September 2, 2014

Alicia Virtue | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Change Agents

Movers2014webBigVirtueb Alicia Virtue | Movers & Shakers 2014    Change Agents

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CURRENT POSITION
Electronic Services Librarian
Santa Rosa Junior College

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DEGREE MLS, UCLA, 1982

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SECRET AGENT LIBRARIAN
Once oversaw library operations at U.S. embassies in 11 European countries—a job that required top secret clearance

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FOLLOW
www.santarosa.edu/~avirtue; www.santarosa.edu/library/art; www.youtube.com/user/SRJCLibraries#p/a

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Photo by Sherrie Rochelle Blondin

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Tool Builder

Electronic services librarian Alicia Virtue’s unique perspective on websites, electronic resources, and teaching has led her to collaborate with other librarians, artists, and a database vendor to help users discover more at Santa Rosa Junior College’s (SRJC) two libraries. Her passion, says Virtue, is to “develop tools to make the best quality information available to students and instructors in the easiest way possible.”

Inspired by students writing papers about the library’s Doyle Art Collection, Virtue collaborated last summer with colleague Loretta Esparza to create grant-funded online “art enrichment zones” featuring some 80 artist video interviews, related books, biographies, and other materials to showcase the artwork. “Having an art historian sister, I know how much more enriching art is when someone helps guide you toward understanding the context and significance of a work,” says Virtue. QR codes next to artwork direct students to the online multimedia Art Talk. iPads are available for gallery visitors without smartphones.

Virtue often puts in 11 hours a day “troubleshooting, inventing, notifying, coding, innovating, and providing unbelievable services,” as she manages the library website, ILS, and databases, as well as teaches, says colleague Caitlin Downing. Her drive and dedication set her apart, says Kevin Leffew, a VP of field sales at EBSCO Information Services. Virtue helped EBSCO develop and test its new “Reading List Tool,” a plug-in that streamlines online classroom access to library resources and is now used atacademic libraries worldwide.

According to Cherry Li-Bugg, dean of learning resources and educational technology at SRJC, Virtue has embraced both the idea of the libraries as a center for innovation for the region and has made them the campus technology leader by taking services for students into the 21st century.

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