Welcome Melanie Hubbard – Digital Scholarship Instruction Librarian

What drew you to the position at Boston College?

I was at a point where I wanted to focus more on digital scholarship related pedagogy, an area for which there are limited opportunities. DS positions tend to be geared toward projects or combine projects and pedagogy, as my previous position did. When I saw the BC posting, I thought, that’s exactly what I’m looking for. I was also drawn to BC libraries–the way in which digital scholarship activities are being developed–and the larger institution–the rigor of BC and its Jesuit mission with all that entails, including a focus on liberal arts and undergraduate education. Finally, I’m a big fan of the East Coast, so the location was a big draw. Of course, when I told people in Los Angeles, where I relocated from, that I was moving to Boston, they inevitably brought up the weather. (Seriously, everyone did this.) From their facial expressions, I could observe them desperately trying to comprehend my decision. It was a little taxing but also amusing. I’m sure I’ll think of their response when I’m walking to work or taking public transportation instead of sitting in traffic for hours every day…and this winter.

What do you think the biggest change to your job will be once we are back in the library – how did the COVID crisis affect your role?

Since I’ve only worked remotely for BC so far, seeing actual people will be a huge change, and a very welcomed one. Beyond that, the biggest change will be teaching online. I’ve taught online in various ways but not to the extent that I and many of us will likely be doing. I’m contemplating how to translate my teaching style and practices to be as effective in an online environment and see the situation as being an interesting problem to solve.

What surprised you most about starting at the Boston College Libraries?

That I would do so during one of the worst pandemics since 1918. (I really didn’t see that one coming when I interviewed.) With so many people unable to work and losing their employment, I know how lucky I am to have been able to start this position.

Do you have a favorite tool for analysis or research? What is it and what do you like about it? 

I’m really drawn to geography and spatial analysis, so I like mapping, which includes GIS. The tools one can use for this kind of work range in complexity from Google MyMaps to ArcGIS. 

What should your teammates at BC know about you?

Even when I seem serious, I always see the humor in a situation.