Interview with Aimee deChambeau

The Library Club: Who are you?

Aimee deChambeau: Well, I’m Aimee deChambeau, e-Resources Librarian in Melville library. I have a longer title, but I prefer this shortened version. I’m also the librarian for the School of Journalism. To some of my friends I’m also known as the Empress-Tsarina.

The Library Club: What do you do at the library?

Aimee deChambeau: I work with Nathan Baum to manage the library’s electronic resources – our online databases and journals. We work with outside vendors to ensure that access to the online resources is uninterrupted. I also select the books and other library resources that support teaching and research for journalism.

The Library Club: When did you start working here?

Aimee deChambeau: Sept 2005.

The Library Club: When did you first know you wanted to be a librarian?

 Aimee deChambeau: Well, this is actually a funny thing. I went through a number of different majors in college. I started out as a German major, thinking I’d be a translator. Then I switched to English, thinking I’d eventually go to law school. It was actually my Mom who thought I should try Library Science! She was *so* right (as Moms often are) – I loved my classes from the very beginning and have been doing library things ever since. Most librarians actually start their studies in Grad school. My undergrad and grad degrees are all in Library Science, so it’s really been my focus since I gave it a try and ended up loving it.

The Library Club: What is Galaxy and why should students use it?

Aimee deChambeau: Galaxy is a system that takes your search and passes it to a number of different library databases. By “database” I primarily mean the electronic literature indexes. Galaxy lets you search say 10 or 15 (or 50) databases at once rather than individually. It’s best for discovering which of the resources it searches will be most productive for your topic. The real nitty-gritty searches still need to be done in the individual database.

The Library Club: What is the best way to use library databases?

Aimee deChambeau: If you don’t know where to begin you should try searching a few terms in Galaxy and see which databases find the most hits. You can use the references Galaxy returns, and/or you can go into the individual databases and create more complex searches. I have to say, it never hurts to look at the Help files for any system you search so that you can learn the most effective techniques – this is true even for the internet search engines.

The Library Club: Why should I use databases instead of Google?

Aimee deChambeau: Ah, excellent question. Google does not include everything. As a matter of fact, many companies that index the research literature in specific subject areas will not allow Google or any online search engine to index their work – they’ve invested too much money in indexing it to allow somone else to make it available to you. The result is a vast sea of specialized information that you will never uncover unless you’re searching these specialized resources.

The Library Club: Do you envision yourself being able to improve SBU with your super awesome information retrieval skills?

Aimee deChambeau: Well, I certainly hope that when I help students and faculty figure out more efficient, effective, and productive ways to do their searching then yes, I am improving SBU. You don’t want a researcher replicating research that’s already been done just because s/he didn’t uncover that fact when doing the background literature review.

The Library Club: There are currently only humans in The Library Club.  Do you consent to your horse being an honorary LC member, thereby transcending the man/beast academic barrier?

Aimee deChambeau: Sally would be honored to be a member. She thinks it’s especially important to educate people about bibliomulas (book mules) and other animals involved the provision library resources and services. She’s also a strong advocate for library music CD collections – she’s a very big fan of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar music.



Interview by Lauren Guenveur.

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4 Responses

  1. Wonderful interview! Ms deChambeau is witty, articulate, and intelligent. The interviewer certainly asked the right questions. Kuddos to both!.

  2. I think you should saddle up Sally and do some bibliomulas work in the area. It would definitely bring attention to libraries and to Sally. What an educated horse they’ll say.

  3. The greatest databases are put together by experts, not by large profit-making corporations.

  4. Hi.
    I am glad that was registered here.
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