Jordan Sly has to keep his researching skills sharp for his new position as a Research and Information Librarian for User Experience; he is one of six fresh faces at Hoover Library. A thoughtful man with a laid-back air, Sly has previously worked for Harvard University, Lesley University, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Department of Defense. Now, as a Research and Information Librarian, Sly will utilize this impressive experience to teach instructional classes and show students, especially freshmen, how to use the library more effectively. “We teach perfected library use,” Sly declares, beaming.
As an undergraduate at University of Maryland College Park and a graduate student at Simmons College in Boston, Sly learned firsthand the importance of in-depth research. “When I was a student,” he remembers, “if there were issues where I didn’t understand something in class, I could go to the library as another place to help. I like being able to give that help now.”
Sly wants students to feel just as welcome during librarians’ Walk-In Hours; from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., library staff is happy to answer research and reference questions. The official “Reference Office” is now located along the far green wall of the Main Floor computer area. Librarians are one of the foremost resources at Hoover available for the benefit of the students.
Sly’s office sits along the orange wall of the newly renovated Main Floor. With a name plaque in the window, assorted tea and coffee makers, and a little plush Green Terror atop a shelf of heavy research manuals inside, Sly has made himself a little bastion in Hoover. From there, the brown-haired, spectacled man in a button-up can set anxious students’ hearts at ease as they tackle the semester’s trickier assignments. Sly earnestly wants to help expand the boundaries of students’ knowledge and capabilities past the green hill of McDaniel College. He wants students to be prepared for the professional world.
As we all know, the scourge of academia is procrastination. Sly rightfully advises, “Start your research early! The biggest pitfall that you can have in any class is to wait until it’s too late and you’re scrambling to do research. The more you work on things throughout the semester, the more questions you can ask librarians, the more support you’ll get from your professors, and the better your product will be.” Whether you’re lost in the complexities of databases, unable to find a particular article, or really just have no clue where to start in your research, Sly and the other Research and Information Librarians can help guide you through the process and learn important skills that will be necessary in the professional world.
So what should we know about this enthusiastic new librarian? It is quite evident after a single conversation that Jordan is passionate about European History. In fact, he’s been reading Peter Ackroyd’s Foundation: The History of England from Its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors in his spare time, which is quite an undertaking. When he’s not doing a little light reading about history, Jordan can be found sailing, perfecting his home-brewing, and seeking out new information on bygone eras to investigate. He’s excited to be a part of the McDaniel community, which he has found to be very friendly.
During his time at Hoover, Jordan Sly will be an example of the library’s vision statement put in motion; he and his colleagues will work to “promote critical, creative, and global thinking while fostering academic excellence and intellectual freedom.” Rest assured that when a student is in need of assistance this school year, the Research and Information Librarians will be ready to help.