Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2015 ALA/ ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2015 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from March 13 — 20. 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 24.
Scott Walter is University Librarian at DePaul University in Chicago and a 2015 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Vice-President/ President-Elect.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Innovative, Collaborative, Inquisitive.
2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? Leading Academic Change: Essential Roles for Department Chairs (2000); Strategic Diversity Leadership: Activating Change and Transformation in Higher Education (2013); The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature (2014), and Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (2015).
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Engaging, Challenging, Community.
4. Why do you value about ACRL? In our introduction to a collection of essays about the future of the academic library workforce, Karen Williams and I wrote that “the library’s most valuable collection is its people.” What is true of libraries is also true of library associations – the most valuable thing about ACRL is its people. Whether it came from a member survey, a program evaluation, or a chat with a colleague, what I have been told consistently is that ACRL is most valuable because of the people you meet, the resources and programs they build, and the networks they power. That has certainly been true for me. Maximizing the value of membership means maximizing our ability to work together, as members, to build the tools, create the resources, and establish the networks that allow us to ask better questions, to find better answers, and to do better work for our colleagues and for our communities.
5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As an academic librarian, I am a crucial part of a library that contributes to the success of the university’s strategic goals in teaching, learning, scholarship, and community engagement. As a University Librarian, my special role is to provide all of our librarians with the resources, tools, connections, and support they need to make their own contributions, and to help my campus colleagues to see the impact that we make, as a whole, on the work of our faculty and our students. Librarians bring people and programs together in a space that has been correctly described as the most important learning space on campus outside of the classroom, and, in bringing them together, can contribute to almost any academic endeavor.
6. In your own words: In 2010, I was recognized as “ACRL Member of the Week” and what I wrote then in response to this same question is just as true today: “There has never been a better, more exciting time to work in academic libraries, and I’m just happy that I got to be here for it!”