Dean Carol Hixson has been a professional librarian since 1984, earning her Master of Science in Information Studies from Drexel University that year. Prior to earning her master’s, she worked as a paraprofessional library staff member for seven years and for two years as a student assistant in her undergraduate college library. In the past thirty-five years, she has worked in some of the best academic libraries in North America, including Cornell University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Florida, Indiana University, UCLA, and the University of Oregon. Prior to joining USFSP, Dean Hixson was the University Librarian (dean) at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dean Hixson has a lifelong interest in other cultures and points of view, as attested to by her bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature from Grinnell College, as well as her study of five other foreign languages. Her best spoken languages are Spanish, Portuguese, and French, but she can get around pretty well in German and Italian. She has retained just enough knowledge of Russian to get herself in trouble starting conversations with native speakers that she can’t finish! She loves to travel and have conversations with people in all parts of the world and has combined her love of other cultures with her profession by conducting a series of workshops on digital libraries in Spain a few years ago.
As a librarian, Dean Hixson has always been devoted to serving diverse populations and to increasing access to information for all members of the communities of which she has been a part. This dedication has led her to develop campus digital archives for the output of students and faculty at the University of Oregon, the University of Regina, and now at USFSP. Her personal favorite professional project was the very first digital collection she developed at the University of Oregon, Picturing the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Tribes because it enabled her not only to provide access to a priceless collection of photographs of native people from Eastern Oregon, it also gave her the opportunity to work closely with members of the tribes. In addition to being a stunningly beautiful collection, it also provides descriptions of the photographs from the perspective of the tribal members who were capturing their personal history before the elders who lived it died and took their stories with them.
At USFSP, Dean Hixson has so far focused on strengthening the Poynter Library’s connection to the students and the broader community, drafting a strategic plan for the library, undertaking the first digital library collections, and helping the University develop a stronger infrastructure for distance learning.