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University Libraries

Be a Successful Student Athlete:
7 Things Your iCoach (aka Information Coach, aka librarian) Wants You to Know

Can Library Research Help? Well, a creative voice shows how you benefit from Studying Like a Scholar (a short video parody of an Old Spice Commercial). And Yes! You, too, can do this...

Searching for information these days often seems like standing at the base of a towering cliff, and being unprepared to begin the laborious climb. You are likely witnessing only part of the whole, and confusion, degrees of perceived difficulty, and frustration prevent you a direct, successful route to the top. Take several steps back. View the mountain in its entirety. Gather your gear, and plot an exact and systematic ascent to the summit. Better yet: have your iCoach--your designated librarian--guide you to your destination! Your iCoach knows the routes, the tools, and the means to help you reach the top of that “Mountain of Information.”

HELPFUL HINT: When on a road trip for an away game, match, meet, event, you can access the UB Libraries and most of its resources, including most electronic journals and databases, just start your search by going directly to the University Libraries' Home Page. To access the UB Chat for help 24/7, click here.

Getting Credit for Library Research: Become a Savvy Expert 

The University Libraries provides an interesting opportunity to fine-tune, refine, and exploit your library research skills and integrate this konwledge into all of your classes at UB. ULC-257 is a 2-credit library instruction course offered each Fall and Spring Semester. Each class introduces students to the University at Buffalo Libraries, and develops and hones skills for locating library information and data resources; and builds your methodology and expertise in conducting research for papers, projects, presentations, and other class requirements. ULC-257 provides instruction for selecting research topics, formulating hypotheses, analyze information sources, how to properly cite those resources, and address the evolving and growing importance.

#1 University Libraries Home Page is your gateway for one-stop shopping for library research. The University Libraries Catalog is an inventory of all holdings in all of the libraries found on UB’s Campuses, and is accessed from this page. The Libraries Home PAge is the place to launch your access to databases (reference, bibliographic, numeric, biosequence), electronic/online journal and magazine articles, reports, books and monographs, journals, DVDs and other media, and much more. Library Research (Information Literacy) prepares you with mental calisthenics the same way your coaches expect you to perform during workouts and practices—you are just sharpening two saws! Your iCoach,  Fred Stoss, is available for consultation individually or in groups for identifying the most appropriate resources and developing effective and efficient search strategies.

#2 LibGuides are Comprehensive Compliations Prepared by Subject Specialist Librarians and List Various Resources by Subject

These LibGuides are special guides or finding tools compiled by UB subject librarians. These guides provide information on print and online resources for specific majors or focused research activities at the University. Use them for locating subject-specific information within the UB Libraries (bibliographic and reference databases, electronic journal collections, reference books, library news, etc.) and selectively from outside resources such as Web-based other subject guides and other online resources. Need to know what databases and resources match a particular topic? This gets you started for finding articles and other resources for your papers, projects, reviews and other class and lab write-ups.

#3 Your Librarian Subject Specialists

These librarians are subject-specialists, librarians serving as liaisons to each Academic Department or School and to each University Research Institute/Center. I, frequently, am asked at the Reference Desk, “Can you help me with a dumb/silly/stupid question?” My answer is, “Sure, but… The only dumb/silly/stupid question is the one you don’t ask!” We are here to help you, so ask away! Ask librarians at the Reference Desks or contact them in their offices. Ask your iCoach or any librarian at any Reference Desk.

#4 The Research Tips

site is an online guide designed for increasing your performance with research in the University at Buffalo's University Libraries. If a librarian is not immediately available, this guide helps you understand and acquire basic research skills including:
[Research Tips:]

  • How to locate books and periodicals using the UB Libraries catalog
  • How to locate full-text articles
  • What to look for when using the Web for research
  • How to cite books and articles.
  • How to calculate how long an assignment will take to complete; check out the  Assignment Calculator

#5 DO NOT BE BASHFUL!!! Ask for and get help!

These four (4) words can save your career as a student and as an athlete at UB. Balancing and juggling class assignments, study time, workouts and practices, traveling and games is not easy. Time management demands for you to maximize the positive outcomes of every aspect of your life. The Athletics Department and your coaches, YOUR University and your iCoach (and all other librarians) want you to succeed. Student Athletes have access to the Student-Athlete Tutorial Program in the Office of Athlete Academic and Student Services. There are, however, other resources and individuals here to help you, and where you find tutoring services for your academic performance, whether with the services provided by the Athletics Department, or elsewhere are the keys to your academic success.

Getting academic assistance is the same reason you go to your coaches, trainers, and teammates for help: to perfect your performance in the classroom, just as you do on the field, on the court, in the pool and any other place you play your chosen sports. In addition to the tutoring service in the Athletics Department, the University provides personalized assistance with academic coursework through a variety of tutoring services and academic advisement. Also be sure to consult your departmental office, teaching instructors or professors for more information. Don’t let yourself struggle, when asking for help is the least painful, easiest and best way to succeed. There are many places and people at UB that want to help you do just that.

#6 Help A—Z

Need help navigating around UB, its building, libraries, stores and more? Need help finding out how to get from one campus to another? Need help to find some places to go around campus or the City of Buffalo? Help A—Z gets you started. If not found there… ask your iCoach (especially, if you are looking for a good place to go fly fishing for trout or salmon) or one of the UB Librarians!

#7 Meet YOUR iCoach:  Fred Stoss' On-site Reference & Office Hours

Fred can be found in the hallway near or at the bank of computers out side of the Athletics Department Office of Academic Services (Room #169, Alumni Arena) During the Fall and Spring Semesters on Tuesday afternoons from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm and on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. In the Summer, look for him on Wednesday mornings from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.  Fred cand also be reached during the rest of the week in his office in the Science and Engineering Inforamtion Center in Lockwood Library Room 105 please note an appointment preferred. He also has dedicated on-site reference hours in the Mathematics Building's Department Lounge: Monday and Thursday from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.

* Some things about your iCoach:  Fred Stoss is an Associate Librarian in the Arts & Sciences Libraries, where he serves as the subject specialist for the Biological Sciences, Geology, and Mathematics Departments. He also has responsibilities in the areas of ecology and environmental science and studies. Fred has a BA degree in Biology from Hartwick College where he wrestled and played lacrosse (stared at a lot of ceilings and acquired a good number of bench splinters, but had a lot of fun in Division III programs; at Vestal High School, he wrestled with one of UB’s Athlete Hall of Fame Members). He was trained by former Vice President Al Gore to present Mr. Gore’s slideshows on climate change and serves as a Mentor for The Climate Reality Leadership Corps, founded by Mr. Gore. Fred also has a MS degree in Zoology (aquatic ecology) from the SUNY College at Brockport, and a Master of Library Science Degree from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, where he picked up a fondness for D-I college basketball and lacrosse. Learn more at: Contact by email: or by phone at 716 645-1337.