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Between the Lines: September Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight, TLA News

Danielle’ McGhee

Director of Library and Media Services, University Archivist

Downs-Jones Library, Huston-Tillotson University

What inspired you to become a librarian?
The root: I’m from Round Rock, TX and I have very fond memories of my library experiences as a child from my school library to the public library. I grew up visiting Round Rock Public Library and I have a love for that space and my experiences there. After learning about librarianship as a profession upon finishing up my BA degree, I decided to follow the path of exploring this field.

What is an innovative practice at your library that you’d like to share with others?
So much has occurred over the past few months with our library, considering the pandemic and social justice issues. In my role, it is very important for me to effectively lead a team in learning how to be flexible during these times, which I find can be difficult for us librarians. I can’t speak for every librarian, but we tend to like order, we like to have a plan, and we like routines. During this time, we have to do the opposite. We have to be flexible, we have to be effective, we have to be patient, and show up in times of uncertainty! Therefore my goal has been to practice reminding myself of these things and modeling that with my team as the university itself makes overarching decisions suitable for our students. I’m not sure how innovative that is, but this is the first thing that comes to mind.

If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I love a good dinner party! I would love to collectively have dinner with:
Toni Morrison— She was a mover and a shaker. She used her talents to provide a lens to Black voices as a publisher and author.
Hervé Tullet—I am an artist and a big children’s book fan! I appreciate how he merges art with various learning objectives.
Hoda Kotb—She is a great storyteller and she is inspirational. She would be a great addition to a dinner party!

What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading Sun is Sky by Jedah Mayberry, a local Austin author

What is your most memorable Texas Library Association Experience?
Participating in TALL Texans! TALL Texans was memorable because I had the opportunity to meet amazing colleagues, I gained tools and tips on how to view and integrate leadership skills, and the mentorship that follows.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, how have you had to adjust the way you provide library services? What plans do you have in place for the fall?
Our university will continue with online learning in the fall. We have really leveraged the digital resources that we have access to. Additionally, we have added new digital resources that students can access to enhance their learning experience.