The DOLS Member of the Month is back!
The DOLS Member of the Month initiative started in 2018 as a way to highlight the diverse members of DOLS and their contributions to the distance and online library community.
This month, we highlight Trisha Prevett (Whiteman), eLearning Librarian at Southern New Hampshire University.
How long have you been a DOLS member?
Where do you work, and what do you do there?
Southern New Hampshire University, eLearning Librarian
What is unique about your institution, and how does your work as a distance and online services librarian support the mission?
We are the largest provider of online education. We strive to live our mission of providing access to quality education for everyone through various models. A lot of time is spent utilizing library resources as course materials which not only reduces cost, but it can help to increase student persistence as their resources are available on day one of class. We also work hard within the development of our courses and programs to embed information literacy skills within projects, within research guides and offer synchronous virtual research workshops.
How do you bridge the distance with online and distance learners? What’s one way you create community for your distance learners?
We try to make sure they understand that they have full access to all our services and resources even though they don’t live near the campus. We’ve integrated other academic support departments into our Springshare LibAnswers platform which allows us to collaborate to help students. Often a student may need help on the research part of an assignment, but then may need writing support and they can get both within the same system.
How do you recharge your knowledge of distance and online library services?
I like to read snippets as I can of what colleagues at other institutions are doing and think about what they have learned to see if it might apply to our scope. I really enjoy articles from In the Library with the Lead Pipe which are so insightful on many levels.
What Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives are you and your institution focusing on?
I am very active with accessibility and inclusion right now as I am on sabbatical this term completing a research project looking at how students, faculty and staff at SNHU experience ableist microaggressions in their daily lives. I am hoping by sharing data points of our functionally diverse community’s lived experiences it will help create fuel for a culture change at the institution. Many people hear the word accessibility or disability and think it isn’t their problem or they will “deal” with it when someone needs an accommodation. We have to insist that people do the work to identify how they are consciously or unconsciously contributing to ableism and inequity in regards to disability in order for there to be significant change. Perhaps the data will give the push to include disability as a formal part of our larger EDI initiatives as it is without a doubt both an equity and inclusion issue.
What’s something fun you’re doing now (outside of work!)
Getting back into lifting weights! Pre-pandemic I was really into Strong Women competitions but it has been tough adjusting to all the changes and stressors we now have. I am slowly building back strength not just physically, but mentally as well.
What are you reading right now?
Microaggressions and marginality: manifestation, dynamics and impact by Derald Wing Sue
Twitter, LinkedIn, or other handle you would like to share with us?