Strange smells, weird lighting, people with serious expressions on their faces as they quietly work on their research. Sound like the lab? Maybe. But I'm talking about the library, a place I have recently rediscovered. Not the online searchable library, not the downloadable PDF file library, but the real library. You know the place. It's that old, familiar building full of books and journals, 1970s-style study carrels, and the constant hum of photocopiers.

My story starts here: I know a lot about fruit flies. They've been my model-organism-of-choice since graduate school. But when a colleague recently began to talk about the availability of whole-genome sequences of other insects (such as the mosquito, the honeybee, and other Drosophila species), I came to a quick realization. Yes, I know a lot about my beloved Drosophila melanogaster, but I knew embarrassingly little about insects in general. To make the most of these...

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