Research has changed dramatically since I was in school. I remember in elementary school the libraries still had card catalogues. We were trained in how to use them to find books that we wanted to find.
Technology moves fast because by the time I was in high school, card catalogues were starting to go extinct. The system became computerized and it was a lot easier to find books on a certain topic.
When I was in university, we used computers to locate books and journal articles. We then had to physically go and find the journals and then the specific issue we needed. Sometimes the book I needed could only be found in the special collection. To enter that you room you were not allowed to bring in anything except a pencil. This was to protect the old and irreplaceable books.
I remember spending hours down in that basement making notes on lined paper with a pencil. It was really amazing actually being able to peruse through books that were hundreds and hundreds of years old. I think many of those special collections have now been closed to the public. It is sad that students can’t have access to those beautifully bound books. But it interesting to see that these old texts have now become totally digitized and you can access them on library computers. Of course, now research does not even have to begin at a library anymore.
The first step of researching these days seems to be a Google search. It is easy to find what you want if you specifically define your search. Of course, I still find it a bit limiting. I still go to libraries often. I think they give you an authentic experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
I just hope that the Internet does not take away patrons from the libraries. Libraries are very important and offer services that you just cannot get on the Internet. So go to one and find out something that you are curious about. I’ll see you there.