Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Andy Rutkowski

Andy RutkowskiAndy Rutkowski is Interdisciplinary GIS Library Fellow at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Andy has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 27, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Seek. Listen. Share.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I have been slowly going through Richard Pryor’s entire catalog of stand-up comedy. Eamon Tewell’s observations in “What Stand-Up Comedians Teach Us about Library Instruction” have been really interesting in this context. Comedy can provide a creative breakthrough that connects us with a student or a class and, oftentimes, it has the power to put a mirror up to complex social problems with only a turn of a phrase.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Engaged library community

4. What do you value about ACRL? That it provides a collaborative framework for librarians to exchange and develop new ideas.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I want to encourage and promote spatial thinking and methods across academic disciplines regardless of skill level or background. How can a map change your understanding of a problem? How can the process of making a map or visualizing a problem spatially help researchers discover new questions or perspectives? Through these interactions with students and faculty I not only want to connect them to the resources that they need, but also create that moment of – “wow, I just learned something and now I want to go out and teach it to someone else.”

6. In your own words: Serendipity has been a buzzword within libraries for years. My journey almost reads like Walpole’s words to Mann, “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” My first boss and mentor back at New York University, Patricia Warrington, was one of my “sages.” At the time I was content to just work in course reserves, but her encouragement then (and over the years) opened up my eyes to other possibilities within academic librarianship and helped to put me on the path that I am on today.


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: Sara Shutkin

Sara ShutkinSara Shutkin is Archivist/Records Manager/Reference Librarian at the Alverno College Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sara has been an ACRL member since 1985 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 20, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, Inquisitive, Team-player.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Now that my child is almost grown, I have the time once again to juggle many reading projects at once which I love to do. I am just finishing re-reading Dune after recently reading a number of the prequels-it’s even better the second time through. I just began reading Hollow Earth (a children’s fantasy novel written by an Alverno faculty member). In the commuter bag I sometimes carry with me to work is a copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. And finally from my professional to-do list, I am making my way through The Lone Arranger: Succeeding in a Small Repository.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Responsive, Innovative, Supportive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Since I do not get to conferences very often due to budgetary and time constraints, I value ACRL’s web site and publications. It is from those that I interact with colleagues and can keep up with cutting edge developments. I also value ACRL for the continuing education it provides; I am an Information Literacy Immersion Program alumna and a participant in the first year cohort of ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) project as leader of Alverno’s librarian-led team.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Since ours is a small institution, librarians, like the rest of the staff and faculty here, often wear multiple hats and I am no exception. My job title is “archivist/records manager/reference librarian.’ I love the variety that is my work. I provide traditional services such as library research assistance, and information literacy instruction; I serve as library liaison to some academic departments, and do library collection evaluation and enhancement. I also provide college historical information, do records management consultations for departments college-wide and serve on college committees and advisory groups. Nothing makes me feel better than when a student thanks me for my assistance after she successfully completes an assignment.

6. In your own words: I have worked at Alverno College for 27 years and have been a library professional for more than 30. I love being part of a profession that includes some of the last of the world’s great generalists. I am encouraged to keep learning and I learn from everything I do. All the strands of knowledge that I gather can and are used somehow in my work. Helping others get to the information they need is my highest priority both in the library and in the archives.


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: Scott P. Muir

Scott P. MuirScott P. Muir is Associate Provost for Library information Services at the Rowan University Libraries in Glassboro, New Jersey. Scott has been an ACRL member since 2005 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 13, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Driven. Facilitative. Patient

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I scan a number of library blogs and feeds. One of my favorite resources to read is the Harvard Business Review blog, because it often deals with planning and human resources, which are major portion of my job. I also enjoy this resource because it is not written for libraries, but it is still applicable.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Leadership. Networking. Professional Development.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What is most vital to me is what I learn from conversations with colleagues and those opportunities for networking, in addition to programming. Much of what I take away from ACRL programs are the nuances of how a library or a colleague has approached a project or issue.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Rowan University recently expanded and added two medical schools, becoming one of two universities in the U.S. with both an allopathic and an osteopathic medical school. As a senior university administrator, much of my time involves working across departments, with college deans, vice-presidents, and other administrators on programs and services that the libraries have to offer, and in areas where we can support other departments and support the research and teaching mission of the university. Internally, I have directed my efforts on the incorporation of two new libraries into existing systems and processes, and creating new ways for us to work together collaboratively. I also focus my organization on a 21st century vision for library facilities and services as Rowan University embraces plans for a greatly increased research mission and a doubling of the student body size over the next 10 years.

6. In your own words: I have been a librarian for 36 years and I am working in my seventh library. I have seen tremendous changes in how we deliver services. I started my career at a time before microcomputers and the Internet, where we were a paper-based environment. Paraphrasing a colleague, I have seen libraries move from an environment where time was plentiful and information was scarce, to the exact opposite, of an environment where time is scarce and information is plentiful, and that information is growing exponentially. All of these changes have created a situation in which many libraries and librarians are challenged to redefine their roles in this rapidly changing digital world. For those of us who love continuous change, this will be an exciting time in libraries as we identify and explore the many opportunities available.


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: Stephanie Davis-Kahl

Stephanie Davis KahlStephanie Davis-Kahl is Scholarly Communications Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. Stephanie has been an ACRL member since 1998 and is your ACRL member of the week for October 6, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Organized, driven, highly caffeinated.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? For work, I’m reading Composition & Copyright: Perspectives on Teaching, Text-making and Fair Use, edited by Steve Westbrook. For fun, I’m reading the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear, and as a family we’re reading the Encyclopedia Brown and Boxcar Children series.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Responsive, progressive, open.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I was very lucky early on in my career to find EBSS. It’s a friendly, vibrant and active group of librarians, and I was fortunate to find mentors and friends there, and to work on several different committees and projects.

I spent a few years as a member of EBSS program planning committees, and in the process, learned just how amazing the ACRL staff are. They are, without exception, knowledgeable, dedicated, and communicative.

I also appreciate ACRL’s commitment to members, especially because it takes direct action based on member feedback. The decision to make C&RL open access, despite the financial implications, demonstrates the willingness to put the values of ‘open’ into practice.

Also, great conferences (and receptions)!

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Playing a role in undergraduate research on campus is one of the favorite parts of my job – I’m a co-advisor on the Undergraduate Economic Review, a peer-reviewed, open access student journal, and I also work with students who present at IWU’s annual undergraduate research conference. As a faculty member, I’ve served on various campus committees such as Curriculum Council and currently the Strategic Curricular Planning Task Force, which allows me to contribute to important discussions on IWU’s future. Finally, teaching in some way, shape or form is interwoven into every part of my work, whether it’s as a liaison to Educational Studies and Psychology students and faculty, or talking about copyright and open access with faculty and administrators.

6. In your own words: I love that my work as an academic librarian is multifaceted – I get to teach, participate in faculty governance, participate in ACRL and other organizations related to my interests (including the Library Publishing Coalition and the Digital Commons Great Lakes User Group), and I love that in doing so, I get to meet and work alongside other librarians, faculty members, vendors, and students. I learn so much from collaborating and debating with colleagues, and that helps me continue to grow as a librarian.


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: Robert Kelly

Robert KellyRobert Kelly is Coordinator of Library Services at the Hutchinson Community College John F. Kennedy Library in Hutchinson, Kansas. Robert has been an ACRL member since 2003 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 29, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, good-humored steward

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)?  I always have multiple things going. A sample from what I’m currently reading: The Mysterious West, edited by Tony Hillerman; The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler; Mastering Omaha/8 Poker by Mark Tenner and Lou Krieger; and That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Not Just Universities.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I have appreciated the recent energy the organization has committed to be more inclusive of two-year community and technical colleges in national initiatives (such as advocating for financial literacy and the role of the library in campus’ overall provision of programming, services, and resources), conference programming, and standards creation/revision. The bi-annual conferences are essential to attend to gain and share knowledge and to enjoy the great concentration of vendors that market to the higher education sector. The organization is a core source of standards and best practices. The ACRL Choice magazine is a core collection development tool and it too is working to position itself to be more relevant to the two-year environment. The organization is one where librarians have opportunities to be involved in something that matters.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Coordinator of Library Services (aka Library Director) I am responsible for library oversight in a position that combines administrative leadership with front-line activities. I lead our instruction program, participate in reference services, actively liaison with faculty, serve on campus committees, and generally be the face of the college library on campus. I also advocate for the library, the college, and Kansas two-year colleges in general by being actively involved in local, state, and regional organizations. In turn I keep my administration informed of potential opportunities and threats.

6. In your own words:  Five lessons learned in every position I’ve held:

  • From day one get to know the people that really matter on campus: secretaries/admin assistants; ITS staff (including the director); and maintenance staff. They are the ones who really run the campus and have the power to ruin or make your day.
  • From day one get to know who the faculty and staff library heros are. Oil those squeaky wheels because they will help you viral market to draw more faculty and students in.
  • Look for opportunities to matter. You want people to know who you are and to trust you. In turn, those people will always have the library in the back of their mind and will be reluctant to attack it if for no other reason than because they know you.
  • Don’t be afraid to jump ship before being pushed. Opportunities may drop in your lap and you’d best be prepared to seize them when they do. Often you only get one chance. That especially is relevant to getting involved in campus initiatives and committees as well as when considering a change of employment. A corollary: It is always easier to pursue an opportunity when you don’t have to.
  • To make real change you must get involved in leading and do so actively. Armchair complainers and saber rattlers rarely yield any success because they don’t have any influence or control.

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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