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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Richard Cho, Instruction and Reference Librarian

Posted in Faculty, General News, Library Faculty & Staff, Staff & Administrators, and Students

Ever wonder what the faculty and staff at the Pollak Library are working on? The “Faculty & Staff Spotlight” blog column aims to highlight some of the exciting projects we are working on, and profile our talented library team.

This month, we introduce Richard Cho, the Library’s Instruction and Reference Librarian.

What is your name and title?

My name is Richard M. Cho, and I’m the instruction and reference librarian at the Pollak Library.

In what section or unit of the Pollak Library do you work?

I work in I&IS (Instruction & Information Service) unit.

What is your job in a nutshell?

As is the case for many other librarians, I am responsible for many duties.

  • I teach one-shot classes on information literacy, and offer research help via reference and research consultation. I’m a subject liaison with Music and Sociology department.
  • I lead a library-wide assessment team, and work closely with the Office of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. We contribute to the university’s Student Success Initiative effort by constantly striving to improve our services via assessment.
  • In addition, I assist with the collection development in the areas of Mathematics, Music, and Sociology and with a number of outreach events.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on gathering and analyzing data in order to write an assessment report that’s due in June. Currently, the main focus lies on reifying student learning outcomes on information literacy for graduating seniors and on improving our High Impact Practices (HIPs) by providing a better work experience for our invaluable student employees. I’m also writing a number of grant proposals to enhance our assessment practices.

How long have you been at the Pollak Library?

I’ve been here a year and a half. Still a newbie with a lot more to learn.

Have you held any other jobs with Cal State Fullerton?

No, this is my first job with Cal State Fullerton.

What has changed since you started at the Pollak Library?

The biggest change surely is the opening of the new 1st floor in the Library South building. It has been closed due to earthquake several years ago, and the new renovation rendered it very modern and student-friendly.

Do you have a favorite accomplishment at the Pollak Library?

My favorite accomplishment would be a newfound camaraderie with many great colleagues both in the library and across the campus.

What are your passions or interests outside of work?

My current passions are baseball (because my son plays it) and piano (because my daughter plays it). I murdered my own personal passions and interests several years ago because I was taught that’s what a parent should do (at least until the youngest child becomes independent).

What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?

The last book I read was Compass by Mathias Enard. It’s a French novel translated into English, and it is an important book because it endeavors to erase the hegemonical hierarchy between the Occident and the Orient. I loved it also because the narrator is a musicologist and he talks a lot about music, especially on Beethoven and Liszt. If you’re interested in what other books I love, I’ve recently written a blog post on top 10 books I read in year 2017. You can read the blog here.

What is a website, database or digital tool that you recently discovered and recommend?

I’ve known about this database for some time, but I still recommend Naxos Music Library. You can stream all types of classical music there. The new feature I recently discovered in that database teaches you how to pronounce all those foreign names of the famous composers and musicians.

Richard Cho ALA
“In 2016, at the annual American Library Association Conference in Orlando, Florida, I interacted with many like-minded librarians who had received the Spectrum Scholarship earlier that year.”