University Libraries.

Meet Your Subject Specialist: Information Studies

Meet our newest subject specialist at Dewey, Carol Anne Germain! While she is new to the position, many Information Studies students will likely recognize her as she has worked at the university for a number of years.

1. What unique experience do you bring to your new role as the Information Studies subject specialist?

Well, I have three degrees in Information Studies so I think that brings a fair amount of experience. I do a fair amount of adjunct work at the school, so I have a lot of experience with students and student initiatives, as I was the advisor of the NYLA chapter. I get to spend a lot of time with students in the Department, so I have a lot of insight on their needs.

2. How long have you worked for the University?

I started as an intern and Graduate Assistant in 1996, and then as a librarian in 1997. The librarian position started out as an assistant librarian, and now I'm a full-time librarian.

3. Do you have any advice for students or library users?

The thing I say to most students when I'm giving a tour is to come and ask for help because a lot of times, 5 or 10 minutes of my time can save hours of their time. When they finally get to me, they say "Oh I spent three hours on this," and I even know faculty members who do this. A lot of students or faculty will think I'm magic, but I'm not magic, it's just that there is an art to finding information and I think it's harder now because we have so many things that access information. Yet it makes it more difficult for people because they've made the assumption that they know how to access it, but that isn't always the case.

4. What are some of your responsibilities in the role as a subject librarian?

I will be doing the collections and I'm looking at the library guide, and that is actually a project that we worked on in IST 601. Those students are doing a review and I want to get a student's perspective on that - what's there, what's not there, what's missing, what can stay, what can go. So I have student input on that, which I think is a value. I don't want to make lots of interpretations because I've been out of Information Studies school for 20 years. I'm here and I still do a lot: I still keep up with the literature and what's going on with students, but they may have a very different perspective than I do and I want their perspective so that I can serve them and best serve their needs.

5. What are some of your favorite resources?

Well, it depends on if it's print or electronic. One would be the OED, I think it's a wonderful tool. I have lots with electronic depending on who I'm working with, with undergraduate students I think Academic Search Complete works really well. I also love PolicyMap because it's a tool that you can use at all levels, so I'll have Freshman doing PolicyMap selfies and graduate students who are looking at really intensive data.

6. Is there anything in particular you want students to know about you?

I'd like them to know that I'm approachable, and that they can always ask me questions and that those questions can range anywhere from their research needs to their practical library needs.

I have a student in one of my classes who works at a public library and he's working on a project at his job on getting social work there. We talked for probably 15 minutes but I have lots of ideas, I have lots of experience, and I have lots of connections, especially since I was in NYLA. I can be a conduit to connecting people, which I really want students to utilize because it's another big thing to think about; not only can I help them find information and think about the field, but also that there are professional aspects that I can assist with.

For more assistance in Information Studies, you may contact Carol Anne Germain via email at, or stop by during her office hours, held in Draper 141A on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9.

Blog Created By: Kristen Thornton-De Stafeno
Image Credit: Rebekah Jarvis-Girtler

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