Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Erin McCaffrey

Erin McCaffreyErin McCaffrey is the Electronic Services Librarian at the Regis University Dayton Memorial Library in Denver, Colorado. Erin has been an ACRL member since 2001 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 11, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive, resilient, multi-tasker.

2. What are you currently reading?  Personal reading: The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud; Wildwood by Colin Meloy; and often books about superheroes or princesses with my young daughter. Professional reading: Managing in the Middle: The Librarian’s Handbook, edited by Robert Farrell and Kenneth Schlesinger.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Collaboration, advocacy, connection.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Professional development, networking, and connections. ACRL conferences provide a wonderful opportunity to get inspired. I really value ACRL’s work to keep its members on top of trends and issues and their advocacy for academic librarians. I have utilized many of the guidelines and standards produced by ACRL, most recently working with the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as I serve on my library’s Assessment Task Force.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’m committed to providing a high level of service in the work that I do whether that is in helping our students or supporting my colleagues and I value the opportunities for collaboration on my campus. A lot of my work is behind the scenes and I feel like I am a bit of a “Jill of all trades.” I love the many facets of my current position and appreciate the variety of web support, system support, reference, instruction, and collection management in my work.

6. In your own words:  I’m still shocked when someone assumes that being a librarian means my job is to read books. How is that even possible in 2014? Academic librarians are very adept at navigating change and we have to continue to demonstrate the value of and advocate for our libraries. I love the spirit of collaboration in our professional development and scholarly work and feel fortunate to have worked with so many interesting, engaged, and dedicated librarians.


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: Paula Dempsey

Paula DempseyPaula Dempsey is Research Services and Resources Librarian and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Daley Library. Paula has been an ACRL member since 1991 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 4, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, dogged, fun-loving.

2. What are you currently reading?  Giving Voice to Values by Mary C. Gentile was a gift from a former colleague at DePaul University; it gives creative techniques for making values talk a routine part of decision making. And I’m on my umpteenth trip around the world with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, in Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume set of seafaring novels set in the 19th-century British Navy – I think of it as the adventures Jane Austen’s brothers were having while she crafted novels at home.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Connective, innovative, educative

4. What do you value about ACRL? I appreciate ARCL as a network of members helping one another navigate change in the profession, a source of new learning, and an advocate for libraries in academia and public policy.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I bring systems thinking to connect academic research, the curriculum, and student needs. The more we know as librarians about what new knowledge is being generated in our areas of specialty (especially on our own campuses), where the curriculum and pedagogy are headed, and how students approach learning, the more effectively we can keep our services and resources relevant.

6. In your own words:  It’s a privilege to be part of a community where ideas are valued, interrogated, and expanded to their limits. Making the time to take ideas seriously and to strive to generate new ones means engaging in a tug-of-war with the everyday challenges of making our organizations efficient and serving our users effectively. I focus on finding meaning in the work and not forgetting to have fun along the way.


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: Chris Bulock

Chris BulockChris Bulock is Electronic Resources Librarian at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois. Chris has been an ACRL member since 2009 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 14, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Learning, persistent, open.

2. What are you currently reading?  I’m usually reading an issue of The Believer. I’ve also just started John Brandon’s A Million Heavens.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Networks, resources, connections.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the connections with innovative colleagues. Participating in ACRL and reading College & Research Libraries helps me see problems in a new way and to find solutions I never would have thought of.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I manage the library’s electronic resources, which I hope benefits everyone on campus. I’m always pushing to make it easier for the university community to get to the resources they need, in a way that’s as intuitive as possible. I also participate heavily in service. I have been involved in program reviews and work with a student group that helps guide the functioning of the university center. The work I do at the state and national level is also in hopes that improvements in the profession will trickle down to our campus here.

6. In your own words:  I was attracted to librarianship because of my time working on the reference desk as an undergraduate. I loved being able to answer the questions of students and faculty members, to show them new ways to find information, and to learn from passionate experts along the way. Now, I get the same feeling of satisfaction from my work with electronic resources (though I still do reference). If I’m doing my job right, then I’m able to facilitate learning for something like 14,000 people, making it easier for them to find information they might not have found otherwise; to know things they might not have known. Because our students and faculty have many opportunities to share their research, I’m also able to see the end results, to share their excitement, and to think about how I can better serve that community.


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.

The ACRL Member of the Week feature will be taking a brief summer vacation for the next couple of weeks. We’ll return with more member profiles o

Member of the Week: Shahla Bahavar

Shahla BahavarShahla Bahavar is Director of Public Services Division I and Head of the Science & Engineering Library at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Shahla has been an ACRL member since 1997  and is your ACRL member of the week for July 7, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collegial, mentor, leader.

2. What are you currently reading?  I read a variety of materials, some for pleasure and some for professional development and on my research interests. Due to my personal interest in information literacy and services for international students as well as the concept of the Information Commons and the tiered-reference service model, most my readings are focused around those topics. Currently I’m reading Library Reference Services and Information Literacy: Models for Academic Institutions and Meeting the Needs of Student Users in Academic Libraries: Reaching Across the Great Divide.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Professional, educational, innovative.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL as the leading professional organization focusing on issues and topics of librarianship that relate directly to academic and research institutions. ACRL presents key information to keep us informed in our rapidly changing environment and offers valuable professional development opportunities through programs that are tailored to our needs, which help us keep up with changes and broaden our knowledge of academic and research libraries. ACRL provides a medium to presenting and publishing on academic library research and best practices while addressing emerging trends through conferences, publications, and online discussion lists.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I contribute to information discovery and access, to faculty scholarship and student learning, and to intellectual and educational endeavors of all kinds. Most importantly, I contribute to the mission of the USC Libraries as well as the University’s strategic vision through key services and activities such as information literacy instruction, research services, collection development, and outreach. Through outreach, I promote and present on the value of the library and its resources and services to the USC community.

6. In your own words:  I’m committed to ensuring intelligent access to research resources for future generations. The library profession is all about passion: passion to help, passion to serve, passion to teach, passion to give.  I love USC and have been with USC Libraries for many years. Working at a large research institution, every day is different and exciting. In addition to my administrative responsibilities as Director and a unit head of a big research library, I contribute significantly to public service activities, including teaching information literacy instruction and research services. I enjoy interacting with students, teaching them something that they didn’t know, opening their eyes to the world of resources that they were not aware of, and facilitating their learning, discovery, and utilization of information.

I am especially sensitive to the needs of the international students and actively work with them to help them get acquainted to the Western library system and the complexity of our institution’s library system. I’m devoted to user services and strive to bring excellence in all my public service activities and other administrative and user-focused service responsibilities.


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: Beth Stahr

Beth StahrBeth Stahr is Head of Reference at the Southeastern Louisiana University Sims Memorial Library in Hammond, Louisiana. Beth has been an ACRL member since 1998  and is your ACRL member of the week for June 30, 2014.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, analytical, focused.

2. What are you currently reading?  My reading list is somewhat scattered, but predictable by those who know me well. I’m reading Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America by François Weil. As a former professional genealogist who is still certified by the Board for Certification of Genealogists, I am intrigued by this arms-length view of Americans’ interest in family history. As a resident of southeastern Louisiana, I am always interested in scholarship relating to local lore, so I’m also reading A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau by Carolyn Morrow Long. And, at the suggestion of my director, for pure enjoyment, I just finished Help for the Haunted by John Searles on my Kindle.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Innovative, collaborative, enlightening.

4. What do you value about ACRL?  I appreciate ACRL’s push toward excellence in everything it attempts, from the ACRL conferences, to the publications, to online courses. The concept of quality permeates every offering.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? Faculty librarians on our campus provide traditional services like information literacy instruction, reference assistance, and subject area expertise, but also contribute to the institutional fabric by service on Faculty Senate and on important university committees. I am honored to currently serve on the University Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Institutional Review Board, positions which allow me to share the library’s unique perspective. I also serve as the treasurer of the university’s chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, interacting with students, faculty, retired faculty and alumni. I’m convinced that these campus connections accentuate what we do in the library, and help remind teaching faculty of our impact on our campus.

6. In your own words:  The possibilities are unending—the variety of work, the constant change, the outreach and service and working with faculty across campus is so personally enriching. There is never a moment of workplace boredom, and academic librarians can find their personal identity in so many different 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.

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