it was not unusual for certain workshops to fill up when many professors were offering extra credit.

Workshops dates and times can be found on the Owen Library’s website. Potential attendees have been asked to contact Mandy Waters or stop by the library circulation desk to reserve a workshop seat.