Member of the Week: Jessica L. Bennett
Jessica L. Bennett is a reference and e-learning librarian at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Jessica has been a member of ACRL since 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 11, 2017.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, cat-like, candid.
2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews. I actually have been on a Mary Kay Andrews kick (it is not uncommon for me to read all of an author’s work in a given time period). Her writing is really perfect for the summer months; it’s lighthearted and fun, but with enough substance to keep you interested. I also love reading about historic home restoration, cooking, and antiquing, which most of her books incorporate!
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Empowering, dedicated, useful.
4. What do you value about ACRL? I really value ACRL’s commitment to professional development. I am only in my third year of professional librarianship, and the opportunities to expand my knowledge base have been critical. And although I am a research/instruction/e-learning focus librarian, ACRL offers such a variety of information related to academic libraries. It is refreshing to get out of my “bubble.” ACRL has also made the transition to the Framework for Information Literacy much less confusing and stressful.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? My main focus is information literacy. I teach an abundance of one-shot instruction sessions (mostly face-to-face, but I can do them virtually also), which are available to all classes taught at Missouri State University. These sessions are tailored for each class, and usually for a specific assignment in that class. I also teach a for-credit online course that is an introduction to information literacy. As the e-learning librarian, I also make sure services and resources available to on-campus students and our distance students. One thing I am really proud of is launching a virtual research consultation service.
6. In your own words: In a time when information abounds (both real and fake) academic research librarians have their work cut out for them. Our value however, has never been more apparent. I feel librarians at any type of higher education institution have an opportunity to really emphasize the importance of information literacy, and it’s connection to being a productive, civic-minded member of our world. Personally, I love the moment when it ‘clicks’ with a student. When they see how learning to find and evaluate information not only applies to that paper they have to write, but to the articles they see on Facebook, and websites they visit. It is extremely gratifying.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.