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W-Seminar Englisch: Einführungsveranstaltung an der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek

New Realist ´Stabitopia´ for ´Postmodernity´ Seminar

If we posit Postmodernity as a bygone era of actual and symbolic deconstruction of meaningfulness and communication, we could just as well bear out Stabi´s promise to initiate anybody to scholarly research taking on new realist, meaning newly and fully completely graspable proportions. In actuality, this is exactly what happened to us thanks to Dr. Günter Bielemeier, librarian at Stabi.

    Even though we were forced to apply for a pupils´ practice session rather late in the year and therefore outside the usual procedures of the institution, we were kindly permitted to join a general introductory course. Having said that, the library sleuth mentioned above took same time to prepare what turned out to be a fully-fledged thematic introduction as a far as our further title Utopia and Dystopia was concerned. Terms used for the sake of practice thus included ideology and metropolis.

    Great emphasis was placed on the search for electronic, downloadable periodicals, journals and reviews on literary criticism, of which the famously high-ranking Munich-based institution´s catalogue abounds.

    Of course the Stabi sports a record number of valuable books and various other documents and primary sources in its central building near Munich University and even in stock throughout Munich. Still, it can be called extremely student-friendly in that it makes it possible to download countless monographies and collections of articles as e-books.

    Coming back to the above allusion to realism, a realistic approach to research as such was provided by Dr. Bielemeier as well. He made great effort to stress the importance of scholarly data banks that contain either facts or literature, for it is they that are peer-reviewed. That means that experts fact-check them on a regular basis.

    Dealing with terms such as English Studies (a scholarly magazine), Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, or combined ones such as Utopia/Literature and Mumbai/Slums and, unsurprisingly, current crunchers such as Trump and Islamists, students learned how to retrieve books or newsletters they can either download or borrow at the library´s facilities proper.

    Interestingly, Dr. Bielemeier and his experienced staff do encourage the use of reliable and peer- reviewed electronic scholarly and scientific sources for a number of reasons. While actual university students have the opportunity to get their hands on a possibly rare book as early as possible without having to wait for a pupil in Lower Bavaria to give it back (books can be borrowed more than once), borrowing, downloading and even printing materials online definitely makes for convenient and modern research.

   After this concise introduction to the dos and don’ts of research with the Stabi catalogue (Opac plus), we were taken on a veritable joy ride through the various departments of the Bavarian State Library and were (not) taken aback a bit when being told about the statistically proven student flirt factor of this historical building as well as the large amount of magazines on every possible and impossible topic that have to be kept by the institution for the purpose of archiving of any issue published.

Autor: ws | Datum: 10.05.2017