ACRL DLS Membership and Communication Committees Member of the Month: April 2018

The ACRL Distance Learning Section (DLS) Membership and Communication committees are starting a “Member of the Month” initiative to highlight our diverse members. Here is our highlight on Kathleen Pickens, Coordinator of Information Services at Cincinnati State Tech & Community College.

If you are interested in being an ACRL DLS “Member of the Month/Week”, please fill out this brief nomination form.

Name: Kathleen Pickens

How long have you been a DLS member?

Since 2009

Where do you work and what do you do there?

Cincinnati State Tech & Community College. I wear a lot of hats, but my three “heaviest” responsibilities are probably: organizing the Library’s instruction program; creating/maintaining our web resources (website, all LibGuides, multimedia, etc.); and managing our collection in all subject areas.

What is unique about your institution, and how does your work as a distance services librarian support the mission?

We’re an open-enrollment, non-residential, urban community college, but also have a large number of rural students at our branch sites, a higher than average number of international students on our main campus, and a growing population of College Credit Plus students (area high school students taking our classes at their regular high school). Our students run the gamut of skill sets & experience! I strive to provide and promote our resources, services, and tools that best match their information needs, but feel the most important part of my work is projecting an approachable & enthusiastic library presence so all students feel comfortable asking us for help.

How do you bridge the distance with online learners? What’s one way you create community for your distance learners?

Faculty. Faculty. Faculty. I’m fortunate to also work with many of our online instructors & program chairs in the f2f environment & they are (metaphorically) the bridge. I don’t really think I create community for our distance learners unless I’m teaching for-credit online, although I do build individual student connections pretty easily just from caring about & supporting their success.

How do you recharge your knowledge of distance library services?

The Distance Library Services Conference is my favorite to attend! More regularly, I recharge my knowledge by actually going outside of librarianship to learn about new research & trends in learning theories, usability, UX, teaching online, etc.

What’s something fun that you’re doing now (outside of your work as a distance librarian)?

There’s something outside of work?! Um, I love my dogs!

What are you reading right now?

Nothing but financial reports and scholarship applications! But, in June, I’m hoping to take a break with the new Caroline Kepnes novel.

Twitter, LinkedIn, or other handles you would like us to share?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleenpickens

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