From the History of Playgrounds to Food Desert Definitions, Librarians Welcome All Questions

child jumping on a colorful hopscotch court outdoors

Happy spring, and welcome back! This is a friendly reminder that librarians welcome all your questions, and we are ready to help with all your research needs. You can chat with us here

Here are some examples of topics we’ve helped research recently:

  • History of playgrounds and play structures around the world
  • December 1946 issue of the Hotel Monthly, a trade publication from Chicago
  • Race and substance abuse disorders
  • Qualitative and quantitative articles about venous insufficiency and lymphedema
  • Food deserts in Chicago, and how food deserts are defined within in the literature
  • Trivialization of OCD in popular culture
  • Current legislation providing funding for families affected by substance abuse
  • Effects of World War I on German-Americans in Chicago
  • Benefits of starting a professional indoor volleyball league in the U.S.
  • Perception of young adult fiction as less sophisticated than other forms of literature

Here’s an in-depth look at a recent Ask a Librarian chat conversation:

Student: I’m at the first stage of research for a large research paper, and I need to find sources for my topic. I’m aiming to research the history of playgrounds and play structures around the world 🙂 I’m not necessarily married to this topic, but I’m very interested in it and think it would make for an exciting and thought-provoking essay. Could you help me figure out which databases to use and which keywords to search for?

Librarian: Hi! very interesting!!

Librarian: Well, for history, JSTOR is great. And also you could do a combined database search in the EBSCO databases, using Historical Abstracts and American History and Life and Academic Search Complete

Librarian: books are likely going to be useful as well for historical info and in depth

Student: Sounds great! Thanks so much!

Student: Can we start with a combined search in the EBSCO databases?

Librarian: Yes!

Student: Wow! Thanks so much!

Librarian: Before we go to EBSCO, here’s an article I found in JSTOR for you. looks promising https://www.jstor.org/stable/ycyoungchildren.70.4.92

Student: This looks great!

Student: It looks like it has a bunch of keywords in here that I could search a bit deeper for separately

Librarian: yes!

Student: And they’re all cited! So I could look into those too

Librarian: Right!

Librarian: Here is a combined EBSCO database search, using the databases I mentioned above: https://tinyurl.com/ptadcwz5

Librarian: looks like “playgrounds” is a subject heading

Librarian: for other ideas for keywords, look at that subjects line, especially of an article that seems relevant

Student: Wow this is really great thank you so much

Librarian: of course!

Student: It seems like there’s a lot of information, so I could specialize my research later on, but thanks so much for the help! I wasn’t expecting to find so many articles, so this is great!

Librarian: oh good! cool topic

Student: thank you!

Librarian: I miss playgrounds… 🙁

Student: Me too 🙁

Librarian: looking at books for a second as well

Student: Thanks 🙂

Librarian: meh on the book front…still playing with keywords

Student: That’s alright. Thanks for looking. I actually have to go earlier than I expected, so you don’t have to look any longer 🙂

Librarian: good luck! and chat back whenever!

Student: Thank you so much! This has been super helpful!

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