Member of the Week: Ashleigh D. Coren

Ashleigh D. CorenAshleigh D. Coren is a resident librarian at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Ashleigh first joined ACRL in 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 5, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Perceptive, empathetic, determined.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Shea Serrano’s The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979 and Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen and Shannon Watters, which were both fantastic. I am almost done with Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild and am rereading Bobby Brown’s memoir, Every Little Step: My Story, for fun.

As for podcasts, I try to keep up with You Must Remember This and The Read.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, adaptable, standards.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Over the past year I’ve been able to connect with some wonderful people who both affirm and stretch my perception of what it means to be a librarian in the 21st century. To meet individuals, particularly those of color, who work tirelessly to transcend the boundaries of what it means to be an academic librarian, while being their authentic selves, is always a privilege.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’ve spent the last year working with our library administrative team on various initiatives to support our underserved communities on campus including commuter students, student veterans, and first-generation students. In the last academic year I’ve developed workshops on library services for our retention programs, coordinated short videos to promote our services to student veterans, and mentored students. Working in the dean’s office has been quite the experience–I’ve learned quite a bit about the complexities of organizational change and the importance of creating a work environment where people feel empowered and are encouraged to see opportunity within uncertainty.

On top of the work I do through the dean’s office, I also teach! Right now I’m co-teaching an online course on film and media literacy.

6. In your own words: I love the fluidity of academic librarianship and am energized by the fact that I know as my career progresses, my interests and areas of expertise will shift as well. I’m also excited by all of the discussions and debates regarding diversity and inclusion in higher education and am curious to see whether these conversations will lead to a reexamination of what success looks like in our 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.