Unique Background Enriches Ekstrom Library’s Research Department

Meet Sarah Drerup, STEM Librarian, RAI

New librarians who enter the profession after working in another career typically have backgrounds in teaching, journalism, or law. What’s a bit unusual is when their former vocations seem worlds away from librarianship, for example, water quality monitoring, public outreach with FEMA, or chemical decontamination in the Army National Guard.


The Libraries’ newest STEM Librarian, Sarah Drerup, in her office in Ekstrom.

However, that unique background dovetails nicely with the requirements of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math librarian, like the role filled by Sarah Drerup, recently hired to work at Ekstrom Library. While her education and expertise in the profession are solid and impressive – for instance, as a graduate student she built a SQL (Structured Query Language) database of digitized historic personnel images for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration –  she has also had quite a diverse background in scientific and technical pursuits.


After earning a BA in human ecology at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, she served in the AmeriCorps as a hydrology technician in Ohio and Massachusetts, and later interned with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a water safety specialist. After earning her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington in 2014, she worked as a program specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency near Seattle, WA. At the same time, she served in the Army National Guard as a chemical decontamination platoon leader.

All her education and training will help her in her new role, helping students conduct research in the STEM disciplines. To drill further into Sarah Drerup’s background and expertise, we conducted this brief interview:

How do you feel your diverse background fits in with your work as an instructional librarian at Ekstrom?

I think most of my previous positions have in some way increased my instruction skills and I often create a scientific component if one doesn’t already exist. A perfect example is working as a natural resources intern by day while bartending during the evenings. The natural resources position satisfied my desire to work in the sciences and bartending helped develop my interpersonal skills and made me a more empathetic person. I have been fortunate to be able to travel and work across the country and meet a diverse workforce in the sciences.

How did you ultimately choose librarianship as a profession?

I had worked for my hometown library and college library for a total of six years and focused my undergraduate education on marine science. It really hit me I wanted to be a librarian when I was working as a hydrology technician out at the Cape Cod National Seashore and my supervisor loaned me out to the fire crew for a controlled burn.  I was sitting on the back of a tailgate during lunch and the sawyer I was working with for the day asked me if I had a dream job. I told him I think my dream job would be a science librarian and he became unnaturally upset. He told me (in a loud voice) that most people say president, movie star, or CEO of a multi-million dollar company, but my dream job is easily obtainable. I thought about it and agreed and less than six months later I applied to get my masters degree in Library and Information Science!

What did you like most about working with FEMA? With the National Guard?

The thing I liked most about working with FEMA is traveling to so many interesting and wonderful communities. Unfortunately, I was meeting people right after a disaster had devastated their community, but I was always impressed with the strength and fortitude of the survivors. The thing I like most about being in the National Guard is it makes me a better person and I’m able to positively influence my soldiers. As a platoon leader, I set the example for them and it made me strive to be a better person in every aspect of my life from professional development to physical fitness. I am also thankful that I am able to influence my platoon by developing engaging training plans, prioritizing their welfare, and being a supportive and reliable point of contact when life isn’t going as expected.

What drew you to UofL and Louisville?

The job posting initially drew me to UofL. When researching the University and the city of Louisville before submitting my application, I quickly understood that this is a vibrant and progressive community. I am from London, Ohio, which is only three hours away, but somehow had never made it down to Louisville. I didn’t know what I had been missing!

How are you settling in?

I feel like I am finally getting my feet under me at the University and I am looking forward to starting instruction and research appointments this fall! I attended my first drill with my new unit, the 299th Chemical Company this past weekend, joined a volleyball league, and started at a new crossfit gym on Friday. I think once I finally unpack my last few boxes of kitchen stuff, I will officially feel settled!

New Films-June 2018

SGA Collectionblack panther cover

  • Black Panther
  • Wonderstruck
  • Please Stand By
  • Samson
  • Let There Be Light
  • I Kill Giants
  • Molly’s Game
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • In this Corner of the World
  • Braven
  • 7 Guardians of the Tomb
  • Red Sparrow
  • Den of Thieves
  • Going in Style
  • 12 Strong
  • Missing
  • Princess Jellyfish (complete series)
  • Maximilian and Marie De Bourgogne
  • School Rumble: First Semester
  • Unbreakable
  • The Garden of Words
  • Evil Under the Sun
  • Ray Donovan (Season 2)
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (Complete Series)
  • Funny Games
  • The Raven
  • The Secret of Nimh
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Boy and the Beast
  • When Marnie was There
  • Beerfest
  • The Act of Killing
  • Scooby Doo Pirates Ahoy!
  • Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Your Name
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower
  • Annihilation
  • Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
  • Freakazoid
  • The Florida Project
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Winchester

Navigating Ekstrom via Online 360° Views

Ekstrom Library’s website now offers an online 360° feature that will help students navigate the library’s interior spaces. The feature includes information “bubbles” that allow users to click to learn more about a certain area. For example, on the first floor-east side, informative hubs are provided for Research Assistants and Instruction (RAI), the Digital Media Suite (DMS), REACH, and the Writing Center.

The project resulted from feedback gleaned during the University Libraries’ Library Student Advisory Board (LSAB) meetings in which students expressed a need for clearer ways to navigate the library. Jason Zahrndt, of the DMS, created a prototype of the Learning Commons in Ekstrom (first floor-east) using the application RoundMe. Libraries Website Director Terri Holtze embedded it into Ekstrom’s webpage.

The feature is linked to the site’s floor plans and currently offers 360° views of the first and second floors. Further floors are currently in the works.


EndNote for Beginners at Ekstrom Library

Want to get started with EndNote, the popular citation management software program freely available to all UofL faculty, staff, and students? Come to the workshop on Thursday, June 7 from 1-2:30pm in Ekstrom Library w103.

We will cover downloading the program, importing citations, working with MS Word, and synching with EndNoteWeb. More information is available here http://louisville.libguides.com/endnote along with the registration form. The workshop is free but registration is limited to 10 people.

New Films-May 2018

SGA CollectionPost

  • Lady Bird
  • Hostiles
  • Home Alone 4
  • Hangman’s Curse
  • Cars 3
  • Kidnap
  • Whisper of the Heart
  • Descendants 2
  • All the Money in the World
  • 1864
  • The Belko Experiment
  • Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire
  • Phantom Thread
  • This is Us-season 1
  • Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water
  • Ragtime
  • A Bad Moms Christmas
  • Descendants
  • Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Rear Window
  • Wolf Children
  • Anne of Green Gables Trilogy
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Post
  • The Best of the New Scooby Doo Movies
  • Outlander- Season 3
  • The Commuter
  • Forever My Girl
  • Norma Rae
  • Spongebob Squarepants Movie
  • Home Alone 2
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Maze Runner: the Death Cure
  • Spirited Away
  • A Pup Named Scooby Doo- Seasons 2-4
  • Paddington 2

New Films – April 2018

SGA Collection Greatest Showman Poster

  • Proud Mary
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Pitch Perfect 3
  • Sherlock-Season 4
  • Ski School
  • Hangman
  • Downsizing
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Longmire: the complete fourth season
  • Thank You for Your Service
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Scooby- Doo 13: Spooky Tales- Holiday Chills and Thrills
  • Jumanji
  • The Shape of Water
  • The Greatest Showman
  • Birth of a Nation
  • 24 Hours to Live

OCLC Research Survey About Library Use offers Chance to Win $20 Amazon Card

Have you ever used library systems to search for and access sources? If so, OCLC Research would like to talk to you about this and will pay you for your time, if you are selected to participate in their study.

OCLC Research (http://www.oclc.org/research/) and the University of Illinois (https://www.library.illinois.edu/) are working together on a study investigating how individuals navigate their library searches for sources and how they determine if the experience was successful. They also are interested in how individuals get access to any sources that were identified in the searches and how and why these sources were selected and used. The findings may be published or used in presentations.

If you are interested in participating in this study, you will need to complete a brief online screening survey and provide your email address, which should take about 10 minutes. We will use this to determine if you fit the study profile. If you are chosen to participate in the study, you will need to give your consent by signing a consent form. Please understand that you will not be compensated for completing the screening survey. You only will receive compensation if you are chosen and participate in an interview.

Interviews will be conducted and audio recorded via Skype and will last approximately 45 minutes. Your identity will be kept confidential. Your email address and any other identifying information will not be connected to your interview responses. Furthermore, you may withdraw your consent at any time to terminate your participation. For your participation and completion of the interview, you will receive a $20.00 gift card from Amazon.

If you know anyone who would be interested in participating in this study, we encourage you to pass on this information.

How Do I Participate?

1. The next time you use your library website’s search engine, DO NOT CLOSE THE SEARCH RESULTS BROWSER TAB/WINDOW AFTER SEARCHING. Leave the search results window open, because you will need it in Step 3.

2. Open this link https://oc.lc/discovery-survey in a new browser tab or window and take the survey about your experience.

3. When prompted, copy the “Request ID” from the bottom of the search results page and paste it into the survey. The Request ID (example shown inside the red rectangle below) is a unique identifier that helps us connect your feedback with your search activity. Look for a code that has some small bits of alphanumeric characters separated by four hyphens. For example, “bc981f6f-262e-435c-97cd-668b41af33e0”.