Meet the O’Neill Library Reference Assistants

The Reference Desk in O’Neill  is staffed by Reference Assistants Sarah Shepherd, Mik Hamilton, and Lee Parker on Monday-Thursday 4pm to 9pm. All three are graduate students at Simmons University studying Library Science. Drop by and introduce yourself!

Mik Hamilton

I’m currently a graduate student in the Archives Management (M.L.S.) and History (M.A.) dual degree program at Simmons University. In 2019, I graduated from Cornell University with a double major in Archaeology and Classics and a minor in Anthropology. While I was studying at Cornell, I began my first library job at Kroch Library’s Rare & Manuscript Collections, which is where I first fell in love with library work.

black and white photo of a person in a dark blazer, with short, side-parted hair
Mik Hamilton, Reference Assistant, O’Neill Library

Since 2016, I have worked and interned with several different cultural heritage institutions falling under the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) umbrella. In all of these positions, I’ve been motivated by a desire to improve public access to educational cultural resources. Within archival work, this often looks like improving the discoverability of archival collections through outreach efforts. In this vein, I’ve undertaken several projects to link Wikipedia articles to relevant archival repositories and digital assets, and created an instructional LibGuide, Wikipedia for Archivists, about this very topic. I’ve also helped facilitate several Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons to improve the representation of women on Wikipedia. If you’re interested in dipping your toe into Wikipedia editing for equality, feel free to reach out–or drop by the reference desk–and I’d be happy to chat! 

Given my passion about improving public access to information, I’ve really enjoyed my time as a Reference Assistant at Boston College. I love being able to connect library patrons with resources that facilitate their coursework, research, or other information quests. It’s always exciting to show a student that they don’t need to purchase that $300 textbook, or to help a student identify search terms leading them to essential information for that final paper. Boston College has so many incredible resources available to its students if the students know where to look, and I love being a person that guides them in the right direction. So, if you’re looking for research guidance, library or archival resources, or just want to chat, come on by!

Lee Parker

I am currently a student in the Masters of Archives Management and History program at Simmons University. I received my undergraduate degree at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee where I majored in history and minored in Spanish. Before moving to Tennessee for my undergraduate education, I had lived in Baton Rouge Louisiana for my entire life. This is my first library based job. When not here you can find me attending classes, studying, or working at my other positions at either the Old North Church Historic Site or the Shirley-Eustis house.

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Lee Parker, Reference Assistant, O’Neill Library

Although I am specializing in archival work through my education, I greatly enjoy the reference side of this type of work and therefore my job at Boston College has proved quite rewarding. My favorite part of this work has to be Boston College Library’s online chat option because it allows me to assist BC students located both on and off campus and allows students to make the most of their time when they are at the library. I am available on the reference desk Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with my colleagues Mik or Sarah. My colleagues and I are available on chat during those times as well. On top of general inquiries, I also have extensive research, academic writing, and primary-source based experiences so if you would like help with any of these topics before you are ready to get in contact with one of Boston College’s awesome subject librarians feel free to come up to the desk and ask me! Looking forward to meeting you!

Sarah Shepherd

Hi everyone, you may recognize me from behind the reference desk at the O’Neill library. This is my second year working at O’Neill and I am loving every minute of it. I am in my third year at Simmons University pursuing dual masters in history and library science. My history master thesis is on gender and sexuality in early modern West Virginia. I also work as the Assistant Archivist at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library (SRMML) in Lexington. The SRMML is dedicated to sharing the history of American fraternalism so come on by if you are interested in fraternal orders and sister organizations!

Color photo of a person with long red hair and brass earrings smiling in bright sun
Sarah Shepherd, Reference Assistant, O’Neill Library

At the reference desk at Boston College, I love working with students, faculty, and other members of the community to help them find resources, troubleshoot, and where that one book they are trying to find is hiding. We love answering questions and helping students so please ask us any and all questions that come to your mind. My background is in history, and databases for newspapers like The New York Times and The Boston Globe are my favorites. I love learning new things and it has been fascinating to learn how to search for science, economics, and business resources. One of my favorite things about working at the reference desk is serving as the eyes, ears, feet for the Answer Wall. The O’Neill library is home to some of the friendliest people and I encourage you to come over and say hi!