Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Jamie N. Smith

Jamie N. SmithJamie N. Smith is Metadata and Catalog Librarian in the Gallaudet University Deaf Collections and Archives in Washington, DC. Jamie has been an ACRL member since 2013, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for March 30, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Compassionate, hardworking, and collaborative.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Finding Zoe by Brandi Rarus. It is a true story about a Deaf woman and her journey in adopting a Deaf baby girl named Zoe.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Resourceful. Innovative. Progressive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I definitely value the opportunities to connect with other professionals. 

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work as the Metadata and Catalog Librarian at Gallaudet University, which proudly serves Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Hearing students in Washington, DC. I create and manage metadata, catalog deaf-related materials, manage and develop the collections, assist with scanning and digitizing our growing digital collections, and provide reference in the Archives.

6. In your own words: Being an academic librarian at Gallaudet University is rewarding. Aside from the work on campus, I also get to travel to different colleges and universities in the Washington, DC-area consortium. I work with other librarians in several committees including metadata, digital practices, preservation, and special collections and 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: Derrick Jefferson

Derrick JeffersonDerrick Jefferson is Communication Librarian at American University in Washington, DC. Derrick has been an ACRL member since 2012, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for March 23, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Open, humorous, committed.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I go back every few years to Michael Ondaatje’s pre-English Patient works: Coming Through Slaughter and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. I find his unique mashup of poetry, prose, myth, and storytelling to be utterly fascinating.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Connected, purposeful, engaged.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I feel like ACRL has provided a warm and embracing home for me. As a library school student, I dipped my toes in many pools trying to learn as much as I could about the profession, and as an academic librarian interested in how to be a better instructor, how to do better assessment, it has really affected how I go about conducting and refining my work in the library. ACRL really laid the groundwork for me through their publications, meeting other members, etc. The newsletter is great for highlighting the work of my fellow librarians and keeping me informed on current dealings and topics.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? People are our livelihood. I go out of my way, and out of the library to engage our campus community. Our demographics have changed, I work with many working professionals, graduate students, veterans, online/distance students and an increasingly diverse student population here at American University. Libraries have changed from what many of these students are used to. I hope to keep our patrons informed on what it is libraries and librarians can do for them and their research, study, and and collection needs.

6. In your own words: I wake up every morning with a smile on my face and am often one of the first people in the office. I love what I do, and being able to share my skill set to help others level up on their research is a pretty significant gift. With that, I’m still learning! Having a network of colleagues who can share their experiences and knowledge is huge in helping me help others.


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: Rachel W. Gammons

Rachel W GammonsRachel W. Gammons is Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. Rachel has been an ACRL member since 2012, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for March 9, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Purposeful, student-centered, energetic.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am working my way through the National Book Award finalists. I just finished Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (which was excellent) and am getting ready to begin Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman. I also have a soft spot for young adult fiction, I am currently in the middle of the Red Rising by Pierce Brown which is at once amazing and terrifying.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Impactful, empowering, connect-ful.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I deeply appreciate being connected to a community of academic librarians. Higher education can be incredibly siloed, particularly within a library where it can be easy for the library faculty/staff to become isolated from the rest of campus. ACRL is a place to share ideas and get input on projects. It is an invaluable source of inspiration and information-sharing.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I adore first-year students. My entire job is dedicated to making their first semesters on campus a success, and I love supporting them through their research projects and everyday concerns. I am one of the first librarians that a student meets when they get to campus and I have the opportunity to change a student’s perspective about what libraries can help them achieve.

6. In your own words: Academic librarians occupy such a unique position on campus. We are one of the faculty-level persons on campus whose job is not to grade or judge students. Everything a student says to me can be said in confidence . . . my work is dedicated to helping them become better students and better people, and I love the freedom in that. If we play our cards right, I think academic librarians can change a student’s experience on campus. We can make them feel safe and appreciated. We can give them a place to be alone or in a crowd. We be the support they need to succeed. It’s a fantastic responsibility and privilege.


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: Cynthia Mari Orozco

Cynthia Mari OrozcoCynthia Mari Orozco is Student Services Librarian at California State University-Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Cynthia has been an ACRL member since 2010, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for March 2, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, creative collaborator.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Give it to Me by Ana Castillo; When Google Met Wikileaks by Julian Assange; and killing rage: Ending Racism, bell hooks.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Commitment. Community. Collaboration.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides a comprehensive way for me to stay in tune with what’s happening in college and research libraries, from its publications to professional development opportunities to the amazing network of colleagues.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Student Services Librarian, I’m responsible for liaising with groups on campus that fall outside of the scope of specific academic departments, including Educational Opportunity Program (low-income, first-generation college students), pre-baccalaureate students, international students, transfer students, and new graduate students.

6. In your own words: I couldn’t be happier with the career path I’ve chosen. I had the good fortune of working with a great area studies librarian while I was pursuing my Masters in Latin American Studies, and her subject expertise, commitment to my success, and patience in explaining the foreign terrain of research to me was incredibly inspiring. Reflecting on how much I didn’t understand about information and research as an undergraduate, I decided that I wanted to be an academic librarian to ensure that students didn’t make the same mistakes I did and understand all of the library resources and services available to them, as well as mitigate library anxiety. The library can be a really scary place for students!


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: Sarah Espinosa

Sarah EspinosaSarah Espinosa is Residency Librarian at the Towson University Libraries in Towson, Maryland. Sarah has been an ACRL member since 2013, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for February 23, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Life-long learner.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I use my mobile device for creative writing, collaborating, personal organization, and networking. I read physical books and articles, and I’m currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaborative professional strength.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides me with the vocabulary and context for professional advocacy. Using articles from ACRL publications and professional standards, I find myself better able to communicate why academic librarianship matters. I also value the opportunity to listen to, collaborate with, and learn from peers and mentors within the ACRL and especially the ACRL Maryland community.

5. What do you contribute to your campus? My role as a Residency Librarian allows me to take risks and devote attention to unique initiatives. In my two-year term, I have been able to engage new audiences, experiment with new tools, and pursue projects that support the University mission in lasting ways. One of these projects includes outreach to student organizations about contributing to history through donations to the Archives; another supports the initiative to map University curriculum to information literacy instruction.

6. In your own words: I appreciate the academic library environment because the research and teaching mission inspires innovation. Every librarian has the success of the student and research community as their goal, and as a result, they are constantly trying new things and improving existing services. The academic community thrives on collaboration and experimentation, and I love that energy.


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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