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Muskingum hires new Reference/Web Resources Librarian

By Elaine Blood
On March 1, 2013

Holly White is the new Reference/Web Resources Librarian at the Muskingum University Library.

White grew up in the Hocking Hills area in southern Ohio. She has slowly been moving her way up Route 33 as she attended the Ohio University branch campus in Lancaster and then finished her undergrad at the Ohio University Athens campus.

It was during an internship, along with encouragement from her academic adviser, that White realized she wanted to pursue her Masters in library science. While living in Canal Winchester, White completed her MLS from Kent State University this past August.

When White is not working at the library, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, yoga, writing, crochet, and admits to being semi-craftyat which times she enjoys a good audio book. However, when she is not busy with her hands, White is drawn to read Virginia Wolf and the modernist movement. She also enjoys romantic poetry and reads a bit of Walt Whitman.

White brings some different experiences to the job at Muskingum, such as serving as a consultant during her grad school years.

She had an undergrad internship which took her to Cape Cod where she worked with a park service.

As part of that I staffed a reference desk where visitors came in and would say, I saw this plant, what kind of plant was it? or How do I get this kind of permit? and things like that, said White. And that was something that I really liked. You meet new people every day. Youre researching a new question every day. You have about 30 seconds to become an expert in everything. Which, of course, its not becoming an expert, but figuring out where the experts are and connecting people with those experts that are out there. I think thats what I really enjoy.

White said she enjoys working at Muskingums library, especially since she has had past experience at larger universities.

That was a very different experience as an undergrad intern where I was working at a big university research library to then go to a smaller library, which I really liked because it allows you to do lots of different things, wear many hats, said White. I was really excited when I saw this job come up and then when I was asked to interview because in a position like this youre not just doing reference or just doing something thats technical services, you get to do a little bit of everything.

Currently, White works with the library website, as well as working with faculty and departments in maintaining their websites. She helps with collection management, serves at the reference desk and gets to teach instruction classes, too.

She finds it gratifying to work with students and enjoys when they get excited about the resources available to them at the library.

White is a firm believer in the idea of libraries as a repository of knowledge and a place where people can come for free or for, in some cases, a very nominal fee to access the information that they cannot access at home. I think there is the perception that a lot of what librarians do is with physical books, but as the years go by and as more and more information is online a lot more of what we do is helping people find information, said White. So its a real kind of customer service field where youre working with students and thats something that I really love.

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