This month’s staff spotlight is Ariel Andrea of the Chemistry Library!
How long have you been with the libraries and how did you get your start?
I received both my BS in Chemistry and MLS at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. As an undergrad, I worked at the Rare Book Library, and as a graduate student I held an assistantship at the Preservation/Conservation Lab. After graduating, I worked as the Science Librarian at Benedictine University (a small liberal arts school outside of Chicago) for 2.5 years. I started at the UW Chemistry Library in February 2012, and I love it!
What is the most interesting part of your job?
Seeing all the cool research our faculty and students are working on when I help them with reference questions.
How do you see your role evolving?
The Chemistry Library will be going through big changes during the Chemistry Building Project – we will have a new space and no circulating collection. My role will be less about collections and more about services for the department and campus. Traditional services like instruction and reference will still be a big part of my work, but I am also looking to provide more assistance with issues like data management, funder compliance, and citation management.
Is there a particular project you’ve worked on that’s been especially interesting to you?
I am part of the Library Website Team, and we fairly recently migrated all of the library websites to a new platform. It was a lot of fun to work with librarians across campus and help them build out their new sites. I got to visit a lot of libraries I had not been to yet, which was a bonus.
What has been your favorite part about working with the libraries? Your favorite part of the libraries in general?
My coworkers make this job a lot of fun. While I love working with the great faculty and students at Chemistry, I am the only librarian. It could be a pretty isolating experience, but luckily I partner with Steenbock Library fairly often on a variety of projects.
How do you feel the libraries are helpful in studying things like chemistry versus the humanities (English or history, for example)?
Locating chemical information and using a lot of the chemistry specific databases can be very difficult for students. Students often do not know where to start looking for information like chemical properties or spectra, and our major databases like SciFinder are not at all intuitive. It helps to have someone who is familiar with these sources and the science.
What is your favorite thing to do in Madison?
Eat! There are so many amazing restaurants in this city. My husband and I love going out to new places and then trying to replicate meals we like at home.