Author Archives: Sophie Skinner

Member of the Week: Anna Sandelli

Anna SandelliAnna Sandelli is the student success librarian for user experience and instructional assessment at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Knoxville, TN. Anna first joined ACRL in 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 21, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive, enthusiastic, empathetic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories of Facing the Unknown, a collection adapted from The Moth podcast that made me laugh, cry, and think. I’m winding my way through Madeline L’Engle’s “Time” quintet and currently reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I’m also reading Peter Filene’s The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors and enjoying recommendations from friends and colleagues to add to my ever-growing list!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Connector, conversation-starter, champion.

4. What do you value about ACRL? To me, ACRL is an invaluable source of both information and inspiration. Several months after starting my first professional librarian position, I had the opportunity to attend ACRL 2015, and I came away energized by the conversations and community I found there, as well as colleagues’ excitement about continuing these conversations long after the conference. Since then, my involvement in ACRL has continually reminded me that I’m part of a profession of dedicated and thoughtful individuals who are eager to collaborate, learn, and grow together.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a student success librarian, I feel fortunate to work with students in a variety of capacities related to learning, research, and engagement and to assessing our work in these areas. At the same time, my role enables me to work closely both with colleagues across our libraries and throughout campus. I seek to bring a student-centered perspective to these conversations and to draw upon my experiences of seeing the diversity of students’ experiences to be an advocate for incorporating a range of student voices and needs into planning and programming. I also aim to share the UT Libraries’ story, so that campus partners who are not as familiar with it can hopefully better understand how our mission and vision connects to—and can help shape—the campus’ story.

6. In your own words: As an undergraduate student, I was drawn to journalism because I was intrigued by the idea of seeking out stories. As a librarian, I feel like I’ve gotten to take this interest one step further by working with students as they write their own. I love seeing students grow in confidence and find their niche, as they navigate both scholarship and our campus community. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is having students I’ve taught or worked with in past semesters stop me in the library, on campus, or even on the street, to share how they’re doing and where they’re going next. Their enthusiasm as they explore and identify ways to contribute to the world around them fuels my passion for my work—and my appreciation for being part of a profession that values and advances this work.


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.

Member of the Week: Haipeng Li

Haipeng LiHaipeng Li is the university librarian at the University of California, Merced in Merced, CA. Haipeng first joined ACRL in 1993 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 13, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, respectful and forward-thinking.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? As a library administrator, I am always interested in issues in the area of organizational leadership. I have been reading books on leadership, particularly appreciative leadership. I have already finished the book Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization by Diana Whitney, et al. (2010). I very much like the positive approach this book discusses in dealing with leadership and organizational change. This approach also resonates with the force that drives organizational change by deploying positive energy in the Chinese culture. Currently I am reading Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World by Christine L. Borgman as an assignment for a discussion forum among our staff, which should be fascinating.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Opportunity, networking, leadership.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is recognized as a well-developed professional organization. Not only members can gain experience in organizational involvement and governance, but also be benefited by the many professionally created resources—guidelines and standards that are widely used in the profession all over the world. ACRL also provides many opportunities for its member growth such as mentoring. I served on the ACRL E. J. Josey Mentorship Committee from 2007-2009 as a mentor and very much enjoyed my interactions with the mentee.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?  The University of California, Merced was established in 2005 so it is a new campus—known as the first American research university in the 21st century. As the newest campus in the University of California system, UC Merced faces many challenges—budget, space, workforce, etc., but the university also presents many opportunities for creativity and innovation. As the university librarian, I have responsibilities for developing and overseeing the broad directions for the university library. I see my contribution as critical to our campus growth as well as the growth for our library. I play the role as someone who encourages and supports our librarians and staff for new and innovative ideas. We currently have several fascinating digital projects going on—the Yosemite Archives Project, the UC Cooperative Extension Project and the AIDS Epidemic Project in collaboration with UC San Francisco and the San Francisco Public Library.

6. In your own words: We are at a time facing many challenges, not just in our profession but also in societies at large—fake news, big data, open access, high cost for research materials, and many others. This is the time for stronger leadership! This is particularly true with these challenges ahead of us. I always believe in opportunities—opportunities for ourselves and for others, and opportunities for partnership and collaboration. Our libraries will need to reposition themselves for new ideas, new partnerships, and new allies regionally, nationally and globally.


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.

Member of the Week: Lorelei B. Rutledge

Lorelei B. RutledgeLorelei B. Rutledge is an assistant librarian at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. Lorelei first joined ACRL in 2011 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 6, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, curious, innovative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I like to read a few different things at once. Right now, I am working on Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan, a great introduction to statistical concepts, and Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch, a London police procedural with a hint of the supernatural thrown in.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Vibrant, engaged, community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I love that ACRL gives me an opportunity to get to know and learn from other librarians. I really value the inspiration that I get from connecting with others and hearing about what they are doing. I also refer regularly to ACRL publications and appreciate the chance to learn from so many experts about best practices.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?  As the coordinator for our library residency, I do a lot of work to help bring in new librarians from underrepresented groups of all kinds to the University of Utah’s Marriott Library. Our residency gives us a chance to learn from bright and amazing new librarians, who in turn get to explore different areas of our library and learn from us. I also serve as the coordinator for our online reference services, so I spend a lot of time making sure students, faculty, and community members are getting the resources and expertise they need.

6. In your own words: I really love being part of a field where I can bring all of my varied interests to bear to support students, faculty, staff, and community members. I enjoy working with patrons to explore new ideas, find information, and develop new strategies to solve problems. I also love being around and learning from so many smart people with such great ideas.


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.

Member of the Week: Manuel Ostos

Manuel OstosManuel Ostos is the librarian for romance languages and literatures at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA. Manuel first joined ACRL in 2011 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 30, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, scholarly, authentic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami and listening to Lang Lang playing Chopin.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Scholarship, community, engagement.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The most important aspect of ARCL is its people— academic librarians who share similar challenges, engage in scholarly conversations, and are committed to service.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As librarian for romance languages and literatures, my role is to support teaching and research in academic areas related to Latin America, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France. In this capacity, I identify materials not available in North America to build interdisciplinary collections in all formats, deliver course-related instruction sessions, and provide research consultations to undergraduate and graduate students.

6. In your own words: Academic libraries in North America are transitioning from a large stand-alone print collection environment to a collections-as-a-service model, characterized by access to online content via eBooks and open access platforms, increased resource sharing, and collaborative collection development initiatives. As a result, for area and international studies, challenges include space reconfigurations and budget cuts, all of these under the assumption that most research materials would and will be available online. While this is true for many disciplines, scholarly publications from Latin America and much of Europe continue to be distributed in print and are not available online or as eBooks. As librarian for romance languages and literatures, my passion is to provide tailored collections to support advanced research and ensure that underrepresented communities have a space in our library’s shelves. The opportunity to engage in scholarly collaborations with collegiate faculty and broadening students’ understanding about the world is the most rewarding aspect of my job.


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.

Member of the Week: Melissa L. Miller

Melissa L. MillerMelissa L. Miller is the Hoose Library of Philosophy supervisor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Melissa first joined ACRL in 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 23, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, organized, enthusiastic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild. It is about a 300 year old oil sketch The Improbability of Love that turns out to be a lost Watteau that was once owned by Voltaire and Catherine the Great and is now owned by a woman named Annie trying to rebuild her life in London. Unbeknownst to Annie, the Watteau is worth millions and the road to this discovery thrusts her into the nefarious London art scene. Also, I’m in the middle of reading Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience by Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. This book explores how our emotions influence our motivations, interests, and persistence and therefore learning. Immordino-Yang is an associate professor at USC in neuroscience, education, and psychology. Last but not least, I’m just starting The Alienist: A Novel (Dr. Lazlo Kriezler Book 1) by Caleb Carr. Carr notes, “prior to the twentieth century experts who studied mental pathologies were known as alienists.” The novel is set in the late 1800s in New York City and centers around the search for a serial killer.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative, innovative, inclusive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL is the robust offering of resources and tools for all stages and facets of academic librarianship. Also, the sense of community and belonging ACRL provides.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I manage the USC Hoose Library of Philosophy, which includes student assistant budgeting and forecasting, student-centered training and projects, and managing the budget for our materials and supplies expenditures. Also for USC Libraries, I provide in-person and virtual reference and research consultation services, I actively contribute to the teaching and information literacy programs in the USC Writing Program, General Education Program, and disciplinary initiatives. I actively participate in several USC Libraries committees to develop student-focused services that contribute to the transformation of instruction, outreach, reference, and collections at USC Libraries. I really enjoy creating disciplinary and thematic research guides to highlight library services, collections and resources, as well as campus events such as USC Visions and Voices university-wide arts and humanities initiative.

6. In your own words: I believe librarians are interdisciplinary scholars who play a key role in the development of student agency and identity through knowledge and strategies to increase motivation, self-efficacy, and self-determination including time management, planning, and setting goals. Most importantly librarians are facilitators of communities of support. I am grateful to have a terrific community of support and several wonderful mentors through the USC Libraries. One mentor in particular is Dr. Ross Scimeca. I have been working with and mentored by Ross for a little over four years in all aspects of librarianship from outreach, research and reference to information literacy instruction to the importance of library spaces and collections. Also, being a member of the senior capstone projects research advisory group, along with Ross and Dr. Sophie Lesinska, for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences English and Narrative Studies Departments for the last two years has had a tremendous impact on my approach to student-centered teaching and learning. Working closely with students and engaging in the strategic research process in connection to their personal narratives ignited my pursuit of an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to develop and synthesize my research, teaching and leadership knowledge and skills through an interdisciplinary approach to all that I do.


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.

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