College of Engineering Library Specialist Assists Students and Faculty

April 29, 2014 | LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

One resource on campus can help College of Engineering students and faculty research their own resources.

Emily Frank is the LSU College of Engineering library specialist at Troy H. Middleton Library. She is responsible for specifically helping computer science, construction management and engineering undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty with their research needs, in addition to her basic librarian duties.

Eily Frank sitting on outside bench

“A lot of students and faculty are doing exciting things, and I think the library is doing a lot to support that research,” said Frank. “I’m pleased to have that opportunity to extend their research and make it even more precise and targeted.”

In February, Frank had 14 one-on-one student consultations, with more than half being College of Engineering students. She also works six hours every week at the library’s research help desk and answers questions from students from all disciplines.

Many undergraduate engineering students choose computer science, construction management or engineering topics for their English research papers, and she is available to help them find resources on databases. She also helps engineering seniors find resources for their senior design projects.

“I’m always available to meet face-to-face and we can help them narrow down a topic and make sure that topic is viable,” said Frank. “If they feel their search strategy is already pretty good, we can evaluate those resources.”

Frank helps many graduate students with research they are doing for faculty members. She said since many of the topics are specific, it can be difficult for someone to sift through databases to find the right source.

“Any point in the research process from start to finish – that’s what I’m here for,” she said.

Frank also shares presentations with computer science, construction management and engineering classes, and is responsible for purchasing books and e-books for the computer science and engineering collections. E-books, like many LSU Library services, can be accessed online – on campus or off campus.

“Just because people are not physically at the library does not mean that our services are not accessible to them,” she said. “A lot of engineering students may not find themselves in the quad, but a lot of the resources engineering students need are online.”

To ask a librarian a question, students can text, chat, email or call a librarian from the library’s website. Databases and e-books may also be accessed on the library’s website with valid myLSU log-in information.

The most optimal approach to receive help is to set up a consultation with Frank. Consultations typically last about 20-30 minutes, and students can sign up for a consultation through the library website.

Frank earned her bachelor’s degree from Butler University, master’s in library science from the University of Kentucky and master’s in digital library learning from three European universities funded by an EU program. She spent two years at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Tallinn University and University of Parma to study for the master’s in digital library learning.

Having never lived or studied in Louisiana before coming to LSU in August, Frank said her transition was smooth due to the warmth and hospitality on campus.

“People across campus have been really welcoming here. It’s a strong and supportive community. People see the library in a positive way, and I appreciate that,” said Frank.

For more information about LSU’s library resources, visit


Article and photos by Danielle Kelley, LSU College of Engineering communications intern