personal librarian

Want your own personal librarian?

Are you stuck with a research question? Know there’s resources out there, but not how to find them? Need help improving your research skills? I can help with all of that. Think of this like going to your local library, but with some differences (and benefits!)

I use my skill and experience to…

  • Review possible sources of material about your topic.
  • Identify and briefly evaluate sites, books, and other materials for relevance and quality of information.
  • Identify search terms, subject headings, and other methods of finding additional information when relevant to your question.
  • Summarise the findings for you in a clear, well-organised report.

I’m not doing your research for you (that’d involve a lot more time!). Plus, you know best exactly what will help you the most.

When you get my report, you’ll be able to make the most of your research time and know how to get around some obvious and not-so-obvious potential dead ends. Plus I’ll provide other resources that can help you when it makes sense for your particular question or project.

If you just need a couple of links to move forward, check out my quick question service. (I’ll also suggest this if it seems like a better fit.)

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What kinds of questions?

I focus on questions I’ve seen many people in the modern Pagan and magical community struggle with, but I’m open to other topics too. If you have a topic you need help with, I’d be glad to talk about whether I’m the right person to help you. (There are some kinds of questions I don’t answer.)

Here are some ideas and examples:

  • Brief definition and background on a particular Pagan or magical term or concept: Stuck on understanding a term or concept or confused by how a source is using it? Sample term: degrees (available as PDF or GoogleDoc).
  • Making the most of your local resources: Identifying local library options near you, or identifying Pagan groups and events near you. Sample report: Boston, Massachusetts area library resources(available as PDF or GoogleDoc)
  • Finding specific titles or resources: Identifying whether there are copies of a particular (less common title) you can access near your location. Sample report: Finding MS Tanner 407 (available as PDF or GoogleDoc)
  • Resource list: Resources focused on a particular topic including books, publications, websites, and groups as relevant. Also includes relevant search terms and suggestions for further research.
  • Accessibility information: Resources about adapting particular practices, events, or experiences for accessibility needs drawing from community event experience and common accessibility approaches like Universal Design.

If you’re looking for other options, I also offer consulting help for projects and learning skills, or note-taking and research services for items in the Boston area.

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How this works:

  • Please read through the rest of this page so you understand the practical details and what you’re getting.
  • When you’re ready to ask a question, fill out the form at the bottom of this page. I don’t want to duplicate what you’ve already done, so letting me know where you’ve already looked is helpful.
  • I review your information and ask any clarifying questions in an email (or maybe two.)
  • For projects of more than half an hour, I will send you an agreement before doing any work. It includes what you can expect as a report, my anticipated timeline, and the charges for the initial work. (A sample agreement can be accessed from the policies page if you want to see how things work.)
  • If the agreement works for you, you sign it, return it, and pay me for the initial work we agree on. This is where the timer starts.
  • Research happens!
  • I write up the information and send it off to you.

If there’s more information than fits in the time we’ve agreed on, I’ll include a summary of options for further exploration at the end of the report and an estimate of the time needed. These might include subject terms, books, or other resources I didn’t have time to explore in depth. You can decide if you want to review them yourself, arrange for additional time, or whatever else makes sense to you." "

Practical details:

My base fee is $50 (US) per hour, billed to the quarter hour. Additional information about my rates and payment is available, including some additional options if your finances are limited.

 

Format:

I normally arrange a project through email (that way we both have a record), and will provide my research in a written summary or report. I offer a PDF or GoogleDoc by preference, but I can provide alternate formats on request.

Text-based and video chat are potentially an option, but are subject to my availability. Please contact me to ask about specific fees and considerations.

Time and responses:

Reports and discussion of your topics will be by email – this gives both of us a record of what we’ve discussed and is the easiest way to share links and lengthy material. Our agreement will include a time frame when I expect to provide the report based on the amount of work and my current availability.

Please give me a day or two to respond to you, though I’m often faster than that. More about communicating with me is on my questions page.

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What you get

You will get a written report listing a number of resources and information sources you can explore further on your own.

These might include (depending on the topic):

  • Useful search terms, subject headings, etc.
  • Specific authors and titles to consider
  • Websites and brief summaries about why they might be relevant
  • Search tips, or information about where to access more resources (such as information about using interlibrary loan, a nearby library system, or other collection.)
  • If your question involves finding groups or teachers, I’ll include some information about evaluating them.

I include recommendations for further research as relevant.

As noted above, our agreement is for my time and experience working on your question, not for any specific results or information. I don’t read materials in detail, but instead identify resources that would be worth further exploration.

Important notes

My policies page has additional important information on all these topics, but here are the key points.

  • I am a librarian. I am not a doctor, lawyer, or any other kind of licensed professional. I can direct you to resources, but not provide advice on medical, legal, or other similar topics.
  • I am a witch and priestess, but not your witch or priestess. I do not provide direct practical advice or training about witchcraft, magic, ritual, or related topics through this service. You will get a list of resources and materials you can use to make your own decisions (which may include information about groups, teachers, events, or other resources near you.)
  • If I direct you to groups or individuals, in most cases, I do not know these people (or only know their general public reputation.) If I have a closer connection with someone I mention, I will let you know. You are responsible for evaluating the individuals or groups yourself. Relevant reports will provide some resources to help you do this.
  • I do not provide instant replies: I have a day job and do not answer questions for this side business while I am at work. You can normally expect a reply within 24 hours (including on weekends). I have times when I may be travelling, dealing with health issues, or otherwise less available. If these come up, I will let you know when you can expect a reply.

I retain copyright of the materials I provide to you. Our agreement will include a license allowing you to share, copy, and otherwise use the report I send to you in whatever way you see fit. This allows me to use the research I’ve done for you for other projects in the future without worrying about copyright issues.

I do not do detailed research for you or provide complete access to print sources. I will identify books and other resources you may want to request and can help with ways you can get access to them. In some cases, I may be able to copy or summarize brief passages from books I already own, if relevant and useful to your answer, but in most cases you will need to get your hands on the materials yourself.

Answers to other questions you may have (and their answers) can be found on my questions page. 

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About you

How can I reach you?


How can I help?

Use the space below to describe the kind of consulting you're interested in. Some possible things you may wish to include are:

- The topic of your project or question you have
- Your budget or amount of time you're interested in.
- How detailed you'd like the report to be (just the resources or links, or an explanation of how to explore more?)

- Resources you've already looked at.
- A brief summary of your background or comfort with research
- Other information about your preferred focus.

Last updated March 31, 2018

Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom : Jenett Silver : seekknowledgefindwisdom.com

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