Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Kristin A. Briney

Kristin BrineyKristin A. Briney is the data services librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. With her background in data management, she recently joined the presenter team for ACRL’s new licensed workshop Building Your Research Data Management Toolkit: Integrating RDM Into Your Liaison Work. Kristin has been an ACRL member since 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 30, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Data management evangelist.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie and can’t wait to start Mary Robinette Kowal’s new book Ghost Talkers.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Leadership, community, learning.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the connections I make with my peers and how much I am able to learn from them. In particular, the Digital Curation Interest Group has been a resource for connecting with other librarians in my area of data management; such peer networks are incredibly important when one works in a newer subfield of librarianship. I also really value publications coming out under the umbrella of ACRL, such as the recent book Databrarianship. There are lots of people doing great data things through ACRL and I’m pleased that I get to learn from them and contribute.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I’m the main data management person on my campus, meaning I spend time teaching graduate students how to better their data practices (through strategic use of real life data horror stories), answer questions on data management plans and data sharing, host workshops on a number of data-related topics, and try to build a better research support network on campus. I also work in the scholarly communications and digital preservation space and try to push the goal a little further on these two issues. Basically, I help with anything on the research data spectrum from data creation to open data.

6. In your own words: I love being on the edge of what the library is doing, though it can be challenging at times—especially as I am starting new services. I have learned a lot and made mistakes, but having good coworkers both inside the library and out of it has made a huge difference. My greatest successes have come from adversity, such as making progress on digital preservation without a formal preservation system and making data management videos to reach out to our many students that never set foot in the library (or even on campus!). It’s a fun time to be doing data work in the library and I’m lucky to have a good support system here to encourage me in this challenge.


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: Donald A. Barclay

Donald A. Barclay Donald Barclayis Deputy University Librarian at the University of California, Merced in Merced, CA. Donald has been an ACRL member since 2011 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 23, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Disruptive smart aleck.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? My serious reading right now is Higher Education in America by Derek Curtis Bok. My guilty pleasure is reading Cracked.com for its humorous/serious insights into twenty-something thinking on pop culture, gaming, politics, and education.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Best of ALA.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL stakes out the tricky turf that lies between pragmatism and vision. If a professional organization is too focused on pragmatism, on how to keep doing what everyone is already doing, the result is stagnation. If, on the other hand, an organization is all about vision with no grounding in the realities of the people who have to show up for work and do a job every day, the result is a disconnect from membership. Not everyone will agree, but I think the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy is a great example of the balance that ACRL manages to achieve. The Framework is visionary enough to really challenge the profession without being so disconnected that it can’t be applied to the real academic world in which the membership lives and breathes.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I like to think that my main contribution has been, and still is, to keep my library on a trajectory that looks to the future rather than the past. When I came to UC Merced in 2002, there were no buildings, students, or faculty. Along with a team of smart, visionary, risk-taking people, I got to help invent a research library for the twenty-first century. In planning a new kind of research library we got a lot more things right than we got wrong, and I’m proud of that. As our campus has grown, the daily grind of serving a population of flesh-and-blood students and faculty has made it a lot harder to take the risks required to stay on a forward-leaning trajectory. Harder, but not impossible. One of my cheery managerial mantras is, “If we aren’t looking five years ahead today, we will be five years behind tomorrow.”

6. In your own words: I’ve been an academic librarian longer than some of the people I now work with have been alive. What I love about my profession is that it has allowed me to work directly with students (through instruction and reference), to dabble in scholarly pursuits (writing and publishing), and to grapple with the administrative realities (budget, human resources, organizational management) of higher education. When I started as a professional librarian, I had no interest in becoming a manager/administrator, yet that part of the job has turned out to be both intellectually stimulating and rewarding. It’s hard to imagine a job that would give someone a more wholistic understanding of higher education than a career as an academic librarian. Even though the rigid hierarchy of higher education positions academic librarians far lower in the pecking order than we deserve, it has been a blast sitting at the intersection of learning, scholarship, and administration while doing what I can to influence the direction of my profession, my campus, and the academy writ large.


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: Sabrina Wong

Sabrina WongSabrina Wong is Teaching & Outreach Librarian at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. Sabrina has been an ACRL member since 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 17, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Engaged, energetic, curious.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer. I heard him speak at the Asian/Pacific American Librarians’ Association (APALA) dinner at ALA this past year.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Empowering, open, relevant.

4. What do you value about ACRL? As a emerging professional, ACRL offers me such a wide range of opportunities to learn and grow my skillset. I attended my first ACRL conference in 2015 and it was an exciting, slightly overwhelming, and altogether wonderful experience. At the time, I was an outreach and student engagement librarian and new to the profession, so I enjoyed connecting with other librarians doing the same work. I think ACRL’s strength comes from the diversity of its members.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I recently started as Teaching and Outreach Librarian at Capilano University. In this position, I design and teach a large number of undergraduate workshops and plan outreach events and initiatives for the library. I came into this role with some teaching experience, but I’ve spent the past few months learning from my colleagues and it’s transformed how I think about teaching and librarianship. Whether we teach in classes or at a reference desk, teaching is a fundamental library service, and these interactions with faculty and students are opportunities for librarians to share, connect, and learn.

6. In your own words: Life as an academic librarian is fun and challenging. While people may think that academic librarians just sit in front of their computers all day, a key part of being an academic librarian is working with people—getting to know them and building relationships.


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: Mohamed Berray

Mohamed BerrayMohamed Berray is Social Sciences Librarian at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Mohamed has been an ACRL member since 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 9, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Honest, dedicated, generous.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently reading ACRL’s Putting Assessment into Action: Selected Projects from the First Cohort of the Assessment in Action Grant, edited by Eric Ackermann. I am passionate about library assessment, and I’ve learned a lot reading about the experiences of other institutions. For my casual reading, I read The New Yorker magazine.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Inspiring, engaging, empowering.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides a greater platform for advocacy of issues relevant to librarianship. The association also provides networking and professional development opportunities for its members. I’ve especially enjoyed serving on ACRL committees and the opportunity to contribute to the growth of our profession.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As Social Sciences Librarian, I serve as liaison to the political science department, the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, and the international affairs program. I also coordinate Florida State University Libraries’ depository collection and services for federal, State of Florida, and United Nations documents. In my current position, I have been privileged to provide instruction and research support to faculty and students in the College of Social Sciences, and for the Tallahassee community interested in using government information resources.

6. In your own words: My librarianship values are deep rooted in an analytic, research-driven approach to support the continuous improvement of services to the communities we serve. I have a strong commitment to diversity, and I believe that the differing backgrounds and perspectives that characterize diversity have provided our profession with a competitive advantage in our approach to public service and problem solving. I fully support open access to information as a professional practice. Free and equitable access to information has been a core principle of librarianship since the beginning. Open Access embodies this principle more completely now than ever before.


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 Filar Williams

Beth Filar-WilliamsBeth Filar Williams is Head of the Library Experience and Access Department at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. Beth first joined ACRL in 1999 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 3, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, restorative, hard-working.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I always have a variety of reads though I tend to listen to books most often (while walking, doing chores, gardening). I am really enjoying listening to someone I greatly respect and admire—Gloria Steinem’s story of her early years in My Life on the Road. I finished up reading The Design of Everyday Things, which is very relevant to my current service design work, and recommend this read to anyone designing services or spaces in libraries. I also just read the very short We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie based on her TED talk and recommend that quick read or video to everyone!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, opportunities, engagement.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is like an academic library for librarians: offering vetted, useful, scholarly resources when you need them, help when you are struggling to find what you need, online learning options, the best academic librarian conferences, and most importantly a means to connect and network with fellow academic librarians around the world.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? My role since February 2015 when I joined Oregon State University Libraries and Press is to grow a new department focusing on users’ experiences, bringing together circulation, the information desk, the building, learning spaces and the virtual library interactions as head of the Library Experience and Access Department. We are diving into wayfinding issues, user centered design of services, rethinking our spaces including collaboration with campus partners, and discovering other ways the library can best support our students to be successful.

6. In your own words: When I worked at the public library in high school in the Baltimore suburbs I swore I would never be a librarian (I am not going to wear a cardigan, a bun, and shush people! haha), but after stumbling into a library graduate degree program 20 years ago I knew there was no denying it was for me. By offering almost any resource imaginable and access to knowledge for people regardless of their privilege, class, race, gender, etc., libraries help creates the informed, equal access society in which I wish to live. Though I worked as a middle school librarian and a consultant, I found I kept drifting back into the academic libraries environment. I relish being on a college campus full of learning, creating, growing, with questioning students, constant new arrivals and those celebrating accomplishments, as well as being surrounded by educators and researchers.


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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