Current librarian: René Schäfer


There are five parts to being the librarian at i10:

  1. You manage our publications page
  2. You make sure our publications, such as student theses and conference papers, are entered on the Hochschulbiobliothek (HSB) on a regular basis.
  3. You manage our i10 library in Jan's office. 
  4. You maintain our CHI rankings page. 
  5. You are our spokesperson for the CS library. 

1. Internal papers database

Our internal papers database is meant to represent our scientific profile to researchers from other universities. So, if they stumble over the publications page on our wiki, they better be impressed.
That means that the list should always be up to date and look very consistent. It should also allow people to get a quick and correct BibTeX entry. Special characters can be written in UTF-8 and do not need to be escaped. Here is a list of things to do

  • Regularly check new entries. Through the year, there will be a lot of new papers entries for papers, theses, books, etc. Although there is a guide, people often make mistakes with the formatting. Make sure to kick people's butts to ensure the formatting and update the guide when formatting changes for some reason or other. PhD students will enter their publications automatically. Theses students are instructed to enter their thesis before they leave the chair, see our goodbye checklist that students are expected to complete before they leave our chair. Your job is to check that the BibTeX entries are complete, i.e., includes fields like phdadvisor, project, and DOI. Check old entries for reference. 
  • Remind people to update entries. When a venue announces that a publication is accepted, people usually add the publication to the website right away ("In Press"). Unfortunately, at that point there are no DOIs and ISBNs yet. Make sure to set a remind for yourself to have people update their entries a week or two after the conference when those details have been announced.
  • Triple-check everything for the Jahresbericht. Around October, the Jahresberichter has to use all the information from the publication database to finish the Jahresbericht. Be nice and make sure that their work is not unnecessarily hard because of missing publications. This entails to tell all other PhDs to check that all their Bachelor's and Master's students added their theses, and they themselves added and updated all papers. Setting a deadline one week later, announcing this during research breakfast, as well as an email is usually the way to ensure it actually happens.

2. The dreaded Hochschulbibliothek

This is the reason why you are a library monkey and get to wear that orangutan costume whenever you want. The HSB makes you jump through a lot of hoops to update papers and the process does not seem to be getting better. Things in that system seem to change regularly, so make sure to update this text, when necessary. The system is supposed to be used for looking up entries, but is really not very useful for that. Focus on submitting entries and get out as quick as possible. This is important as HSB indicates the performance of our chair. Please do this once a quarter. Steps are:

  • Add verified to the RWTH database. You have to add each entry—that means anything from theses, workshop papers, to papers and books—that you declare good and ready to be submitted to the RWTH papers database. Go to and login. There is a way to switch the UI language between English and German on the top-right corner of the page (as of Sep. 18, 2020). Click on submit and choose the publication type. Then fill out everything that is marked in red. If you are lucky enough to have a DOI for the papers (not available for theses), you can try to use the DOI import by just copying and pasting the DOI into the DOI field at the top. Make sure to verify everything though, because the import often fails miserably. There are always some fields that you have to fill in manually. Most important details: the format (usually print and online), the department (122710), and language. If the publication is uploaded on our server, as it usually is, also add the link to the URL field at the bottom. Do not upload the PDF yourself (this is done only when you need to *publish* the publication).
  • Deal with weird emails. Sometimes, an entry is missing some esoteric fields, that you didn't even know about. The HSB people will send you and email and ask you to fix things. Usually it just takes a few hours of googling to fix the issues. For some kinds of papers this might not be worth it (e.g, a only print workshop publication that doesn't have an ISBN). You can opt to remove the publication from the database in that case.

3. i10 library

We have a library with lots of books about HCI, psychology, math, etc. in Jan's office. You are responsible for maintaining the library. Here are the various tasks:

  • Maintain library MacBook: We have a library MacBook that includes the Delicious Library software for inventorizing books. It is also used to log who borrows/returns books. Clarissa will usually enter a book to the system by scanning the barcode. She will also handle book borrowing/returns. But, you need to make sure that new book entries are correct and complete, as sometimes there might be missing information. You also need to update the software and macOS from time to time.
  • Labeling books: Every book in our library has a label that indicates the field (HCI, psychology, etc.), who owns it (owned by the chair or by Jan), and the first three characters of the first author's last name. This helps find books more easily. You are responsible for labeling the new books as they are ordered---Clarissa will inform you. Use the DeliciousLabels software to do this. Note that the recent printers add a printing margin that cannot be removed. Krishna has hardcoded the fix for now in the software---you may need to look into a more elegant solution. The labels are printed on special labeling papers, and using the color copier. 

4. The CHI rankings page

Once a year after CHI, update the CHI ranking for German universities. This ranking provides researchers and students with a quick idea of where HCI research is actively happening in Germany. Here's how:

  • Update the list. Take the proceedings and add every paper that has an author from a German institution (usually a university) to the list. The way that seemed to work best in the past is to parse the CHI papers dataset released by MIT confer, and then using a parser to extract and filter information. However, confer has not released dataset for CHI 2020, so we had to do it manually. To do this, take the proceedings in HTML format and go over every day and session of the conference and search for Germany. It doesn't matter in what order the authors are listed. As long as a paper has any author from a German institution, it counts. You only do this for archival papers and notes, not the extended abstracts.
  • Reorder the list. After updating the list for all universities, reorder the list by the new number of publications.

5. The CS library

This is the nicest part of the Job. Renate from the CS library is always super nice and provide you with cookies or gummy bears when you visit. You unfortunately will not visit that often, since Clarissa takes care of fetching mail and new books ordered through the library. Here is what you have to do

  • Check the "Handapparat". This is the list of books that we have in the library for students to look at. Twice a year, you will get an email from Renate asking you to double-check that everything is up to date for the upcoming semester. Talk to whoever gives the lectures and see if we still have the correct editions of all books provided as required or optional reading. Clarissa can take care of ordering new books if necessary.
  • Deal with people needing books from us. Every book we ordered through the CS library is in a big directory of available books. This means that once in a while someone will request a book in the library that we only have here at the chair in Jan's office library. If you trust them and they ask nicely enough, you can give it to them. We absolutely have no obligation to provide requested books though. Moritz was usually nice to PhD students from other chairs but said no to students. If you decide to lend a book to someone, make sure to establish a fixed return date and leave their phone number and email address in the i10 library system, so someone from i10 needing the same book knows how to get it back.
  • Distribute the new book releases lists. Renate will send around physical lists with new releases from publishers every couple of months. Your job is to look at the new books, see if there is anything particularly interesting for us. Daniel used to send around summaries of potentially interesting books to all assistants (he never got any responses though). Order books through Clarissa if necessary. Then, you sign the list and hand it over to any of the other chairs library monkeys listed on the cover page.
  • Remind people to do library courses. The CS library teaches courses on how to use the library and the various library portals out there. It is a requirement for the proseminar, but you can also send seminar and theses students there. This is usually mentioned in the seminars and students have to sign that they participated in one of these courses. Renate always asks you to double check that this is offered to students. So, if a new PhD student is in charge of a seminar, remind them of this before the seminar starts. 


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