Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Ben Richards, Business and Communications Librarian at Cleveland State University.
What is your role(s) in academic libraries?
I am the Business & Communication Librarian at Cleveland State University. I am primarily involved with doing information literacy instruction, reference consultations, and supporting faculty research, as well as working with our College Credit Plus program, First Year Experience, and contributing to assessment projects within the library.
What do you like most about academic library work?
I enjoy seeing students become more empowered through learning valuable research, technology, and critical thinking skills. I feel like the library contributes so much to our institution both through student success and faculty support, and it’s great to be a part of that.
What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?
There has been more interest from faculty on exposing their students to citation management tools, and I have enjoyed providing workshops on Zotero and Mendeley in the classroom. They’re tools that have the potential to not only make citing an easier process, but also help students to organize their research and incorporate sources more intentionally into their writing.
We tried a scavenger hunt activity this year for our First Year Experience classes, and as our assessment we took student reflections on which resources and services in the library they planned to use and what questions they had. I am excited to delve further into the set of responses and find out how first year students perceive the library in terms of contributing to their success on campus.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I had a pet guinea pig who was photographed and appeared on an American Greetings birthday card.
What do you love about being an ALAO member?
I love that there is a community of people in Ohio who get together just to geek out about academic libraries. It’s always fun to hear about the awesome work people are doing and hear new ideas.
–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Wright State University