Meet Your Librarian
Throughout the Spring 2019 semester, the Eugene McDermott Library will be highlighting some of our amazing library staff in an ongoing series designed to help students, faculty and staff get to know the many faces of the library who are here to help you discover relevant, authoritative and scholarly resources.
Chris Edwards, Assistant Head of Information Literacy
When a Eugene McDermott Library staff member needs a creative idea for a project, a valuable employee to sit on a committee or an insightful answer to a problem, they often turn to one person: Chris Edwards.
As Assistant Head of Information Literacy, instruction librarian and liaison to the Jindal School of Management, Edwards has multiple roles, including teaching students how to prepare for their papers and projects using library resources, both one-to-one and in-class sessions. He also teaches two for-credit library research courses that help guide students to find, evaluate and use information, as well as a number of other workshops.
Edwards also coordinates the library instruction online courses, writing and updating content as needed, provides reference assistance at the Services Desk on the second floor of the library and through the library’s online chat service and participates in workshops and outreach activities highlighting library resources.
“I like teaching; it’s rewarding to connect with students. Sometimes we get people who are really overwhelmed or lost when it comes to research and it’s great to see them gain confidence and start to work on their own,” Edwards said.
“Chris is patient and engaging when doing library sessions, and students respond well to this. He is always willing to assist with programs, outreach and promoting the instruction program and the library. He motivates others with his creativity and enthusiasm. He has a great sense of humor and personality,” said Loreen Henry, Head of Information Literacy.
A native of Bangor, Maine, Edwards is the son of a U.S. Army veteran, and his family settled into civilian life when Edwards was 12 in Lubbock, where he went to junior high, high school and college. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Texas Tech University.
When he was younger, he wanted to be an actor and a singer. Along the way, he worked at Texas Tech’s library as a student. “Later, I worked as a paraprofessional in the libraries at SMU and I eventually decided that between my love of performing and my love of education, the library was going to be the option that would allow me to best support myself,” Edwards said.
He later went back to school and got a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas.
“I was always a know-it-all as a kid. Now I get to do it for a living,” Edwards said. “The secret is that I don’t actually have to know anything if I can find information quickly when I need it.”
Since joining the McDermott Library staff in 2008, Edwards usually finds himself in a leadership role and has earned respect and praise from his colleagues. In 2015, he won the Ethel Ward-McLemore Award for Library Excellence, a prestigious award received each year by McDermott Library employees that honors staff members who have exhibited excellent service to the UT Dallas community.
With his take-charge manner and outstanding contributions, Edwards has landed on a number of library and University committees.
“I think this just reflects on his personality since staff seem to always want to include him. Chris shows really great judgment and works well with others; he is willing to discuss his ideas and opinions with fellow staff in an effort to help guide solutions or ideas,” Henry said.
Whether he’s encouraging a student to use the many resources available at the library or working with the McDermott Student Advisory Group to help create a better library user experience, Edwards’ influence, creativity and energy are always apparent, Henry said, as he continues to work toward finding ways to market the instruction program and the library.
Outside of the library, Edwards is involved in community theater groups and participates in several productions each year.
Learn more about Chris Edwards:
Assistant Head of Information Literacy
BA in Theater Arts, Texas Tech University; MS in Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas
My career at McDermott began in
What do you like best about your job and working at the McDermott Library?
“I think the best part my job as an instruction librarian is getting to introduce students to using the resources that are available here, and when they come back, they can tell me about their projects or how successful they were on their papers, and it makes me feel good as a librarian to know that I contributed to their learning.”
Contact Edwards by email or phone: 972-883-2614.