Meet Alicia Vaandering – Part of our “Featured Librarian” Series

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Welcome to our “Featured Librarian” series!
We thought it would be fun for everyone to know who we are, what we do and learn a bit about why we love libraries.

Alicia Vaanderng, Education and Instructional Design Librarian

This month’s Featured Librarian is Alicia Vaandering, who is Education and Instructional Design Librarian.

Here are some answers she gave in a recent interview:

What is your job here at McKillop library?
I am the Education and Instructional Design Librarian.

What degree(s) do you have and where did you get them?
I received my Master of Library and Information Studies (M.L.I.S.) from the University of Rhode Island, and I am currently working toward receiving my M.A. in history from URI as well. My B.A. is from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

What departments are you a liaison for?
I am the liaison for the education department at Salve, and I currently share liaison duties for the history department with Genna Duplisea, our wonderful archivist at McKillop.

What is the best way to contact you?
Usually by email at alicia.vaandering@salve.edu, or in person at either the first or second floor information desks.

What is the best part of your job?
For me, teaching library instruction sessions is the best part of my job. I love working with students to help them develop research strategies and discover new tools that can help them with their projects and assignments. Technology has opened up so many new avenues for research, teaching, and scholarship; and it’s so fun and rewarding to tackle more traditional research topics and problems with new tools. However, I’d also say that getting to read award-winning children’s books and young adult literature is definitely up there on my list of favorite things about my job.

What do you like most about the library?
The books, which I’m hesitant to say as there’s a bit of a misconception that librarians do nothing but work with physical books. Nonetheless, there’s something so wonderful about working in a place where you are surrounded by books that contain millennia of knowledge, stories, and traditions. It’s like being surrounded by thousands and thousands of connections to the world around you. It’s a powerful feeling.

What library resource do you think is most useful for students and why?
Is it cheating if I say librarians? If so, I think I’ll go ahead and cheat and just say it: I think librarians are the most useful resource for students. The reason for this is simple: librarians can connect students with all the other resources that are available to them for their research and personal needs. We work with such a diverse range of resources and tools every day, so we bring a nuanced understanding of the research and information-creating processes to the table. And if one of us doesn’t have the right information, we’re more than willing to check with other Salve librarians or with the general library community. Librarians tend to be incredibly collaborative. We take pride in finding an answer to student questions, rather than in simply knowing the answer ourselves.

What are your hobbies and/or personal interests?
I enjoy reading, cooking and baking, traveling, binge-watching tv shows (particularly period detective shows like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Murdoch Mysteries), hiking, and visiting museums.

Do you have any pets?
I have two cats that are each others’ archenemies. One is a calico named Spumoni, the other is a tortoise-shell (tortie) named Persephone.
Apparently, calicos and torties tend to be independent and less sociable with other cats. Prime example of what happens when you don’t do research, even for decisions outside the classroom.

Do you have a favorite author and/or quote?
That’s like picking a favorite star in the sky! There’s so many. My physical and digital bookshelves are littered with Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, A.J. Jacobs, Geraldine Brooks, Tony Horwitz, J.K. Rowling, Kate Morton, the Brontës, Arthur Conan Doyle, and a host of others. My favorites change by mood and what’s going on in my life and in the broader world at the moment.

What are you reading right now? What do you think about it?
I’m reading Agatha Christie’s Murder in Mesopotamia (bedtime reading), Alistair Black’s A New History of the English Public Library (thesis reading), and Paul Thompson’s Dressmaker’s War (general reading). I’m enjoying all of them in very different ways.

Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?

Hmm…someday I want to own a pygmy goat whom I will name Herbert (this has been my plan since I was about ten years old and fell in love with a little black pygmy goat at the Oregon State Fair). I also love rainy weather as it reminds me of growing up in the Pacific Northwest. So, if we are having a rainy day and you feel like you need to see a happy person who won’t grumble about the weather, come see me in the library. 🙂

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Meet Dawn Emsellem – Part of our “Featured Librarian” series

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Welcome to our new “Featured Librarian” series!

We thought it would be fun for everyone to know who we are, what we do and learn a bit about why we love libraries.

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Our second Featured Librarian is Dawn Emsellem, who is our Research and Instruction Librarian.

Here are some answers she gave in a recent interview:

What is your job here at McKillop library?
Research and Instruction Librarian. I spend a lot of time at the information desk answering everyone’s questions, teaching classes, and thinking of new ways to spread the gospel of information literacy.

What degree(s) do you have and where did you get them?
I have a BS in Political Science from Barnard College in New York and a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

What departments are you a liaison for?
I work with the Departments of Political Science, Modern and Classical Languages, Master’s and Ph.D. in the Humanities, Pell Scholar Program, and Global Studies. I also liaise with the Student Government Association and the RAs.

What is the best way to contact you?
People can stop by the information desk or my office on the first floor of the library, room 130, call me at 341-2336, or email me at dawn.emsellem@salve.edu.

What is the best part of your job?
I love helping people explore their intellectual passions. And I love a tricky reference question. I love that “ah-ha” moment when you and your information seeker are looking and looking and looking together, through all the library databases and the catalogs, and Google Scholar, and you finally discover an absolutely perfect book or article or report and you’re both like, “wheeeeee!”

I also love learning a little about a lot of stuff. Librarians at an institution like Salve have to be able to dip into any subject and quickly get the lay of the land. I love that process. The other week I couldn’t find anything on a student’s religious and theological studies topic in our library resources, but I had a feeling that there was a body of work out there and we just hadn’t hit on the right search words. I searched Google Scholar, and then Google, and realized that there were tons of lay people writing on this esoteric aspect of bible study. These self-taught theologians had interpretations that were sometimes way out there and we couldn’t use them, but they cited several academics. We researched the academics to make sure they weren’t on the fringe, and then found their articles, and learned how they referred to the topic, and then found more library sources using the new search words we had found. It was a really fun process.

What do you like most about the library?
I like how lively it is. I like being around people, and at Salve, the library is a busy, busy place on campus.

What library resource do you think is most useful for students and why?
All of them are useful for answering different kinds of questions. Right now I’m really into our Gale Virtual Reference Library database because it’s been helping me really quickly and easily answer all of these Religious Studies questions we’ve been getting lately.

What are your hobbies and/or personal interests?

I used to have hobbies, but now I have 3 little boys under 7 so I don’t do anything but kid stuff. I used to like power tools, building things, painting, reading, and drawing. Now I like going to zoos and museums and running around in wild places with my husband and our boys.

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Do you have any pets?
We have seven fish, three shrimp, two snails (named Mitch and Rob) and three aquatic frogs. My eldest son is trying to strong arm us into getting him a bearded dragon.

Do you have a favorite author and/or quote?
Roald Dahl is my favorite author right now. He’s very subversive and he gets what it’s like to be a kid. My favorite author used to be Jane Jacobs, who wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I also enjoy Atul Gawande. I am very bad at remembering quotes. I used to write them down on slips of paper and tape them on the walls of my apartment so that I could remember them again. I have twelve books piled on my bedside table, on top of three months of New Yorker Magazines. I read about five pages a night before I conk out.

What’s your favorite book? (obligatory question for a librarian!)
I really can’t decide on one favorite book. Every book changes the way I think.

Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?
I recently discovered that I think snakes are cute. My oldest son found a baby snake under a log the other day and it was super sweet.

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Meet Lisa Kenyon – Part of our “Featured Librarian” Series

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Welcome to our new “Featured Librarian” series!
We thought it would be fun for everyone to know who we are, what we do and learn a bit about why we love libraries.

LisaK

Our first Featured Librarian is Lisa Kenyon, who is Special Programs Librarian.

Here are some answers she gave in a recent interview:

What is your job here at McKillop Library?
I am responsible for library programming as well as helping students with library research. I am also the personal librarian for the class of 2017.

What degree(s) do you have and where did you get them?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island.

What departments are you liaison for?
I am the liaison to the Psychology, Social Work and Art departments.

What is the best way to contact you?
Call me at x2278, email me at lisa.kenyon@salve.edu or stop by room 129 in the library any time!

What is the best part of your job?
I love learning the research interests of faculty and students. Sometimes being a librarian is like being a detective, you have to put all the pieces together to find the right answer. I learn something new at my job every day!

What do you like most about the library?
Being surrounded by books.

What library resource do you think is most useful for students and why?
Librarians, of course. While we have a great variety of useful online and print resources, seeking the expertise of a librarian will make getting started much easier.

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What are your hobbies and/or personal interests?
When I’m not working, I’m having fun with my two daughters, ages two and four. I love to hike, bicycle, garden and cook with my family. I also like to collage and make small hand bound books (photos above).

Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have a beautiful fourteen year old overweight black cat named Rosepetal.

LisaK-cat

Do you have a favorite author and/or quote?
I have lots of favorite authors and quotes but the one that comes to mind right now is by Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

What’s your favorite book? (obligatory question for a librarian!)
There are way too many to mention. I generally love historical fiction and anything to do with Paris but a few of my most favorite books are The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, The Color Purple by Alice Walker and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?
When I graduated from College, I rode my bike from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

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