Library research is fundamental to the learning process in competitive debate. To this end, the Michigan Debate Institutes offer students tremendous, if not unparalleled resources for the research of the national topics.
The University of Michigan Library system is among the finest in the world. The library system houses over 6.4 million volumes and subscribes to thousands of periodicals. University of Michigan libraries collect hundreds of periodicals and books directly germane to the national topics. The Library System also includes twenty-three other specialized libraries covering specific fields, including business, science and the environment, public health, and government documents.
Library Instruction Curriculum
As part of a joint effort between the Debate Institute and the nationally recognized University of Michigan School of Information and Library Sciences, students at the Michigan Debate Institutes are taught basic and advanced debate research techniques.
This instruction takes two forms: development of skills related to the particular national policy topic, such as the use of computerized indexes, government documents, and bibliographic searches; and cultivation of the process of how to develop a research strategy which students can implement throughout the entire season.
Washington D.C. Resources
The University of Michigan's Government Documents Library is an official Government Depository. To supplement this material the Michigan Debate Institutes collect and reserve materials from Washington D.C. public and private agencies and organizations concerning the national topic prior to the start of the Michigan Debate Institutes. This material is made available exclusively to the participants of the Michigan Debate Institutes. The institute may also acquire additional germane materials from Washington during the course of the workshop as necessary.
The Reserve Collection
The Michigan Debate Institute staff compiles a special reserve collection of hundred of topic related books and government documents from all University of Michigan libraries. This collection is available exclusively for Michigan Debate Institute participants. Our students also receive a comprehensive bibliography of government publications concerning the national topic.
Technological innovation has revolutionized library and information systems, opening a whole new world of research possibilities for debaters. Students at the Michigan Debate Institutes can take advantage of the unparalleled resources of the University of Michigan, one of the nation's leaders in integrating computing technology with education and research. These resources are coupled with a special curriculum designed to help debaters who possess basic or advanced computing experience develop and apply their skills.
Debate Institute participants have complete access to the largest University-based personal computer system in the United States. Nineteen computing sites across campus offer 24 hour access to Michigan's computing resources. These include computing centers at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library, as well as the 15,000 square foot Angell Hall computing site with over 250 computers, which is a short walk from the Residence Hall. Students receive a special lecture and hands-on classes designed to help them take advantage of these unique resources. Institute students have access to all University support services, including consultants at each computing center as well as a 24 hour computer consultant hotline.
Computer Database Instruction
Michigan Workshop students receive special instructional classes which teach them basic and advanced research strategies using computer-based indices for library research. The classes are designed by University of Michigan librarians and our faculty, specifically for our students' needs. Now available to students in Michigan's computerized indices are: the Michigan Central Card Catalogue, the Wilson Index to Journal Articles, the PsychINFO Database, the Public Affairs Information Service, the National Newspaper Index, and others.
In addition to regular library indices, all library terminals as well as all computers in the computing sites offer complete access to the resources available on the internet. Available on the world wide web are updated Congressional documents and the Congressional Record, a full-text searchable database of Supreme Court decisions, newswire service publications, and information published by interest groups. Also now available is a new index called Legislate that allows keyword, author and subject searches of government documents.
Lexis-Nexis Universe & Proquest
All students have full access to the University of Michigan's resource of Lexis-Nexis Universe and Proquest, which allows users to conduct text-searches in thousands of journal and newspaper articles and documents. Students are instructed in the use of this resource.