People of the Library: Sara Samuel

Sara Samuel

Sara Samuel

Sara Samuel

What is your current role/position at the Library and what led you to it?
I am an engineering librarian at the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library (AAEL) and I am the liaison to 2 departments in the College of Engineering: the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department (EECS) and the Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Department (CLaSP). I first joined AAEL as a University Library Associate when I began the graduate program at the School of Information. It just so happened that while I was here as a graduate student, one of the engineering librarian positions opened up. I enjoy working with the people here, so when the opportunity arose for me to apply for the opening, I took it!

If you could pick one Library resource you think more students should engage with, what would it be?

The librarians! I hear something along the lines of "I wish I had known about this sooner" fairly often, so I encourage all students to connect with a librarian the first time they are faced with doing any sort of research or want to learn more about a topic. It's our job to make your job as a student or researcher easier and we often know tricks, tips, and shortcuts that can help reduce the time you spend looking for certain types of resources or finding high quality research papers. The library also has a number of great services that a lot of people don't know about (poster printingcitation management toolsworkshopscopyright office!), and a librarian can get you connected to those services that will help with your other research-related needs. The life of a student is packed with homework, classes, and events, and it can save you a lot of time in the long run if you spend a few minutes connecting with a librarian at the beginning of a project. Our first priority is always to answer questions that come in from students, staff, and faculty, so you can get help by emailing or calling a librarian directly (each department at U-M has a liaison librarian!), using our Ask a Librarian instant messaging service, or visiting one of the reference/information desks in person.

What's unique about the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library? 

We have a number of fantastic collections here that are pretty special. Here are just a few:

The Computer and Video Game Archive (CVGA) is located in the basement of the Duderstadt Center and is a super fun collection with thousands of computer and video games from the original Atari to the most current gaming systems. The old systems are connected to older TVs and newer systems are connected to newer TVs. They even have a huge collection of board games - old and new.

The Materials Collection is a bunch of physical items that you can touch and feel and get inspiration from. It's located on the 2nd floor of the Duderstadt Center near the current journals. Our subscription gets us hundreds of samples each year and you can use the Materials ConneXion database to look up more information about the materials. The materials include naturals (horsehair cloth, salmon leather, wood), polymers, ceramics, and items that demonstrate a process of how a type of material is made. It's a super neat collection and we would love to see it used more in classes and projects.

AAEL also has a huge collection of graphic novels and comic books. This collection is a bit hidden unless you go into the stacks, but the second floor in the call number section PN is where you'll find most of them! We have a research guide to help make the collection more findable, and there is a tall shelf on the 2nd floor near the stairs leading to the first floor where you'll see some collection highlights. Right now there are items on display related to Black History Month and Women's History Month for February and March.

What do you love about the University of Michigan?

I love that there are so many opportunities here! We have a world-class research library, a number of museums and archives, a hugely talented faculty and student body that shares their talents through concerts, dance performances, dramas and musicals, athletic events, symposiums, research fairs, and more! There's always something interesting going on around campus, and I think it's easy to overlook how fantastic it is until you go somewhere that doesn't have an institution like this. Even more wonderful is that it's available to the public - anyone can come use the library here, attend performances and research talks, and visit the museums.