The University of Houston Libraries welcomes Emily Deal as the new English librarian.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
As the new English librarian, I’ll be providing instruction, research, and collection development support to the students and faculty of the Department of English. I’m also part of the Liaison Department’s new Research Services Team, which provides support for emerging methods of scholarship, including digital humanities. I look forward to contributing to the new digital scholarship services the library offers as we evolve to serve the growing needs of our researchers.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I have a degree in English, but for the last five years I worked as the distance learning librarian at a university in Louisiana, so returning to work with an English department feels like a much-welcomed homecoming for me. Serving as distance learning librarian taught me a lot about being flexible and user-centered; libraries should be adapting to their users’ needs, not the other way around. Also, despite showing no aptitude for it whatsoever, I studied creative writing as an English student, so I’m especially excited to partner with the Creative Writing Program on the Poetry and Prose reading series.
Please describe your first impressions of the University of Houston.
It’s a vibrant, diverse, and forward-thinking community, and everyone here has been incredibly supportive and welcoming. I’m thrilled to be here. I’m also brand new to the city of Houston, and I love it. My favorite spot so far is the Rothko Chapel, and I love the Houston Ballet. I also like living in a city where it’s basically encouraged to eat tacos every meal of the day.
What is your favorite book/movie/cuisine/hobby?
I might have too many favorite writers to name, but I often return to Amy Hempel, Joy Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop. Some of my favorite books I read in the past year include Ottessa Moshfegh’s Homesick for Another World (I also loved her earlier novel Eileen), Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties, and Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians. When I want something plotty, I generally go for crime fiction. Natsuo Kirino is a favorite there, and yes, I’m always up for a trip to Murder By The Book.
It’s finals time at the University of Houston! Multiple exams and projects due all at once can be overwhelming, so your friendly UH librarians have offered some tips to help you survive the end of the semester. Happy studying!
- Plan your study sessions wisely. If your final is a few days away, take time each day to study and review so that you’re not cramming the night before. Studying for a later final can also be a break between intensive studying for a final that is happening sooner.
- Get rest and don’t ignore your health. If you need to set reminders to eat healthy or sleep, do so! Stay hydrated, and go easy on the caffeine, which can zap your energy and focus at high levels.
- Take time for self-care. Work out, color, nap, take a walk, see friends, listen to music or podcasts, and take breaks in order to combat stress and fatigue.
- Surround yourself with positivity. Study with motivated classmates, post sticky notes with affirmations in your study space, and reward yourself. If you’ve gone to class regularly, studied hard, and did well throughout the semester, you’ve got the final down!
- Temporarily turn off notifications from your social media accounts or give yourself an internet curfew. The goal is to minimize unnecessary distraction.
- Relax and take deep breaths. It is not the end of the world. The end of finals and winter break is just beyond the horizon; no matter what happens in the next week, you will be done with the semester when you reach the other side of it!
- The library is here to help. Whether you need a place to study, take a break with our therapy dogs or Finals Mania, or if you need assistance finding those last few sources for your paper, we can help in a variety of ways for you to finish strong.
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