I had never before asked a reference librarian for this kind of help before. So, I didn’t know what to expect from my research consultation with Linda Fleshman Fisher at the Franklin D. Schurz Library on the campus of IUSB. What a pleasant surprise! The meeting was certainly worth my time as Ms. Fisher gave me a few “use and abuse of executive orders to increase presidential power” research tips that I hadn’t thought of.
There are many articles about how specific executive orders affect the branches of the military and even scholarly historical writings can be found on the official military sites. Using the advanced Google search to specify “.mil” sites, weeds the other types of sites out. I had been searching “.gov” sites already, so the search technique wasn’t new to me. I just hadn’t thought of specifically looking for military sources.
I am familiar with some of the databases available to IUSB students, but Ms. Fisher showed me some of the better search criteria under EBSCOhost and JSTOR to yield the most fruitful results. EBSCOhost, she pointed out, will contain more opinion pieces while JSTOR will contain more scholarly articles.
We moved on to experimenting with various search criteria for books which resulted in me checking out a few that day and identifying some electronic resources and books held at other libraries for later perusal.
Ms. Fisher astutely realized that the problem with a subject like “executive orders” is that there is too much information rather than too little, so she showed me several ways to narrow the results. When you add criteria like “presidential power” and “history” or “Wilson” or “propaganda” for example, the number of resources becomes manageable. Well, almost manageable.