Meet Our Newest Librarian: Alexa

Posted: May 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM CDT

Hello, Islanders! My name is Alexa Hight and I am the new Scholarly Communication Librarian in the Bell Library here at TAMU-CC. What does scholarly communication mean and how does it apply to students, staff, and faculty in the TAMU-CC community? According to the Association of College and Research Libraries, scholarly communication can be defined as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs" (ACRL, "Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication 1," 2003). As the scholarly communication librarian, I hope to assist students, staff, and faculty with their information dissemination needs, whether in the form of copyright and publishing, research data management, researcher profiles, or any other needs researchers face during the cycle of research and publication. I also hope to promote efforts on campus to further awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources and Open Access.

I first started working in libraries in high school, where I spent several semesters in the elementary library helping students find and check out books, as well as learning to shelve and repair books. As an undergraduate student at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, I worked at the Reference (AKA Ask Us) Desk helping my peers find resources for homework, papers, and projects. While I double-majored in English Literature and History, and minored in French, I got to help students find resources on subjects such as Biology, Psychology, and Astronomy. I not only enjoyed helping students find the things they needed, as well as teaching them how to become better searchers themselves, I enjoyed learning about things I probably would not have otherwise.

After college, I spent a year in Paris earning a Master's in History and Literature. (Yes, I speak French; no, not fluently.) Afterwards, I was not really sure what I wanted to do in terms of a job or career. Due to my experience working in my undergraduate library, I landed a job at a small Liberal Arts University in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado (student worker jobs can help you get employed after school!). Working in a library again helped me rediscover my passion for helping library patrons find the information they sought. In June 2018, I graduated from the University of Denver, with a Master's in Information and Library Science. While in library school, I took classes and learned a lot about copyright matters in libraries and higher education, as well as the scholarly communication process, the so-called serials crisis, paywalls, and the need for Open Access and Open Educational Resources. My interest in these areas, as well as a desire to move to South Texas for family reasons, led me to apply for the position of scholarly communication librarian here at TAMU-CC.

Outside of Library Land, I enjoy reading, sewing, spending time with my partner, our two dogs and cat, practicing yoga, finding new things to cook and bake, and I’m trying to learn more about plants and gardening. Please let me know if I can help you with any of your schol-comm needs, or if you want to see pictures of my animals! I look forward to getting to know South Texas and the TAMU-CC community.

By: Alexa Hight

Category: Hello, from the Staff