Teaching & Learning Champions are faculty & staff who contribute to student learning (Guided Pathways Essential Practice #4). We share their stories to celebrate their dedication to instructional excellence & innovation in a series of spotlight articles. #ACCExcellence

Ashley CarrMeet Ashley Carr, Reference Librarian/Associate Professor at the Highland Campus

Tell us a little bit about what you do!

Like all ACC librarians, I spend some portion of my schedule working directly with ACC students at the reference desk, teaching research instruction to students enrolled in ACC course, and purchasing books and online materials for my subject areas of Education, Photography and Geology. Additionally, I am a co-leader of the Information Literacy (IL) Council which supports ACC classroom faculty in promoting media and research literacy in our students.

Three words that best describe you?

Creative, intuitive, comedian

How do you support faculty at ACC? Why is this work important?

My most important work with faculty is as a co-leader of the IL Council, we work with faculty to support research skills related outcomes in the curriculum through research assignment design, online tutorials, and in-class instruction sessions, and we support ACC Librarians as they work with faculty to plan for librarian led instruction in classes. This work is important because most courses at ACC include learning outcomes related to research skills, information and media literacy, and critical thinking. Librarian expertise in these areas is particularly valuable in our current media environment which can be both overwhelming and confusing to students when they begin college-level research. In addition, I work directly with faculty in the Education, Adult Basic Education, Geology, and Professional Photography departments to buy materials that will support their curriculums. I also work with Highland Campus faculty when designing librarian led instruction for faculty requested class visits.

If you could take any ACC class, what would you take? Why?

I actually signed up for an ACC class for the first time this semester. I’m taking Architectural History II. I have always had an interest in design and architecture. I have a passion for mid-century style homes, buildings, and signage. I see this as a first step towards finding out if I want to pursue architecture more seriously. I could see myself either working as a housing architect or using my library experience, creating library spaces that are more functional for library staff, as well as library patrons.

What is the #1 piece of advice you give to your students?

I always tell students that they should make learning personal, that they should find personal meaning in the things they are learning, and that it will help them retain the information over a longer period of time. And always write a cover letter that shows a little bit about who you are when you apply for a job.

What book would you recommend that everyone read? Why?

At the risk of being a librarian cliche, I would like to recommend something to read, Ta-Nehisi Coates 2014 Atlantic article, The Case for Reparations. I read this shortly after it came out, and it changed me. It is a beautifully written account of the direct effects of Jim Crow in the South and redlining efforts in nearly every major US city on people of color, effectively cutting them off from property ownership and the ability to build generational wealth. I am embarrassed to admit that until I read this article I was not fully aware of the injustice inherent in so many of our systems. As a result, I have become more proactive in using whatever influence I have to change things for the better. I educate, I vote, and I promote library policies that are equitable and compassionate. Everyone should read it.

Connect with Ashley via email: acarr@austincc.edu

Recommend a Colleague:

Do you know someone who is a champion of teaching & learning? Send their name & why you’re nominating them to TLEDcomms@austincc.edu.