For most of the past year, working remotely and multitasking, Donna Wrublewski has served as chemistry & chemical engineering librarian, interim humanities librarian, and interim head of research services. This month, she assumes a new role in the library: permanent head of research services.
Research Services (RS) focuses on reference and research assistance, instruction, and liaising with campus groups to inform them about library resources and services. Wrublewski‘s team of seven librarians and two senior library assistants serves as the primary point of contact between the library and the Caltech community. The group is also responsible for collection development evaluations and decisions. Wrublewski will supervise and help coordinate activities within RS, between RS and other library groups including Library Administration, and between RS and the rest of campus.
Wrublewski says she urges faculty members and students "to ask us anything. Seriously. All of the following are valid questions that we can answer: ‘Can you buy this book? Do we have access to this journal? Can you help me find properties of a fiberglass-reinforced composite material called G10?'"
She noted that the last question was an actual patron request. Wrublewski had worked on G10 as a graduate student in polymer engineering and so was able to dig into the literature and help the patron find some useful information.
Wrublewski emphasized that all RS librarians are highly trained, and several have bachelor's and advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering. She said that students and faculty should not be afraid to "speak geek" to them—they will more than likely know what the patrons are talking about, as they follow the research activities of campus closely.
She will oversee the delivery of research services to meet current and emerging needs at Caltech, especially in terms of scholarly communication, open access and publishing, and open science initiatives. She hopes to strengthen the support that RS offers to research and teaching activities on campus.
Wrublewski, who has worked in a variety of positions at the library, says she enjoys the environment: "I like helping people, especially through teaching. And I like learning new things. There's always something new to learn, either a subject, a technology, a development in the library field, and more."
"It's a lot like graduate school that way," she added, "but with slightly better hours."