9 Field Trip and Discussion Board Assignment: Exploring Your Local Library

This assignment provides you the opportunity to visit a local library near you of your choice, and then you will share your experience with your classmates in this discussion forum. Please read the following guidelines and instructions carefully.


As this week’s “Determining Information Needs” tutorial explained the different types of information sources necessary to consider when doing research (books, articles, websites, etc.), it is also important to know where you can go to actually find these information sources. A great place to start is your local library!

If you live in Orange County or any other major metropolitan area, you have access to many different libraries, including public libraries, college and university libraries, and special libraries (e.g., Orange County Public Law Library). Even though we will be using Santa Ana College’s Nealley Library and its many online resources for much of our research this term, you are encouraged (and it is good practice as a scholar) to use other libraries around you. As library collections differ, using multiple libraries exposes you to a variety of resources, making your research process more diverse and well rounded. In addition to the information resources available through your local libraries, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn about the community services and resources also available.

Getting Started:


  • Select a library to visit near where you live:
    You may visit a public, academic (college/university), or special library. If you live near Santa Ana College, you are welcome to take this opportunity to visit the Nealley Library. If you are not sure where your local libraries are located, you can use Google Maps in the following way: Go to www.maps.google.com and in the search box, type “libraries near [insert your address]”. You are also welcome to contact me individually (knight_annie@sac.edu) for assistance with finding a library near you
  • Plan your visit:
    Keep in mind that many libraries have limited hours and may even be closed on certain days, so visit the library’s website or call ahead to ensure you are planning to go when the library is open.


  • During your library visit, have fun exploring and take notes on the following:
  1. Which library did you visit?
  2. What is the physical address of the library and what is their website address (URL)?
  3. What are the library’s hours?
  4. How can you receive research assistance (in person, online, etc.)?
  5. What types of information sources does the library offer? Include physical and online resources — e.g., print books, audiobooks, magazines, online databases, etc. You will need to look at the library’s website as well as look around the actual library building. Please be specific in your list here.
  6. What types of community services does the library offer? For example, most public libraries offer storytimes for children and homework help for students. Again, you will need to  look at the library’s website as well as look around the actual library building to find information about the different services the library offers. Again, please be specific in your list here.
  7. How do you feel your local library can help you as a student, professional, and as a lifelong learner?

IMPORTANT: Please do not ask a librarian or library staff member to answer all of these questions for you. The point of this exercise is for you to begin exploring what your local library has to offer. If you have a specific question regarding a library resource or service you learned about during your exploration it is fine to ask a librarian or library staff member for assistance. We just want to be respectful of their time and the many other patrons they serve.

  • Post your findings to this week’s discussion board:
    Share your answers for 1-7 above in the discussion board forum for this assignment. This way, we can all learn from each other about the offerings at different libraries in the area. Please also respond to two of your classmates’ posts (3 sentences minimum per response).
  • Extra Credit (optional):
    Spread the love for your local library and receive 5 extra credit points by taking a family member, friend, or any other special person in your life with you on your library visit. To receive the extra credit points, please note who you brought with you in your discussion post. Also, consider taking a picture of you with your person at the library you visited, and add the photo to our class wiki, “Libraries that Inspire Us.”

This assignment is worth 20 points and is due by 11:59pm on Sunday.



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