Q&A: Meet Behavioral Sciences librarian Sergio Chaparro
Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Librarian Sergio Chaparro, Ph.D., works primarily with the School of Education and the department of Psychology and Addiction Studies. He served most recently as a subject specialist librarian at Salem State University. He brings a strong record of teaching, service, and research in library and information science, communication and Spanish language and cultures to his new role at VCU. Previously, he held academic appointments at the University of Puerto Rico, Rutgers University and Simmons College.
Chaparro obtained a B.A. in Library Science and a B.A. in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Perú (PUC), and a Master of Library Science and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship (1995-1997) and was awarded an American Library Association’s Movers and Shakers Award (2003). More about him
- What strengths do you bring to VCU that will help you serve schools/programs you are assigned to work with?
I have around 18 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member and academic librarian in the library, information, communication, and Hispanic languages and cultures areas. I also have expertise collaborating with faculty and students, undergraduates and graduates in the educational and research process, as well as a global vision for education and learning in academic environments.
- What are your goals for the 2018-19 academic year?
I want to establish strong connections with the programs I serve by making myself visible and available to them. I want also to become a partner in their educational endeavors so I can complement the work they do. In addition, it is my goal to share the valuable information resources and tools that VCU libraries offers to its community of users.
- How do you describe your working style?
I prioritize the needs of the programs work with. I utilize multiple communication modes and styles in order to be approachable and provide flexibility. I encourage ongoing dialogue, and I look forward to hearing directly from students and faculty about what they need.
- Can you share an example of how VCU Libraries/you develop custom content for specific courses or groups?
As a liaison for the School of Education for example, I develop specific lessons and I teach first-year education students about the intricacies of starting a literature review. I offer them databases to search for relevant information and resources to identify the best possible research and researchers for their topic. Since every research project is unique, my job is to offer the researcher a full range of relevant options tailored to their research question.
- Please share any observations you have about the unique nature of the programs and people you work with about their unique research/materials challenges its diverse interests present?
At VCU libraries, I work with a very diverse community of engaged people who share a great passion about the extremely important role that the academic library plays in the academic life of the university and the community it serves.
- What are the most common questions or issues researchers face at VCU?
The increasing abundance of electronic library resources makes it imperative for researchers to be aware of the availability of those resources, as well as the need to understand their life cycle, as well as the fact that, contrary to what we may still believe, not all information can be brought to your computer screen, therefore print is still alive and relevant.
- Are there particular services or opportunities VCU Libraries provides that you want to stress?
I would like to stress the role of my fellow academic outreach librarians in supporting, facilitating, mentoring and complementing what happens in the classroom. This is a very exciting opportunity for the student because they can find an effective ally in the library.