August 04, 2014

The wisdom within Watzek: Kate Rubick

The Source caught up with Instruction Services Librarian Kate Rubick to learn about her expertise and cutting-edge developments in her field.

This is the first in a series of stories featuring Watzek research librarians. Read additional Q&As with Everett Carter and Stephanie Beene

Instruction Services Librarian Kate Rubick teaches research skills to students, helps professors build collections of resources for their classes, and chairs the Watzek Student Advisory Committee. The Source caught up with her to find out more about her expertise and cutting-edge developments in her field.

Why did you decide to join Lewis & Clark?

I was delighted to find a position at a private liberal arts college because I attended two of them myself. I was also very excited because I was transitioning my career from public to academic libraries.

How would you describe your areas of expertise?

I teach students how to do research—in the classroom, at the reference desk, and in personalized research consultations. I also work as a librarian liaison to several academic departments and help faculty in those areas build collections and support bibliographic research in the curricula. I also lead the team of Watzek librarian instructors as we develop best practices in pedagogy and assessment in library instruction.  

What unique qualifications do you bring to the Lewis & Clark library system?

I am a librarian who has really bad handwriting, and I am also a terrible speller. I don’t try and hide my weaknesses and mistakes from students. I think it helps them feel less intimidated. Making mistakes is an essential part of the research process. If I can get students comfortable with the idea that research is a sometimes messy and always iterative process, we can do really good work together.  

What cutting-edge developments in your field are you a part of?

This summer I am presenting at a national conference called Library Instruction West. The session, “Flashlight: Using Bizup’s BEAM to Illuminate the Rhetoric of Research,” is based on work I did with Kundai Chirindo in his Rhetorical Criticism course in fall 2013 and will be part of a conversation on bigger issues of language and adaptability in library instruction environments.  

What do you find most exciting about working at Lewis & Clark?

The thing that excites me about my work at Watzek is the chance to engage with students and faculty in the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of information sources. I also enjoy serving as chair of the Watzek Student Advisory Committee, which hosts a study break event during reading days called Watzek Recess that features food, games, and massages. This past year, Watzek Recess added dog therapy to its menu of diversions. What could be more exciting than dogs in the library?  

What do you do in your spare time?

I parent my nearly-9-year-old daughter with my husband, Jade. I garden and take care of several chickens. We live so close to campus that I walk to work. I travel—this spring we went to Japan. And, of course, I read.

Caleb Diehl ’16 contributed to this story.