Meet the Candidates: Charles E. Kratz

Editor’s Note: The ACRL Member of the Week feature is taking a brief hiatus so we can profile the 2012 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate a day from March 12 – 19 in the order they appear on the ballot. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 19. Member of the Week will return on March 26.

Charles E. KratzCharles E. Kratz is Dean of the Library and Information Fluency at the University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library in Scranton, PA. Charles has been an ACRL member since 1985 and is a 2012 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Leader, Mentor, Entrepreneur.

2. What are you reading right now? Two books: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Learning, Leadership, Innovation.

4. Why do you value most about ACRL? Five things come to mind: I value the quality continuing education ACRL provides for its members.  I value ACRL’s strong commitment to developing standards for academic libraries.  I value the role that ACRL continues to play in ensuring that scholarly communication embraces wide access, fair pricing, permanence, and fair use.  I value ACRL’s promotion of diversity and inclusion within the library profession.  And I value the ACRL’s dedication to the promotion of networking among libraries and their staffs and between ACRL national and the ACRL chapters.

5. What do you value about academic or research librarianship? I value that as the “heart of the university,” libraries and their staffs commit strongly to supporting teaching and lifelong learning through a culture of excellence, innovation, and assessment.

6. In your own words: Throughout my career as an academic librarian, I have been dedicated to meeting the rapidly changing roles of academic libraries, to being a strong advocate for academic libraries, and to placing libraries and librarians at the top of the educational agenda.  I am passionate about changing the world of scholarly communication; promoting legislative advocacy for academic libraries; educating our users and partners about the critical roles academic libraries play in today’s society; ensuring that our staffs have the best continuing education opportunities; mentoring future library leaders of our profession; strengthening diversity within our profession; developing policies to promote information literacy, access and service; and committing to a strong defense of our users’ intellectual freedom rights.

Libraries must be seen as part of the solution not the problem. We need to emphasize strategies that highlight the successes of our libraries and bring visibility to what we do well and to our values.  Finally, for me as an academic librarian, it is critical that we advocate for public policy, legislation, and institutional change that can enhance the values and contributions we make to learning, teaching, and research.