In conversation with McMaster’s graduate studies librarian, Leeanne Romane
Leeanne Romane is McMaster’s new graduate studies librarian. We had a virtual sit-down with Leeanne to learn more about this new-to McMaster role.
Welcome to the grad studies community, Leeanne. This is a new role for McMaster Library; how do you see this new role differing from that of other librarians at Mac?
Thank you. I’m thrilled to be part of the grad studies community!
We have a diverse range of librarians at Mac, and I belong to the Learning Support team of librarians who focus on supporting student success via instruction, research help and connecting students to library services.
The Learning Support team was built with a focus on undergraduate student learning; there had been a fantastic librarian providing some instruction, but adding a librarian role specific to grad studies was a strategic, and timely, addition to the team. Until I stepped into the Graduate Studies librarian role, I had been the Learning Support coordinator and had been proposing bringing grad instruction to the team – so I’m really excited to take on the role to work with grad students and get back to teaching (in the classroom and in individual consultations).
When students begin their academic and research journey, they may be unsure of where to start in the library. What is your advice to them?
Can students from across all faculties reach out to you?
As the Graduate Studies librarian I am available to students in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, and Engineering. Health Sciences students are directed to the Health Sciences librarians, and Business students can reach out to Jeannie An (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Although we’re not all together on campus, research is still happening. How are you able to support students in their research at this time?
Fortunately, I am able to help students with their research needs by meeting with them via Zoom or Teams (or Skype, or phone, etc). Students can meet with me for help with their search strategies, how to better use library databases, getting access to books and articles, general library use and access questions, and with their systematic reviews or literature reviews. I can also direct students to a library or campus expert if I can’t personally help them with their question.
We know that you have come to the grad community with new ideas and plans to support our graduate researchers; could you share some details about what we may see in the future?
This is a big question!! One of my plans was to create a library website for grad students, which I recently completed. I hope to partner with the School of Graduate Studies and other departments and programs on campus, to support grad students in their academic pursuits during their time at McMaster. Not only am I the ‘personal’ librarian to grad students but I’m also one of the bridges between students and the library, and I’m looking at all the different ways the Library can support grad students.
Future plans may be offering a suite of grad student-specific library workshops, in person or virtually – which I know students would appreciate. I also want to talk with students, faculty, department heads, and administrators to gather ideas on how I can meet graduate student library needs.
Community, Orientation, Research, Skills-building