Dean of Library
Dean Carol Hixson has been a professional librarian since 1984, earning her Master of Science in Information Studies from Drexel University that year. She has worked in some of the best academic research libraries in North America as a paraprofessional and librarian, including Cornell University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Florida, Indiana University, UCLA, and the University of Oregon. Immediately prior to joining USFSP, Dean Hixson was the University Librarian (dean) at the University of Regina in Canada, a member of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.
Dean Hixson has a lifelong interest in other cultures and points of view, as attested to by her bachelor’s degree with honors in Spanish language and literature from Grinnell College, as well as her study of five other foreign languages. She loves to travel and have conversations with people in all parts of the world and has combined her love of other cultures with her profession by conducting a series of workshops on digital libraries and the open access movement in Spain a few years ago.
As a librarian, Dean Hixson has always been devoted to serving diverse populations and to increasing access to information for all members of the communities of which she has been a part. This dedication has led her to spearhead the development of campus digital collections at the University of Oregon, the University of Regina, and now at USFSP. Using digital technology to open up access to primary source materials that would otherwise be accessible only to a handful of people is one of her passions. She also believes that digital collections serve as a means of developing or enhancing partnerships between the university and the broader community. For both these reasons, one of her favorite professional projects was the first digital collection she helped to develop at the University of Oregon, Picturing the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Tribes. This collection not only provided worldwide access to a priceless collection of photographs of native people from Eastern Oregon, it also gave her the opportunity to work closely with members of the tribes and capture descriptions of the photographs from the perspective of the tribal elders before they passed on and took their stories with them.
At USFSP, Dean Hixson has so far focused on strengthening the Poynter Library’s connection to the students and the broader community through a number of unique partnerships, drafting a strategic plan for the library, undertaking USFSP’s first digital library collections, redesigning the library’s space to serve today’s students, and helping the University develop a stronger infrastructure for distance learning.
Current Projects and Research Interests
- Academic Library Space Redesign as a Reflection of Changing Student Needs
- Community/University Partnerships to Enhance Higher Education
- Supporting Faculty and Student Research through Open Access Digital Collections
- The Academic Library’s Role in Student Recruitment and Retention
Selected Awards and Honors
- Library Leadership in a Digital Age Institute, Harvard University (Selected in 2013).
- Frye Leadership Institute, Educause and CLIR (Selected in 2012)
- Corrigan Solari Faculty Fellowship Award (2004) for being a “model of a 21st century librarian who represents the best in team building and barrier demolishing.”
- COLT/Library Mosaics Outstanding Supporter of Support Staff Award (2002 Nomination)
- Beta Phi Mu (elected 1985)
- U.S. Department of Education Fellowship, full tuition and stipend, for pursuit of Master’s Degree at Drexel University (1983/1984)
- Phi Beta Kappa (elected 1977)