SLIS Grad Sara Scheib at the Sciences Library

SLIS Grad Sara Scheib at the Sciences Library

Sara Scheib, an Iowa City native and 2008 SLIS graduate, was recently hired as the Sciences Research & Instruction Librarian at the University of Iowa. She serves as the physical and personal bridge between faculty and students and the Sciences Library collection. Scheib visits with faculty members to see how the library can better serve their research and teaching needs, offers individual research consultations with students, and is available for in-class visits to educate students about the resources available to them at the Sciences Library. Though she is new to her position, Scheib is very excited about the future. "The Sciences Library itself has gone through some extensive evolution over the years," she says, going on to explain how each science department used to have its own embedded library, but due to budget cuts about five years ago, the departmental libraries were pulled out of the separate buildings and compiled in the Sciences Library. Perhaps Scheib's biggest challenge is to reassure faculty that the library services are still available to them and to continue to make people aware of those services. She delivers books to faculty offices, for example, making research easier for faculty who can't leave their labs due to time-consuming and attention-requiring experiments.

The Sciences Library is tucked away on Iowa Avenue between Phillips Hall and the Biology Building, a hidden resource for the science-inclined student. It's here that the collections for six different science-based departments, including Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy, and Statistics & Actuarial Science are found. It's a small library, with computer stations on the first and third floors, and bean bag chairs interspersed among the stacks where there is not enough space for tables and chairs. It is a quiet, well-light environment that a student of any discipline would be lucky to study in.

Scheib is one of four staff members who work in or with the library, with various student workers helping fill in the gaps. Scheib's office is located in Van Allen Hall, so her primary focus is on the library services outside the physical building. She creates and maintains LibGuides, the Sciences Library blog, and the recently launched Facebook and Twitter accounts. She is continually updating, re-designing, and re-evaluating the many digital faces of the library. Her personal motto is "You should never be finished. You should always be trying to make things more logical, more accessible: things should always be in the BETA phase."