Member of the Week: Susan Mythen

Susan MythenSusan Mythen is a librarian at Florida State College at Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Maryland University College. Susan has been an ACRL member since 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 17, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Innovative, curious, encouraging.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I love to read and I’m a huge fan of audiobooks, so I usually have several titles going at once. I’ve just finished The Girls by Emma Cline, and I’m in the middle of The Passage by Justin Cronin, and The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. I’m also listening to Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir by Alan Cumming, which surprised me with its depth and intensity. I’m completely hooked.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Engaged professional network.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Before joining ACRL, I was trying to maneuver through the world of librarianship on my own without even realizing it. Through ACRL, I finally found a framework that made sense to me, as well as a community of people with similar interests, passions, and motivations. After attending several ACRL sessions at ALA Annual Conference, I felt as though I had finally “found my people”! I loved connecting with college and university librarians from all over the globe and sharing ideas, many of which I could take back and implement immediately. These connections make me a more effective instructor, librarian, and leader on campus.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? My colleagues joke with me that I am the Relevance Librarian, since I seem to be the one that pushes for some of the trendier items in the collection and in our programming. But all joking aside, I think it’s extremely important that we meet students where they are, and not where we wish they were. If bestsellers and board games get them through the library doors and make them comfortable interacting with the staff, then we are that much more likely to see them when they really need us academically. My number one priority is information literacy. I instruct students in a number of settings: a one-shot session, a reference appointment, a 4-week class. Regardless of how they come to me, I need them to leave feeling confident and empowered.

6. In your own words: Academic librarianship is more exciting and fulfilling than I ever could have imagined. No two days are ever the same! I love that the library community values intellectual curiosity and encourages its members toward professional and personal development. In the course of our duties we have the opportunity to read, research, and learn, and then share that knowledge with students and faculty. I can’t think of a more rewarding profession!


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at mpetrowski@ala.org for more information.