February 17, 2018

Allie Flanary | Movers & Shakers 2012 — Tech Leaders

Discovery Doyenne

Allie Flanary Movers & Shakers 2012


Faculty Librarian, User Experience & Outreach Specialist
Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, OR

MLS, Emporia State University, KS, 2007

ACRL New Members Discussion Group and Orbis Cascade Alliance Summit Planning and Operations Team: User Experience

Portland Community College

Photo by M. Martinez

Allie Flanary creates meaningful lessons for students by focusing on student discovery rather than library tools. She continually seeks ways to keep her teaching fresh and appealing to students.

“[Students] keep me on my toes, occasionally toss me a stumper, and never fail to challenge my assumptions—for which I am grateful,” Flanary writes on her Portland Community College (PCC) faculty web page. “They teach me as much as I teach them.”

Flanary’s commitment to students’ user experience, combined with what colleagues call a natural teaching ability, may be why faculty at all three PCC campuses repeatedly ask for her. Donna Reed, library director at PCC, describes Flanary as a “next-generation librarian.”

Flanary is energetic, inventive, and tenacious and has made an indelible mark on PCC during her five years on staff. Her duties combine reference work, collection development, and library instruction with a focus on discovery and support for the school’s nursing program. “She is an enthusiastic advocate for community colleges—she loves them and gets their mission,” Reed says.

Her “next-generation” status wouldn’t be legitimate without her superior technical proficiency and a focus on UX (user experience), resulting in another outlet for her work ethic. Upon joining the staff, Flanary shook the dust off the library’s long-neglected website and transformed it into a modern, user-friendly asset for students. She then led the shift from an inventory-based library catalog to a system that works with discovery tools and implemented a librarian chat service.

Most recently, she is creating learning objects that can be used remotely. “I am endlessly fascinated by the world,” Flanary says.