Amanda Hornby

Odegaard Undergraduate Instruction Coordinator / Geography Librarian

The Honors Librarian Program is a partnership between UW Honors and the UW Libraries to provide undergraduate Honors students with an introduction to the library system and a series of friendly specialists who are interested in supporting students' research needs. There are an entire cohort of librarians who are available to help you develop a thesis for a research paper, direct you to the most useful journal or book to support your research, and they can even suggest the best place to study on campus! The librarians are knowledgeable, well-integrated in the larger UW community, and are eager to meet and work with students like you! Don't miss out on this excellent opportunity to take advantage of this valuable resource!

To give you an idea of how fabulous our Honors Librarian Mentors really are, check out our featured Honors Librarian of the quarter: Amanda Hornby! Amanda has been instrumental in establishing this wonderful partnership and has been doing amazing work with the Odegaard Undergraduate Library!

Amanda Hornby
Amanda Hornby
UW Libraries

How and why did you decide to become a librarian?

After completing my undergraduate degree at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR I worked in the children’s book publishing industry, then moved to Seattle to work as a copywriter in advertising. I had always loved reading, helping people and technology and, as I wasn’t satisfied with either career, I decided to attend graduate school at the UW Information School to become a librarian. I loved the academic environment and research, so I decided to go into academic librarianship. I started my career at the UW Bothell/Cascadia Community College Campus Library and came to UW Seattle’s Odegaard Library in 2008.

What is your personal area of interest/focus/research?

Right now I am working on a research project that will assess the renovated Odegaard Library spaces by investigating student and faculty experiences in the Active Learning Classrooms and student experience of library spaces. My ongoing research deals with student learning assessment and libraries, as well as student research habits and library use.

Why did you decide to get involved in the Honors Librarian Program?

I love the interdisciplinary focus of the Honors program, the dedicated Honors staff, and the program’s experiential learning component. It’s been very rewarding to work with Honors students over the years to provide customized research and writing help on everything from course assignments to the Honors portfolio.

What do you enjoy most about working with students?

Students at the UW are so engaged and smart -- I learn so much from them and I love that aspect of my job. I enjoy helping students get excited about the research process and coming up with their own, unique research questions. I love demystifying complex research resources, data or articles for students and helping them feel empowered to write fantastic research papers, presentations and more.

What advice would you give to current undergraduate students?

Take advantage of all of the great opportunities available at UW! Meet with your advisers, subject librarians, faculty, and peer tutors at the Odegaard Writing & Research Center early and often. These folks are dedicated to supporting student success and have lots of resources at their fingertips to help students at any stage of their college career.

What advice would you give to a current senior (both a high school senior / college application AND a soon-to-be-college grad)?

For current seniors, I would say don’t put too much pressure on yourself in terms of which college major you decide on or what your job is right outside of college. This is a great time to explore, try on different majors and jobs, and just generally allow yourself time to figure out who you are and what you’re interested in.

What's your favorite place on campus and why?

Besides the new and improved Odegaard Library, I really like the Henry Art Gallery. I enjoy seeing what new exhibits and installations are up each quarter and love the Stumptown coffee at Molly’s cafe.

What's the most under-used resource at the libraries?

We have some really cool image databases that provide high-res images of everything from current events (AP Images) to art (ArtStor). I love art and design and am a very visual person, so I think these are great resources that can be used in really creative ways for presentations, research and more.

If you could check out a book from a UW library, what would it be and why?

I love checking out our Good Reads section in Odegaard for current novels, bestsellers and pleasure reading. If I had to choose just one book, I would say The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman, which is a photography book based on the street style fashion blog of the same name. This book combines my love of images, art and travel.

What does a typical day look like for a UW Librarian?

On a busy day you will find me teaching research workshops to graduate or undergraduate students, meeting with librarian colleagues to better design library services and spaces for students, collaborating with a faculty member teaching in our new Active Learning Classrooms, holding office hours in the Odegaard Writing & Research Center, buying journals, books and films for the Department of Geography, and consulting with a student on a research project.

Can you identify a mentor that you had as an undergraduate student? Can you say a little bit about what that experience was like?

When I was an undergraduate student, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, post-graduation. I had a great professor who encouraged me to look into internships, which helped me land a great internship and first job in publishing. Without his encouragement I would have felt much more lost and unsure what I wanted to do, career-wise, as a new graduate.