Alumnus Emily Grover shares her experiences working at SU Special Collections
The article “Social Media as Entrée into Special Collections Reference Works” was publisehd in RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. It highlights the value of reference works in undergraduate education. “The value of reference works—and their utility—is well understood by the readers of this journal. We, as a community of practitioners and scholars, see the inherent value of these skills. However, these sources—and their concomitant skills—are rarely taught to undergraduates, though this knowledge can be transformative in the intellectual work and life of a student. Undergraduates who desire a career in special collections or rare book librarianship must be introduced to special collections reference works. Even students who are not interested in such employment but who have scholarly interest in the fields of history, literature, linguistics, art, and the like may find use for these resources in their own research.”
Expanding on other type of bibliographies that are extremely useful for undergraduate students , Emily commented on a personal note “When you read [the article], you may notice that the discussion of the average college student’s perspective on the concept of bibliography does not include regular annotated bibliographies. We decided to ultimately exclude annotated bibliographies because we needed to improve the focus of our article, but I just wanted to explain so that you wouldn’t think I had so quickly forgotten how useful annotated bibliographies were to my research in the humanities and social sciences!” Emily has learned one of many skills in historical writing. Historians learn how to discriminate information in pursuing a specific argument.
Emily, who also majored in Anthropology, is now bringing her historical knowledge into her current position at a local library, making key historical works available to the public. Reflecting on a course she took with retired professor Dr. Thom McClendon a couple of years ago, she commented, “I ordered the library’s first copy of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. I first heard of this work in Dr. McClendon’s class… I hope I did Thom proud”. By using historical knowledge and skills learned in our Department, Emily, as all our alumni, is making a difference in her life and her community.