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Libraries Welcome New Grad Students

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  • Photo
    Michael Leach, Head of Collection Development in Cabot Science Library, talks with a group of new graduate students during a library orientation session at DudleyFest.
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    Hugh Truslow, Librarian for the Fung Library, and Rachel Howarth, Co-Acting Librarian of Houghton Library, answer questions at DudleyFest, part of the day-long orientation for new Harvard graduate students at GSAS.
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    Susan Gilman, Research and Digital Learning Librarian, and Laura Farwell Blake, Head of Services for Academic Programs, speak with a new graduate student during DudleyFest, part of the day-long orientation for new Harvard graduate students at GSAS.
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    A graduate student examines some of the information available at the libraries table at DudleyFest.

August 29, 2013 – Any seasoned graduate student can tell you that they practically live in the library, building relationships with librarians and relying on their expertise. That’s why it’s important for new graduate students to get to know the libraries, and the librarians.

“I don’t know what your experience was with other libraries, but whatever it was, we will work to be as good. It is our hope we can be even better,” Cheryl LaGuardia, a research librarian at Widener Library told a room full of new Harvard graduate students. “We are here for you. We are here to help you.”

LaGuardia joined other library staff in presenting helpful information about using the libraries during DudleyFest on Aug. 28, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences resource and information fair for incoming graduate students held each year in Dudley House. DudleyFest is part of the day-long GSAS orientation, which also included remarks by Harvard President Drew Faust, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith and GSAS Dean Xiao-Li Meng, as well as lunch under the big tent on the Science Center Plaza.

During two library orientation sessions, graduate students were given a brief demonstration on the use of HOLLIS, Harvard’s online library catalog, and the many other E-Resources available to them. Also discussed was the use of citation management tools like RefWorks and the various science resources available to students.

Library staff also stressed the need for students to get to know and meet the Library Liaisons, the people they will get to know very well in the coming years. The liaisons are the research librarians who work with a specific academic department and provide one-on-one consultation and general reference services to the department’s faculty and students.

“And sign up for a carrel … this is highly sought after space,” advised Laura Farwell Blake, Head of Services for Academic Programs.
The orientation sessions proved to be valuable to the new graduate students.

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“Seeing as I have been out of undergrad since the ’90s, I have a lot of questions about libraries and what’s changed, and really what are the best tools to use,” said Rachel Thompson, an anthropology concentrator. “This was helpful as I start to get back into using the libraries.”

Downstairs, librarians worked the resources table alongside other GSAS affiliated departments and programs. Staff answered questions and handed out general information to students.

Library staff who worked at the 2013 DudleyFest were LaGuardia, Blake, Reed Lowrie, Steve Kuehler, Joshua Parker, Michael Leach, Cheryl LaGuardia, Anna Esty, Susan Gilman, Amanda Bowen, Kazuko Sakaguchi, Mary Sears, Rhea Lesage, Dorothy Barr, Diane Sredl, Hugh Truslow and Rachel Howarth.