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Dean of University Libraries: Dean of University Libraries

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Carol Hixson
Dean of University Libraries

Florida Atlantic University
Wimberly Library, LY 232
777 Glades Road
P.O Box 3092
Boca Raton, FL 33431 
Dean's Blog

Tel:   561-297-3717
Fax:  561-297-2189

Welcome Message from Dean Carol Hixson

Welcome to FAU’s Libraries
and the 2017-2018 Academic Year!

Bienvenidos a las Bibliotecas de FAU. Bienvenue aux bibliothèques de la FAU. Byenvini nan Bibliyotèk FAU yo.

Welcome to the new academic year in the FAU Libraries.  For those of you who are new to FAU, we invite you to discover our spaces, our collections, and the services offered by our welcoming, professional faculty and staff at three different locations: Boca Raton, Jupiter, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. For students in Davie and Fort Lauderdale, our partnerships with Broward County and Broward College provide you direct access to library spaces and materials, in addition to being able to use all of the collections and services available to all FAU students and faculty at the FAU-run branch libraries.

Main Branch Broward County Public Library serving FAU students and faculty in Ft. Lauderdale

- Main Branch Broward County Public Library serving FAU students and faculty in Ft. Lauderdale

For those of you who are returning, you will see that we have been busy while you were away for the summer.

In the Wimberly Library on the Boca Raton campus, we have made some changes you will see as soon as you walk in the door, as well as others that might take you a little longer to discover. As you enter the Wimberly Library, you’ll be struck by the shiny new flooring (getting rid of the ancient green carpeting) that transformed the concrete underneath into a gleaming surface that makes you think you’re walking on water.

Directly in front of you as you enter the Wimberly Library is the new single service desk. We have removed the old Reference Desk and have discontinued the use of the old Circulation Desk, replacing both of them with a single desk where you can check out books, learn how to use the catalog, get help accessing our electronic journals or databases, pick up a key for a study room, or get detailed reference and research assistance. The goal is for everyone to be able to get connected to help for everything in one place. This is the first phase of a more comprehensive redesign of the first floor that will open up more individual and group seating and increase access to help and newer technology.

You will see several new charging stations in Wimberly that were provided by Student Government to allow you to charge your mobile devices easily and securely.

- New Charging Station in Wimberly Library

Still to come in the spot where the old Reference Desk was will be a new, improved workspace for assistive technology (ADA workstations). This new space will be more central and also provide privacy for students with disabilities. Some of the specialized software and equipment available will include Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzweil 3000, JAWS for Windows, ZoomText,Dolphin Easy Reader, Plustek Book Reader V100 Scanner, and the SmartView Xtend video magnifier. We also have available for check out the Eschenbach Electronic Magnifying Glass and the Victor Reader Stream (New Generation). Until the new space is completed, students should check at the Single Service Desk for the location of the equipment and software.

- Location for the new ADA Workstations

Another improvement can be seen in the group study rooms in Wimberly. The upper walls have been repainted with special paint that can be written on like white boards. In addition, a project funded by the Student Technology Fee will soon be completed to provide new monitors in the group study rooms that will easily connect to the network. Both of these changes should greatly enhance the functionality of the study rooms. In the past two years, we have also increased the number of group study rooms available for checkout by twenty per cent –  from twenty-five to thirty.

- New Whiteboard Walls in Group Study Rooms

Graduate students and College of Medicine students will be pleased to discover that there is now a group study room (available for checkout at the front service desk on the first floor) in the spacious Graduate Student Lounge that was opened last year.

- One of the Open Study Areas in the Graduate Student Lounge

The crowning jewel for the fall semester is the new multi-purpose space on the fifth floor of the Wimberly Library. In the early summer, we finished phase one of the fifth floor renovation, opening up an entire floor that had previously only been accessible to staff or for special events. We have added over 100 seats for individual and group study, with all kinds of spaces and furniture to meet a wide variety of needs. The floor is an open conversation area but there are many spots where people can study quietly, aided by the privacy screens that surround many seating areas.

- New Fifth Floor Multi-Purpose space

The Wi-Fi has been enhanced on the fifth floor, as well. With lots of natural lighting and comfortable seating, the floor has quickly become a favorite gathering and study place for everyone. The furniture is designed to be easily moved so that we can host lectures and presentations at times when students will not be disrupted. Funding for this renovation was granted by President John Kelly. When you come to the floor, take a minute to write a “thank you” card to let President Kelly know how much you appreciate his support.

- Thank you note written by a student on May 30, with name and contact information edited out

Another coming change to the Wimberly Library is a planned Serenity Lounge, a non-denominational space that will be open to members of the FAU community with an Owl Card who are seeking a quiet place to pray or meditate. This new space will supplement the space that is currently available in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs . The room is also the most recent manifestation of the FAU Libraries’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, articulated strongly in our Diversity & Inclusion Statement. We hope to have this room ready for use by the middle of September.

Led by Director Ethan Allen, the faculty and staff of the MacArthur Library in Jupiter are devoted to providing exceptional service to Jupiter faculty and students.


 - Dean Carol Hixson enjoying comfortable study carrels at Jupiter

Director of the HBOI Library, Pamela Alderman, assisted one day a week by the MacArthur Library’s Assistant Director Leah Plocharczyk, applies innovative thinking to provide outstanding service to the researchers and students who have their home base at Harbor Branch.

The FAU Libraries are here to serve all the students and faculty of FAU, regardless of their field of study, their physical location, or their backgrounds. We are on the move, constantly evaluating our spaces, our collections, and our services. There will be many new exhibits, programs, and events at the Libraries this year. We encourage everyone to come check things out, provide us feedback, and use our services, either physically or virtually, to ensure your academic success as a member of the FAU community.

Check us out physically or virtually on our Website or on our Facebook page or other social media sites.

We are here for you!

Carol Hixson, M.S.
Dean of University Libraries
Florida Atlantic University

Dean of University Libraries

Dean Carol Hixson has been a professional librarian since 1984, earning her Master of Science in Information Studies from Drexel University that year. She has worked in some of the best academic research libraries in North America as a paraprofessional and librarian, including Cornell University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Florida, Indiana University, UCLA, and the University of Oregon. Immediately prior to joining FAU in August 2015, she served as the Dean of Library at USF St. Petersburg for six years and as the University Librarian (dean) at the University of Regina in Canada for three years.

Dean Hixson has a lifelong interest in other cultures and points of view, as attested to by her bachelor’s degree with honors in Spanish language and literature from Grinnell College, as well as her study of five other foreign languages. She loves to travel and have conversations with people in all parts of the world and has combined her love of other cultures with her profession by conducting a series of workshops on digital libraries and the open access movement in Spain a few years ago, as well as a recent webinar in Spanish for the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services.

As a librarian, Dean Hixson has always been devoted to serving diverse populations and to increasing access to information for all members of the communities of which she has been a part. This dedication has led her to spearhead the development of digital collections at the University of Oregon, the University of Regina, and at USF St. Petersburg. Using digital technology to open up access to primary source materials that would otherwise be accessible only to a handful of people is one of her passions. She also believes that digital collections serve as a means of developing or enhancing partnerships between the university and the broader community. Community engagement is another of her passions.

At FAU, Dean Hixson plans to continue the work she started at USF St. Petersburg to build a suite of library services designed to enhance the student experience by working closely with students, faculty, and the broader community. This will include hosting a wide variety of both fun and educational events for students, such as visits of Therapy Dogs International (visits 3-5 times a year at USFSP since December 2012), an annual Graduate Students Reception, an annual Halloween Costume Contest, Student Research Colloquia, and a variety of talks and exhibits featuring local artists, museums, and cultural organizations. Building on her experience redesigning the library at USFSP, Dean Hixson will also be leading the redesign of the physical space of the FAU Libraries to make them more inviting, functional, and conducive to collaboration. She will also be working to develop a broader range of services to support FAU’s wonderfully diverse student population. She invites all students and faculty of FAU to share their ideas and suggestions with her and tell her what is working and what needs improvement.

Current Projects and Research Interests

  • Academic Library Space Redesign as a Reflection of Changing Student Needs
  • Community/University Partnerships to Enhance Higher Education
  • Supporting Faculty and Student Research through Open Access Digital Collections
  • The Academic Library’s Role in Student Recruitment and Retention
  • Library Services to Diverse Populations

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Library Leadership in a Digital Age Institute, Harvard University (Selected in 2013).
  • Frye Leadership Institute, Educause and CLIR (Selected in 2012)
  • Corrigan Solari Faculty Fellowship Award (2004) for being a “model of a 21st century librarian who represents the best in team building and barrier demolishing.”
  • COLT/Library Mosaics Outstanding Supporter of Support Staff Award (2002 Nomination)
  • Beta Phi Mu (elected 1985)
  • U.S. Department of Education Fellowship, full tuition and stipend, for pursuit of Master’s Degree at Drexel University (1983/1984)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (elected 1977)


Selected Publications


Contact Information

Mail: Dean of University Libraries, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431


Phone: (561) 297-3717