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?"