This is the third part in a series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. View previous posts in this series here. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch!
Which departments do you work with on campus?
I specialize in business research: Management, Marketing, Accounting, Finance, and Economics.
What are your other major duties?
I do behind-the-scenes work on library technology and marketing.
What parts of being a librarian do you enjoy the most?
I love working with our students and teaching classes! My favorite moments are when everything clicks and people’s lives are made better or easier because of the library.
What are some of your research interests?
I’m interested in how libraries and librarians can get better at what they do by leveraging principles from the business world like leadership, marketing, and behavioral economics.
What are some of your favorite books? Is there one you particularly recommend for students?
Right now I’m somewhat obsessed with both Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly and Walter Wangerin’s Ragman and Other Cries of Faith.
For students, I’d recommend diving into books that will help you understand different points of view. Ideally, you can apply other people’s wisdom to your own decision-making so you have fewer regrets later on. That could mean learning about a different culture or learning how to think about information and relationships.
Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?
For business research, I adore Passport, which has tons of data about people, countries, and lifestyles all over the world. But a fun resource for anyone to play with is PolicyMap. PolicyMap is just a map of the US that can be populated with all kinds of demographic data. It draws on Census and other government and public data sources and can be used in all sorts of ways. You can figure out the best place for a new business, find out about crime rates or restaurant access in a city before you visit, or learn about your own neighborhood.
Do you have any hobbies?
I spend a lot of time working with a local organization that helps people struggling with addiction. I also love reading, trying out new technology, re-watching old episodes of The West Wing, and playing canasta with my family.
Any fun travel stories you’d like to share?
I really like to travel! This year my big trip was an item from my husband’s bucket list – we went to see the Daytona 500 last February. I am more of a Jane Austen fan than a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, but I’ve learned all about racing and it’s starting to grow on me. Daytona was especially fun because I watched drivers race just inches apart at 200 mph, entirely dependent on their crew to tell them when and where there was room to move around on the track. As someone who tries to fact-check everything, that was an impressive display of trust. (And watching more than 100 cars crash during that weekend reminded me that double-checking even my most trusted sources might help me avoid wrecks!)
Learn more about Beth and her favorite resources on our Facebook page this week!