Member of the Week: Stewart J. Van Cleve

Stewart J. Van CleveStewart J. Van Cleve is a digital archives and research services librarian at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN. Stewart has been a member of ACRL since 2007 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 7, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Librarian, archivist, author.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I recently started a new job as a librarian/archivist at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, so right now I’m reading a history of the university and re-re-reading Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives. While working as a librarian at Winona State University this past year, I launched and produced a podcast called the Athenaeum—that means I got to listen to lots of podcasts for research. My weekly favorites include the NPR Politics Podcast and My Brother, My Brother, and Me.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, engaged, informative.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL’s commitment to improving diversity in the profession by coordinating tangible and ongoing investments of resources toward that effort. The Diversity Alliance is an excellent example; the residency will have a profound impact on new library professionals who are part of underrepresented racial and ethnic communities by helping them get the experience they need to establish careers at colleges and universities. Writing from experience as one of the Emerging Leaders who recently accepted a great job, I can assure all ACRL members that programs like Emerging Leaders or Diversity Alliance can make the difference for young professionals as we navigate a challenging job market.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I subscribe to the belief that we are the “welcome wagon” of academia. Especially for new students, I see us as the people who can help answer questions students may feel embarrassed to ask their professors or in classes (“what’s a scholarly article?”). That also works for teaching faculty; they may be embarrassed to admit to colleagues that they don’t know how Zotero works or what Omeka can bring to their courses, but they can certainly ask us—knowing that they will get help without judgment. Keeping with that, I try to bring positivity, eagerness, and creative suggestions to department meetings, meetings with teaching faculty, and in all of my reference interactions.

6. In your own words: I have moved more than ten times in as many years, chasing opportunities and building a CV that was impressive enough to land me interviews and job offers. This profession is a labor of love. It is difficult to imagine anyone pursuing academic librarianship today just to “phone it in” for the remainder of their careers. That’s really what I love most about the field; I am surrounded by people who love what they do and are willing to share everything they know or have learned with each other. I simply would not find satisfaction doing anything else.


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.