Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Sara Lowe

Sara LoweSara Lowe is the educational development librarian at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, IN. She is also part of the presenter team for ACRL’s new licensed workshop Assessment in Action: Demonstrating and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success. Sara first joined ACRL in 2004 and is your ACRL member of the week for June 12, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive, goofy, passionate.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? An Everyone Culture by Kegan Lahey; SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard; MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Inspiration for practice.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Their advocacy as well as moving the profession forward (e.g., Assessment In Action, The Framework for Information Literacy). Their top notch publications and conference. Colleagues I’ve met via committees and conferences.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As educational development librarian at IUPUI, I hope I act as a bridge or conduit between the work of teaching librarians and disciplinary faculty, demonstrating to the campus the value of the work we do and how it contributes to the mission of the university.

6. In your own words: Working as an academic librarian is endlessly fun, challenging, and engaging. The research I do can be applied directly back to my (and my colleagues) teaching practice which creates a continuously improving feedback loop. This is a job where the curious thrive; I’m constantly learning new things and pushing my boundaries in instruction, assessment, and research.


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: Stephanie Espinoza

Stephanie EspinozaStephanie Espinoza is the eLearning librarian at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, NV. Stephanie first joined ACRL in 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for June 5, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Conscientious. Passionate. Creative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Anna Kendrick’s biography, Scrappy Little Nobody, which is not only quite amusing but also relatable for any woman early in her career who might have anxiety or even imposter syndrome. I also recently read the young adult novel Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon in about seven hours. I absolutely love children’s and young adult literature! For my next YA book club meeting I’ve started Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Inclusive. Vast. Inspiring.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the experiences that ACRL provides academic librarians, both new in their career and established in the field. There is always something to learn, and ACRL offers those opportunities to learn—both in person and virtually—that we might not otherwise have. Librarianship has so many areas of focus. It’s nice to have an organization that’s dedicated specifically to our needs. It’s not just professional development. It inspires us to be leaders, or better leaders. It encourages us to innovate. It’s an exciting world in which to be involved!

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? On my campus, I recently transitioned from an instruction/reference librarian to an eLearning librarian. Having taken all my graduate degree courses online, I understand how important it is for distance students to be able to connect with a friendly, human face even if they can’t come to campus. I serve as a resource and advocate for this demographic, assisting students with everything from online research to technical difficulties. I also serve on our library’s marketing team where I help to plan student engagement events, create promotional materials, and maintain our social media.

6. In your own words: I work at a community college library where the population of students is so incredibly diverse—we see students from all cultures, backgrounds, and ages. I serve international students who are just learning English, 60-year-old students going back to school, teenagers who are the first in their family to go to college, mothers who work, raise kids, and attend classes. And all of them are so proud to be here. The students I see in the library and help online work so hard to be able to finish their assignments and progress in their studies. They are dedicated to their success, so I just make sure they know they can always come to me if they have questions or need help along the way. That’s what we’re here for.


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: Natalie Bennett

Natalie BennettNatalie Bennett is the online services librarian at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in Chattanooga, TN. Natalie first joined ACRL in 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 30, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Energetic, hardworking, outgoing.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just started Botany of Desire by Michael Pollen, a gift from a dear friend. I haven’t read much yet, just waiting for a nice rainy day off to dig in.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Conversation, scholarship, opportunity.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity connect with and work with colleagues all over the country. ACRL has provided the support, technology and connections necessary to organize, host, and attend great professional development opportunities, even at a distance. I also truly value the publications coming from ACRL; I look forward to flipping through College & Research Libraries News each month for latest trends and developments in the field.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? In my role as the online services librarian, a big part of my job is to be the library’s link to the University’s online education efforts. I cultivate relationships with faculty teaching online to increase information literacy instruction in the virtual classroom. When I’m not working with online ed, I teach a lot of face-to-face library instruction classes, which is probably where I am most visible to students and faculty. I also help to connect the library with the University’s instructional design team, especially as they work to review online classes for quality assurance.

6. In your own words: As I think about why I became a librarian, I know that I made the right decision. I am a very service oriented individual, and academic librarianship gives me the opportunity to interact with folks on a customer service level. I get a lot of joy out of teaching, both in class and online. I love watching students begin to understand the concepts I’m explaining and having conversations about the process of research with them. I get a lot of gratification out of knowing that I might be helping make a difference in how people interact with information and that I might be making that interaction easier for them. I am also lucky to work in a field where I can find a variety of projects to get involved in that I’m passionate about.


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: Gavin Ferriby

Gavin FerribyGavin Ferriby is the university librarian at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Gavin first joined ACRL in 1987 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 22, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Engaged, self-motivated, scholarly.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World by Scott Hartley; The World as I Found It (fiction) by Bruce Duffy; Demian by Herman Hesse (auf Deutsch).

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Confident, far-reaching, complex.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Members, presenters, and colleagues speak their minds, tolerate disagreement, and bring a great deal of experience and wisdom to the table—I always learn from them, and highly value serendipity.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I bring dedication to liberal arts and professional education; experience, and leadership to align our library with the University’s mission, goals, and emphases, and to demonstrate our key value: teaching faculty, students, and staff how to discover and use information wisely to foster genuine learning.

6. In your own words: In my 30-plus years’ experience, librarianship and libraries have been transformed and disrupted repeatedly, and the ability to continue to learn, adapt, and thrive has been crucial to any professional and intellectual success. I have been privileged to participate in re-fashioning the library services and resources that are now more crucial than ever, but also in preserving the best of the past: the fundamental respect for accuracy, truth, and privacy; inclusion of diverse perspectives; and the creative, strategic thinking that characterizes the best library practices. The discontinuities between the transformation of universities and libraries, and constraints of time and money are both very challenging to negotiate, and a spur to the entire profession to think and act bravely and creatively. Despite (and because of) those discontinuities, transformations, and disruptions, this is best time yet to be an academic librarian.


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: Susanne M. Markgren

Susanne MarkgrenSusanne M. Markgren is the assistant director for technical services at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. Susanne first joined ACRL in 2008 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 15, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Adaptable, inquisitive, resilient.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently obsessed with short stories, and I’m alternating between these three amazing collections: Joy Williams’ The Visiting Privilege, Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women, and Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories.

In the car and on walks, I like to listen to The Moth Radio Hour, or The Moth Podcast. True stories, well told. Totally addictive.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Scalable, motivational, community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? In using the three words above, I value ACRL because of its scalability. People can participate in a variety of ways to suit their individual schedules, needs, and expectations, and at the chapter level or national level, or both. I’ve been involved in my local chapter of ACRL for over a decade and I cannot express how much I appreciate and value the community of professionals that often feels like family. We support one another, encourage and motivate one another, and are constantly recruiting others into the fold. We engage with library professionals and students in our local area by offering workshops, panel sessions, symposia, tours, meet ‘n greets, and a formal mentoring program; and we work with other local library organizations on professional development opportunities and programming geared for academic librarians. At the national level, I’m excited to be a member of the ACRL New Publications Advisory Board.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I’ve only been in my current position since August, so I definitely bring a new outlook and vision to my campus, my library, and my role in technical services. As someone who has worked in a variety of positions in several different types of libraries, I bring a broad knowledge of systems, workflows, and management styles which comes in handy when transitioning to a new place. I tend to be an optimist and a big-thinker who likes to come up with new and creative ways to do things. I think experimentation and flexibility are directly tied to engagement and productivity, and I hope that I can encourage those around me to continue to learn and grow and collaborate.

6. In your own words: The best part of my career as an academic librarian has been the people I’ve worked with along the way: my mentors and colleagues who’ve supported me and inspired me and pushed me to achieve more than I thought I could. I’d like to think that each role I’ve been in (and there’s been a lot) has propelled me toward the next one, and each skill I’ve acquired and connection I’ve made have helped open new doors and new opportunities. I’m thrilled that I can now give back by mentoring others and sharing what I’ve learned along the way, and ACRL gives me a platform to do so. In order to remain relevant on our campuses, and in our profession, we need to contribute and share our knowledge, experience, skills, and passion—and to become advocates for our collections, our services, and our roles.


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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