Alberich receives Troy University’s Book Token Award

Library Assistant Professor Lisa Vardaman and Dean Chris Shaffer are shown with 2022 Book Token Award winner Dr. Johanna Alberich.

Library Assistant Professor Lisa Vardaman and Dean Chris Shaffer are shown with 2022 Book Token Award winner Dr. Johanna Alberich.

Dr. Johanna Alberich, Assistant Professor of Spanish, has been honored with the Troy University’s Book Token Award for the support she has demonstrated for the TROY Libraries.

Presented during a presentation on Wednesday at the Troy Campus Library, the award recognizes faculty who provide service to and support of Troy University Libraries. The award has been presented periodically in the past but was reinstated as an annual award in 2018.

“Dr. Alberich became actively involved with the Wallace Hall Library as soon as she joined the TROY faculty,” said Dr. Chris Shaffer, Dean of Library Services. “She has advised us on library materials and collaborated on grants and presentations. She frequently works with our Education Reference Librarian, Lisa Vardaman. We feel lucky to have the support of Dr. Alberich. It is faculty such as her who help the University Libraries accomplish their mission.”

 Alberich, a member of the TROY faculty for 15 years, said receiving the award was an honor.

“I am honored to receive this recognition,” she said. “I am grateful to the library staff who are always willing to help me out in any way possible.”

Alberich said she wants her students to be aware of all of the resources that are available to them through the Troy University libraries.

“I like to think outside the box and take my students out of the classroom both literally and metaphorically,” she said. “Discussing Spanish literature in a library full of books is more exciting than the plain walls of Patterson Hall. I like to show the students the various databases and resources that are available, at no cost, to them that can help them with their language learning journey. For example, the library subscribes to MANGO languages, an interactive database for learning languages. I like to show students how to access it and how to supplement lessons learned in the classroom.”

Integrating the library’s resources into her coursework doesn’t end there, however.

“I try to make connections with my classes and the library special events. During banned books week, I take students to the library and we talk about banned books originally written in the Spanish language,” she said. “I take smaller classes to the bike room and have discussions in Spanish while riding bikes just to break up the monotony of the usual classroom. Every semester, I ask a librarian to visit my upper-level courses and teach my students how to do research in Spanish. After this presentation, I have found that students enjoy visiting the library and are more comfortable asking their librarian ‘amiga’ (friend) for help.”

Alberich said she has also worked closely with the library in hosting events.

“We have hosted various events at the library that have helped inspire students to learn more Spanish and go abroad or change their minor to Spanish,” she said. “One favorite collaboration is the Spanish Film Fest. With help from the library, we apply for grants and then are able to show recent films from all around the Spanish speaking world. These films lead to interesting class discussions. Librarian Lisa Vardaman and I have presented at a conference for librarians and at a conference for Spanish teachers on the topic of how librarians and teachers can work together to help students on their educational journey.”

Alberich hopes other faculty and staff will discover all that the TROY libraries have to offer.

“I encourage both faculty and staff to utilize the many resources we have available in the library,” she said.