Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Christian Dupont

Christian Dupont

Christian Dupont is Burns Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections at the Boston College John J. Burns Library in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Christian has been an ACRL member since 1998 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 15, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Philosophical. Adventuresome. Protean.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? For pleasure reading, I’m constantly taking advantage of free moments while my hands are busy to tune into my LibriVox and Audible downloads. In anticipation of my new position at BC, I’ve spent the last few weeks discovering Graham Greene (we have his personal library and papers at the Burns). I started with The End of the Affair and am now deep into The Heart of the Matter, having bitten off Brighton Rock in between.

I’ve also been reacquainting myself with Jesuit spirituality under the direction of James Martin, SJ, who has in turn led me back to Thomas Merton and his Seven Storey Mountain. All roads always lead me home to Dante, my constant companion now in every stage of our life’s journey (I was appointed Secretary and Librarian of the Dante Society of America this past spring). With my teenage daughter as a highway companion on a recent drive back to Virginia, we chased down several short stories from Mark Parent’s Secret Society of Demolition Writers anthology while doing our best to avoid collisions of our own (don’t tell mom!).

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Revitalizing. Resourceful. Resource-full.

4. What do you value about ACRL? In truth, everything—beginning with the opportunities to connect and collaborate with colleagues who share similar commitments to improving academic libraries and increasing their relevance and value in our rapidly evolving educational, social, and technological environments. Over the years, through various leadership roles in RBMS (my section home) and the larger organization, I have also enjoyed opportunities to work closely with almost all of the ACRL staff, who continually inspire me with their dedication, professionalism, and vitality.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Well, that remains to be seen! I just recently started in my new role at Boston College. As associate university librarian for special collections, my primary aim will to be work with my eager staff in the Burns Library to engage an ever-growing proportion of our students and faculty with our unique collection resources and, beyond our local sphere, the larger scholarly world and global public. Because our collection strengths align strongly with BC’s Jesuit, Catholic character and mission, our goal is to become an ever more vital resource and node of BC’s intellectual and cultural life. Burns Library has had especially strong ties with BC’s Center for Irish Programs through our Irish Music Center and distinguished annual visiting scholar program. I look forward to further enhancing those alliances and cultivating relationships with many other academic departments and programs.

6. In your own words: Six years ago, while I was director of special collections at UVa, I decided to jump the rails and join Atlas Systems, the library software development company best known for creating the ILLiad interlibrary loan management system, to lead the development and promotion of Aeon, the first online user and request management system designed specifically for special collections and archives. Leveraging network and database technologies to liberate rare books and manuscripts proved liberating for me as well, both personally and professionally. And yet at times I felt that having a .com instead of a .edu or .org at the end of my email address limited librarians’ perceptions of me as a partner who was equally invested in the success of our shared enterprise. I like to think that I became good at working past the “vendor” image, and now that I have reassumed the outward signs of my identity as an academic librarian, I like to think that I will be good at helping my library colleagues think about possibilities for partnerships outside the library in fresh and creative ways.


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: Peace Ossom Williamson

Peace Ossom WilliamsonPeace Ossom Williamson is Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries in Arlington, Texas. Peace has been an ACRL member since 2014, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for December 8, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Silly, Sentimental, and Ambitious.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I rarely read fiction, so my titles can be a bit uninteresting to most, but the most recent fiction work I read was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because I love everything she writes. Americanah was no exception. The nonfiction books I’ve finished recently are mainly how-to books, but I also read Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Evolving, Advocating, and Educating.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is valuable to me because it provides a chance to connect with medical librarians working in academic institutions. It also creates various avenues for ideas to collide, and these can come from individuals with various backgrounds, positions, and experiences. My involvement in these opportunities has strengthened my ability to innovate as well as my knowledge of best practices.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work as an informationist, an advocate, an educator, a facilitator, a connector, and a colleague with the students, faculty, and staff on campus. I am liaison to the Biology and Kinesiology Departments and liaison to the College of Nursing, which is the largest not-for-profit nursing college in the country with over 8,000 students. In addition to assisting with research and technology needs through consultations and instruction sessions, I work with the Scholarly Communication librarians to educate the aforementioned groups on copyright and open access issues. Furthermore, I work to connect people across disciplines and to connect academics and their work with the greater community, through the facilitation of special programs and events. My time as an academic librarian at UT Arlington is and will continue to be ever-changing and greatly rewarding!

6. In your own words: Academic librarianship is not for the timid or the tired as it involves a spirit of continuous learning and growing. It is an exciting profession for those who love to grow and develop skills and abilities in technologies that may not have existed a week ago. It also involves forethought into the trends of information needs and an institution’s particular needs, as the library is the cross-roads or meeting point where connections are made and innovation is born.


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: Heather Lea Moulaison

Heather Lea MoulaisonHeather Lea Moulaison is Assistant Professor in the iSchool at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Heather has been an ACRL member since 2002 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 1, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Adventuresome, Personable, Driven.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently about halfway through The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick. I had wondered for a long time about the origins of alphabetic order and was surprised when this was the book to provide some initial answers. Indulging in audiobooks is one of my guilty pleasures; for non-work reading, I usually tend toward nonfiction, but have been listening recently to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in French (Le Hobbit), read by an actor with an incredible gift for making the words come alive, Dominique Pinon.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Empowering, Accessible, Enlightening.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The people. There is something so wonderful about librarians overall, but the members of ACRL are, in my experience, supportive, encouraging, and friendly. They are also some of the most intelligent people I have ever met. I owe a lot to ACRL librarians who have helped me navigate not only ALA, but also the profession in general.

5. What do you as an LIS educator contribute to your campus? Being an LIS educator in a university that values interdisciplinary allows me to engage with a variety of partners from across campus. For example, thanks to a research project in partnership with the library’s Head of Digital Initiatives, Felicity Dykas, we have been able to mentor and support an LIS Masters student learning to carry out research. Though my connections with the publishing branch of the campus bookstore, I am able to work with area self-publishers and to introduce library students to some of the technology supporting self-publishing. Finally, as an instructor for one of the core courses in our campus’s newly developed Digital Humanities certificate program, I will be supporting future work of our campus’s humanities students.

6. In your own words: Teaching in an ALA-accredited LIS program is incredibly rewarding. In some ways, it is the best of all possible worlds. I remain strongly tied to the profession through my collaborations with librarians on-campus and beyond. For example, with academic library partners, I have been developing a research agenda focusing on the role of authorship, have been engaged in thinking about and supporting digital humanities, and have incorporated a service learning component in both my Cataloging class and my Metadata class. As a professor, of course, I also get to work with library school students – some of the most dedicated, ambitious, curious, and enthusiastic people around. Their optimism is infectious, and not unlike most librarians, I can honestly say that I love what I do.


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: John Glover

John GloverJohn Glover is Humanities Research Librarian at the Virginia Commonwealth University James Branch Cabell Library in Richmond, Virginia. John has been an ACRL member since 2006 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 24, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, inquisitive, patient.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)?Too many things, as always. Ana Kai Tangata, by Scott Nicolay. Far From Streets, by Michael Griffin. The Luminol Reels, by Laura Ellen Joyce. Seam, by Tarfia Faizullah. Social Network Analysis, by John Scott. New Critical Essays on H.P. Lovecraft, edited by David Simmons. Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Supportive, connected, metamorphic.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the way that ACRL provides a guiding light for the ecosystem that supports college and research libraries. Donors, technologists, librarians, staff members, administrators, library school students, trustees, vendors, programmers, managers, patrons, and other library supporters: I’ve met and learned from all of these people in ACRL-sponsored venues, whether conferences, webinars, or publications.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I run a one-of-a-kind matchmaking service for patrons in the humanities, connecting my people with whatever they need, be it a book, person, database, program, website, or otherwise. Having done that, I help them to understand the ever-multiplying, ever-expanding systems that contain these things, up until the point where they have enough knowledge to navigate the chaos on their own.

6. In your own words: When I come to a fork in the road, I usually take it! Academic libraries are wonderful—endlessly diverting—and they contain something of the entire world. As such, when I encounter anything odd, whether it’s a foreign idea, mystifying item record, or student asking for something libraries don’t carry (chocolate parrots! Lamborghini can openers!), I start digging. And I dig. And I keep on digging, partly because it’s fun, but partly because it may mean an opportunity to change or improve things for our patrons. People will usually tell you that chocolate parrots don’t belong in the library (and they may be right), but the search and discussion will inevitably prove useful.


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: Claudia C. Peterson

Claudia C. PetersonClaudia C. Peterson is Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State Fayette in Lemont Furnace, Pennsylvania. Claudia has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 17, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Flexible, collaborative and curious.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)?Amor en los Tiempos del Cholera by Gabriel Garci­a Marquez.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, forward-thinking, dynamic.

4. What do you value about ACRL? It’s devotion to academic libraries through the research direction it takes.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a reference and instruction librarian at a small campus, I am a daily part in the lives of students. I especially contribute to their learning and discovery by making the library and its resources available at every step of their education.

6. In your own words: I feel that my career as an academic librarian has introduced me to valuable and very rewarding experiences in the classroom and outside the classroom.


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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