It began with a single room and a few donated books. It was 1945, and the Master of Industrial Relations program had just been created as part of the Industrial Relations Center. In the mid 1950s, Georgianna Herman was hired as the program's second reference room director, and turned a single room into a "reference room," thanks to a great relationship with the local community. This reference room became invaluable for students, faculty, and local businesses seeking information related to industrial and labor relations.
The library moved around campus several times before finally finding its permanent home in the Carlson School of Management building a few years ago, as part of the newly-named Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies. It is now called the Georgianna E. Herman Library, named after the woman whose legacy spanned decades.
The Herman Library's collection focuses primarily on topics in human resources and labor relations. The collection includes books, textbooks, periodicals, a pamphlet collection dating back to the 1920s, labor law serials and historical labor memorabilia. The library also has subscriptions to more than 100 professional and trade journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Industrial Relations, and HR Magazine. The materials cover a wide range of topics, including recruitment, training, compensation, motivation, labor relations, diversity, and job satisfaction. The library also houses an extensive selection of labor-related movies, including Hollywood films such as "Silkwood" and "Roger and Me," and labor films such as "A Better Way: Meeting America's long-term Health Care Crisis," all of which may be checked out for viewing. In addition, patrons of the library may access the University of Minnesota's vast collection of online databases
Adjunct professor Mike Davis refers to the library as the "hidden gem" of the MA-HRIR program.
"It is without question the best HR library in the state and likely one of the best in the nation," he says.
Brenda Carriere, the library's director since 2006, and library assistant Jennifer Clement, a familiar face in the library for more than 25 years, are both excellent resources for finding information.
"We help narrow down searches, point out useful references, and suggest supplemental materials," Carriere says.
Not only do current MA-HRIR students utilize the library for research and class assignments, they also use the study rooms to work on homework and group projects.
"It's a great place for students to get together to work on projects, or even just have lunch," says Carriere. "We keep our bowl of candy filled and the coffeepot on to encourage our students to feel at home here."
Most students understand, and embrace, the library's value during their time in the program, but many may not realize it can continue to be a helpful resource for them, and the greater HR community, following graduation.
"As an HR professional, it helps me keep up with current trends and research, as well as materials to assist in developing training and development programs," says Larry Bourgerie, '89 MA-IR, and an adjunct instructor in the program.
Last summer, Carriere helped an alum research the topics of executive coaching, HR metrics and organizational behavior. Today, Clement is helping a professor find information about control and flexibility in the workplace.
"We assist alumni and other HR and labor professionals with finding information, and work-related research," says Carriere. "We're always willing to do what we can."
Alumni and other members of the public are invited to contact the Herman Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the library, which is located in room 3-306 on the third floor of the Carlson School of Management. The library is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.