Favorite Library Resource: I’m not sure if it counts but I’m a big fan of the e-reserves. I do a lot of my readings on my laptop and I like being able to access texts for class at home or anywhere on campus.
Favorite Place to Work in the Library: Definitely my thesis desk. I have a great view of the Lawn and its nice to have a spot in the library where I can keep my books and other materials that I need for classes.
Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I’ll admit I’ve never been one to spend much time in the library. However, the position of reference assistant allows me to give back to the greater Reed community. Also, working as a reference assistant has helped me learn more about the different databases, guides, and collections that the library has to offer.
Hardest thing about research: Probably narrowing down the scope of my research. I like to tackle big picture questions in my work and focusing my research towards on one idea or question has always been difficult for me.
Favorite thing about Reed: I would say my favorite thing about Reed is the friends I’ve made during my time here. I’ve established a strong network of friends over my four years at Reed who are always willing to lend a helping hand when needed…but are also always down for a rowdy game of rage cage. (Editor’s note: I have no idea what rage cage is!)
Cool thing you did during break: I started teaching myself the basics of music theory in order to help me produce songs on Ableton and Logic Pro.
Cool class you’ve taken at Reed: Last fall I took a 300 level English course on the literature of the Black Panther party, which changed my entire worldview. Pancho never repeats his classes, so email me if you want the syllabus!
Favorite Place to Work in the Library: North Reference. The old-school green desk lamps make me feel like Elle Woods during her Harvard days. An Elle Woods with endless table space. (Editor’s note: Legally Blonde is one of my favorite guilty pleasures!)
Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: Reed has given me a lot, so I want to pay it forward! Also, being the bookworm that I am, the library is my home away from home.
Hardest thing about research: Narrowing down my list of sources! I always want to squeeze a nugget of information from every article I find into my papers.
Favorite thing about Reed: The small student body has allowed me to jump on an amazing array of opportunities, from working on multiple publications to interning with Reed alumni in different countries. To give a less cheesy answer, living in the Spanish House on campus has been the most rewarding and ridiculously fun experience of my Reed career.
Cool thing you did during break: My sister gifted me a collection of poems by Ada Limón over the holidays, and I raced through it (mistake! poems should be treated like a four-course meal, not a snack—don’t worry, I’m rereading it now). (Editor’s Note: Some of her poetry is available here. And the library has two of her collections: Lucky Wreck and Bright Dead Things.)
Favorite Library Resource: The New Books shelf (It has all the exciting new literature in all different fields)
Favorite Place to Work in the Library: Basement Group Study Room.
Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I enjoy doing research and digging for information and would like to be able to help others through this process. I also worked in the library since my first year at Reed. I learned so much about the resources available and wanted to share that knowledge with others.
Hardest thing about research: Knowing how to narrow down your topic while keeping it intriguing and interesting.
Although Reed College Library employs the best library staff ever (!), we also depend quite heavily on our awesome student employees. A group I am especially partial to is our Reference Assistants, specially trained juniors and seniors who work on the reference desk nights and weekends helping the Reed community do anything from printing a document to finding primary sources on the history of the american west. To help you all get to know these valued employees, we’ll be posting a profile of a different reference assistant every week.
Name: Connor Title: Lead Reference Assistant Year: Senior Major: American Studies-History
Favorite Library Resource: The A/C (especially in the Lobby and LL1 Southeast Stacks).
Favorite Place to Work in the Library: L2 Southeast Stacks. I enjoy the height.
Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I’ve worked in the Library since my first year at Reed, and I wanted to help make the Library feel accessible to all Reedies.
Hardest thing about research: Knowing when to stop.
Cool thing you did this summer: Got a Multnomah County Public Library Card. All Reed students are eligible! Ask the Ref Desk if you want help figuring out the application. [Note From Editor: Connor worked in the library all summer moving books, updating the Zotero Guide & beautifully writing the new blurbs on the main library page, among other things!]
Check out Radicle, Reed’s first open access undergraduate journal! Edited and written entirely by Reed anthropology students, the first issue spans geographically from the U.S. to Ireland, to Inner and Southeast Asia, and the topics included range from poetry, to same-sex marriage, to political propaganda, and more.
Although Reed College Library employs the best library staff ever (!), we also depend quite heavily on our awesome student employees. A group I am especially partial to is our Reference Assistants!
Reference assistants are specially trained juniors and seniors who work on the reference desk nights and weekends helping the Reed community do anything from printing a document to finding primary sources on the Red Cross!
To help you all get to know these valued employees, we’ll be posting a profile of a different reference assistant every week.
This week’s reference assistant of the week (RAoW) is:
Name: Drew Title: Lead Reference Assistant Year: Senior Major: History
Thesis Topic: Um. It is the second week of classes. I don’t know yet!
Favorite Library Resource: Special Collections! (especially the old Quests)
Favorite Place to Work in the Library: My Secret Spot™ by the window (note from editor: Drew’s secret spot is no longer there. Sorry Drew!)
Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I remember a ref assistant helping me with a research project my freshman year and I wanted to be that for someone else.
Hardest thing about research: Coming up with a narrow enough topic to write, while still being broad enough to find enough sources.
Favorite thing about Reed: Very hard to answer. Maybe that there’s a dance based around watching Stop Making Sense twice every year.
Cool thing you did this summer: I worked for [redacted] , the best boss ever (note from editor: Drew spent the summer working with us in the library on a number of projects…One of which is code named VIRGIL. Watch this space! We will be sharing more information soon!)