Thomas H. Teper is Associate University Librarian for Collections and Technical Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University Library in Urbana, Illinois. Thomas has been an ACRL member since 2006 and is your ACRL member of the week for March 17, 2014.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Flexible, optimistic, father.
2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Most of what I read at this point are children’s books to my two sons — ages two and five. When I get time for personal reading, most of my reading is historical in nature. I finished reading The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel earlier this week, and I plan on picking up Eugene Sledge’s With the Old Breed (a classic that I’ve never read) this weekend.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Forward-thinking and member-oriented.
4. What do you value about ACRL? The conferences are a great opportunity for me to touch base with my colleagues in the field and with our partners on the commercial side of the equation. As many of the panels and presentations are outside of my primary area of interest, I find it a good opportunity to gain some insight on other areas — in much the same way that I value the breadth of topics covered in ACRL’s publications.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? At their best, librarians are partners with others on campus in the educational enterprise. Yes, our role on campus is to facilitate scholarship and make connections, but it really is more than that. As a librarian and administrator on our campus, my role is to ensure that our faculty and students have access to the best possible resources and that the Library is a forward-looking agent capable of helping to advance the university’s broader vision.
6. In your own words: In my library, on campus, and in my profession, I am fortunate to work with some of the most engaged and interesting individuals that I have ever met. Our interests may differ and the means by which we choose to accomplish things may vary, but in the end, virtually everyone that I know is interested in gaining insight into themselves, into their environment, and into the broader world around them. Academic libraries have afforded me the opportunity to work in environments in which virtually everyone that I come across is engaged, interesting, and capable of learning and growing as individuals.
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.