Library Research Contest: Lessons from the Winners

During National Library Week UC Libraries celebrated the library users by offering them an opportunity to demonstrate their research skills and win prizes by participating in a research skills contest.

It was interesting for us to see how different students approached the same challenges and what tools and strategies they used. Here are some lessons from our participants and winners.

Monday challenge:
Which UC Library holds the film that received the 2008 Academy Award for Documentary Feature? What is the film title and call #?
Langsam Media; Man on Wire GV550.2.P47 M36 2008 (DVD)
Winner: Sara Schrader
Lesson from the winner: Use multiple sources to verify your information. Sara used Google and Wikipedia to find or verify information about the award winners, others also used IMDB and the Academy Awards site.

Tuesday challenge:
This book consists of blow-up balloons, cardboard feet, and tails. What is the title of the book?  Where is it located and which collection is it part of?
Blow a bunny, DAAP Artists’ Book Collection
Winner: Balaprakash Sugumar
Lesson from the winner: Records in the library catalog and other research databases include a lot of useful information. The record for this item included a description of this artist’s book.

Wednesday challenge:
This UC library has pictures of space-related images, games, puppets, science diagrams, and more. What is the name of the library? In which building on campus is it located?
CECH Library Teachers College
This question turned out difficult, because some libraries matched some of the criteria and pieces of information were found on different web pages.
Winner: Christina Klapper
Lesson from the winner: Search the library website to find a lot of useful information about library resources and services.
The UC Libraries site search box is located on the left side of the home page. Some college and departmental libraries have boxes that allow you to search the content of their sites.

Thursday challenge:
This creative work inspired by the art and poetry of ancient China was submitted as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Cincinnati in 2000. What is the title of the dissertation and what degree was awarded to its author?

Nocturne; D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts)
Julia Martinez
Lesson from the winner:
Use key concepts of the research question as your keywords. Julia entered 2000 ancient china dissertation.
This search demonstrates once again that catalog records provide a lot of information to help you with your searching.
Another tip for this question is to use a specialized tool: other participants used the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database.

Friday challenge:
This source lists many creative ways to make money, including cricket farming. Who is the author of this source? What is the name of the inventor of the reindeer antlers people put on their dogs at Christmastime?

Author: Gillman, Steven. Inventor: Harvey Reese
Lesson from this challenge:

The names of the Friday challenge and Grand Prize winners will be announced on Monday, April 22.

Thank you for participating in the UC Libraries’ first research skills contest. Please send your comment and suggestions for future contest to Olga Hart (

Category: UC Libraries

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