Heidi Senior | University of Portland

Heidi Senior

Reference & Instruction Librarian


senior-vertical.jpg“My parents were teachers, and I knew I wanted to have a career in education too. Now I’m a reference librarian and my main area of expertise is helping people search for, access, evaluate, and cite information sources, whatever those sources might be. The goal is to improve people’s facility with using information, which librarians call “information literacy.” 

I’m the Clark Library’s liaison to the Pamplin School of Business and to the Communication Studies department, assisting students with their research. I’ve also worked closely with the School of Nursing, both teaching and helping to develop the curriculum for Integrative Health & Wellness research-intensive classes.

I currently have a manuscript in review that I co-wrote with the Library’s previous Head of Public Services Jane Scott. We analyzed data and found that all but nine students in the 2019 graduating class at UP had at least one course where a librarian taught information literacy. 

The Clark Library was fortunate to receive a Dundon-Berchtold Ethics Initiative grant in the academic year 2017-2018, and I was part of the team, including two students, who gathered articles about ethics within libraries and then published an annotated bibliography. I helped train the students on where and how to look for articles, allowing them to work independently, bring the citations they found back to the group for discussion, and ultimately present the project. In their feedback the students said they appreciated how collaborative the process was, and how their input was encouraged and celebrated. 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job is getting to work directly with students as colleagues. I manage our Reference Assistant program, in which students provide reference service. During their training I present them with insights into learning, librarianship, and the structure and operation of the library’s services and resources. And I try to give them meaningful projects, such as looking for additions to the library collections, identifying resources to display, and editing our resource guides. The students are a huge help to the library, and I think they enjoy having a larger view of the world of information.”

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