Alydia Sims, library manager for standards management and assessment, has been named the Clemson Libraries Employee of the Year. The award, which was established in 1987, recognizes a libraries staff member for significant contributions and excellence in service, innovation and teamwork.
Her nominators cited her mentoring and leadership skills, her positive attitude and her passion for and dedication to improving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as some of the reasons why she should be Employee of the Year.
“She has become a role model for others in the libraries through her service on our diversity committee,” one nominator wrote. “She has also participated in professional development activities related to the use of EDI concepts in cataloging work. This has prepare her for future developments in using subject headings in the library catalog to better describe library resources and welcome patrons who are underrepresented in libraries.”
Sims has worked for the libraries since 2015 in the technical services and collection management division, where she manages quality control for processing collection items and produces and maintains authority control in the cataloging process.
She is also active in the libraries’ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and served on the committee that wrote and is implementing the libraries’ inclusive excellence strategic plan. She co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Library Administration about the inclusive excellence strategic planning process. Sims is also a certified qualified administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory, a tool that assesses someone’s inter-cultural competence.
Sims is also the co-principal investigator on a grant titled “Leading the Charge: Advancing the Recruitment, Retention and Inclusion of People of Color within the Library and Information Science Field.” The three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services was awarded in partnership with Hampton University and is meant to help improve recruitment and retention of people of color in the field of librarianship.
“Wherever I’ve worked, I’ve always tried to be service-minded and to look at my job performance in terms of what I can do to leave my mark on an organization,” Sims said. “When I leave here, I want people to say I made a difference when it comes to how people feel about their working environment and their ability to work with people from different backgrounds.”
Prior to coming to Clemson, Sims worked as cataloging and acquisitions coordinator at the library at Tri-County Technical College. She earned an associate degree from Tri-County, a Bachelor of Arts in history from Anderson University and a master’s degree in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix. She plans to start work soon on a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina.