Introducing our Newest Librarian, Rachel Baum

Outdoor photo of Rachel.The Claire T. Carney Library has a new(ish) librarian! Read the interview below to get to know our new Social Sciences & Data Services Librarian, Rachel Baum. 

So you’re the Social Sciences & Data Services Librarian? What does that even mean?

The “Social Sciences” portion means that I am the library representative (or “liaison”) to the Social Sciences department. I work with faculty to buy books, teach library instruction sessions to their classes, and advocate for them in library meetings. The “Data Services” part has to do with helping researchers on campus, whether students or faculty, develop and adhere to data management plans throughout their research process, then ensuring that the data they gather remains accessible and discoverable to other researchers.

Where are you from?

Originally, I am from Long Island, New York. Fun fact, New Yorkers hardly ever say “I’m from New York” without being more specific because otherwise, the follow-up question is “New York City?” and disappointing people with a “no” reply is a bummer.

Where did you go to school and what did you major in?

I did my undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I majored in English Literature, focusing on Shakespeare, and minored in European History. I have both U.S. and Canadian citizenship, so getting to live in Montreal, where my dad grew up, was a wonderful experience. My master’s degree in Library and Information Science is from Simmons University, where I focused on academic librarianship, especially reference and instruction.

Do you have any hobbies that aren’t librarianish?

I’m not sure where this falls on the librarianish spectrum, but my favorite thing to do in my spare time is go out birdwatching. I know plenty of non-librarians who love it, but it also involves identifying and categorizing things, so it may count! I also love to cook and am trying to teach myself how to bake bread.

What are you looking forward to this spring semester?

I will be working with 10 different English 102 classes, and I’m excited to meet so many new students and help to start developing their academic research skills. Since I’m still relatively new, we’ll be doing a lot of learning together, which is my favorite kind of learning.

If you had to give one piece of advice to students, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! My job is to help you do your best work and feel comfortable researching, and I love it.

How can someone contact you if they need help with research?

You can email, call, or even stop by my office. You can see all of my contact information online.