EAPS in Brief: Librarian Christine Sherratt

Helen Hill for EAPS News
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sherratt can put you in touch with other expert librarians, help you find research for theses and other projects, unravel the mysteries of government documents and technical reports, and find them here or outside MIT.

Chris Sherratt has been working as a librarian for EAPS members interested in atmospheric and oceanic sciences since 2004. She is passionate about connecting people with the scientific information they need and helping them track down hard-to-find documents. “I love explaining how the MIT community can find and use the extensive resources the Libraries bring to campus,” she says.

With the recent publication of a video profile, EAPS News sat down with Sherratt to ask her more about all that she and MIT Libraries have to offer members of the department.

EAPS News: What are a few examples of things you think people working in EAPS may not know about what you can do for them?

CS: One thing they may not know is that librarians work with students and staff at any stage of their academic careers - from their first paper or field trip to their final dissertation and beyond. They might not know my colleague (and fellow EAPS librarian) Michael Noga and I have a network of librarians all over the US on whom we can call when needed. We can track down elusive geological or atmospheric science related material and sometimes help with items other libraries can’t loan. There are also other members of staff in the MIT Libraries who find and manage data, work with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications, or assist with copyright or other scholarly publishing questions. We can connect EAPS members with these experts. They also may not know that we are responsible for buying the books and journals they could need!

EAPS News: What's the best way to get hold of you? Pick up the phone? Email?

CS: Email is the best way to reach me but calls and in-person visits are great.

EAPS News: Do you typically come to them or do people come over to the library?

CS: Both. We come to EAPS offices and would love to visit more labs. We invite new staff and students for coffee to learn about their research or meet them for the first time. Some people want to come to the library to see the books or maps ‘in situ’ and also learn about what’s available online. It’s easy to set up short appointments to discuss how to find information tailored to a particular researcher’s needs.

EAPS News: What EAPS related material is housed in the libraries and in what locations?

CS: Most of the books and maps are housed in Hayden, but with our current space constraints, much is also stored off-campus. Nearly all the journals are online. We also have several e-book packages related to EAPS disciplines.

EAPS News: How have things changed from the way they were when the 2nd floor of the Green Building housed a library as well as more generally with the onset of the digital revolution?

CS: One loss in the physical move is the daily, informal opportunities we had to be that much closer to EAPS’ research, teaching and learning. When faculty stopped in or students came to study, we could suggest information resources or trouble-shoot problems on the spot. Being in Hayden means we have to work harder and smarter to get to know newcomers to EAPS and remind those already here to contact us: Because we can save them time. And you’re correct - the Libraries have brought many information resources right onto the researcher’s laptop. This can lessen the need to “go to the library,” although our physical spaces still provide important services and collections for study, browsing, consultation and inspiration. And collaboration!

Story image and video credit: MIT Libraries


Christine Sherratt is available to all members of EAPS needing help finding information related to the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Environmental Sciences. Chris has worked in the MIT Libraries since 1989 and holds a Bachelors degree in General Science from Purdue University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky

Her close colleague Michael Noga is MIT's Earth and Planetary Sciences Librarian, available to help find geoscience, topographic and natural resource maps. He also provides instruction on citation searching and can advise you on using the Web of Science, Journal Citation Reports, and other Web of Knowledge resources.

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