On the Job: Librarian Focuses on New Initiatives

Posted: April 2, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Dave Andrews

Craig Gibson
Craig Gibson
Photo by Evan Cantwell

For Craig Gibson, there’s no such thing as a typical day. Mason’s associate university librarian for research, instructional and outreach services is constantly interacting with people in the libraries and throughout the university.

“We’re really focused on moving the library forward, as well as integrating the expertise of our librarians within the classroom setting,” Gibson says. “Our efforts continually focus on identifying and developing new initiatives that enhance the learning environment here at Mason.”

One of Gibson’s main concerns is the library’s Liaison Program, which develops a direct relationship between academic programs and the librarians. Liaison librarians, located on all Mason campuses, consult and collaborate with students and faculty on their research needs, select library materials in assigned subject areas, communicate with academic departments, instruct classes and provide one-on-one research assistance in person and by phone, e-mail and instant messaging.

Gibson says the program has been very successful so far, showing how each librarian is a valued resource in the university.

For nearly 20 years, Gibson has been developing instruction and outreach programs like the Liaison Program for academic libraries that advance integration of libraries into the research, teaching and service missions of colleges and universities.

He’s also no stranger to presenting at national conferences and conducting workshops, specifically to share his teaching experiences with information literacy and its connection with critical thinking.

Though his efforts have been recognized with a number of awards throughout his career, Gibson was still pleasantly surprised to hear of his most recent acknowledgment.

Gibson has learned he will receive the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section’s Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award in June. The award is given annually to a librarian who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction at a college or research library.

“This is probably the biggest award I’ve received,” Gibson says. “I imagine the nomination stems from what I’ve written and published on information literacy, and also for my participation in the ACRL Immersion Program, which is a summer institute focused on information literacy for librarians.”

Gibson came to Mason in 1996, serving as associate university librarian for public services until 2005, when he became associate university librarian for research, instructional and outreach services.

“Mason has a very open attitude and spirit about trying new things and developing new ideas,” says Gibson. “It’s a great environment to examine what really helps student academic success, and the library is central to that goal.”

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