In addition to working as the Social Sciences Librarian for the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Professional & Extended Studies, and the Department of Health Studies, Nikhat is an Organization Development MS Candidate, in the School of Public Affairs. She majored in History and minored in Anthropology as an undergraduate at Cleveland State University, then went on to earn her master’s degree in Library & Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2011, Nikhat was one of eighteen fellows selected for the Association of Research Libraries’ Leadership & Career Development Program for mid-career librarians. This fellowship sparked her desire to return to graduate school at American University.
Where can you find her?
Nikhat can be found at the Research Assistance Desk, where she helps students and scholars to find their footing and thrive in the AU community, and in the classroom. She also engages with the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Health Studies, Sociology, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) supporting faculty research and teaching students about information literacy. Additionally, Nikhat supports Washington Internships for Native Students, Washington Semester and Graduate Gateway Programs.
In the evenings and on the weekends she does most of her grad school research from home, “thanks to all of the great electronic resources available through the Library website, especially the subject specific databases.” Her strategy for eliminating distractions and being productive: “When I am getting ready to write research papers, I unplug the TV, go to my makeshift standing desk, and allow my books and articles to take over the dining room table.”
When she takes a break from work and research, one of Nikhat’s favorite hobbies is photography, which gives her a perfect reason to explore the sights of DC.
Why she loves her job
“The Library is the heart of campus. We aren’t just a study space, we’re a second home for students, a reflective space where students can internalize the knowledge that they are beginning to master in the classroom.”
For Nikhat, the allure of librarianship was the chance to help others. “Working with students gives me an opportunity to explore unique and fascinating areas of research. I want to empower the students at AU to find their own path to researching their topic – and that starts with drawing out their knowledge and passion.”
In the community
At AU, Nikhat recently served on the Graduate Curriculum Committee and is Co-Chair of the Mentoring Committee for the University Library Faculty Council. As a member of the American Library Association (ALA), Nikhat serves on the ALA Awards Committee at the national level and recently chaired the ALA Beta Phi Mu Award, which honors an individual each year for distinguished service to education for librarianship. This year for the ALA Awards Committee, Nikhat will be serving on the jury for the Joseph W. Lippincott Award.
As a librarian with a “dedication to diversity and international communities” Nikhat loves being at a university with such a globally diverse student population. “The work I do is all about student and faculty engagement. It is so rewarding to build relationships here at AU and to have the opportunity to be involved in the learning and personal growth of our students.”