Subject Liaisons are 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 Chris Ruotolo, who is the Director, Research in the Arts and Humanities.
- American Studies
What are some of the specific ways you can help people learning and working in your subject specialty area(s)?
I work with scholars at all levels, at every stage of the research process, from 1st year students working on their first-ever research paper to senior faculty. I especially enjoy working with distinguished majors and graduate students who are just getting started on their theses and dissertations—I can help them track down the resources they need, and point them toward tools like Zotero that can keep their citations organized and save time.
What’s a key message you’d like people at UVA to know about the Library?
I want people to know that the library is full of friendly and approachable people with an unbelievably broad range of expertise. As a subject liaison, I certainly don’t have the answer to every question, but I can almost always connect you to someone who does!
If someone comes to you for help, what does that look like?
It really varies. Some research consultations take the form of a quick email or a five-minute conversation, and that’s all that’s required. On the other hand, I sometimes work with faculty and students on semester-long projects, as was the case with the library’s recent Course Enrichment Grants. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with a couple of faculty on grant-funded projects that have lasted for years. I really appreciate the opportunity to build relationships with researchers, and to see how their scholarly interests evolve and expand over time.
I’ve gotten many lovely comments and notes of appreciation from faculty and students over the years. One of the most memorable notes I’ve received was also the most succinct:
“You are a ROCK STAR!”