Member of the Month: Stephanie Otis
Name: Stephanie Otis
Institution: University of North Carolina Charlotte
Job Title: Associate Dean for Public Services
How long have you been a member of ULS?
I have been a member since 2013.
What or who inspires your work?
I am inspired by our students and by my colleagues in the library. I am proud to work at an institution that values and supports a diverse student body, and I love being reminded at this time every year how eager and impressive our students are. I also work with a talented and committed group of people in the library. Collaborating with them and seeing their creativity, persistence, energy, and empathy makes me want to be better and find new ways to support and advocate for their work.
I am also inspired by critical pedagogy greats like Paulo Freire and bell hooks, and library heroes who have taken up this work in our profession.
What most excites you about academic librarianship?
I am excited to be part of great change in higher education. I love that many academic libraries are gaining more of a voice on their campuses as faculty and administrators recognize our role as collaborators in everything from curricular initiatives to community engagement to space planning. I value working in an environment where inquiry and lifelong learning are celebrated and innovation is everywhere.
What exciting or interesting project are you working on right now?
UNC Charlotte is participating in the Digital Polarization Initiative, a project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities to address issues of misinformation and divisiveness in online environments. Along with the other participating schools, we are testing web-specific instructional methods to teach students how to better evaluate and share information.
What do you do for fun?
I love to travel, and exhaustive research and planning is half the fun for me. I also enjoy Netflix binging with my husband and dogs, sharing meals with friends, and reading (of course).