Monday, August 16, 2010

A Tip For The Real World

A small, much used Xerox photocopier in the li...Image via WikipediaOne of my favorite sayings is "Fortune favors the prepared." While our online world is wonderful, it doesn't always have everything we need. Sometimes we have to enter the real world. They have some wonderful resources available in those brick and mortar buildings. But we need to enter "prepared."

You're at your local library, courthouse, or historical society and you're working the copying machine. Behind you is a line of people coughing, restless, looking over your shoulder and asking you how long you're going to be. They want you to hurry.

But if you hurry, you may miss some really important information. Information pertinent to your source and that essential citation.

Here is something I bring with me to save time and money ( yes, I'm cheap). My tickets.

I create a word document tailored to the resource (books, magazines, wills, directories, etc.) I will be researching. In this example, I was copying a photographic article in a magazine and would be researching a couple of books, so my tickets are geared to those resources.

This ticket is created from the source citation examples in Evidence Explained. I have a binder and I keep two copies of each set I've created. Just in case I find a resource I wasn't expecting.

Word Document

Now, you can always copy the title page for the book or magazine. Making a copy takes time and costs. They're still in line behind you. Or you can copy the information by hand to each page. Not efficient.

So, prior to using the copy machine, I fill out one of these tickets. Then I place the ticket on the front page of my article, face down in the copy machine, being sure not to obscure any important information. You can reuse the ticket, placing it on each page of the article, in the event that the stapler is out of staples and you drop your pile of copies on the way back to your table (Yes, I've done this.), or on one page only.

Fill out the information once,

use a dozen times.

Now I have all the information necessary to write a source citation, and I know which real world repository holds the resource.

It works for me. Do you have a great copying tip? Put it in the comments, please.


Blogger Thomas MacEntee said...

Have I told you how much I absolutely adore you? This is an amazing trick - thanks for teaching this old dog!

August 16, 2010 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

I'm so pleased you like this.


P.S. You are my favorite "old dog."

August 16, 2010 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Very creative, I will give this one some serious consideration. Tried and true tips. YA, winner!!

August 16, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Just remember, a tip is only good if it works for you. If it doesn't, we call it an anchor.


August 16, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous karen said...

Fabulous idea! I love it. Now if only we could find something simular for when we copy newspaper articles.

Thank you for sharing. Do you mind if we "copy" your example?

August 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Copy away, Karen.

You can use a newspaper version for copying actual newspapers, but if you're thinking of microfiche there is a problem; but I'm working on that as well.


August 16, 2010 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

What a helpful idea. I like it and will give it a try. Thanks.

August 16, 2010 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Joan said...

You are the prime example of what I love about this group -- not only bright, inventive, creative, etc --- but, o, so willing to share. Thank you!

August 17, 2010 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Melissa Brown said...

great advice!! I'm going to have to try that. thanks!

August 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Tim Cox said...

Great idea FM! I use something similar and I even took it a step further......I copied them on a full sheet of adhesive paper at Kinkos and cut them in strips so now I have a stack that is just like a Post-it. When I need one, I pull it off and stick it to the material to be copied.

September 6, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

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