This is the first part in a new series that will help you get to know your Helmke librarians. Do you have a question for us? Visit our Ask-A-Librarian page and be in touch!
What departments do you work with on campus?
Civil & Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Computer, Electrical, & Information Technology, Manufacturing & Construction Engineering Technology, and Computer Science
What are your other major duties?
Scholarly Communications & Library Social Media Manager
What are your favorite things about Fort Wayne?
DeBrand’s Chocolates! And the River Greenway (to balance out the chocolates).
What do you love about being a librarian?
I love working one-on-one with students. In my senior year of college, I realized I was having the most fun helping a friend who was struggling with a research project. Over many late nights and lots of caffeinated beverages, I grew to love research and helping others better define and find what’s they’re looking for – which is one of many things a librarian does. It’s still my favorite part of my job!
What are some of your research interests?
I’m really interested in understanding how students do research for their assignments and how they experience using library resources such as databases and the website. I’m very interested in finding ways to make the library’s instruction program and resources better suited to student needs and more user friendly. I’m also fascinated by a number of scholarly communications issues, such as open access publishing and predatory journals.
What are some of your favorite books?
So many! Two of my all-time favorites are The Shadow of the Wind and The Night Circus. And, of course, Harry Potter.
Is there any resource that you particularly love? Why?
My all-time favorite database is definitely Opposing Viewpoints – I love how it highlights the different perspectives on controversial issues. I wish I had had access to this database when I was in high school and college, it would have saved me a lot of time! Any time a student comes to me and explains that they need sources arguing from different sides of an issue, this is my go-to database. In addition, when I’m working with engineering and technology students, I like to use Compendex, which offers one of the broadest searches on science and engineering literature available.
Do you have any hobbies or fun travel stories you’d like to share?
In addition to reading too much, I enjoy cooking, drinking tea, and hiking.
Almost eight years ago now, I traveled with my family to Shanghai, China for my oldest brother’s wedding. My brother and sister-in-law had a traditional Chinese wedding, which included my brother riding a pony! (I’ve got pictures to prove this!) Overall, the trip was really fascinating on many levels and I’d love to go back.
Learn more about Sarah and her favorite resources on our Facebook page this week!