Researchers Recognizing Transformative Librarians - ACS Axial | ACS Publications

Researchers Recognizing Transformative Librarians

In celebration of National Library Week, ACS Publications invited researchers nominate a transformative librarian that has supported them throughout their career. We received nominations from researchers across the globe and are excited to share our winner:

Sue Cardinal, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian

University of Rochester

Sue received two nominations from the University of Rochester, Professor Daniel Weix and Leah Frenette, a graduate student. They wrote about Sue’s dedication to providing resources to her students, faculty, and researchers, and going outside the library to provide help to her users.

“Sue exemplifies to me how librarians are more vital than ever, even if the space they are named after is no longer needed for holding books and journals. With more information at our fingertips than at any other point in history, librarians are critical to finding the right information, planning for the long-term retention of invaluable data, and teaching students how to go beyond a Google search. At Rochester, Sue has been a leader in adapting to the changing environment. She held office hours in our chemistry department lounge – recognition that physical library space is already less important to researchers. She has led initiatives to expand our digital collections and our chemical informatics access, again, working to prepare the department for the future. Finally, she has been a leader in setting up classes or working with instructors to set up workshops on these new digital tools.” – Professor Daniel Weix

“Sue Cardinal is the most dedicated and passionate librarian that I have had the pleasure of working with.  She is always available to help find or ordering books and references, or just for a chat.  She is truly transformative, always looking for new ways to connect with the students and faculty in our department.  She is continually updating her knowledge with the changes in referencing technologies and keeps our chemistry community up to date with the latest tools and resources.  She offers librarian office hours in the chemistry building every week to make it easy for students and faculty to get their questions answered without having to find time to go to the library.  She gives incoming graduate students a thorough tour of the library so that everyone feels comfortable using everything that our library has to offer.  She goes above and beyond her duties by attending talks and thesis defenses in our department and being a constant fixture around campus.  Personally, she has helped me find references and taught me referencing software. In addition to being a phenomenal resource and always available she is a wonderfully friendly person and we are so lucky to have her as our Chemistry Librarian at the University of Rochester.  She is the definition of a transformative librarian and deserves to be recognized for her continual commitment.” – Leah Frenette


In a short interview with Sue, we asked her what piece of advice would she most want to share with librarians and researchers.

“For Librarians – focus on collaborations and partnerships with your stakeholders – students, faculty, customers, administration, etc. People first, then information. We are professionals who use our expertise and experience to provide access and/or share a vast wealth of knowledge. To do this, listen first to what is needed. Make yourself spontaneously available by going to events that your stakeholders attend. Become friends and, when possible, write articles, write grants, teach and take classes, and edit and write books so you can empathize and understand their pain points and provide meaningful practical solutions. Think beyond the core collection by introducing stakeholders to people, processes, and tools throughout their research or educational experiences. Finally, network with the best chemistry librarians and informational professionals at ACS CINF events, in person at National ACS meetings and virtually through the CHMINF-L list, Linked-In, and beyond. I am very grateful to my ACS friends for keeping me up to date on trends in my field.

“For Researchers – reach out to your librarian and ask him/her to keep you informed about new tools, processes, and information sources related to your field. Periodically invite your librarian to talks, group meetings, and/or classes. Share your frustrations regarding hard to find information, tools that don’t work well or ideas that you have for better information flow. If there is an information component in your course assignments, could the librarian share tools and strategies with your students so that students can spend more time researching, analyzing, synthesizing, and writing? Cultivating a partnership with your librarian can help your students succeed and save you time and effort.”

Congratulations again to Sue! We thank everyone who nominated a transformative librarian for this honor. From everyone at ACS Publications, thank you to all librarians for everything you do on a daily basis.

To learn more about National Library Week, visit the American Library Association’s website.

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