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Research Assistance & Resources in the Social Sciences - Gregory McKinney: Home

Consultations, library instruction, purchase requests and more...Using the library effectively / Finding the resources you need

Make it Easy! Get to know your Subject Specialist

Guidepost pointing to Support, Advice, Help, Gudiance and AssistanceEvery librarian serves as a liaison with one or more academic departments; as such, they work with students and faculty in those departments to use the library effectively.

I serve as the liaison for the departments of Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Geography and Urban Studies (GUS), and Sociology. Although I assist all faculty and students who contact me, I encourage students and faculty to meet the librarian who acts as the liaison for their department. In doing so enormous benefits can be obtained in terms of saved time and improved research. A list of all librarians and the departments for which they act as liaisons can be found by clicking here: SUBJECT SPECIALISTS Click the librarians name for more information. 

Below is a list of the different types of services discussed in the boxes lower on the page. To request assistance with any of them, use the contact information on the right side of the page below the picture of the subject specialist:

Consultations - schedule an appointment at a time convenient for you
GIS -  assistance locating and using locational/geographical software
Purchases - request the purchase of a book or film
Instruction - request a library instruction session for aclass
Data - assistance locating data
Research Guides - request the creation of a research guide
Maps - assistance locating maps
Reference - general problem-solving, locating needed assistance, etc.


A consultation with a librarian provides the opportunity to describe your research or project, and to ask questions. It gives the librarian the opportunity to ask you questions, and to show how things work. Twenty minutes of discussion can cover more ground than twenty minutes spent composing an email.

Consultations can save instructor's time. If students are using the library to do an assignment, and have difficulties, they can request that the student make an appointment to speak to a librarian. Appointments are simple to set up using the SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT button on the right side of the page.


Do you need help using GIS Software, finding GIS software, etc: ArcGIS, ArcGIS Online, StoryMaps from ESRI, Map Stories, World Map from Harvard, StoryMap JS, GeoStories? With the widespread availability of GPSs, geographical data has assumed a greater prominence in research and academia. Many kinds of software are now available which use geographical data and have the potential to take student assignments beyond traditional assignments and more fully involve the student. Contact me if you are interested in exploring the potential of geographical software in your classes.


Students in a classroom

Most students do not take the time to explore the library webpage. A library session can make them aware of the resources they have available to them. They can be shown how to do research easily and effectively. A session  can be tailored to the needs of the class or instructor. It can be from 10 to 60 minutes or more, in your classroom or elsewhere. It can be a general introduction to the library, or focused on a specific assignment,  located at Main Campus, TUCC, or Ambler.

Find Data

The library at this time does not purchase or store data. However, there is an enormous amount of data available on the Internet. If you need data I can help to locate it, including shapefiles, demographics, statistics, census data, etc. Make an appointment and let's talk about it.

Research Guides

There are available on the library website a large number of Research Guides, created for specific classes or topics. which provide guidance in locating and using library resources. If you would like to have a research guide created for a class, or for a specific topic, please contact me.

Find Maps

The library no longer has a map collection. Many maps though, including most of the maps from the US Geographical Survey, are now available online and many can be printed to produce a copy equivalent to the original print copy.. Contact me if you need assistance in finding a specific type of map, and printing it.


Guidepost to questions and answers




Do you have questions that need answers but you don't know who to ask? I can either answer the question, or direct you to the person who can. As a member of the library staff, I may also be able to solve problems you encounter, but have been unable to resolve.

Request Books and Films

Would you like to recommend books or films for the library to purchase? You can make purchase requests using this form: Request a Purchase. A quicker way though, to request and receive new materials, is to make the request directly through me, your library liaison. As a liaison, I can purchase books and films outright. For more expensive items, such as databases, I can recommend that they be purchased.

Subject Specialist

Gregory McKinney's picture
Gregory McKinney
Paley Library
Room: 221
1210 W. Polett Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-204-4581
Fax: 215-204-5201