University Libraries.

Meet Your Subject Specialist: Information Studies

In addtion to being the Information Studies Subject Specialist, Deborah Bernnard is also Head of the Dewey Graduate Library.  
1. What kind of background do you have in Information Studies?
I received an MLS in Information Science from what was then the School of Information Science and Policy right here at the University at Albany.  I also possess 13 years of experience as the Subject Specialist for Information Studies.
2. How do you view your role as liaison to this school/department on campus? 
My responsibilities include developing and managing our collection of information science books, journals, databases and e resources.   This is an ongoing process that involves matching the current literature in the field with the needs of our faculty and students.   I also strive to make these materials more accessible and understandable to students and faculty.  This involves creating subject guides, guest lecturing in classes, and providing one -on -one research assistance.
3. What factors do you take into account when adding books and resources to the Information Studies collection?
The first considerations are always the needs of our faculty and students.   I check syllabi for items that faculty recommend and l also look for material that fits into the broad subject area of classes that are being taught.    I also strive to collect material that will help faculty conduct their research.  
In collection development there are always basic research materials that should be acquired.  Current statistics, research reports, subject encyclopedias and dictionaries are all important resources for a collection.
After I make sure that the basics are in the collection, I look for materials on interesting or contentious issues in the field.  Because there are so many technological advances in information studies , interesting issues always arise.  Right now, open access and scholarly publishing are very important issues.  Of course, the whole transition from print to digital will be researched and discussed for years to come so I try to find scholarly treatments on it to add to the collection.  One of the best things about being a subject specialist is access to the latest thinking on myriad issues in the field.
 4. What are some of your favorite Information Studies resources?
I use EBSCO’s Library and Information Science and Technology (LISTA) database a lot.  I also like Scopus and Web of Science.  Because Information Studies is an interdisciplinary field, I find myself using resources in business, education, psychology and other social sciences quite a bit.
I still read hard copy books, although I am not opposed to ebooks.  I just find it easier to browse through paper.  
5. What advice would you give someone using our library to research in this subject?
Start by using the research guide that I have created.  It provides guidance on databases, background resources, and  statistics.  It also includes links to research reports and resources on interesting topics such as Open Access and The Future of Libraries.   
You may also wish to attend one of our free instruction sessions.  I recommend “Introduction to Research Databases” and there are several others sessions that are designed to assist you.  You can access a list of our classes atn.
If you would like more guidance on researching a topic in Library and Information Science, please feel free to make an appointment with me or drop in to see me during my office hours, Friday 11:00 am-1:00 pm
To contact Deborah Bernard, email her at or call her at 442-3699,

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