Andrea Malone, foreign language and ethnic studies librarian at the University of Houston Libraries, was recently selected as a 2013-2014 fellow of the Association of Research Libraries Leadership and Career Development Program (ARL LCDP).
The ARL LCDP is a highly competitive fellowship that prepares mid-career librarians from underrepresented groups to advance into leadership roles in research and academic libraries. The program focuses on developing a more diverse professional workforce that builds the success of research libraries in serving the needs of scholarly communities.
The 18-month LCDP curriculum includes three institutes; mentorship with an ARL library director; and the development and implementation of a research project.
“I was thrilled to be chosen,” Malone said. “It gave me a boost of confidence to pursue more challenging work.”
Malone’s research for the LCDP expands upon work she has previously conducted in collections assessment. She has designed a survey that will gather data on the use of foreign language materials by international students, faculty and researchers. The results of the survey will inform future collections development.
“I’m excited to go through all the data and see how I can better serve our international users,” Malone said. “I want to find out if there is a need for them to have more materials in their native language, or any other language related to their field of research.”
Malone is collaborating with the UH Libraries collections and online resources coordinator to sort the data. “Librarianship here is a very collaborative effort,” she noted. “We work together on many types of teams and research projects. We do better as a library because we collaborate.”
In addition to her role as librarian, Malone is also a professor of French at Houston Community College. She often posts quotes of inspiration and insight en français in her office, including the lyrical il faut réfléchir avant d’agir, translated to “think before you act.”
Malone’s roles as librarian and professor complement one another and allow her to perform better in each one. “As a librarian supporting class instruction, it helps me as a professor because I know what information is available to my students for research projects,” she said. “When I create assignments, I ensure there’s an element of research and information literacy.”
Being a professor of French allows Malone to relate better with University of Houston faculty to whom she serves as a liaison. She thoroughly understands their instruction and research needs, and encourages faculty to look to UH librarians as a source of knowledge for their research, and on better instruction of their students.
Being able to offer targeted services to the UH community is one of the distinctive features of the UH Libraries. “It’s often said that the library is the central knowledge base of the university,” Malone said.
For students, critical thinking and information literacy skills are essential, and UH librarians strive to reach as many students as possible to equip them with skills to carry forward into their careers.
“We work really hard to ensure that our students realize the value of the resources we have available,” Malone said. “It’s knowledge they need not only for completing assignments, but knowledge to take with them once they graduate.”