Booth librarians specialize in subjects

Megan Shudrowitz, Contributing Writer

The Booth Library currently has about 16 librarians able to assist students with their studies or research findings.

These librarians serve as a liaison to a specific academic department in the university. Because they have backgrounds in different research areas, each librarian is assigned to a different department on campus.

Steve Brantley, head of reference and instruction services, said librarians at Booth are qualified for these positions.

Librarians at Eastern need both a master’s degree in library science as well as a second master’s in a different academic field.

“Some people tend to think that whoever is working at a library is just a librarian,” Brantley said.  “We respect all of the staff that work here and they all have skills in different areas, not just being a librarian.”

Brantley said subject librarians can help students individually, and they also collaborate with professors.

“Many times, throughout the semester the professor will arrange for the librarian to come and give an instruction session,” Brantley said. “We are mainly there to help you navigate the research sources to find the best techniques and to get the information that you need in a timely manner.”

When starting a new project, finding the best resources is a crucial, but sometimes difficult, part of the process.

“A lot of times when students are finding research they may not know where to begin or what specialized resources might be available for that certain area, so we can guide them and help untangle any issues students may have,” Brantley said.

The Booth Library also has reference librarians to help students who need assistance in finding sources or books.

Reference librarians are experts about the sources Booth offers, whether it is an online database or journals. These services are available at the reference desk on the third floor at the library.

Beth Heldebrandt, the public relations director of the Booth Library, said when promoting upcoming events or services, the library uses media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and digital display boards throughout campus. They have also created fliers of librarians specified for each department.

These fliers, which can be found all over campus, include librarians’ phone numbers, emails and the field of study they are educated in.

“Our core base that we are trying to serve are the students, faculty and staff at EIU, but we have so many programs that we offer that are open to anyone,” Heldebrandt said.

For a list of reference librarians visit: library.eiu.edu/reference/#librarians

Megan Shudrowitz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]