Working with Ted Bergfelt in the Teaching, Research, and Engagement unit at the Gumberg Library, I have already learned so much about library catalogs, databases, and the wide array of resources available to us here at Duquesne. Ted is passionate about providing accessible, easy-to-use resources for Duquesne students and has already given me so much insight into how Libguides, the program used for creating and maintaining research guides, can work to broaden student comprehension of the subjects they study as well as guide their research. So far, the guides we have created have been on St. Paul the Apostle and Women Mystics.
As an English major with minimal web design skills, I’ll admit I was doubtful about how I could use my writing and literature skills to work in developing research guides. However, in web design, Ted has taught me to think about how users will interact with a page which I can equate with how I think about the audience of a piece of literature. Similarly, we have focused on organization and the visual readability of a page which guides a user to certain aspects of the guide much like a piece of literature must function in an organized and readable way. Creating these guides has also helped me realize how interconnected different humanities subjects are as we see the overlap between Catholic studies and Women’s studies as well as history in creating these guides. I am particularly excited that we are creating guides for Women Mystics who are less well-known and therefore are giving female religious figures their share of recognition. As I continue my work at the Gumberg Library, I am excited to learn more about web design and Libguides, and I hope to create more guides than can draw students to learn more about the topics they are researching while bringing attention to more marginalized scholars.