Getting Started - By Students, For Students: Home

A brief introduction to researching at the library created by GVSU Research Consultants.

About the Research Consultants

This guide was created by students for students.

The creators are all Research Consultants who work in the Knowledge Market at the GVSU libraries. Research Consultants are highly trained in library research and can assist with the following tasks:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Putting together an effective research strategy
  • Finding books, journal articles, news, videos, images, primary sources, government documents, and more
  • Evaluating sources for relevance and reliability
  • Requesting sources from other libraries
  • Providing multiple methods for most effectively utilizing the library collection and what it has to offer
  • Walking you through the entire process of library research from one student to another
  • Meet the Research Consultants
  • Make an appointment
  • What to expect in a consultation

Research Consultants in the Mary Idema Pew Library and Steelcase Library are Grand Valley students who are trained in many aspects of library research. The research consultants are skilled in navigating the Grand Valley State University databases, refining search terms, brainstorming topic ideas, and evaluating resources.

The Research Consultants are knowledgeable in specialized areas within their major if you prefer to work with a consultant who is familiar with a particular topic; however, all consultants are trained to assist student in any field of study and are prepared to help students find a variety of research sources. Check out the consultant bios here

Students have the option of scheduling an appointment or dropping in for a standard 30 minute consultation with one of the Research Consultants (but keep in mind, only one consultation per day, per service). If you are non-traditional student or speak English as a second language, you may schedule an hour long consultation.

Before coming to your consultation, try to have specific questions in mind - this helps the consultant understand where you are in the research process of your assignment and allows the appointment to go more efficiently. Prepared questions and concerns may include asking for clarification on the assignment, a desire to brainstorm topic ideas, requesting assistance with key word selection, or understanding what types of articles would be most beneficial for the purposes of the assignment.

The consultant will be able to assist you in all of these areas and help you to become more comfortable with navigating the Grand Valley databases.


What to expect at your appointment

This photo guide will give you a glimpse of what to expect at your consultation in the Knowledge Market.

Please bring (or have access to on a computer) your assignment sheet and any materials or work you have already done on your project. (Note: We are happy to help no matter what stage of the assignment you are in, even if you have not yet started the assignment!)

  1.  Arrival

    When you arrive, please check in at the front desk in the Knowledge Market, located on the first floor of the Mary Idema Pew Library directly across from the service desk. Another identifier would be to look for the colored vests. The yellow vest indicates a Receptionist who will help you check in and answer any of your questions or concerns. However, anyone in a green, black, or red Knowledge Market vest should be fully capable of answering any of your questions!

    You will be asked to check in for your consultation on the computer, using your Blackboard username and password.

    Photograph of a Peer Research Consultant checking a student in
  2. Introduction

    Next, you will be introduced to your consultant.

    Photograph of a Peer Research Consultant greeting a student
  3. Consultation

    You will then sit down at one of our reserved tables for your 30 or 60 minute consultation.

    Peer Research Consultant during a consultation with a student
  4. End of session

    At the end of the consultation, you will fill out session notes and be asked to take a short, anonymous survey about your experience.

    Thank you for visiting the Knowledge Market!

    Peer Research Consultants together with student after consultation

About the Knowledge Market

Library research is just one of the four specialized services the Knowledge Market has to offer.

 The Knowledge Market in the Mary Idema Pew Library

Consultants in the Knowledge Market can help with researching, writing, analyzing data, and presenting your class projects. We have consultants from the Writing Center, the Speech Lab, the Data Inquiry Lab, and the Library all working together to provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and get feedback on projects and assignments.

See hours and locations, or make an appointment at the Knowledge Market!