Gerald Holmes, UNCG’s Jackson Library

Hello, this is Gerald Holmes, Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator for UNCG University Libraries. As possibly one of the last people who can say they truly enjoyed belonging to Dudley High School’s Library Club back in the day, I have devoted my whole career to academic libraries, and loved every minute.

As Reference Librarian, I use the Reference desk, online chat, and phone, to provide general reference service that covers the humanities, sciences, social sciences, government information, and more. In this role I also serve as the Library’s liaison to Kinesiology and African American Studies, working closely with these departments to promote information literacy and provide library and information services to their students and faculty. As Diversity Coordinator I am on the Libraries’ administrative team to advise our administration on university priorities, grants and fund raising, marketing, and campus policies regarding diversity issues and resources. I coordinate the Libraries’ Post MLS Diversity Residency Program and chair the Diversity Committee; and have active memberships with ALA, ALA’s Black Caucus, ACRL, and NCLA.

I earned my library degree from U.N.C. at Chapel Hill, where I considered a career in Law Librarianship until I discovered how much I enjoyed the varied research interests of students and faculty in the academic library setting. From then on, I was hooked on academic libraries! My research interests include diversity issues, reference services, and the promotion of librarianship as a career. In the course of my own career, I have coordinated graduate student work assignments and Reference Desk staff training at three different academic libraries.

But that is enough about me. If you have any questions, thoughts, or fun ideas about academic librarianship, diversity issues, or reference service and training, I am eager to find an answer or an application. Minute by minute, I am always ready and willing to learn something new!

Gerald Holmes
Reference Librarian and Diversity Coordinator
University Libraries, U.N.C. at Greensboro
PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC  27402
Voice: 336-256-0273
Fax: 336-334-5097
Email: gerald_holmes@uncg.edu

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6 thoughts on “Gerald Holmes, UNCG’s Jackson Library

  1. Good morning,

    I am a new student in the MLIS program. My question is not actually about your specific field, but I thought you might be able to provide some insight. I am interested in collections management – can you explain a little bit to me about what collection management librarians do on a day-to-day basis? Again, my apologies that this is not a question in your field; I am just very curious to find out if this is the right area of librarianship for me. Thank you.

    1. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alcts/resources/index.cfm

      Jamie,

      Very good question. Our library uses the Library Liaison/Library Representitive approach to communicating the needs of the library collection between teaching faculty and departments and librarians who are responsible for maintaining a viable collection. University departments and programs go through the accreditation process. Librarians prepare reports about the collection and meet with department faculty to prepare for the accreditation meetings. Alot of our collections’ work (order books, journals, cancelling journals subscriptions, and many other things) is a part of the day-to-day. I enjoy working with faculty who really want materials that will support content and research of their students. I have included a URL above that may lead you to more about this area of librarianship. Also you may want to talk to one of us, when you get time. GH

  2. Hello there. I am a new LIS student interested in Reference services. I am so glad that you are part of the mentoring program. I have lots of questions but will only ask two. What areas should I concentrate on during my studies in the MLIS program? And, what qualities should one possess to succeed in the field of reference librarianship? Thank you so much for your time in allowing us to pick your brain so to speak.

    Dawn

    1. What is great about the LIS program is working with your LIS Advisor they help you select the courses that work best for you! I would add that opportunity to work at a Reference Desk (Chat, Telephone, Skype) all help (volunteer or paid) in various library settings (academic, public, special, media center, and etc.). The more you work in this setting the more comfortable your are in providing reference service. I could say more. Stop by and say, Hi.

  3. Hello, Gerald. Thank you for participating in this mentoring program. It has been very helpful to read your biographical information and your comments to other questions on this blog because it gives me a sense of some of the responsibilities and personal attributes of a reference librarian. Your enthusiasm and commitment to promoting the librarianship profession really comes through!

    When you were starting your library career, what important advice were you given that you would like to pass along to new people entering the profession? And, now that you have developed a fine career, what advice would you like to give to future librarians?

    Thank you so much!
    Deborah Kallina

    1. I have included two articles that would be a good start to answering your question. NMRT in Georgia and ALA really helped me. Many colleagues that I worked with during that time haved stayed in touch are are leaders in the profession. You should plan to be active (serving on committees and presenting programs) in library associations throughout your career and aways look for opportunities to assist (and teach newer) librarians as they join a wonderful career option (I think) would be good advice for future librarians.

      Article 1:
      Title: Today’s graduate, tomorrow’s leader: off to a great start!
      Other Titles: ALA New Members Round Table
      Personal Author: Holmes, Gerald V.; Howard, Mary Jo
      Journal Name: North Carolina Libraries
      Source: North Carolina Libraries v. 54 (Summer 1996) p. 64-7

      and

      Article 2:
      Holmes, Gerald, “ALA in Atlanta: Preparation for the First Time Conference
      Participant”, The Southeastern Librarian 41:2 and 30 (Spring 1991).

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