STARGazing: Meet Heidi Nance

Twice a year, RUSA STARS recognizes a STARGazer for the outstanding work and contributions to resource sharing. Learn more about our most current STARGazer, Heidi Nance by watching this short video:

1. What is your institutional affiliation?
I am the Head of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle, WA. I also have a 20% FTE appointment as the Scholarly Communications Projects Librarian.

2. What’s your OCLC / DOCLINE symbol?

3. What would be the title of your autobiography?
“Look, we can do this the easy way, or I can make you a spreadsheet.”

4. How did you get involved in Resource Sharing?
After graduating with my B.A. in English at Seattle Pacific University I took a position as the Interlibrary Loan Coordinator in their library. I’d worked as a student employee in their computer lab for several years, and moving to a staff position seemed like a logical next step. But it would be several years – and a few jobs! – later that I enrolled in the University of Washington’s iSchool to work on my MLIS degree. I returned to ILL while working on that degree and haven’t left since!

5. What are you passionate about?
Oh, so many things. Intellectual freedom, leadership, time management, and change management are just a few. Most recently, at the Northwest ILL Conference in September 2016 I heard Char Booth speak about Information Privilege and was really struck by this concept. Libraries in general and Resource Sharing in particular are at the front lines of enforcing information privilege – who gets access to what materials, when, how, for how long, and under what terms. We are also members of a community that is uniquely able to access almost any information almost anywhere, and that is a privilege that relatively few people in the world possess. I’ve been pondering what this means to us as a community, and what moral and ethical imperative it puts upon us to push back against the limits that are set upon us and advocate – hard – for those less privileged than we are.

6. What do you feel are the benefits of your STARS membership, and why would you encourage others to get involved?
There are so many benefits to being a STARS member! Service on these national-level committees is a very useful thing to include in your promotion and tenure documentation. But even better, membership instantly plugs you into a rich community of diverse library practitioners with hundreds – if not thousands – of combined years of resource sharing experience. We find solidarity in shared, similar experiences and we learn from each other’s uniquely different libraries, policies, collections, and systems. The breadth of perspectives is refreshing and inspiring – there is almost always someone willing to talk with you about a problem you’re facing, or a puzzle you can’t figure out, or a rare document you just can’t track down.

7. What do you wish you’d known when you started out in resource sharing?
I like to say that Resource Sharing is the library at scale. We touch all parts of the library – discovery, cataloging, circulation, special collections, systems, administration, budgets and billing, user experience, reference, etc. Resource Sharing librarians need a basic understanding of all areas of the library and an in-depth understanding of some in particular. For example, I never knew I’d need to know so much about OpenURL and XML data records! Also, befriend all the experts in your library. Get to know your licensing librarian, your collection assessment librarian, your head of reference, etc. You will need all of these people in order to maximize the effectiveness of what you do!

8. How has your STARS membership helped you do your job?
Being a STARS member keeps me plugged into a community with a rich set of documentation of resource sharing standards, practices, and expectations. It’s so helpful to be able to turn to the ILL Code when advocating for local policy change, or to consult the 5 Things Every New Resource Sharing Librarian Should Know when training a new staff member, or the Guidelines for Interlibrary Loan Operations Management when writing job descriptions.

9. What are you reading?
I always have three or four books going at a time! Right now I’m reading Drums of Autumn  by Diana Gabaldon (the fourth book in the Outlander series), The Quantum and the Lotus by Matthieu Ricard, and re-reading Peter Suber’s Open Access book.

10. Share your favorite fun fact about yourself.
I have a mild form of synesthesia where all numbers and colors have personalities. I also had six wisdom teeth and have a not-so-mild obsession with time management and productivity tools both analog and digital.


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