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FYSP 031 Environmental Literature: Home

First Year Library Advisor Program

Your First Year Library Advisor is your direct link to the Oberlin College Library; a go-to person to all things library-related. First-year students are matched with a librarian, usually based on their chosen FYSP course.
What your First Year Library Advisor can do for you
    •    Help you get started on a research project and find information for your assignments
    •    Help you locate books, articles, and other library materials
    •    Keep you informed with timely emails containing research tips and useful library information 
    •    Connect you with the right person or department in the library or on campus
    •    Answer questions about library policies, locations, and services
List of FYSP courses and First Year Library Advisors
Notes from your First Year Library Advisor is a newsletter sent to all first year students. It is filled with tips, upcoming events, and useful resources.
Program Goals: 
    •    Build strong relationships between students and the library by assigning a personal librarian to every first-year student
    •    Encourage students to maximize use of the library’s facilities, collections, services, and staff expertise
    •    Contribute to students’ academic success by establishing good habits of mind that will serve students all four+ years
    •    Provide a positive library experience early in every students’ college experience
    •    Establish the library staff as friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable
    •    Introduce students to the value that the library brings to their Oberlin education

Search Strategy

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:

  • Begin by narrowing down your topic and developing an initial research question.
  • Use the keyword brainstorming worksheet (or this online keyword generator) to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  • Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBISOhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  These sources will:
    • provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
    • REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
    • help you FOCUS your topic and
    • provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  • Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
  • You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet.  This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.
  • Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet to evaluate the sources you find.


Summon logo

Search approximately 300 million books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, data, digital audio, digital video, digital images, government documents and more. It draws from the library catalog (OBIS), many of the full text and article indexing databases, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web. 


Make a research appointment with the Art Librarian.
Chat with an Oberlin College librarian.
Review our other Research Guides.
Researching an object in the Allen Museum? See our AMAM research guide.

Barb Prior, Librarian

Barbara Prior's picture
Barbara Prior
Clarence Ward Art Library
Allen Art Building
she, her, hers