Jess Ensley ’17: Where are you from?
Yiming Guo: This question is hard. Originally I’m from China, but I’ve lived in Canada and the United States for twelve years. I have lived in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Missouri, and Iowa. I have also traveled around many states. Before I moved here, I lived in Montreal, Quebec.
J: Cool! What is your current position at Denison?
Y: My current position is the Natural Sciences Liaison Librarian. I have three major parts of work: reference, instruction, and collection development. I serve all of the natural science departments at Denison.
J: What do the roles that you have involve?
Y: If any professors from the natural science departments need instruction for information literacy, they contact me and I’ll give a talk. If professors or students have in depth questions about how to find literature for their research or how to finish an assignment, they can come to me. Also, if there is a book that they want the library to buy, they can contact me. I am also in charge of the LibGuides for the natural sciences. You can access them from library home page by clicking on the subject and class guides under “Helpful Links.” Right now, there are 54 subjects that have LibGuides, but more are coming.
J: What made you want to apply to this position at Denison?
Y: This position is a perfect match for my interests. I used to be a researcher. I have a PhD in biology and I did scientific research for many years. So, I think I know the information needs of scientists and their information behaviors. I also know the scientific information resources. I have the expertise in the science field. Furthermore, I like to work in an academic environment. This position is at an academic library, so it’s my dream job. I like to work with researchers, professors, and students. It’s a good opportunity for me.
J: So would you say that working with researchers, professors, and students is your favorite part of the job?
Y: Yes it is my favorite part, but I also like that I get to do different work every day. It’s not boring.
J: That’s important. What made you interested in science?
Y: Oh, that’s a long story. Do you know the contemporary history of China?
J: Kind of, but not really.
Y: Okay, I’ll give you a brief introduction. The Cultural Revolution in China was basically a ten-year long disaster from 1966-1976. For ten years, the Chinese people did nothing but political movements. After Chairman Mao died, the Cultural Revolution ended. The new leader said, “enough is enough,” you know, “we’re not doing this anymore.” We needed to focus on the economy and the construction of our country. So people were encouraged to study science, technology, and engineering. That’s a big background. That’s what I was told going into elementary school. There’s also a family influence. My father worked at a university in the physics department. He’d also buy some books and magazines related to science and technology. I was very interested when I was little.
J: Changing the topic a little bit, what advice do you have for Denison students regarding the library?
Y: I suggest students come to the library often. It’s not only a good place to study, but we have many resources. We have books and almost 500 online databases. We have search tools such as Summon, CONSORT, OhioLINK, which are super helpful and free. Actually part of it comes from your tuition, so you should use it. I also suggest students come and talk to the librarians if you have questions or need help. Some students don’t want to bother us, but no, we want you to bother us. We’re here to help.
J: What other interests do you have outside of science?
Y: I like traveling, hiking, and fishing. I like to be outside.
J: What’s your favorite thing about Denison so far?
Y: I came here about a month ago. It’s very new, but I love Denison. The campus is so beautiful and it is a very welcoming community. When I first came here, our Assistant to the Director, Peggy, gave me a gift basket. Very welcoming. Everybody in the library has helped me a lot. Also, the faculty members and students are welcoming too.
J: Is there anything else you want the Denison community to know?
Y: I’ll introduce you to our Personal Librarian Program. This is a new program, just started this year. Every first year student will be assigned a personal librarian. The idea is, when students come to the library, they usually go to the reference desk and ask a question. The next day, there might be new people working at the reference desk. The student may have to repeat the question and that happens over and over again. With the Personal Librarian Program, if the students have in depth questions, they can contact their personal librarian. If you’re a first-year student, your personal librarian is your go-to person for any questions you have about the libraries in general or about research needs in particular.