The purpose of this blog is to explore the ways in which academic libraries can contribute to the retention of undergraduates in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. The investigation will include news articles, blog postings, library science literature, education literature, and creative approaches and suggestions from librarians and educators. All are encouraged to participate in the dialogue to find potential solutions to a thorny problem.
The blogger, Erin O’Toole, has been a science librarian at the University of North Texas (UNT) since 2004. She was a perennial student for a long time, but finally found a home in Libraryland. Her degrees include a B.A. in History from Smith College, B.S. in Biology from the University of Utah, M.Ph. (ABD) in Experimental Pathology from the University of Utah Medical School, and a M.L.S from Texas Woman’s University. By the way, Experimental Pathology does not mean she was experimenting with corpses. In Dr. John Weis’s lab, she was investigating complement receptors, proteins that have been implicated in diseases of the immune system.
With her background in biology, Erin is thrilled to be the liaison librarian to Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Geography at UNT. That background has also given her a personal interest in contributing to the retention of undergraduates in the STEM disciplines. She wants to encourage students to persist and succeed in these challenging yet rewarding fields.
Erin would like to thank the many inspiring professors at the University of Utah who encouraged her to stick with STEM, especially Dr. Carl Thummel, Department of Human Genetics.