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Meet Deborah Bishov, Manager, Information Assistance

April 5, 2023

Over the last year, the Drexel Libraries has been working hard to hire and on-board new staff to fill several vacancies. Seven new staff members have joined the team since June 2022, including Deborah Bishov, Manager, Information Assistance. Libraries Communications Manager Stacy Stanislaw spoke with Deborah to learn more about her role at Drexel and how she supports the Drexel community—and to debunk at least one myth about librarians.

Q: Briefly, what’s your job? How does your role support Drexel students, faculty & staff?

As the Drexel Libraries’ (DUL) manager of information assistance, I coordinate and guide services to connect Drexel community members to the information resources they need for their research, teaching, and learning and to support other DUL staff in providing those services.

A woman holds her cat
Meet Deborah Bishov, Manager, Information Assistance

In short, if someone has a question or they’re looking for information, my job is to make it as easy as possible for them to get an answer, whether that means having a library staff member help them locate a specific book or article or develop a search strategy, or working on documentation on the Libraries’ website that supports library clients in getting answers on their own.


Of course, lots of people at the Drexel Libraries are involved in making that happen. That means that my job is interconnected with pretty much everyone else’s in the library, and I’m always learning from my colleagues. 


I’m also a member of the Social Sciences, Humanities, & Design team, which supports teaching and research in those disciplines. 

Q: What drew you to this position at Drexel? 

Connecting people to the information they need is at the heart of my identity as a librarian, so I was excited about a position where that would be at the core of my job. My earliest work in libraries, while I was still getting my MLIS (at Drexel!), was an internship where I was the first point of contact for incoming questions. I got to work with and learn from experienced librarians and gradually move into more in-depth consultations, and the skills I developed there have been intrinsic to my work ever since. So in some ways this job—where connecting people to information is the core—is a return to my librarian roots. I’m also deeply rooted in Philadelphia, so I’m glad to be working right in the city. 

Q: What are the most common misconceptions people have about your job?

We don’t shush people! Quiet study space is something we offer, and it’s something I’ve deeply appreciated as a student and as a public library user, but libraries are all about connection and collaboration, whether you’re using our physical or virtual resources.

Q: What’s the one resource or service the DUL offers that you’d like to highlight? 

This is several services combined, but one thing I always tell students is never pay for academic journal articles, because they are already paying for them with their tuition dollars! If you hit a paywall on an article you’re interested in, we may have access to it through our subscriptions, and if not, we can almost always get it for you, for free, and usually pretty quickly, through our interlibrary loan services.  

I’d also like to highlight that we have a lot of newspapers, both current and historical, available electronically. Our subscriptions come through vendors, so it’s not the newspaper website you’re used to, but if you hit a paywall, you can read a lot of the content through our subscriptions. If you want to do a deep dive on a topic, those can be valuable resources.  (As an example, here’s an article I recently enjoyed in the Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘For Philly pianist, the need for an outlet leads to a video: Dynasty Battles and L.A. composer Ted Hearne collaborated via phone, text, and Zoom. The result is "Study Buddy."’)

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

Getting to keep continually learning--from talking to students about their research, from working on projects with colleagues and hearing about their experiences, from attending Drexel events and hearing about the work being done by Drexel faculty, staff, students, and neighbors, and from library colleagues beyond Drexel. 

Q: What are you reading or watching?

Reading: Recently, The Galaxy and the Ground Within, which is queer, hopeful space opera.
               Perennially, Streets Dept, a photo-blog about Philadelphia public art.

Watching: Finally catching up with Abbott Elementary, and comfort re-watching Schitt’s Creek.