Our strength is our people: Martha Higgins

Research Librarian Martha Higgins knows the best way to support student success is to meet students where they are. Recently Martha was embedded in a senior-level history class. In this role she worked closely with students, meeting with them individually, providing guidance in their research and attending class presentations. In essence, she was their on-call librarian!

But Martha ran into a snag when one of her students became so interested in his research topic that he decided to devote his honors thesis to it. Unfortunately the library didn’t have one of the primary sources he needed – a 24-volume set on the history of Canadian foreign affairs.

“Choosing a thesis topic is a difficult task. Because of the time and effort required of a thesis, we encourage students to choose a topic that truly interests them,” said Martha. “As a librarian, I consider it my duty to ensure our students have access to the resources they need.”

So Martha went to the source, contacting the Canadian foreign affairs department about obtaining the series. Not only did the department agree to donate the multi-volume set to Swem, Dr. Gregory Donaghy, head of the department’s historical section, will be visiting William & Mary in the spring to give a lecture on Canada and the Great War.

“Being embedded in this class made all the difference to the success of this student. When faculty and librarians work together to enhance the classroom experience, students benefit,” she said.