by Anna Harman
The Research Center helps students, faculty and staff know how to engage in research, seek out academic activities and develop lasting learning skills. Within the Research Center, there are many research librarians on staff. They provide a wonderful resource here on campus that many students aren’t even aware of.
There are many stereotypes that people have created about librarians. Many think that they just sit around and read books all day, but this is far from the truth. As research librarians, they can provide instruction on how to research effectively or demonstrate particular library resources for varying classes.
They meet with students for research appointments, where students can get sufficient help researching for an assignment or project. Students can get help developing a topic, coming up with effective search strategies and keywords, discovering quality resources, or editing citations. In addition to these things, the research librarians also manage the various daily functions of the library. There are also research guides available for all majors on campus, and many individual courses.
Jess Elder is the Health Sciences Librarian who has worked in Centennial Library since July 1, 2021. She particularly assists with pharmacy, nursing, allied health, psychology and nursing. She majored in English at Cedarville and was drawn to the idea of working with books. During her senior year, she was selected to be a part of the library internship program, which gave her the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the library and gain experience in this field.
She enjoyed that she could teach classes, work with students one-on-one, help publish journal articles and book reviews, could work with books on a normal basis, and she could be a life-long learner. These things led her to her decision to pursue her Master’s in Library and Information Science from Kent State University.
“There are a number of reasons for why I do what I do,” Elder said. “I love learning, and librarianship provides me with an environment where I will be a life-long learner and discover new things each and every day. More so, librarianship has a greater purpose and real-world impact.”
As the Health Sciences Librarian, she assists students with their research which often leads them to making a difference in someone’s healthcare and quality of life.
“By teaching them the necessary research skills to succeed in their disciplines,” Elder said, “I hope I am playing even a small part in equipping them to be salt and light to their patients, colleagues and fields as they become healthcare professionals and further God’s kingdom in their careers.”
Nathanael Davis became the STEM/business research librarian at Cedarville three years ago. He originally imagined himself becoming a wildlife manager and had always been interested in science and the natural world. After earning a series of degrees in biology and environmental science, he worked as an educator and a researcher. He helped underserved youth to finish high school and pursue further education. When he moved back to his hometown of Cedarville to be with family, he found this job opening at Centennial Library and felt drawn to the opportunity to combine his knowledge and interests of sciences and helping students.
“Ultimately, these interactions both in person and in the classroom, are opportunities to remind students that the research process is not simply a secular pursuit,” Davis said. “These are opportunities to engage with content and context in light of biblical truth and to align the product of our research to edify and encourage audiences as neighbors for whom God loves.”
Kirsten Setzkorn, the humanities librarian, said that one of her favorite parts of her job as a research librarian is the diversity of research topics that she assists students with.
“One minute I may be helping a design student uncover the changing fashion trends of Marie Antoinette-era France, and then next minute, I’m helping a criminal justice student determine the best practices for training detectives in undercover work,” she said. “Connecting students to the resources they need – and hopefully making the research process a little less scary – is such a rewarding experience.”
To use this wonderful resource, students can go to the service desk during library hours, talk to a librarian, use the research guides (LibGuides) available on Cedarville’s website (https://www.cedarville.edu/academic-schools-and-departments/library/services/research-center), schedule a one-on-one session for in-depth research assistance, or professors can schedule a time for them to provide in-class sessions for students.
Anna Harman is a sophomore Biblical Studies major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, peppermint tea, flowers and going to concerts.