Name and department?
Teresa Sobieszczyk, Sociology
How do you use the library to support your research and teaching?
In the past, my graduate research methods class and undergraduate freshman seminar have had trainings on how to conduct a successful literature review focused on sociological indexes. This year, while I am a Fulbright scholar in Vietnam, I have been using the Chicago style guide from the Mansfield Library website. I also have been accessing interlibrary loan articles or chapters as well as journal articles from UM’s Mansfield Library remotely, for use in Vietnam. Here in Vietnam, where even the largest university in the region cannot afford any journals on-line, students and faculty have real difficulty linking their own research ideas with the broader literature. This problem is compounded by the dearth of articles and books in Vietnamese, which my students could read or access, and a lack of indexes or search engines for Vietnamese language journals. One professor here said he completed his dissertation without ever doing a literature review in a library, using only materials he got in person from a colleague or professor. The situation here makes me really, really appreciate Mansfield Library.
What do you think is the most important service the library offers?
On-line access to journal articles, closely tied with interlibrary loan!
What are you reading right now?
I just finished a strange book by A.S. Byatt called The Children’s Book, which seemed to be partly a history of British intellectuals (feminist, anarchists, pastoralists) around the turn of the 20th century, and partly a work of fiction. I realized how little I know about British and world history from that period. I have also been reading Peter Hessler’s books about China: Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory, Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, and River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. I like that Hessler was a Peace Corps volunteer (as I was), and I appreciate his insights into socialist countries that are turning economically towards capitalism.