Meet Your Librarians: Information Is Their Game

Graduate students at UT often feel lost in a sea of undergrads. However, there are twenty-eight individuals at the UT Libraries who are available to help meet the needs of every graduate student.

These subject-specific librarians will be featured in a series of “Meet Your Librarians” articles to familiarize students with their subject matter and expertise. This is the first installment of the five-part series, which will continue through the rest of the semester.

The first seven librarians to be spotlighted are all part of the Scholars Collaborative, whose members provide a suite of services and are committed to supporting faculty and students conducting digital research, scholarship, and creative activity. The group’s expertise with digital scholarship and data helps UT scholars, artists, and innovators create and share their work and demonstrate its value to the university and beyond.

Holly Mercer

mercerAs associate dean for scholarly communication and research services, Holly Mercer directs the libraries’ services to scholars. She supervises data initiatives, research and grants, data curation, digital publishing and production, digital humanities, and the libraries’ Department of Learning, Research, and Engagement.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: Making connections, in an intellectual sense and a personal sense. Libraries, and librarians, are central to the scholarly enterprise.

Learn more about Holly Mercer.

Rachel Radom

radomIn addition to being the art history subject librarian, Rachel Radom is the scholarly communication librarian in the Scholars Collaborative. In this role, she provides UT researchers with guidance in scholarly publishing issues, assistance with copyright and fair use concerns, and support in ensuring that grant-funded researchers are in compliance with public access policies. Radom is also responsible for developing campus awareness of best practices in open access publishing.

Q: What is a resource you wish you had known about during your college career?

A: I wish I’d known about the amazing diversity of library database collections—things like our Twentieth Century Advice Literature database that has digitized books of advice literature for bachelors, wives, mothers from the 1900s to 1990s—that can be both amusing and great fodder for research. Mainly, though, I wish Google Scholar had been as robust as it is now back in my day.

Learn more about Rachel Radom.

Chris Eaker

eakerChris Eaker supports UT researchers in the search for external funding in his role as data curation librarian. Eaker helps faculty prepare the data management plans required by many grant funding agencies. He is knowledgeable about existing data repositories serving the various academic disciplines and can help faculty identify relevant existing data sets as well as making UT researchers’ own data more widely available for use by other researchers.

Q: Favorite book?

A: What Should I Do With My Life? By Po Bronson. It’s the kind of book that’s good to read every couple of years, especially when you’re trying to figure out what you’re meant to do with your life. While trying to figure that out for myself in my previous career before I discovered librarianship, it was encouraging to read of how others discovered their true calling. I feel like I’ve found it now.

Learn more about Chris Eaker.

Ashley Maynor

maynorIn addition to being the classics subject librarian, Ashley Maynor is the digital humanities librarian. In this role, she helps faculty enhance their research and teaching through new modes of inquiry and new methods of scholarly communication. Maynor is available to help digital humanities scholars learn to use media and digital humanities tools as well as how to effectively collaborate on nontraditional research projects that use such tools. She can equally advise scholars on preserving and publishing their work through online repositories, including creation of digital objects and metadata.

Q: If you could tell students about one resource available to them that doesn’t seem to be widely known, what would it be?

A: Librarians put a lot of time into online research guides to help students get started and learn about the best tools and resources without ever having to leave home. I am constantly updating my digital humanities guide.

Learn more about Ashley Maynor.

Greg March

As map and geospatial data librarian, Greg March helps students and faculty locate and use cartographic and geospatial resources. He can provide assistance with online resources as well as the libraries’ map collection. He can help users evaluate GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as a suitable tool for solving research needs and help locate appropriate spatial data. March is also the subject librarian for the Departments of Anthropology, Geography, and Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Q: Best moment of your career?

A: When I heard that I had inspired a student to pursue library science as a career.

Learn more about Greg March.

Eric Arnold

The UT Libraries’ other GIS specialist is Eric Arnold. He helps faculty and students use geospatial data in their research or class projects. Arnold can help users evaluate GIS as a suitable tool for solving research needs, aid in locating appropriate spatial or geographical data, and assist with geocoding. He is also available to provide instruction on the use of ArcGIS software free to faculty, staff, and students and is the go-to person for handheld GPS receiver questions.

Learn more about Eric Arnold.

Michelle Brannon

bannonAs media literacy librarian, Michelle Brannen manages the library’s media production lab, the Studio, and helps faculty integrate media into university course work. She is also the learning, research, and collections librarian for the School of Journalism and Electronic Media, providing research consultations, information literacy instruction, and collection development for that discipline.

Q: If you could tell students about one resource available to them that doesn’t seem to be widely known, what would it be?

A: I see lots of undergraduates making use of the equipment checkout available, but I many less graduate students making use of the equipment. Even if your research projects might wind up in the more traditional text forms of a thesis, dissertation, or an article, media can really enrich the research process. For example, even if you don’t want to present a video at the end of the research, recording video or audio for fieldwork and interviews can really provide good insight into your subject and be more accurate than taking notes.

Learn more about Michelle Bannon.

Be on the lookout for the next edition of Meet Your Librarians in Vol Update on October 29.