LART Bios: Heidi Senior

Who are you?

I am one of the Communications Secretaries for OLA-LART. I’ve been at the University of Portland for 16 years, mostly wearing the Reference/Instruction Librarian hat, with a short stint as Head of Reference. I’m liaison to Business and Communication Studies. UP is my first / only professional library job. While working on my MLIS at the University of Washington, I got great work experience at the Foster Business Library; I’ve also had a brief practicum at Portland State University. My educational background is in French and International Studies, and in past lives I’ve been an “assistante” (assistant teacher, in French) at preschool and high school levels, as well as a translator. I grew up just south of Portland and can’t imagine living anywhere else, except maybe France.

What interests you about Library Assessment?

Borrowing from the field of nursing, I’m interested in whether librarian “interventions” lead to a change in outcomes in our patients, er patrons.

Where do you draw inspiration for being a librarian from?

From my amazing colleagues, from my kids, from friends…from pretty much wherever I can find it.

What are some cool things going on at your library right now?

We’ve just completed a 15-month renovation, so I have to say the “new” building is definitely the coolest thing on campus at the moment. The number of study rooms has nearly doubled, and several of them will have large flat-screen monitors and projectors for presentation practice. We came close to doubling the number of seats which come in a variety of furnishings from booths to couches to “womb chairs,” in awesome colors to boot.  Other cool things, some old some new: the rotating popular reading & video collections, an institutional repository, a digital production lab.

Besides the library where you work, what is your favorite library and why?

My neighborhood public library. It’s well-loved, nearly always crowded, and the staff (especially the children’s librarian) are incredibly knowledgeable. It’s within walking distance, and there’s a grocery store next door for easy treat purchases after the library visit.

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