Member of the Month

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Alex Simmons

Alexandra (Alex) Simons
History, Political Science, and Government Information Librarian, University of Houston

Professional experience
My undergraduate degree is in Political Science, but I worked in printing and advertising for many years in Seattle, New York City, Portland, and Chicago. After moving to Texas, I got my MLIS from the University of North Texas. As a student, I worked part-time as the office manager in the Reference & Research department, now Liaison Services, at the University of Houston, and I  was hired as a full-time librarian in the department in 2008. My husband, eldest sister, and late mother all got their MLS degrees at the University of Washington, so I was destined to become a librarian at some point! 

I have been very active in TLA, as a member and past-chair of GODORT, member and current chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, member of TALL Texans, and now as a member of the Legislative Committee. I was recently serving on the Local Arrangements Committee in charge of the Career Development Center for TLA’s 2016 Annual Conference. 

Innovative library practices
I have been working with several professors in the history and political science departments on course design, assignments, and interaction with students throughout the semester. While this is not strictly “embedded” librarianship, it has become a way to become more involved beyond the one-shot instruction session that is typical for academic subject librarians. Creating course-specific LibGuides has also become a great way to interact with students and faculty, especially when the guides are embedded in Blackboard or other course-management software.

Favorite literary character or book
My favorite book is Auntie Mame. I read it when I was ten years old and reread it every couple of years. It never gets old! (I love Rosalind Russell, but the movie was never as good as the book – it left out a lot of chapters!) I am also a big fan E. F. Benson and his Lucia books – all the characters are highly entertaining.

Most memorable TLA experience
Wow, this is a hard one. I will list two: being chosen to participate in TALL Texans in 2013, and being part of the TLA delegation to National Library Legislative Day held annually in WA, DC. I hope to become more involved in leadership and advocacy in TLA. Being a member of TLA is one of the highlights of my career – I love this organization.

Created on Oct 1, 2015 | Last updated May 03, 2016