Saying Goodbye… and Hello

On behalf of myself, the faculty and staff of the library, I want to express my gratitude to Dean Carol Hixson for her excellent leadership these past five plus years. Carol is fond of saying that Poynter Library is “not your Grandmother’s library.” Under her direction, the staff have moved the library into the 21st century, doing so with vision, collaboration, and lots of hard work. In her last blog entry as Dean, she has highlighted several of the successful accomplishments.

In bringing her expertise to USFSP and leading the creation and growth of the USFSP Digital Archive, she provided many of us with a new and very exciting opportunity to expand our skills while providing a suite of valuable Archive services to the faculty, students and administration. Other ventures enabled the members of the library’s various departments to develop and enhance talents and to improve services and communication with the USFSP community. Carol’s vision encouraged the expansion of the Library’s events and programs, including faculty and student research lectures and multicultural events that benefited the entire community. At a time when electronic resources can reduce the number of physical visits to a library, our spaces are hopping! The individual and collaborative study and work spaces are continually busy throughout the year.Student Presentation

Dean Hixson quickly recognized the dedication, creativity, and passion of the library faculty and staff and worked hard to support scholarly activities and professional development opportunities for all. She gave us wide latitude to study, explore, test, and implement so many ideas to keep the library, its resources, and its spaces vibrant and attractive to our community of users. Most importantly, Carol also allowed us to “fail”, learn, and move on to better ideas.

Carol’s dedication to her profession, to higher education in general, and the role libraries can and should play in the academic environment is a model to us all. She leaves USFSP a much richer place for having served here. Personally, I wish to express my admiration for her and my thanks for all the encouragement I have personally received. While the library is sad to lose her, we wish her the very best in her new position as Dean of the Libraries at Florida Atlantic University.


Deb Henry
Interim Dean



This is my final message as Dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. I came to USF St. Petersburg in August 2009 to take over leadership of the Poynter Library. In the past five and a half years, we have transformed the physical and virtual space of the Library and have redefined the services we provide to the students and faculty of USFSP. We did this strategically, working closely with the students and with colleagues across the University to be sure we were anticipating and meeting their changing needs. We did this collegially, involving all library faculty and staff, valuing every individual’s contributions, celebrating each individual and group success. I am proud of every member of the Poynter Library family and what we have accomplished together.

In the last five and a half years, we have:

• built a welcoming, attractive, and highly functional space centered around students on the first floor of the Library and we have been gradually expanding the redesign to the second and third floors.
Students studying 2014
• developed a new service model that takes advantage of the skill and expertise of our front-line employees to help library users with their basic service needs and that calls in a reference librarian when there is the need for more in-depth research assistance.
Librarian helping student with research
• built the USFSP Digital Archive where we showcase the work of our faculty and our students and also store the institutional memory of USFSP.
• developed traditions for students like the Annual Halloween Costume Contest, Halloween contest the Annual Reception for New Graduate Students, the visits twice a semester from Therapy Dogs International, the Student Research Colloquium, and much more.
• engaged with the broader community through events and lectures, like the recent Living Books event in November 2014.
• expanded access to technology and online resources through the purchase of more laptops, the installation of open-use computers on every floor, the acquisition of collaboration workstations on the first and second floors, and the upgrade of our group study rooms.Collaboration station
• developed online modules for many basic library and information literacy needs so that students can learn how to carry out research, cite an article, avoid plagiarism, and much more when it’s convenient for them 24/7 and at their own pace.
• developed a robust professional development environment for faculty teaching online courses through the Online Learning and Instructional Technology Services department.
• And much more.

I now turn the reins over to Interim Dean of Library Deborah Henry.Carol Hixson and Deb Henry Deb has been a member of the Poynter Library faculty since 1988 and is well known and highly regarded across the campus and the state. She knows the ins and outs of the Poynter Library and USFSP and has been actively involved in planning for and making many of the recent changes happen. She is a thought leader who has always gone the extra mile in providing outstanding library service. For those of you who already know her, you will be happy to work with her in this new role. For those who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Interim Dean Henry, you will be delighted to get to know her and work with her.

Adios, muchachos y muchachas! It has been a blast. My new position is that of Dean of University Libraries at Florida Atlantic University, starting in August. Anyone wanting to reach me there, can send an email with my last name

Best wishes,

Carol Hixson

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

The blog was visited by people from 36 countries around the world. Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

The busiest day of the year was September 8th with 49 views of the post “Diversity and Inclusion at Our Core.”

Click here to see the complete report.

Part of USF but Autonomous

In the April 1 edition of the student newspaper The Crow’s Nest an article by staff columnist Frank Kurtz addressed the issue of USF System membership and the benefits.

While the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library reaps numerous benefits from USFSP membership in the USF System, we are an autonomous library reporting to the USFSP Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Norine Noonan. The Poynter Library has no reporting relationship to USF Tampa, except through our Regional Chancellor who reports to the President. Mr. Kurtz incorrectly stated that if the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) were to leave the USF System “all of the volumes in the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library would have to be returned to the main campus. So would the desks and chairs and computers.” This is not the case. The books, furniture, and computers have been purchased by funds specifically allocated to the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, either through private donations or through USFSP budget allocations. They are the property of USFSP and the autonomous Poynter Library.

However, one of the greatest benefits that we derive from USFSP’s membership in the USF System is the access to over a million electronic resources that President Genshaft has declared to be System resources. Through agreements reached between the libraries of the USF member institutions, we pay a share of the cost of licensing and providing access to these resources. Our share of the costs is determined based roughly on the numbers of students who attend USFSP, along with the academic courses and programs that USFSP offers. USF Tampa shoulders the labor costs associated with acquiring and making these resources available and is also currently susidizing the costs of access to electronic books. Were we to try to “go it alone,” the Poynter Library could never afford to provide access to the same set of electronic resources. We are fortunate that USF St. Petersburg is part of the USF System and we would not want it to be otherwise. But we wouldn’t lose our books, furniture and computers if USFSP withdrew from the USF System.

If you want to know more about the the benefits of USF System membership regarding electronic resources, I encourage you to read the Library’s report  at

Open Access and Federal Policy

On February 22, 2013, the Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a policy memorandum directing Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication. The policy also requires researchers to do a better job of accounting for and managing the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. OSTP has been looking into this issue for some time, soliciting broad public input on multiple occasions and convening an interagency working group to develop its policy. Visit OSTP’s website to learn more about the policy and the process leading up to it:

In an unprecedented convergence of opinion from both sides of the open access issue, the Association of American Publishers praised the new policy, which it said “outlines a reasonable, balanced resolution of issues around public access to research funded by federal agencies.” Likewise, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) also praised the policy calling it “… a watershed moment. The Administration’s action marks a major step forward towards open access to scientific research.The Directive will accelerate scientific discovery, improve education, and empower entrepreneurs to translate research into commercial ventures and jobs. It’s good for our nation, our economy, and our future.” To learn more about the new policy and the reaction to it, read Jennifer Howard’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education “White House Delivers New Open-Access Policy That Has Activists Cheering” at

To learn why open access to research matters to students and faculty, both as users and creators of information, check out any number of presentations and articles in the USFSP Digital Archive under the subject “open access”