On most days, Madeline Westman can be found in one of her favorite spots on the first or second floor of Lied Library. As a middle blocker on the volleyball team and a member of the Honors College, the Wauconda, Ill. native takes up in one of her favorite spots to study between classes or after practice. On many of those days, she goes in to see Kate Wintrol, instruction librarian in the research and education department, who assists her with one of her many research projects.
Extra help from librarians and a quiet favorite spot help Westman stay above the 2.0 GPA needed to keep her spot on the volleyball team. Her UNLV athletic career depends on the quality of her academics, and she finds the bulk of her help at Lied Library.
“If you’re ineligible, you can be out for an entire season. Then, it’s gone. You can’t get it back,” she said. “A lot of the honors classes are writing oriented. We do a lot of research papers. Kate has been a huge help to me.”
On one occasion, Westman had to note the historical accuracies and inaccuracies of the 2004 movie “Troy.” Research can be tricky, as the wording of a search phrase can mean a successful find or hours spent looking with no hits.
“It’s hard to know how to use the research applications accurately,” Westman said. “It’s difficult to know exactly what you’re looking for. There are a bunch of people in the library waiting to answer our questions.”
Wintrol, along with research assistants in the department, help students like Westman navigate a vast amount of research and help them narrow it down to just the facts they need.
“I don’t think as many students know about the research assistants,” Westman said. “I didn’t even know they were available to us. They’re all really excited and enthusiastic about what they do, and they’re just there to help. They’re very effective.”