Introducing Shelby Hallman: Reference & Instruction Librarian

This past fall, we welcomed Shelby Hallman, reference and instruction librarian (with a STEM focus), to the William H. Hannon Library. Before coming to Loyola Marymount University, Shelby was the lead librarian for engineering at North Carolina State University. Shelby received her M.S. in library and information science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and she holds dual undergraduate degrees in comparative literature and German from Pennsylvania State University, with a minor in engineering mechanics. Shelby served as co-PI on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant “Visualizing Digital Scholarship in Libraries & Learning Spaces.” She also worked at the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center as a graduate assistant, and the Library of Congress as a junior fellow.

In order to get to know her a little better, we asked Shelby a few questions about her experience and plans.

What drew you to the world of libraries?

Growing up, a family friend worked as an academic librarian, so I’d been aware of the field from a young age, even shadowing her for a day in middle school! However, I became serious about being a librarian during my undergraduate studies at Penn State. In one of my engineering classes, we were tasked with finding and using standards in our design project. After struggling to find standards (and not realizing librarians could help!) I decided I wanted to help others avoid that frustrating situation. From that moment, I have focused on helping students and faculty navigate the unique technical resources in engineering and STEM in general!

Tell us about your previous experience in libraries.

Prior to LMU, I worked at NC State University Libraries as the lead librarian for engineering, leading a wonderful team of science & engineering librarians to support the Colleges of Engineering and Science. The role included everything from instruction to working with high tech spaces, and I was particularly focused on supporting skill development for incoming first years, undergraduate research, and underrepresented students in engineering. Before that, I was a research lbrarian for engineering & entrepreneurship at NC State, and previously I interned at a wide range of libraries including the Grainger Engineering Library at University of Illinois, Library of Congress, Cornell’s Mann Library, and the Conservation Lab at University of Illinois.

What goals/hopes do you have for this year?

As this is the first reference and instruction librarian for STEM position at Hannon Library, my initial goals are focused on building more bridges between Seaver and the library. Hopefully I can learn about student and faculty needs, in order to link departments and classes with all the great library services!

What projects will you be tackling first?

The very first thing is learning about and meeting the Seaver departments! From there I hope to develop and share new resources, instruction sessions, and grow our STEM collections. To that end, I am initially planning to do some curriculum assessment and develop a strategic approach to integration. I’m looking forward to working on specific projects, such as a Digital Citizenship workshop series with library colleagues, and I’d also love to start working with undergraduate researchers in Seaver.

What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?

I tend to have multiple books going at once because I love to jump around between genres! Right now I am reading the Invisible Library series, an interesting book called “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History” by Cynthia Barnett, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, and some Agatha Christies. My bookshelf is overrun with to-be-read books, so I am trying to work my way through those!

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers/campus community?

First, I am excited to join LMU! Second, as a fun fact, I love making things – I do stained glass and knit, and I am always up for learning new, crafty skills. I also enjoy hiking and am looking forward to exploring the beautiful nature in SoCal!

Please join us in welcoming Shelby to the William H. Hannon Library!