As Assistant Mathematics Librarian, Professor Smith has responsibilities in the areas of reference services, bibliographic instruction, and the development of custom databases and pathfinders for the library users. Professor Smith also assists in the supervision of student employees and graduate assistants.
Professor Smith's reference and bibliographic instruction skills are regarded by both library users and colleagues in the UIUC Library system as innovative and singularly outstanding. According to one colleague, Professor Smith has gained a reputation for her "stellar performance in providing enhanced reference assistance to library patrons". A longtime Mathematics Library user notes that Professor Smith "combines a proven subject background with a firm grasp of information service principles...I have found her dedication and professionalism to be of the highest caliber." Another UIUC colleague comments that Professor Smith has "developed a number of unique and imaginative information services that meet the needs not only of Mathematics Library users but also of users of other departmental libraries." It is this focus on multidisciplinary and multi-library user tools that distinguish Professor Smith's work, and accentuate her value to the Library system as a whole.
Professor Smith has played and integral role in the development of a table of contents service that provides both photocopied and e-mailed article table of contents to Mathematics faculty. Professor Smith has also assisted in the development of new books list ("a valuable and timely service"--a library user) and an expanded serials holdings databases and printed list. Professor Smith's information service skills are "indispensable to the operation of the Mathematics Library" (colleague quote).
As Assistant Engineering Librarian, Professor Smith has responsibilities in the areas of reference services, bibliographic instruction, and the development of custom databases and pathfinders for library users. Professor Smith also assists in the supervision of student employees and graduate assistants.
Professor Smith has developed into, in the words of a colleague, a "competent and efficient reference librarian." According to a library user, Professor Smith has worked on "becoming aware of the needs of the faculty and students." A colleague notes that Professor Smith has "made strides toward developing the requisite public service skills" that are necessary to provide quality reference and information services, but needs to focus on "the development of better communication skills." Both colleagues and users would encourage Professor Smith to further refine her reference and bibliographic instruction skills by becoming more aware of the subject literature. One user noted that there is a "great need for enhanced to access to developing tools to assist in accessing this literature." The committee suggests that Professor Smith can enhance her librarianship skills by developing, in conjunction with colleagues, information services that address clearly defined needs in the Engineering Library.
Professor Smith has created a focused and cogent body of research that addresses and increasingly important aspect of reference and information services: the relationship between the end-user's expressed information need and the level of user understanding of the retrieval tools that are designed to address that need. Professor Smith has investigated the level of user sophistication in their utilization of online databases and World-Wide-Web data. The committee focused on three key papers, form a corpus of eight articles, that focus on the analysis of several bibliographic databases and Web resources. These three papers, from leading journals in the field, "clearly articulate a problem in end-user access to what are considered standard information resources" (a UIUC colleague) and are "evidence of...[Professor Smith's]...in-depth knowledge of prior work in this field." In aggregate, these papers reveal an evolving vision of "end-user searching needs and information seeking behaviors" (a colleague). And advance the state-of-the-art.
Specifically, the paper "An Analysis of the Use of World-Wide-Web Resources by Engineers: Use and Abuse" in Sci-Tech Libraries provides and in-depth analysis of "both success stories and problems that can be found in the use of the Web to verify bibliographic citations." (a colleague). This study provides a "useful blueprint for evaluating the success of Web-based retrieval."
Professor Smith has begun a research effort that is designed to focus on an increasingly important aspect of reference and information services: the relationship between the end-user's expressed information need and the level of user understanding of the retrieval tools that are designed to address that need. To this end, Professor Smith has published on paper on Web searching in a major journal and has a paper out for review that expands this study by addressing the use of the Compendex (Engineering Index) and INSPEC databases in the Engineering Library. While still in the early stages, this work represents "a strong beginning to an effort to examine several aspects of the information seeking behavior of engineers" (a colleague). The Committee encourages Professor Smith to continue to study this important question and suggests that Professor Smith Should also "consider the relationship between the growth of the World-Wide-Web and subsequent end-user searching behavior."
The paper entitled "An Analysis of the Use of World-Wide-Web Resources by Engineers: Use and Abuse" in Sci-Tech Libraries provides and in-depth analysis of "both success stories and problems that can be found in the use of the Web to verify bibliographic citations." (a colleague). This study provides a "useful blueprint for evaluating the success of Web-based retrieval."
Professor Smith has undertaken and extensive literature review and engaged in a data gathering effort in support of a paper that examines that relationship between the end-user's expressed information need and the level of user understanding of the retrieval tools that are designed to address that need. The Committee and a colleague have reviewed this work and feel that this could be an important study that would advance the state-of-the-art in the understanding of engineers use of information resources. The Committee would encourage Professor Smith to complete and submit this paper (or series of papers). The committee also encourages Professor Smith to focus on end-user understanding of the features of both Web-based and standard A & I service databases with an eye to submitting this research to one of several library and information science journals that publish in this subject area.
Professor Smith has focused on public service activities that have promoted the use of innovative information services for campus, statewide, and national audiences of librarians and end-user's. This has included the formulation of statewide policy on the use of library information resources and instruction on the use of these systems. Both of these systems contribute to the public good and "benefit the University of Illinois Library and the profession as a whole" (a colleague). Examples of these activities include demonstrations at UIUC Computer Fairs, statewide and ILCSO committee work, and consulting work for the Illinois Library Systems.
Service to Disciplinary and Professional Societies or Associations
Professor Smith has been an active presenter at meetings sponsored by the most prestigious professional societies in the library and information science field. She has read papers at meetings of the American Library Association's Library Information Technology Association (LITA), the American Society for Information Science, and the National Online Meeting and as Vice-Chair and Chair of the LITA End-User Searching Interest Group. As a colleague notes "the interest groups play an important role in LITA, and serving as Chair of one is a significant professional activity."
Professor Smith has made significant contributions to General University, campus, and Library committees. Her involvement with the campus Online Reserve Committee has resulted in the planning of a sophisticated Web-based Reserves reading system for the campus. She has represented the Library on a University-wide Database Standards Committee that has engaged in far-reaching discussions with important implications for library use. In the Library, Professor Smith is a member of the User Education Committee, which is charged with developing training tools for a new Library Online Catalog. These training materials will have a major impact on the success or failure of this new, important resource that will serve all of the UIUC students, faculty, and staff.