Higbee is part of a team of librarians providing research assistance and instruction in the classroom and via individual consultation for students, staff, and faculty.
Most recently, I earned my Master of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa and prior to that earned a Master of Arts in US History and a Bachelor of Arts in History from University of California Santa Barbara. Before attending university, I also served in the US Army and completed the Arabic course of study at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.
As a faculty librarian here at UNG, I am part of a team of librarians providing research assistance and instruction in the classroom and via individual consultation for students, staff, and faculty. As part of our overall instructional role, we also provide reference services at the library's information desk and via phone, email, chat, and text. I also serve as a librarian liaison for several departments, including History, Anthropology & Philosophy, Political Science & International Affairs, and World Languages & Cultures.
What interests me about academic librarianship is its cross-disciplinary nature and the constant state of learning that this broad reach entails. Because we have to be prepared to work with students from all disciplines on campus as reference librarians, we need to maintain an ongoing watch on resources and research approaches in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and arts. It’s a real challenge but also especially rewarding when we can use that knowledge to help students discover areas of knowledge completely new to them and also strengthen their abilities to continue to learn and to use information well throughout their lives.
With both service and research, I am constantly humbled and inspired by the skills and knowledge of others in my field and at UNG. In the UNG Faculty Senate, I am impressed by people who are passionate about contributing to UNG being the strongest institution it can be – for its students, staff, and faculty. In librarianship, I am inspired by the field’s ongoing adaptation to changing technologies and optimism about the potential for access to knowledge to strengthen critical thinking and civility. In my own research, I am interested in investigating the scope of library instruction and research support within specific disciplines.
The highlights of my time at UNG has always involved the people here – students, faculty, and my colleagues in the library. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to facilitate, in collaboration with departmental faculty, library research instruction sessions in history, political science, business and more, and also to talk with new cadets about research skills and resources at the beginning of each semester. Another highlight of the past three years has been being involved with starting the University of North Georgia Digital Commons online institutional repository and looking forward to seeing its future growth and development. With the support of UNG academic affairs administrators and our library director, I also had a very unique and rewarding opportunity in 2011 to serve as a librarian consultant on a short-term USAID project in Afghanistan and was proud to represent UNG there.
After any classroom or information desk interaction with students, I hope they will take away an understanding of at least one additional place they can explore while seeking information for a particular question. Along with the concrete knowledge of additional research resources, though, I hope students will develop the impulse to seek out high-quality information when they have questions. It is this skill that will help students participate even more meaningfully in conversations in all disciplines, government, families, the workplace, and other areas of life. This is what I hope students will move toward just a little bit each time we interact.