Getting to know your science librarians

My name is Courtney Evans, and I am a graduate assistant in the STEM Libraries department at FSU Libraries. I typically work with our subject librarians to provide research and learning support to STEM scholars. However, today, I wanted to take some time to introduce you to our science librarians while giving you some information about what types of services and resources are available to the STEM students, staff, faculty, and researchers in the FSU community. 

While our library buildings are currently closed due to concerns related to COVID-19, the FSU Libraries team is still available to help meet the teaching, learning and research needs of our scholars. We have extensive resources and services available to you from home. From research guides to consultations with subject librarians, we are still here for you. STEM librarians are available to support research and learning for students and faculty in STEM disciplines. Their names are Denise A. Wetzel, Dr. Nicholas Ruhs, and Kelly Grove, and they’re typically located in the Dirac Science Library when libraries are physically open. 

As a graduate assistant for the STEM Research and Learning Services Department, I took time to interview our subject librarians in order to learn more about some of the projects that they work on and the services that they continue to offer students. 

From left to right: Denise Wetzel, Nicholas Ruhs, and Kelly Grove
Your STEM librarians!

Denise A. Wetzel, MLIS, subject librarian for, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering; Physics; Math; and Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Science.

What has been your favorite project or initiative that you’ve been involved in as a librarian?

            Denise’s favorite project is the partnership with the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). The partnership is in its second year, and the goal is to provide learning opportunities for undergraduate students on the basics of research. She enjoys being involved with the UROP program because it’s interdisciplinary and it allows her to work with undergraduates. You can learn more about the UROP partnership here.

What’s something that folks on campus probably don’t know you’re working on?

            Denise is also a mentor for a UROP student. Working with fellow STEM Librarian Kelly Grove and the student, she recently conducted a survey to gain an understanding of how academic libraries acquire scientific standards for their scholars. Standards are documents common in fields like engineering that regulate how items like electrical outlets are designed. These standards can be expensive, and their team is working to find ways to lower costs for FSU Libraries, provide the best service to FSU’s researchers, and contribute to the understanding of standards acquisitions for libraries at research institutions.

Do you have a favorite memory of helping a student or faculty member with their research?

            One of the moments that stood out to Denise was a student who shared that they were accepted to a conference after she helped with their research. In general, she says, moments when students express appreciation and share good news are the highlight of her library days.

Which library services do you wish were used more often? Which ones are used the most?

            Overall, Denise shared that she wishes more students used all the services more often. Libraries are more than just books, and many students could benefit from their services. Specifically, Denise offers workshops on patent searching and services on the patent process that she wishes had more attendance and consultations. You can find her research guide about patent searching or schedule a consultation with her — or any one of our research librarians — here

Nicholas Ruhs, Ph.D., subject librarian for statistics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. Nick is also the data librarian for STEM disciplines. 

What has been your favorite project or initiative that you’ve been involved in as a librarian?

            This spring, Nick worked on Love Data Week with Dr. Jesse Klein, his social science data librarian counterpart. Their Love Data Week programming included things like events for students, tabling, and a podcast about getting to know the data librarians.

What’s something that folks on campus probably don’t know you’re working on?

            The podcast for Love Data Week went so well that Nick and Jesse are working on creating a “Data Stories” monthly podcast that will include trends in data science, history of data, and good stories about data. They  are both excited about the project and hope to publish the first episode soon. In the meantime, you can listen to their very first podcast from Love Data Week here:

Do you have a favorite memory of helping a student or faculty member with their research?

            In general, Nick enjoys helping students and faculty find journal articles and resources that they haven’t been able to on their own. He recalled some specific stories, including an instance when a student who desperately needed an article from the journal, Nature, that was published in 1933. The citation was difficult to decipher, but Nick was able to pick through citations of other articles to find it. Another time, a faculty member was searching for conference proceedings from a conference in Israel 40 years ago. Again, those citation-searching skills helped Nick find this one. These kinds of searches, he says, make being a librarian enjoyable. 

Which library services do you wish were utilized more often? Which ones are  used the most?

            As a data services librarian, Nick wishes the research data management planning services for scholars were used more often. These services mostly center around making research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reproducible (FAIR) — a growing requirement for grants and research funding opportunities. Students and faculty can schedule consultations or email about their plans for effectively managing their research data or for how to start one.

            Nick also offers workshops on areas related to data literacy that are very popular, especially ones involving hands-on software training. Some of the topics covered include R and Python, both programming languages for which faculty and students seek guidance. These workshops — and all our workshops — can be found here. Additionally, if you missed these workshops or can’t make it to the ones being offered, you can always email Nick or any other subject librarian to cover a topic one-on-one or as part of a study group. 

Kelly Grove, MLIS, subject librarian for nursing, psychology, geography, meteorology, oceanography, and nutrition food and exercise sciences.

What has been your favorite project or initiative that you’ve been involved in as a librarian?

            Kelly had the opportunity to be the chair of the annual library symposium in Fall 2018. That year, the symposium was called “Climate Science and Society.” Kelly and the team coordinated with faculty and partner organizations around campus in an effort to design this program for students and faculty of all disciplines to engage around the topic. Last fall, the libraries hosted a symposium around the topic of immigration and Kelly was an instrumental part of the group. 

What’s something that folks on campus probably don’t know you’re working on?

            Kelly is also a graduate student at Florida State University. She is earning her master’s degree geographic information systems (GIS). One of her goals is to apply the skills acquired during her  studies to provide GIS and spatial data services for STEM scholars. One project that Kelly is currently working on is an interlibrary loan (ILL) study to map locations from where the libraries borrow, which FSU departments are heavy users, and if the libraries should join more ILL groups to better serve patrons. ILL is a service the libraries offer for students and faculty to obtain books and journal articles that FSU Libraries does not own. You can learn more about how interlibrary loan works here.

Do you have a favorite memory of helping a student or faculty member with their research?

            In general, Kelly’s favorite moment is helping stressed students with their search strategy for papers. She says the best moments are when students leave her office with the stress lifted from their shoulders because of the help and guidance that she provided. 

Which library services do you wish were utilized more often? Which ones are used the most?

            Kelly wishes more students would utilize the opportunity to meet with research librarians in one-on-one settings to discuss research projects and identify library services and resources that could help meet their information needs. Students do not necessarily have to come into the library for a research consultation. These research consultations can be done through Zoom or other online avenues. Meeting with a research librarian early in the research or writing process takes some time up front but will save researchers time and stress down the road. Kelly can also help with setting up and using citation management tools, such as Zotero, that organize articles found while researching.

            While you may not be able to walk through the doors of the Dirac Science Library to find your favorite study spot, I hope you will remember that we are still here to help. If you’d like to connect with one of our science librarians, please use this form to schedule a time to chat.

I hope that you enjoyed getting to know a little more about the science librarians here at FSU Libraries. I also hope that you gained a better understanding of the types of library resources and services that are available to FSU’s STEM community. 

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