Member of the Week: Robin M. Katz

Robin KatzRobin M. Katz is the outreach and public services librarian for Special Collections and University Archives at the University of California, Riverside in Riverside, CA. Robin first joined ACRL in 2007 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 10, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, strategic, and communicative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Since I moved to LA and bought a car, I now spend my long commute listening to podcasts. A LOT of podcasts. I’m a big fan of Gimlet’s shows, especially Reply All, which is about the internet; Twice Removed, about genealogy; and Heavyweight, which defies categorization and approaches poetry. There’s little I love more than eating, so I always look forward to Gastropod, about the history and science of food, and I really enjoy The Sporkful. For explorations of identity, I love Tablet’s Unorthodox, for us modern, irreverent Jews; Slate’s Double X about gender and feminism; 2 Dope Queens; and NPR’s Code Switch. Finally, I think my professional practices benefit from listening in on the entrepreneurial and business worlds through Planet Money, Freakonomics, NPR’s interviews with successful company founders on How I Built This and Gimlet’s Startup—especially season 1 about starting Gimlet and this last season about the controversial founder of American Apparel.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: An opportunity, a resource, and a community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I’m active in RBMS and the annual RBMS Conference it is by far my favorite professional conference because the quality of programming is so high (that’s the plus side of having business meetings at ALA Midwinter and Annual. The cons, of course, are time and money). I always suggest that my colleagues in archives and special collections make the RBMS Conference a priority—it is an ideal size, the daily itinerary is easy to navigate as an attendee, the community is welcoming and approachable, and the sessions are both smart and interesting.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a special collections librarian and archivist focused on public services, I connect people (on our campus, but also beyond!) to primary sources. I hope we create meaningful interactions with our collections which help our users explore, learn, grow, play with, and reflect on issues that matter to them.

6. In your own words: Librarianship is a perfect fit for generalists! I am always learning something new.


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.