Friday, January 18, 2008

Help us help you – tips for making your research requests

If you were at the directors’ meeting today, you know that in general the research requests you send us have gotten more complicated, and require more time to answer. There’s nothing wrong with that- we librarians love the “thrill of the chase” even for the most obscure types of information.

That said, there are certain things you can do to help us do our jobs more efficiently and effectively, getting your clients better information faster.

Here’s a few ideas:

Looking for information to prove a point, or fill in a section of a business plan? Let us know how you plan to use what we give you. Sometimes your client is focused on a particular statistic that just might not be available, but if we know generally what that information will be used for, we can find something similar that could prove the same point.

Have you done some of your own research? Did your client come in with information or articles related to their business idea? Give us the details of what you already know, so we don’t have to start from scratch. Links to websites, article citations, or attachments are always welcome.

Have you written a detailed MQS narrative about your client’s business plans? Feel free to cut and paste relevant sections into your research request. It gives us more background, and saves you some typing.

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