readingonbeachWe’ve already dispelled the myth about Gilman’s will dictating the height of campus buildings and the one about the library sinking under the weight of all our books. Time to dash another popular belief: that librarians get the same breaks as our students…not so! Sure, we receive the standard holidays, but otherwise some might argue that winter is even busier than the academic year as we scramble to tie up loose ends and prepare for the spring semester.

Here is just a smattering of the projects your librarians are working on this January:

  • Teaching classes – Our librarians lead instructional workshops throughout the spring and fall semesters, and Intersession is no different. Jennifer Darragh, is currently teaching “Baltimore by the Numbers,” Yunshan Ye is heading “Library Research and Research/Grant Proposal Writing” and Heidi Herr is leading a class on Special Collections materials called “Cheap and Not too Tawdry.” We’re already thinking ahead to spring semester as well, reaching out to faculty to plan library instruction sessions and tailored research help at point-of-need.
  • Updating online information – Our popular LibGuides platform, which delivers subject-specific resources and guidance on everything from Africana Studies to the Zotero citation management tool, is due for a system upgrade. Liaisons are busy working behind-the-scenes to update content and deliver the information you need when we launch version 2.0 later this month. Same great service, shiny new interface!
  • Making decisions on books – Librarians purchase books on behalf of their students and faculty all year ‘round. We also spend a great deal of time curating the collections housed in the building to ensure you have the resources you need in the places you expect. Sometimes we have to shift things around to make room for new acquisitions. For example, our Reference Wall on M-level is a collection of our most popular general reference books, and we’re currently bursting at the seams. We’ll spend this break flagging some of the older or underutilized materials and move those to make room for those volumes you need at your fingertips.
  • Planning spring semester services – Say that three times fast! The Information Desk on M-level of the Eisenhower Library is staffed by graduate students 70 hours per week. Librarians too are at your beck and call, both at the Reference Office and through our virtual Ask a Librarian portal. As you can imagine, keeping all of these services running smoothly requires advanced planning and coordination!
  • And yes, even spring cleaning – Let me dispel one other myth: our jobs aren’t all glitz and glamour! Every January, library staff volunteer to spend a day deep-cleaning the illustrious Peabody Library so that you can enjoy the space dust-free. If you’ve never been, listen to the JHU Class of 2013 and add it to your bucket list! It’s easy to catch the JHMI shuttle to the historic Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

We’re happy to entertain other myths, rumors and word-on-the-streets, so send them our way. And if you’re on break, enjoy the time off. We have one heck of a spring semester planned for you! Happy 2015!

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