Junior IB students visit USF library


Cece Giarman

IB juniors visit University of San Francisco’s rare book collection in the Gleeson Library. The collection houses items dating back to 15th century.

Mary Perez, Senior Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE Junior International Baccalaureate students left campus yesterday for F and G Periods to visit the University of San Francisco’s library to help them begin research for their Extended Essays.

“USF’s strong connection to Schools of the Sacred Heart, coupled with the fact that it has an amazing library, is close in proximity to us, and has wonderful librarians all led me to contact them last year about a possible visit,” librarian Alyson Barrett-Ryan said. “I hope Junior IB students will begin envisioning themselves as college students doing college-level research.”

The IB Program requires students to write an Extended Essay, which is a student-directed 4,000 word research paper, as part of their diploma requirements.

The field trip was helpful to students and taught students ways to help them find books that will be useful to their essay topics, according to junior Isabella Bermejo.

“I had a chance to access a variety of sources and actually find some very good physical books on my topic,” Bermejo, who is researching a biology-based topic, said. “I found at least two books that have good statistical and scientific data about my topic.”

Students also took a tour of the USF library and learned how to use their databases, according to junior Sydney Caba.

“We learned a lot about the library system, specifically at USF, but also a about the San Francisco Public Library,” Caba said. “The trip informed me on what next steps I should be taking in my research.”

The trip provided students with additional resources for their Extended Essays, according to Caba.

“I am writing about how new developments in medicine may be making late onset rabies viruses no longer deadly,” Bermejo said. “I have mainly been using Jstor and science journals along with medical and biological databases, and archives that the school has access to.”

In addition to utilizing online resources, students are also expected to find outside information, such as databases and libraries, to research their topics, according to Barrett-Ryan.

“I hope students realize how to use our books, as we have thousands of books here at Convent & Stuart Hall,” Barrett-Ryan said. “I hope students will talk to experts — their supervisors, teachers and librarians as they navigate their research. Last, we hope students will access their own creativity to make connections and find inspiration.”

The school is open to visiting other libraries in the future to help students engage their research deeply, according to Barrett-Ryan.

“A hope of mine is that students will feel comfortable visiting USF’s library again,” Barrett-Ryan said. “USF’s library team are experts and they’re so friendly. Hopefully, some of our students will go back!”