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Sarah Hammill's picture

Emily Hamstra

When: 
Monday, February 3, 2014 - 9:00 am to Friday, February 7, 2014 - 5:00 pm

IAmRUSA Interviewee for the Week of February 3rd is

Emily Hamstra

Ask her a question!

Emily Hamstra's picture

Hello! I’m Emily Hamstra, Learning Librarian and Kinesiology Librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. In my position as a Learning Librarian I do lots of library instruction for undergraduate students. I also do collection development for the Undergraduate Library in a wide variety of subject areas, including the library’s popular fiction and non-fiction browsing collection. I provide reference services over chat and at the reference desk. Last year I became the Kinesiology Librarian, and began working with students and faculty in the School of Kinesiology. I teach a lot of upper level library research and instruction sessions for undergraduates in the School of Kinesiology, assist with faculty and student research requests, and collect for the library in this area.

I have BAs in English and History from Calvin College (2007) and a Masters in Information from the School, University of Michigan (2009).

In 2012 I was sponsored by RUSA to participate in the Emerging Leaders program. As part of this program, my Emerging Leaders group created the blog Chasing Reference. The blog is currently on hold as we figure out the next steps. Being part of the Emerging Leaders program really helped to connect me to lots of opportunities within RUSA.

This year I served as a reader on RUSA’s genre fiction award, the Reading List. This was a great opportunity for me. Reading for the Reading List pushed my reading in so many different directions. I think it was really good for my collection development skills because it made me read outside of some of my usual genres. I read a lot. This year I was the chair of RUSA’s Louis Shores Award committee, honoring excellence in reviewing.

You can follow me on Twitter @emilyhamstra. 

Sarah Hammill's picture

Nice to meet you Emily!  Being the kinesiology librarian sounds really interesting.  What kind of questions do you get and what are the main databases you use in this subject area.  

Sarah J. Hammill

Past RSS Chair

Emily Hamstra's picture

Hi Sarah! The School of Kinesiology covers a wide range of interests. I might answer a question about gender discrimination and the Olympics and prosthetic joints and steps for recovery after surgery in the same day. The largest group in the school is movement science, so with that group, I answer a lot of health sciences questions. I'll get questions like "I need information about how much weight a male who weighs 180 safely lift" or "Can you help me find information about how much force we put on our limbs while rock climbing?" Though movement science and athletic training are the groups within kinesiology I hear from the most, I also get questions from the sports management specialization. Their questions are more along the lines of business. I'll get questions about how much revenue a particular stadium brings in, or how much is spent on sporting equipment. Yes, there are places you can look to see how much baseball players spend on cleats (Sports Business Research Network)!  

The databases I use the most are Web of Science, PubMed, SportDiscus, and Scopus. I get some sports history questions and questions about stadiums and athletes, so I often use newspaper databases as well.

I have a guide for all the different areas of Kinesiology: http://guides.lib.umich.edu/kinesiology. The "For Alumni" tab has reliable resources that are available within the discipline on the open web or through the public library. 

Kirk MacLeod's picture

I was wondering about the referene you do using chat; is it a task everyone at your library shares? and how do you handle incoming questions if they clearly fall under another staff members subject specialty?

Thansk so much for participating in IAmRUSA,

Kirk MacLeod

Emily Hamstra's picture

Hi Kirk!

Many of the librarians who staff the reference desk and many of our School of Information students who work at the reference desk cover a few hours a week on chat reference. We're available on chat reference until midnight during the week (http://www.lib.umich.edu/ask-librarian). During busy times, we have two librarians available to answer incoming questions. U-M uses libraryh3lp to manage the service. 

If we get a question that's a subject-specific question we can't answer over chat, we'll refer the patron to a subject librarian. 

Kirk MacLeod's picture

Hi Emily,

do you mind talking a little bit about your experiences with the emerging leader program - when you first heard of it, how application worked, as well as the type of workload that came with the project you worked on?

Emily Hamstra's picture

One of my co-workers is very involved in ALA, and she encouraged me to apply for the Emerging Leaders program. I applied in August and was accepted into the program in the fall. When you are accepted into the program, you have the opportunity to see what projects have been proposed for the Emerging Leaders program. You indicate which project you are most interested in. If anyone is interested in applying for the program and has additional questions about the application process, feel free to ask!

I think the workload really depends on the group and the project. My fabulous Emerging Leaders group wrote an article about our project, Chasing Reference, in a recent issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly. In the article we talk a bit about the scope of the blog, how we set up the blog, and how we first established a plan for collaborative blogging. As my some of my fellow group members have moved to new jobs or have become more involved in other divisions or sections of ALA, we're taking a sabbatical from blogging. We're working with RUSA to figure out the next steps for Chasing Reference.