<span class="padlock_text"></span> v28 #4 Profiles Encouraged: Karen R. Harker

by | Oct 2, 2016 | 0 comments

Collection Assessment Librarian, University of North Texas Libraries
1155 Union Circle, #305190, Denton, Texas, 76203
Phone:  (940) 565-2688  •  <Karen.harker@unt.edu>
http://librariesareforuse.wordpress.com/

Born and lived:  Born in California, but moved to Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas, as a toddler.  Grew up in Richardson, Texas.  Served in the U.S. Navy out of high school, and was stationed in Japan and California.  Returned to Texas after service.

prof_photo_karen_harkerearly life:  Typical family life in suburban Dallas…happily, with no real tragedies or disruptions.

professional career and activities:  My life has always centered around libraries and librarianship.  My mother was a school librarian, and I spent part of my service manning the base library.  This led to my first job out of the military at a public library, which gave me the experience that was considered necessary for my paraprofessional position at the UT Southwestern Medical Library.  After completing the MLS program at Texas Woman’s University in late 1999, I became their Web Librarian and eventually Research & Development Librarian.  Currently, I am Collection Assessment Librarian at the University of North Texas Libraries in Denton.

Admittedly, there were diversions along the way;  first was my brief stint as a school teacher (it is amazing how many people have these brief stints).  Then there was my longer, and potentially more permanent stint in public health.  I received my MPH in 2007, took a position as biostatistician for a clinical trial, and nearly completed my coursework for a PhD in epidemiology.  But the trial’s primary investigator moved to another university and took her money with her, and I was left in a department with nothing interesting to do.  I “returned to Mama” when I saw the position for Collection Assessment Librarian, which is a perfect combination of my deep and personal relationship with librarianship and my skills and training in analysis and assessment.

Family:  Husband, and hopefully a new dog in the near future;  Mother and sister’s family living in the area.  Father passed away far too recently.

in my spare time:  I’ve been playing ice hockey since the Dallas Stars first (and last) won the Stanley Cup.  In between games, I play with data, read, and play two instruments: alto sax and clarinet.

favorite books:  My traditional favorites had been those from childhood and college years (Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird), but more recent favorites include Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars, Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, Marissa Pessel’s Night Film, and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead.

pet peeves:  Line-cutting and knee-jerk reactions.

philosophy:  What you see may not be all there is.

most memorable career achievement:  The basic infrastructure of the UT Southwestern Medical Library, that I built and implemented, is still in use today, nearly 8 years after I left.  True, it looks much nicer and more professional, but it’s nice to know that something I worked so hard to develop can still be useful after so many years (in “computer years,” no less).

goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  I am working on developing the infrastructure that would enable the UNT Libraries stakeholders see the value of our collection on student and faculty outcomes.

how/where do I see the industry in five years:  Not very far from where we are going now.  I believe the revolution to eBooks will be farther along, as well as further expansion of openly-available content (especially regarding textbooks).  But we will still be providing the same basic services of monographic and serial content, as well as access to more digitized primary sources.  I hope audiovisual streaming will be opened up, but I’m not holding my breath.

 

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