School of Information and Library Science (SILS) alumna Donna Nixon is being highlighted as the SILS Alumni Association’s "Featured Alumna."
Nixon is an assistant director of public services for the Everett Law Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to supervising librarians, full-time staff and student assistants, she coordinates and assists in teaching "Advanced Legal Research," "Law Librarianship," "Advanced Legal Writing" and "Introduction to Law of the U.S." Nixon has also been involved in assisting under-sourced public and school libraries in South Africa.
She participated in a five-week program through the World Library Partnership, which is a non-profit organization.
"Librarians and library students from throughout the U.S. participated," said Nixon. "We fundraised at home to pay for the trip and to provide a donation for our host libraries in South Africa (SA). In SA we met and trained with our partner librarians, mainly teachers from primary and secondary schools in impoverished areas. We then worked with them in their libraries to enhance the libraries and library services. Work included classification and cataloging, computer set-up and training, shelving and organizing and sprucing up the look and feel of the library space. We were treated like honored guests and met dedicated students and teachers who did amazing things with little resources. I am still in touch with two teachers from my host school, Zacheus Malaza Secondary School."
When asked how SILS prepared her for the work she has done and what she is currently doing, Nixon responded, “I needed the great foundation that SILS courses gave me in various aspects of information science and library management,” Nixon says. “SILS' master's paper requirement also forced me to take my first real dive into scholarly writing and led to my first published scholarship.”
Nixon graduated with her MSLS in 2001.
She was then asked what was something new that she had learned in the past year?
"The best thing I've learned this past year was how to zip-line across a stretch of forest," said Nixon. "Career-wise I've learned how important it is to be flexible, open to ideas and forward-looking. Our jobs going forward will not be what they are today and we have to figure out how to ride that wave of change to avoid being swamped by it."
The SILS Alumni Association (SILS AA) features alumni on the SILS AA homepage at: http://sils.unc.edu/alumni
If you know of alumni from the School of Information and Library Science who are making a difference in the world, please contact Karen Sobel at: Karen.Sobel@ucdenver.edu