Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: John Shank

John Shank
John Shank is Head of the Boscov-Lakin Information Commons & Thun Library at The Pennsylvania State University in Reading, Pennsylvania. John has been an ACRL member since 2002 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 25, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: “Love to learn.”

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? Pandora’s Baroque Station.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Libraries, learning, and scholarship.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value how ACRL provides venues for professional development, academic library advocacy, and collective conversations about our value and impact on Higher Education.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? In 2001, I was hired into a faculty position that was brand new at Penn State University (i.e. Instructional Design Librarian) and one of only a handful of such positions that existed in higher education at the time. I am happy to report that there are now hundreds of similar positions in higher education today. My librarian position remained unique in that I was a manager (directed the Center for Learning & Teaching), an instructor (taught courses in educational technology integration), and a librarian (assisted faculty and students in finding, choosing and using digital course resources). Because of this experience, I witnessed first-hand how online interactive, educational tutorials, games, and simulations could meaningfully enhance student class performance. Consequently, I became a passionate advocate for the use of interactive educational resources across the curriculum of my college. Because no handbook existed to help librarians or instructors locate and integrate these resources into their instruction, I decided to write the first handbook, Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What’s Out There to Transform College Teaching, on the topic to enable educators to more easily find, choose, and use these resources.

6. In your own words: Open Educational Resources (OER) are starting to gain traction in Higher Education although there is still a lot of work to be done. A recent survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group found that the majority of faculty (66%) were “unaware” of OER. This affords librarians a wonderful opportunity to raise the awareness of our faculty, help enhance student learning at our institutions, and increase the relevance of our collections. I am not aware of a study that has examined librarians’ awareness of OER although I would like to think that it is higher than what the Babson survey found. If you are not sure where to start to find high quality OER visit my iOERs, LORs, & Interactive Learning Materials site where you can find the best online repositories and libraries that can be searched for interactive learning content.

 


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at ecaris@ala.org for more information.

Member of the Week: Katie Fortney

Katie FortneyKatie Fortney is Copyright Policy & Education Officer at the California Digital Library, serving the University of California libraries and their users in Oakland and Santa Cruz, California. Katie has been an ACRL member since 2009. She is a new presenter for ACRL’s “Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement” workshop and is your ACRL member of the week for May 18, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Pragmatic, nerdy, and punctual.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi (I picked up the ARC at ALA Midwinter) and Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire. And I’m listening to The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Useful, dynamic, and fun.

4. What do you value about ACRL? First and foremost, the people. The ACRL members I’ve met include some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people I know – and the most fun. I’m also a big fan of the resources and the advocacy around issues close to my heart, like the Scholarly Communication Toolkit and Code of Best Practices in Fair Use.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work at the California Digital Library, so I kind of am campusless and kind of have ten campuses. Being a copyright specialist for libraries rather than the counsel’s office brings a friendlier, more collegial feeling to an area of the law people often find intimidating – they’ll ask me things they might think were too minor to bother the “real” lawyers with or think they’ll get in trouble for. I get to hear great stories about what people are up to all across the state, and in exchange, I try to set people up with tools and resources that empower them to make well-informed decisions about rights issues.

6. In your own words: For as much as we keep seeing clickbait about the doom or uselessness of libraries in the modern age, the people I talk to on our campuses have a lot of warm fuzzy feelings about libraries, and a lot of trust in our neutrality and our knowledge. I’d like to see us leverage that more. I’m not talking about world domination here, but I think a lot of us underestimate ourselves.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at ecaris@ala.org for more information.

Member of the Week: Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter is Social Sciences and Music Librarian at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. Wade has been an ACRL member since 1994 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 11, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, detail-oriented, and questioning.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? My reading is currently focused on biographies of various American religious figures of the early 19th century, most recently Barton W. Stone, one of the founders of the Stone-Campbell movement. I will, however, be reading the latest Stephen King novel, Finders Keepers, when it’s released in June. As far as music goes, I listen to recordings of Sacred Harp singing at every opportunity. Sacred Harp singing is a community-based, participatory, a cappella singing tradition that dates back to the early 19th century. Honestly, I simply can’t get enough of it.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Networking, collegiality, and service.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL are the opportunities it provides for networking and service. I would not have retained my membership for all these years were in not for these opportunities. I also value the role ACRL plays in promoting the value of academic libraries and the importance of information literacy.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Social Sciences and Music Librarian, my primary role is to ensure that faculty, staff, and students have efficient and effective access to the information they need for both instruction and research in my subject areas. Helping them to learn how to use these resources efficiently and effectively is also very important. In addition, Weber State understands the importance of information literacy for our students and I contribute to our information literacy program by teaching a for-credit course and providing several course-integrated instruction sessions each semester. As a faculty member, I contribute by serving on faculty senate committees and also tenure/promotion committees in the library, in several colleges, and at the university level.

6. In your own words: To me, life as an academic librarian can be exciting, challenging, stressful, rewarding, and enjoyable all at the same time. It’s exciting to me because of all the changes and improvements in information resources that keep coming our way. These changes, of course, are part of what makes librarianship a challenge as well, along with the fact that we’re always trying to do more at the same time our financial resources are dwindling. These challenges can also make it stressful at times, not knowing what new challenges we’ll face when we arrive at work each morning. In the end, however, all of these and more combine to make academic librarianship a most challenging, intellectually rewarding, and thoroughly enjoyable profession. I’m very happy with the choice I made to become an academic librarian even though it was not my first choice as a profession.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at ecaris@ala.org for more information.

Member of the Week: Sarah LeMire

Sarah LeMire
Sarah LeMire is First Year Experience and Outreach Librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries in College Station, Texas. Sarah has been an ACRL member since 2012. She is an ALA 2015 Emerging Leader and is your ACRL member of the week for May 4, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, hardworking, and innovative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? Most recently, I’ve been reading Phil Klay’s Redeployment. I also spend a lot of my free time reading with and to my kids; I’ve been reading the Frog and Toad books with my oldest and I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Big Red Barn (among others) several times a day to my youngest.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Professional, networking, and enriching.

4. What do you value about ACRL? As an early-career librarian, I value the role ACRL plays in bringing academic librarians together.  ACRL is a tremendous resource for librarians interested in garnering new ideas, methods, and strategies for serving patrons’ needs.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’m just starting a new job as a First-Year Experience Librarian, and in this role I’ll be working to make freshmen more aware of the library and how to use its resources effectively.  I really enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of first-year students, and I’m looking forward to focusing my energies on building connections with these students and looking for ways to make the library and scholarly research more accessible to them.

6. In your own words: Librarianship is such a great gig.  As an academic librarian, I have been given the opportunity and the encouragement to be creative, experiment, and innovate in order to identify ways that the library can better connect our patrons with the information they need.   I love libraries’ patron-centered focus and being part of that mission.

 


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at ecaris@ala.org for more information.

Member of the Week: Junior Tidal

Junior Tidal

Junior Tidal is Web Services & Multimedia Librarian for the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. Junior has been an ACRL member since 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 27, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words:  Imaginative, thoughtful, and quixotic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I am completely obsessed with underground punk and metal. I am currently reading Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore by Albert Mudrian. On my mobile device, I’ve been listening to post-metal band Sumac’s debut album, The Deal, and punk hardcore outfit His Hero is Gone’s 1997 release, Monument to Thieves.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Innovative, dynamic, and active.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL because of the collective resourcefulness of its members. I read ACRLog and ACRL TechConnect regularly. Both of these blogs provide practical advice to librarians that not only can be applied to their institutions, but can be used as a source of professional development.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Web Services & Multimedia Librarian, I maintain and administer the library’s website as well as oversee and manage the library’s media collection. I get to code and conduct usability tests to improve our library website. It has also allowed me to develop our library’s collection of Brooklyn-based documentaries. I have a passion for film, and I think it serves as a great educational tool to expose students to situations, locales, and subjects they may have never thought of before.

6. In your own words: I believe academic librarianship is a profession that empowers others. Users come to our institutions so they can learn, research, and hopefully make informed decisions based on the information they gather. Our profession champions unfettered access to information, but the process of retrieving it can be daunting and frustrating for the end user. By incorporating our users’ perspectives, as libraries build web applications, adopt emerging technologies, and develop physical and virtual spaces, I feel that making these resources easier to use is more important than ever.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at ecaris@ala.org for more information.

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