University Libraries.

Meet Your Subject Specialist: Public Affairs and Policy

Meet Cathy Dwyer! She is our newest subject specialist at Dewey, but is no stranger to the University Libraries, having worked uptown for many years. 


1. What kind of background do you have in Public Affairs?

While I am new to the Dewey Library, I have 20+ years’ experience working with government information in the University Library. The U.S. government is a prolific publisher and there is a wealth of public administration, policy and political science information both in our physical collections and online.


2.  What is the role of a subject librarian?  How do you view your role as liaison to this school/department on campus?

Liaison is the perfect word. The Oxford Online Dictionary says that a liaison “facilitates a close working relationship between people or organizations.” My role is to facilitate the relationship between students and faculty and the libraries.  I can help with research and assist with navigating library resources.  Speeding up this process will leave you more time for the other aspects of your assignments and projects.


 3. What factors do you take into account when adding books and resources to the public affairs collection?

I consider the College’s curriculum and the research areas of the faculty and students.  Since the College has students as all levels of study, I also take that into consideration.

4. What are some of your favorite Public Affairs resources? 

Congress and the Nation online is a great library resource.  We have access back to the 1945/64 volume.  It looks at congressional actions, issues and policies during each session, and is arranged by broad topic area (health, agriculture, etc.).  Most importantly, it provides bill numbers, PL numbers and congressional report citations.


For a government resource, take a look at FDSys.  This collection from the Government Printing Office contains a wealth of full text information from Congress, the Office of the Federal Register, and a number of other digitized collections.  Everything on FDSys is authenticated by GPO.


5. What advice would you give someone using our library to research in this subject?

Contact me!  I can help you navigate the databases and other resources the library has available.  I have office hours from 5-8 on Mondays and I am available for appointments cdwyer@albany.eduor 518-442-3698.

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