Subject Liaisons are specialist librarians who focus on specific topics. They have a robust knowledge of library resources and are happy to assist with research and answer questions, large and small!
Today we’re interviewing Sherri Brown, who is the Librarian for English.
What are some of the specific ways you can help people learning and working in your subject area?
I’m here to help with all stages of a research project—from choosing a topic and formulating a question as you begin, all the way to formatting your paper or project as you complete it.
With over 600 databases available, where to look for resources can be overwhelming—ask us to help guide you to sources.
What’s a key message you’d like people at UVA to know about the Library?
Librarians want to help you. No question is too big or too small. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll try our best to guide you to someone who might.
What are some research challenges you enjoy?
Liaising for English is exciting because the research is very interdisciplinary. It’s not often that I’m looking for literary resources for a topic—it’s often about finding historical, economic, cultural, or other information to support an idea or find answers to a question. And some of the time it is important for researchers to know that there is not much written on a topic.
What’s a resource you think people aren’t very aware of, but would find useful?
There are more and more online digital archives popping up all the time. Some you may know about, others we can help you to uncover.
What’s a recent book you’ve read that you’d recommend?
I read in quite a number of different genres and have a hard time picking favorites. Here are a few recommendations:
Recommended memoir/personal essays: A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisneros (author of The House on Mango Street, among other works). 2015.
Recommended collection of linked short stories: The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat. 2005
Recommended novel: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. 2012.
Recommended non-fiction: Sex Workers, Psychics, and Numbers Runners: Black Women in New York City’s Underground Economy by LaShawn Harris. 2016.
What’s a place or an activity you enjoy in Charlottesville?
I’m fairly new to the city, but a couple of places I’ve really enjoyed so far are the Saunders-Monticello Trail and the Carter Mountain Orchard.
What do you enjoy about your job?
My favorite moments happen when I can find the “perfect” resources to meet a person’s research need or show them a new tool that will make their work easier in some way.