Tips and Tools: Insights From an iSchool Librarian

iStudent Blog
Andrew Chae, SJSU King Library Librarian

Published: April 13, 2022 by Hilary Meehan

SJSU iSchool library liaison Andrew Chae, ‘20 MLIS, offers insights for students seeking to optimize their access and use of King Library resources, plus ideas for engaging virtually with the broader information science community. 

 What are your top King Library tips for iSchool students?

1) I didn’t know this while I was an iSchool student, but you can suggest book purchases! The suggestion form is here

2) If you need a book that is not available in electronic format, you can request it as a physical book through Interlibrary Loan. It will be mailed to you for free although you do have to pay for return shipping. Check out the guide, page and video for more information. 

3) While the library and information science libguides we have for library and information science have a lot of good information for iSchool students, I would also recommend looking at libguides that cover other subjects depending on the assignment. For example, if your assignment is related to history in some way, you might want to try using our history libguide

Is there a great resource that you feel is currently underutilized by iSchool students?

So far, I’ve found that many students have not made full use of citation searching. Two databases that are really helpful in this area are Web of Science and Scopus. In addition to finding articles through citation searching, these databases can also help students find authors who have published a lot on research topics that might interest them. This can be helpful not only in their current courses but also with potential collaborations in the future if they choose to continue doing research after graduating.

How do you support student research, publishing, and presenting?

Most of the research questions I get are about INFO 200: Information Communities. Students will often ask for help with finding articles related to their specific information community, and I try to help them by giving different search strategies and tips. When I was in the program, writing my final paper for INFO 200 was one of the hardest assignments. It was especially difficult because it had been a long time since my undergraduate days, so I was very rusty when it came to writing big papers. Because I know the final paper for that course can be very challenging, I try to give as much help to students as I can. I also get regular requests from students in INFO 285: Research Methods, INFO 244: Online Searching, INFO 204: Information Professions, and INFO 203: Online Learning.

I haven’t had students ask for help with publishing and presenting. I would love to help in these areas at some point in the future!

What virtual information communities do you recommend for iSchool students?

Hack Library School is a great blog to learn from other LIS students outside of SJSU. Since they accept guest submissions, it also offers the opportunity for iSchool students to participate in an online blogging community. 

The Reddit communities r/libraries and r/librarians are really useful when it comes to learning more about different things that are happening in the world of libraries. There is often a lot of good career advice as well.

Please tell us a good King Library/iSchool student anecdote.

One time a student asked for help with finding Library of Congress Subject Headings related to paranormal enthusiasts. Since I’m a fan of horror movies, this led me down a fun rabbit hole where I found some really interesting subject headings I had never thought of before. Some of these included:

  • Astral body
  • Astral projection
  • Audiotapes in Parapsychology
  • Cursed objects
  • Demonology
  • Demonomania 
  • Disappearances (Parapsychology)
  • Discernment of spirits
  • Electronic voice phenomenon
  • Extrasensory perception
  • Fourth dimension (Parapsychology) 

Any other ideas or suggestions?

As a final thought, I just wanted to offer some advice regarding your e-Portfolio. You’ve probably heard this many times before, but don’t wait until the last minute! Make sure you save every single assignment in Google Drive, and make a note if you think something might support a specific competency. Your future self will thank your past self for doing this!

Your iSchool Library Liaisons:

Andrew Chae (MLIS ‘20) is a tenure-track library faculty member and iSchool library liaison specializing in informatics, information science and data analytics, and library and information science. Andrew may be reached via email at Click here to view his online library guides.

Craig Simpson is Director of Special Collections & Archives for the King Library and library liaison for the MARA program. He may be reached via email at or by phone at 408-808-2061. Click here to view his “Welcome to MARA” video. See also “Ask an Archivist: Craig Simpson, MARA Liaison Librarian”

SJSU King Library on Social Media:


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