As the Director of User and Research Services at Bell Library, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some news from our team.
First, the happy news! Alexa Hight, who is our Scholarly Communication and Copyright Librarian, was recently the winner of the Texas Digital Library (TDL) Service Award for her leadership of the OJS (Open Journal Systems) User Group. TDL uses Open Journal Systems software to allow faculty or staff of TDL member institutions to create open access journals and make them available online.
Alexa was the inaugural chair of this group, and really made her mark with getting the group underway, helping create an atmosphere of mutual support and setting an agenda for future developments of the hosting service. She also promoted the user group with presentations and a book chapter. In the words of Kristi Park, Executive Director of TDL, Alexa’s “leadership and hard work have been instrumental to the success of the OJS User Group as a community of support and have helped raise the profile of the Texas Digital Library.”
We at Bell Library already knew how great Alexa is, but we are still so very proud of this outstanding achievement and are excited to celebrate her success! Congratulations, Alexa!
And now for the both happy and sad news. Emily Metcalf, Instructional Services Librarian, is leaving us to return home to Michigan. Emily has been such an important member of our team for the last four years. Her intelligence, persistence, fearlessness, and generous spirit have been an incredible asset to the library. She has done great things as the coordinator of our library instruction program, encouraging her colleagues with peer mentoring as well as other forms of support like Sizzles and Fizzles instruction debriefs at the end of every semester and summer teaching workshops. Over the years she has mentored several new librarians to help them become effective and confident teachers, and she has inspired all of us to explore outside of our pedagogical comfort zones and, for example, to integrate more active learning into our sessions.
Emily was also instrumental in the development of TAMU-CC’s current quality enhancement plan for digital information literacy, the I-KNOW program. And I can’t skip over her excellent work as library liaison to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. In my many years of librarianship I have rarely seen a librarian work so successfully with a group of faculty to ensure that the students in that program learn what they need to know about library research and that the library is responsive to user needs in that discipline. As a liaison, Emily has been a model to all of us.
I can’t name all of the many ways that Emily has contributed to the library in the length of a blog post, so I’ll stop there. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are happy for Emily to pursue her dreams back in her home state of Michigan, but we are maybe a little selfishly sad for ourselves, to be losing such a valued colleague. Best of luck to you, Emily, in all your future endeavors!
Director of User and Research Services