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

Carrie GitsMeet Carrie Gits, Head Librarian and Associate Professor at the Highland Campus

Tell us a little bit about what you do!

As a head librarian, I am responsible for leading and supervising the faculty and staff of the HLC library. I manage the HLC library’s services and daily activities which support students, faculty, and staff. I also have responsibilities in the areas of teaching library instruction sessions, purchasing library materials, and providing one-on-one reference assistance to our students.

Three words that best describe you?

Dedicated, resourceful, genuine

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

One example of how I support faculty at ACC relates to my work with Open Educational Resources (OER). Through work and collaboration with others across the college, I help faculty navigate the nuances of OER and open education. Through trainings, presentations, individual consultations, and resource creation I provide faculty with the tools they need to be successful in the adoption or creation of OER. I recently developed a series of online training modules for faculty, ACC Learn OER. As an academic librarian, I am an advocate for equitable access to resources and information. My work with OER supports this value. Being able to contribute to and support the efforts of faculty who are teaching with OER (as well as those who are mildly curious) is important work. Work which supports faculty innovation in teaching and learning and the success of our students.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Madison, WI. Growing up people often made comparisons between Madison and Austin. Both are capital cities with large public universities, surrounded by several other colleges and universities. There are significant differences though. On game days, the city wears red instead of burnt orange. The summers are much cooler and the winters are freezing! Texas has BBQ and queso. Wisconsin has Friday fish fry’s and cheese curds. Madison also has one of the largest Farmers’ Markets in the country. It is pretty spectacular! It was a great place to grow up. I enjoy going back to visit family and friends, but only when it is above -30℉. I have never sported a hat in the shape of a styrofoam cheesehead, but I’ll always be one at heart.

How long have you worked at ACC?

In November, I will celebrate my 8th year at ACC. I started as the Head Librarian at the RGC campus and then transitioned to HLC when RGC closed for renovation. I have been an academic librarian for 20 years in both public and private universities, in Chicago and Miami. I started out as a reference and instruction librarian. My primary responsibilities were helping students in-person at the reference desk and online, teaching information literacy classes, and purchasing library materials in a variety of subject areas. Over time I became more involved and interested in library work which included project management, personnel management, leadership, budgeting, and facilities. My roles as a reference and instruction librarian shifted into management and leadership when I worked as the Assistant Director of Reference at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida. That shift in responsibilities led me to ACC. ACC is my first community college librarian experience and I love it!

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

For the past 2 years, I have enrolled in ASL classes at ACC. Currently, I am in ASL V. At ACC (and in Austin) there is a large d/Deaf population and a vibrant d/Deaf community among our students, as well as our faculty and staff. As someone who works directly with students, and who is a supervisor of library staff and faculty, learning ASL is important to me. Learning ASL not only improves my communication, but it also provides me with a rich understanding of the community around me and the community of my colleagues and peers. There are a few other classes on my wish list. Being a non-native Texan I would also like to take a Texas History and Texas Government class.

Connect with Carrie via email: carrie.gits@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.