Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Grad Student Orientation Highlights Library Services

GSAS orientation

Kuniko Yamada McVey, Librarian for the Japanese Collection
at Harvard-Yenching Library, and Bassey Irele,
Assistant Librarian for Sub-Saharan Africa at Widener
Library, were among the librarians who staffed
the HCL information table.


September 3, 2009 – Whether graduate students need materials for teaching classes, research guidance, help locating and accessing resources online, or even library materials scanned and delivered to them electronically, Harvard College Library can help. That was the message delivered over and over again – through speakers, informal conversations with librarians and current graduate students and information stations – to dozens of new Harvard graduate students who attended the GSAS-sponsored graduate student orientation at Dudley House on August 26.

Perhaps English graduate student Christine Barrett, ’11, said it best: “Librarians can tell you not only what materials are out there, but they can also suggest new methods of researching,” she said. “They’re one of the greatest resources Harvard offers.”

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Upstairs at Dudley House, HCL librarians greeted students for two well-attended information sessions. Susan Fliss, Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Research, Teaching and Learning, welcomed students to Harvard, and urged them to become familiar with HCL libraries, their staff and the many resources and services available to them.

As part of the event, graduate students learned about and met many of the Library Liaisons they’ll work with in the coming years. Liaisons are Research Librarians who work to establish relationships with a specific academic department, create and teach library-related classes, meet with students and faculty, provide one-on-one consultation, write course research guides, assist with content for course web sites, and provide general reference services to the department’s faculty and students. For a full list of liaisons by subject, as well as a list of research contacts, visit the Research Contacts and Library Liaisons page.

The orientation also included an outline of the many online services offered by the library, including Scan and Deliver, which allows students, researchers and faculty to submit requests journal articles or book excerpts directly from the HOLLIS record. Requests made through the system are received by library staff members, who locate and scan the material. Within four days, patrons receive an e-mail containing a link to a file of the scanned pages. The service is free to patrons with a Harvard ID, but is limited to two requests per day.

Other services highlighted included InterLibrary Loan, which allows students to borrow materials from non-Harvard libraries, Ask Us Live, which students can use to contact Research Librarians via instant-messaging, and citation management tools like RefWorks and Endnote. Librarians also called students’ attention to Harvard’s other catalogs: E-Resources, VIA, OASIS, Harvard Geospatial Library, and others.  

Staff from throughout HCL took part in the orientation. They include: from Widener – Laura Farwell Blake, Mary Beth Clack, Sebastian Hierl, Bassey Irele, Cheryl LaGuardia, Rhea Lesage, Pam Matz, Cheryl McGrath, Elizabeth McKeigue, Alison Scott, and Kathleen Sheehan. From Lamont Library – John Baldisserotto, George Clark, Ramona Islam, Steve Kuehler, Diane Sredl, Scott Walker, and Paul Worster. From Fine Arts Library – Mary Clare Altenhofen and Amanda Bowen. From Loeb Music Library – Kerry Masteller and Liza Vick. From Fung Library - Hugh Truslow and Kazuko Sakaguchi. From Cabot Science Library – Reed Lowrie. From Harvard-Yenching Library – Kuniko Yamada McVey. Other participants included Dorothy Barr, Michael Blake and Jason Pannone.

gsas_orientation   gsas_orientation

Dozens of graduate students attended the two HCL information sessions during the annual orientation.


Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Research, Teaching and Learning Susan Fliss welcomed students, and urged them to become familiar with the services offered by the libraries.

gsas_orientation   gsas_orientation

English grad student Christine Barrett, '11, also spoke with students, and called the librarians "one of the greatest resources Harvard offers."


Scott Walker, left, Digital Cartography Specialist at Lamont Library, examines a map with two graduate students who attended the annual orientation.