Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: James L. Adams

James L. AdamsJames L. Adams is the Data and Visualization Librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. James has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 18, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Affable, reflective, user-focused.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m reading The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver. I’m also listening to several podcasts: What’s the Point, Data Stories, Hardcore History, and The Infinite Monkey Cage, among others.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Fantastic professional community.

4. What do you value about ACRL? As an early career librarian, ACRL has helped me find a community of people that I feel truly connected to as a professional. Because of our common experience serving scholarly communities, my interactions with other ACRL members help me to improve my own work. One of my most memorable experiences since joining the profession was the week I spent at ACRL Immersion, which I feel vastly improved my abilities as an instructor and connected me with other librarians that I’ll continue to work with throughout my career. I like hearing about how my peers at other institutions approach some of the same challenges I face, and ACRL gives me the chance to make those connections.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a data and visualization librarian, one of my main goals is to empower members of my academic community by promoting data literacy and providing instruction on tools that can be used in quantitative research. A lot of my work relies on technology, and some of the tools I work with or methods I use may seem intimidating for those who don’t consider themselves to be tech-savvy or who think that they don’t have the skills to write code. My goal as an instructor and collaborator is to convince people otherwise and to make the things I do approachable for everyone. As a librarian, I feel that my expertise in data visualization or any other area is best utilized by making concepts accessible to others. I could create visualizations and help researchers explore their data all day, but I would much rather give them the power to do so themselves.

6. In your own words: I believe that the job of an academic librarian is fundamentally the same as any other librarian or information professional. We work in a community-focused profession, and on some level we all share the goal of providing our users with the information they need. I personally enjoy working in an academic library because I think that the information needs of academic communities are among the most interesting and in-depth. This gives us a chance to be constant learners; many of the people we get to work with are experts in their fields, and helping an expert find an answer is a great way to learn something new. On a broader level, I have a firmly held belief that education is inherently good. As librarians, we are dedicated to furthering education, and that gives me a deep sense of pride in our profession. Even doing something as small as helping an undergrad find a worthwhile source for their latest assignment, I can be happy knowing that I’ve done some good for the day.


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: Ariana Santiago

Ariana SantiagoAriana Santiago is the Instruction Librarian at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. Ariana has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 11, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, analytical, and thoughtful.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? For an online course I’m taking, I’m reading Learning and Instruction by Richard Mayer, plus a variety of research on teaching and learning. I also just got Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and am looking forward to a light, funny read. I almost always listen to Tom and Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinionfest podcast.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Welcoming, enriching, and collaborative.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I find incredible value in the connections I’ve made through ACRL with colleagues throughout the country. So many academic librarians are doing amazing things for their communities and they inspire me to think creatively about my own work. ACRL helps me stay current on areas of academic librarianship outside of instruction, and the connections and friendships I’ve made bring a variety of perspectives into my day-to-day life. I attended the ACRL 2015 Conference and the ACRL Immersion Program – both were exciting professional development experiences, made even more outstanding by the people and the community.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As the Instruction Librarian, I work with the rest of our instruction team and collaborate with subject liaisons on the design, planning, and assessment of our instruction, with the aim of using effective teaching practices to advance the research skills of undergraduate students. Of course, I also teach many library sessions – so far in my first 10 months at the University of Houston, I’ve worked with Freshman Comp 1 and 2, Biology, Psychology, and Engineering classes, and led workshops in our residence halls. It’s exciting to be at a point where I’m really getting a feel for our campus community and our students’ needs based on my interactions with them.

6. In your own words: Something I really like about academic librarianship is the wide array of people it attracts – people from all different educational backgrounds, people who have worked in other fields, and those like me who found librarianship as a first career. I am constantly learning from my colleagues, and we each play a distinct role in advancing the research and teaching missions of our university. I’m glad to have a fulfilling career where I can help students with their research and hopefully contribute to making their college education a more positive experience.


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: Christopher Cox

Christopher CoxChristopher Cox is Dean of Library Services at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Christopher has been an ACRL member since 1998 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 5, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, innovative, driven.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Straight Man by Richard Russo.  I love reading books about academia and Russo gets much of the details right in his satiric novel.  I have just started reading Robert McCammon’s Usher’s Passing, which follows the descendants of the Usher family from the famous Poe story.  I’m a sucker for horror fiction, particularly of the trade variety.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Forward thinking, inclusive, value-added.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I appreciate the fact that ACRL allows librarians like me to participate in the important conversations of the profession.  I have served on and led numerous committees within ACRL, which have provided me with networking and leadership opportunities that have helped me grow as a librarian. I and my staff have benefited from ACRL’s publications related to information literacy, the value of academic libraries and marketing, its scholarly communication programs, etc.  I also appreciate ACRL’s advocacy for academic librarians across the country and throughout the world.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I currently serve as Dean of Library Services at the University of Northern Iowa. In this capacity I work collaboratively to set the library’s vision, hire great colleagues and future leaders, and advocate for resources to support the development and execution of high quality library services.  My main goals are to 1) provide the University’s students with the tools and skills they need to succeed in their studies and in the workplace and 2) to provide faculty with the resources they need to grow as teachers and to expand the research conversations in their disciplines.

6. In your own words: I love being able to get up each morning and work in a profession that is constantly changing, continually challenging, and provides me with unlimited learning opportunities.  My role allows me to transform students’ lives, and make an impact through service innovations, building transformations, or the provision of information to the right person at the right time to help them to answer a knotty problem.


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: Elena Perez-Lizano

Elena Perez-LizanoElena Perez-Lizano is Senior Archivist at the State Archives of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Elena has been an ACRL member since 2012 and is your ACRL member of the week for June 27, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, lifetime learner, adaptable.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently rereading Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson and Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper by Nicholson Baker.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Responsive, forward-thinking, diverse.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the camaraderie and the ACRL conferences, which have been compared to a spa day: you feel refreshed and re-invigorated, ready to take new ideas back to your library.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I somewhat recently transitioned from a technical services librarian at a small academic library to an archivist at the New Mexico State Archives.  When I first started, I really missed being a librarian, but I realized that what I missed most about being a librarian was meeting people at their point of need, especially at the reference desk. I realized that as an archivist my skills were highly transferable, and I really enjoy connecting patrons to the documents that we hold.

6. In your own words: Libraries and archives are in an continued state of evolution. As librarians, we must be flexible and adaptable to meet patrons at their point of need, wherever that may be.


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: Jungwon Yang

Jungwon YangJungwon Yang is International Government Information and Public Policy Librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Jungwon has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for June 20, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Compassionate, inquisitive, analytical.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo, Jules and Jim by Henri-Pierre Roche, and The Reluctant Welfare State by Bruce S. Jansson.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Communication, collaboration, inspiration.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The ACRL conference is a great place to learn about emerging issues in academic libraries and to communicate with colleagues who share similar interests. I also want to mention the wonderful Ms. Kathryn J. Deiss, ACRL’s former content strategist, who helped me immensely during the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians in 2014. Her thoughtful advice about leadership, organizational culture, and creating a personal vision deeply helped me to realize what kind of librarian I want to be. She also helped me to understand how to balance my work and my private life. Last, but not the least, I  heard from my fellow University of Michigan Librarians that ACRL provides useful and exciting professional development programs for all level of librarians. I am very interested in participating in these ACRL programs in the near future.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As an international government information and public policy librarian, I provide reference and consultation services related to policy, international governmental organizations, and foreign governments to clients. I also teach library workshops related to public policy, government information, data resources and retrieval, research data management, and research method.  I collect and manage books, journals, statistics and other electronic resources related to public policy.

6. In your own words: As a research librarian, I am passionate about providing “reliable” information to researchers and improving data accessibility for them. My interest in the reliability and accessibility of information often leads me to explore new ideas and take on new projects, such as three library guides about statistics and geospatial data for three East Asian countries, a research methods class for the new graduate students of the Ford School of Public Policy, an international research data management workshop for librarians, and my attendance at the United Nations’ Regional Cartographic and Global Geospatial Information Management Conference to resolve a data accessibility problem. I cannot say that I was not nervous when I developed these new ideas. I am still nervous when I begin a new and challenging project. However, I am lucky to have advisors and mentors who encourage me to dream up new ideas and patiently wait while I figure out how to develop those ideas clearly. I’m also lucky because of the researchers at the University of Michigan who appreciate my efforts to create better research environments and because of my colleagues who share my burdens without hesitation.


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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