A collaborative approach to revising LITS’ Jewish Studies Research Guide

Left to right: Mara Benjamin, Julie Adamo, and Bennet de Paula

Left to right: Mara Benjamin, Julie Adamo, Bennett de Paula

Irene Kaplan Leiwant Associate Professor of Jewish Studies Mara Benjamin, Library, Information & Technology Services (LITS) Liaison Julie Adamo, and Post-Baccalaureate Library & Instructional Technology Specialist Bennett de Paula teamed up over the 2017-2018 academic year to revamp the Jewish Studies Research Guide.

When Benjamin joined Mount Holyoke in summer 2017 and first met with Adamo, she expressed interest in creating a space on the web where she could share Jewish Studies-related resources with her students and the larger community. The existing Jewish Studies Research Guide, one of the subject-based research guides provided by LITS, was a logical home for this project.

Throughout fall 2017 and spring 2018, Benjamin collocated resources that she wanted to include on the guide and shared them with Adamo and de Paula. The three had a series of meetings in which they discussed how to best integrate the new resources and organize the guide overall. This collaborative process differed from the most common workflows around research guides, where liaisons work largely independently, receiving occasional suggestions from faculty. The collaborative process enabled the development of a rich resource for students that includes links to relevant museums, archives, art exhibitions, music, podcasts, local organizations and more, in addition to library resources.

The combination of deep subject expertise provided by the faculty member and the technical expertise provided by LITS staff facilitated the development of a robust resource that is a launching pad for students to conduct academic research, explore interests, and gain familiarity with the current landscape of Jewish history and culture.

Interested in trying something like this? Contact your LITS Liaison.