Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Experts in action: UTSA's Tara Schmidt and Juli McLoone

Tara Schmidt and Juli McLoone in listen/think mode as Fellows share research projects

Yesterday, research services librarian Tara Schmidt and rare books librarian Juli McLoone led a session with our Institute Fellows. The Schmidt & McLoone library session has become an integral, recurring component  of our program.

Schmidt began by hipping us to several online databases and resources. Her presentation was especially helpful since so many of us fall into habits when we do searches online. Schmidt made the group aware of new and unfamiliar sites that we might consult for our research. She also unknowingly provided me with a "wish list" of databases that I plan to submit to the library at my home institution.

McLoone introduces exercise on special collections

McLoone prompted us to think about the production of data, and she also led an exercise where we considered what items to keep or discard for special collections. The exercise led to extended and excited discussions about the politics of preserving and forgetting.

One of my favorite parts about the annual meeting with Schmidt and McLoone occurs when they ask the Fellows about their research projects. As the Fellows share what they are planning, Schmidt and McLoone go into problem solving mode. They ask questions that lead the students to refine their research projects and then the librarians begin to offer suggestions for resources and databases to consult.

Some years ago, I pursued a research project on the meanings of expertise. Every year when I see Tara Schmidt and Juli McLoone listening to and then posing questions to the Fellows, I realize that I'm watching experts in action.

AALCI 2014
It takes a village to produce a book  
Tara Schmidt, Juli McLoone & AALCI, 2010 - 2014 
Tara Schmidt and those Clarifying Questions (2013)
DH special collections librarian or special collections DH scholar? (2013)
AALCI Fellows meet with UTSA Librarians (2013)
Fellows Visit UTSA Library (2012)
Librarians Empowering Young Researchers (2011)
Researchers in Action (2010)


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