Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2016 ALA/ ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2016 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from March 3 — 14. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 15.
Cheryl Middleton is Associate University Librarian for Learning and Engagement at the Oregon State University Libraries and Press in Corvallis, Oregon, and a 2016 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Vice-President/ President-Elect.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Communicative, Trustworthy, Problem-Solver.
2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am an avid reader and always have several books in progress so that I can learn new things and I also read for pleasure. Currently, I’m reading The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, by Judith Rodin. For fun I’m reading a young adult series by Sarah J. Maas called The Glass Throne.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, Innovative, Inspiring.
4. Why do you value about ACRL? ACRL sets the standards for us as library professionals in higher education and keeps us up-to-date with the latest practices and developments in higher education. By sharing this information with the membership, ACRL influences the way we think about how we teach, preserve knowledge and make resources discoverable to our users. ACRL advocates for libraries to continue to provide open access to the resources and tools that our users need to be successful researchers and life-long learners. For those of us in the profession, ACRL provides the research, resources and tools to keep our academic libraries viable and to keep up with the rapid pace of change in higher education. Most importantly, ACRL provides a safe place for our members to engage in dialogue and research that leads to the development of best practices and tools to contribute to our shared success as academic librarians.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I see myself as one of many librarians that makes the connections and engages in strategic collaborations that are necessary for the OSU Libraries and Press to develop and evaluate library services and resources that advance the Libraries’ ongoing role in shaping and transforming the University’s teaching, learning, research, and outreach mission. I do this by either forming or identifying collaborative partnerships that help the University community recognize the critical importance of libraries and our contributions to the campus that further the University’s strategic plan, with a focus on goal number 1, to “provide a transformative educational experience for all learners”.
6. In your own words: At a very early age, I realized that libraries had great power, making a world of resources available to anyone that had a library card. I was a first generation college student and the library literally opened up the world to me. I could learn about anything and there were people in the library that would help me get to that knowledge. I did not start out to be an academic librarian but as I learned more about libraries and what they do, providing resources that represent every side of an issue to create a well-informed democratic society, I decided I wanted to be a librarian. My curiosity and my need to find the “answer” made it a natural choice for me to be a reference librarian. I love helping others learn how to navigate the universe of resources and materials and help them find what they are looking for.
As I have progressed in my career, I have been fortunate to be at a land grant institution where lifelong learning and research are valued and I can help shape and develop services unique to our community. My other favorite thing about being an academic librarian is that it is like going back to school each fall when our new students arrive and we start the academic year. How cool is that? A job in which you are always learning and always going back to school.