Author Archives: Sophie Skinner

Member of the Week: Andrew R. Grissom

Andrew R. GrissomAndrew R. Grissom is an associate librarian at Catalyst in New York, NY. Andrew has been a member of ACRL since 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 18, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, energetic, and resourceful.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I like to alternate between nonfiction and fiction. I just completed Men and Women of the Corporation by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a 1977 study on power and gender dynamics in corporations. Now I am finally starting The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, ideas, and leading-edge.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL’s commitment to being a thought leader in the space of academic and research librarianship. ACRL encourages a culture of sharing news and best practices, which is very important to me as a new professional.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your organization? I am in a very unique position. I currently serve as an associate librarian for Catalyst, a global nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women in the workplace. In this role, I work with a team of librarians in Catalyst’s Information Center to deliver virtual reference to businesses, Catalyst staff, scholars, the media, and the general public. Additionally, I perform a wide range of tasks, including copyright and records management, writing statistical fact sheets and other knowledge products, and social media for the organization.

6. In your own words: I became a librarian because I love research and helping scholars with their research. I have been fortunate in my short career to have had experiences doing just that in both traditional and nontraditional settings. If I were to give advice to a new librarian or library school student, I would recommend trying new things—go for the job that excites and challenges you. Professional associations like ACRL are crucial in building the connections and resources that will lead to a varying and fulfilling career.


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: Jessica L. Bennett

Jessica BennettJessica 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 mpetrowski@ala.org for more information.

Member of the Week: Minhao Jiang

Minhao JiangMinhao Jiang is a software development librarian at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Minhao has been a member of ACRL since 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 5, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Analytic, goal-driven, self-growing.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Calculus: Early Transcendentals by James Stewart, a classic calculus book, for my Calculus III class. I also listen to piano music for higher working efficiency.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Developmental, established, multicultural.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL periodically offers professional programs of high quality. I finished the data management online course and got the certificate. At the same time, the organization values engaging members in such initiatives. I, myself, serve as a member of the ACRL/ULS Technology in University Libraries Committee. I coordinated one webinar that just took place last week.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I maintain existing and develop new applications, contributing to the Wayne State University library system’s digital initiatives. I also research and explore new technologies and ideas for better online library experiences.

6. In your own words: Working as an academic librarian is awesome! I have been taking mathematics classes at the university, to fulfill my intellectual curiosity and to know the larger community. Besides, I, as a software development librarian, learn and thrive with technologies, which are constantly evolving.

 


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: Brittney Johnson

Brittney JohnsonBrittney Johnson is head of library instruction at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. She is also part of the presenter team for ACRL’s licensed workshop Engaging with the ACRL Framework: A Catalyst for Exploring and Expanding Our Teaching Practices. Brittney has been a member of ACRL since 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 28, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Teacher, thinker, creator.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’ve just begun reading Mohsin Hamid’s Exit WestNext in line is my book club’s selection Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, engaging, education.

4. What do you value about ACRL? As a former public educator, and because of the involvement I have in ACRL’s information literacy work, I appreciate ACRL’s commitment to engaging librarians as educators. The role that academic librarians serve for students expands far outside the reaches of the classroom, and as such, we have unique opportunities to educate students in a variety of contexts. I value the emphasis that ACRL places on guiding academic librarians through this endeavor.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As head of library instruction, I develop programmatic curriculum in information literacy and lead the library instruction team in cross-disciplinary integration of that curriculum across campus. I also collaborate with the First-Year Writing program to develop integrated models of teaching research and writing that center around shared threshold concepts of information literacy and writing studies, and I teach the senior-level capstone course.

6. In your own words: I love this job! In my role at St. Edward’s, I have the opportunity to not only teach, but to support and mentor students throughout the entirety of their undergraduate career. It is incredibly rewarding to watch and be a part of students’ evolving understandings as they progress from freshmen to seniors in their disciplines. Because St. Edward’s is a small, liberal arts university, we are able to build meaningful relationships within a tight-knit community—with the library at the center! The thinking and innovating and global involvement of our students is inspiring and empowering as an educator.


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: Kyle W. Willis

Kyle WillisKyle W. Willis is a product manager at OCLC in Dublin, OH. Kyle has been a member of ACRL since 2012 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 21, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Librarian, outdoorsman, rapscallion.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Most of the reading I do is nonfiction and a little too dry for most, like field guides, books on tree and bird identification, books on preparation for canoe expeditions; that stuff gets my motor running. I like maps a lot, too. Other than that, I’ve been bouncing between Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Harari, The Attention Merchants by Wu, Reality is Broken by McGonigal, and The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Brinkley. I doubt I’ll ever finish any of them; that’s just my style. My wife keeps trying to get me to read fiction, but I’m knee-deep learning about the wild rivers of Canada!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Academic librarians connected.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I think the strongest aspect of any of these professional organizations isn’t the training materials, the PDF presentation or resume templates or best practices documents. It’s the people. Learning from others who’ve been in my shoes before and working together to advance and improve services for our users is my favorite part. These associations provide the conduit for establishing and maintaining those relationships. (It’s starting to become clear to me that I just like talking to people).

5. Describe your contribution to your organization and to academic libraries: It’s a little bit of everything, it seems. I think librarians in supportive organizations get to say “Yes” to a wider variety of projects than most other professions I’ve been around. I’ve always loved living in that space, too, a little bit of all the fun (and pain) that everyone else is having. It’s great to not be just a cog in the machine, but instead be…6 cogs in the machine and help facilitate exciting research and projects happening in every corner of the campus.

6. In your own words: What I’m happiest to say is that I’ve been blessed to work in some great organizations with amazing people (like those at OCLC, the University of Notre Dame, Williamson County Public Library, and Brevard College), and I look forward to working with more amazing people for years to come. I get paid work on interesting and difficult challenges, have a lot of fun, and laugh probably harder and more often than I should. That’s pretty solid setup, if you ask me. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.


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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