Reference Assistant Spotlight: Chad

Chad with his favorite reference book, possibly looking up The Music Man.

Name: Chad
Year: Senior
Major: History

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.

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Ruth

Ruth cheerfully helping a patron “old school”.
Name: Ruth
Year: Senior
Major: Religion

Favorite Library Resource: Summit and being able to use all the electronic resources when I’m off campus!

Favorite Place to Work in the Library: North Ref

Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I want to utilize everything I’ve learned at Reed by helping other students with the research process!

Hardest thing about research: Narrowing unbridled interest and enthusiasm into a focused topic with a limited dataset… while maintaining the initial interest and enthusiasm.

Favorite thing about Reed: The canyon, the scrounge, and the Religion department! (Editor’s note: Ahem. I think you forgot something….)

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!

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Claire

Claire using our beloved Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Name: Claire
Year: Junior
Major: English

Favorite Library Resource: The thesis tower or the photographs in the Reed College Archives.

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.)

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Hayfa

Hayfa clearing a printer jam.

Name: Hayfa
Year: Junior
Major: Political Science

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.

Favorite thing about Reed: The International community.

Cool thing you did this summer:  I visited couple of rivers and waterfalls in Oregon.

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Elaine

Elaine with one of her favorite books.

Name: Elaine
Year: Senior
Major: Environmental Studies – Biology

Favorite Library Resource: Web of Science. Also the Databases page.

Favorite Place to Work in the Library: North Reference tables with the classic green lights.

Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I wanted to help people access all of the cool resources that Reed has and fulfill my dreams from freshman year.

Hardest thing about research: Coming up with an inclusive list of search terms.

Favorite thing about Reed: Moss*

Cool thing you did this summer:  I taught myself to tie fancy knots and made fish glow.

*I went through >10 different ideas for my favorite thing about Reed, but moss is part of the reason I decided to apply here and I’m so incredibly grateful to have had the most intense and rewarding experiences of my life at Reed.

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Azrah

Azrah helping a patron with Web of Science.

Name: Azrah
Year: Junior
Major: Biology

Favorite Library Resource: Everything in the Pollock Room

Favorite Place to Work in the Library: North reference most of the time and LL1 Southeast Stacks when I could use some A/C.

Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I want to smile at people crawling through the door.[FROM THE EDITOR: And help people do research, I think!]

Hardest thing about research: Synthesizing ideas from multiple different sources.

Favorite thing about Reed: Knowing that if I survive 4 years of it, I can do anything.

Cool thing you did this summer:  I oxidized borneol in borneone, which is camphor! It smelled wonderful.

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Aaron

Aaron using the library map to help a student find their way.

Name: Aaron
Year: Senior
Major: English

Favorite Library Resource: Special Collections! Especially the old maps and the artists’ books.

Favorite Place to Work in the Library: When the library is crowded, the purple chairs in the New Pit. When the library is emptier, the tables in Southeast Stacks LL1.

Reason you wanted to be a reference assistant: I was curious about the work librarians do and also wanted to help Reedies!

Hardest thing about research: Being willing to exclude unnecessary information, even when it’s cool and interesting.

Favorite thing about Reed: All the dogs probably.

Cool thing you did this summer: A bunch of my friends and I put on a 1 and a half day music festival in Washington D.C. made up almost entirely of local bands.

Reference Assistant Spotlight: Connor

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.

Connor, friendly & helpful at the atlases!
Connor, friendly & helpful at the atlases!

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.

Favorite thing about Reed: The American Studies Colloquium!

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!]

Learn the library, get a NEW mug!

New to Reed and want to know more about the library? Just getting back on campus after a summer away and want to know what’s new? Want a new mug? Come to one of our Library Tours! Friendly librarians will point out everything you need to know, including how to find class reserves and how not to get squished in the movable shelving and just where we moved the G’s.

If you live in a residence hall, check with your HA to find out your scheduled time. If you don’t or can’t make your scheduled time, just join one of our drop-in tours:

  • Monday, Aug. 28, 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29,  6 pm OR 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, Aug. 30, 6:30 pm OR 7:30 pm

All tours meet in the library lobby.

Turning in Your Thesis

Don’t forget, the final copy of your thesis must be approved by the library before you can have it bound. To help you keep track of the process the steps are listed below:

  1. Make all corrections requested by your Orals Board.
  2. Bring a PRINT copy of your thesis to the library (L17) during the hours listed below. A librarian will check this copy for formatting and consistency. This copy will go straight to Printing Services to be copied and bound.
  3. Take approved thesis and signed approval form to Printing Services.
  4. Pick up bound theses and have your adviser sign the approval page of the two copies for the library.
  5. Bring two signed copies of your thesis to the library for final check and turn in by May 12th at noon.
Librarians are available in L17 during the following times to check your thesis and accept your bound thesis:
   May 3 – 5              1 pm – 5 pm
   May 8 – 11            9 am – 7 pm
   May 12                   8 am – noon


If you can’t make these hours, email and we can set an appointment!