Finals Week Questions Answered by a UWF Librarian

If the “library regulars” are rolling their eyes at the influx of students into their familiar space, it’s because of finals week. The Great Good Place is packed, the 4th floor is extra quiet and the coffee shop’s line is consistently long. The freshmen giggle loudly and nervously under the pressure of their first finals week in college. The seniors lift their eyes to peer over their laptop screens, somewhat annoyed, but really just wishing they were still freshmen, too.

It’s probably the most popular place on campus this week… so who maintains order among the madness? The John C. Pace librarians and staff are to thank.

I think we, as students, frequently overlook the importance of these people in our academic lives. When we do speak with them, we find that they are a wealth of information. I’ve asked the librarians some ridiculously stupid questions (“how do you like… do… the archives…?”) and they always respond with patience and expertise.

So, to shed some light on a librarian’s point of view during finals week, I used the Ask-a-Librarian Live Chat.

HC UWF: Let’s start by getting to know a little bit about one of our lovely librarians. What is your job title and how long have you worked at John C. Pace Library?

Librarian: My name is Hillary Fox and I am the Health, Biology, and Environmental Science Librarian. I also serve as the Collection Development Coordinator which means I work with all of the different library departments to create policies and materials in the library (like books, bound journals, etc.). I’ve been with UWF just a little over 3 years!

HC UWF: Thank you for your dedication to our school! So in your three years here, what’s the craziest thing that’s happened in the library?

Librarian: The library itself has staged a bunch of crazy (or maybe non-traditional is a better word) events. We’ve had a flash mob dance, therapy dogs, music & mocktails events, and several other events. These occur throughout the year. We like to give students a break and help them have fun to keep them motivated for the rest of the semester. We’ve also had some wildlife encounters. There was once a bat in the library entrance. There’s an armadillo that regularly hangs out in the bushes around the library.

HC UWF: I’ve been to a few of those events, they’re always super fun! Is there anything you wish students knew about the library?

Librarian: I think there is a big misconception about what the library does. A perception vs. reality. Most students think this is meant to be a quiet place and that we are only good for books. The reality is that we are a creative space. We provide a lot of sophisticated technology equipment and services. I don’t think students realize what the librarian can help them with. We are experts in searching and finding information which is something all students need for their school work. We even have Master’s degrees in Library Science (it’s a real thing!).

HC UWF: On the subject of sophisticated technology and helpful experts, are there any other cool resources in the library that are underutilized?

Librarian: I’m not sure if these technologies are underutilized, but we definitely have some cool stuff. Our entire 5th floor is the Sky Lab. They have everything from Adobe Creative Suite to 3D printers. We even had an employee print a screw to fix his screen door! I am one of the reference librarians, so I can only speak to what I encounter on my end. I don’t think enough students take advantage of the people who are here to help them. We are basically here to help you succeed in your academics. We go into a lot of different classes to show students how to do research, but if you’re not in one of those classes, you might not know about all the cool things libraries can do.

HC UWF: One last question: Is there anything you’d like to say to students as we approach finals week?

Librarian: Yes! We are here to help you and we want you to succeed! Don’t hesitate to come and talk to us if you need any kind of research help. We actually host a meditation station from 2:30-3:30 on Wednesdays. A few minutes of relaxation has been shown to make you more productive. We’re also open 24 hours right now. Basically, we’re here for you and we are happy to do it!

HC UWF: Thank you so much for your time . . . We really appreciate our librarians and the work that you do!

Cover photo via Shaw Global News