Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Tara R. Malone

Tara R. MaloneTara R. Malone is an assistant professor and medical librarian at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OKTara first joined ACRL in 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 11, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, skeptical, unconventional.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. It’s a really tragic true story, and especially hits close to home, being an Oklahoman. On the lighter side, I’m also making my yearly journey through the Harry Potter series.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Transformative, informative, inclusive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL as an organization that is committed to helping others find, access, and understand information. ACRL brings together diverse perspectives and personalities to tackle some of the most challenging issues in today’s information landscape, and helps forge meaningful connections between information practitioners to better serve information consumers.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a reference and instructional services librarian on a health sciences campus with seven colleges, I work with other library faculty and staff to provide a wide variety of on-campus instruction regarding library resources, database searching, and evidence-based health sciences information. We also perform mediated literature searches for our faculty, staff, and students, as well as handle the day-to-day reference needs of our patrons. We also are a resource library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine under the National Library of Medicine umbrella. As such, in addition to our on-campus activities, we also are dedicated to health information outreach activities in our local community and across our state.

6. In your own words: As a child, I remember spending countless hours at the tiny public library in my town, where library staff essentially served as my babysitters. I also remember endlessly wandering the stacks of our state university library when my mother went back to school and took me to study with her. Libraries of many types have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I think in several ways, they saved me by giving me shelter when I had little and by opening my mind to new possibilities. Libraries were my home then, as they are now.

I believe that no matter what inspires you to become a librarian, and no matter what kind of librarian you are, we are all committed to the same ultimate goal: providing equitable access to quality information for as many people as possible. I have lived this reality from a patron standpoint; I’m proud to be on the practitioner side as well now.


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: Brandy Whitlock

Brandy WhitlockBrandy Whitlock is an instruction librarian at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD and a presenter for the ACRL workshop Assessment in Action: Demonstrating and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success. Brandy first joined ACRL in 2005 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 4, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Rational, resourceful, grateful.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Respected, useful, ambitious.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I appreciate its conferences and all of the professional development opportunities ACRL sponsors, the scholarship ACRL publishes, and the advocacy ACRL undertakes. I’ve been able to connect with exceptional librarians, especially through Immersion and AiA, and I trust I’ll continue to discover dedicated educators, challenging thinkers, and stimulating collaborators through future ACRL events and activities.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? For many community college libraries, liaison programs aren’t practical, which means that our librarians often teach classes, collaborate with other faculty members, and help students in nearly every academic discipline. Because of this range of experience, I am often able to contribute a campus-wide perspective, especially to conversations at my college around pedagogy, curricula, and assessment. Because our librarians are required or are asked to serve on almost all campus-wide committees, we are able to foster information literacy among a variety of learners, including an incredibly diverse student body, but also among faculty, staff, and community members.

6. In your own words: My life in academic librarianship is driven by learning. To serve the educational mission of my college and the needs of our community, I want learn the best strategies for discussing and developing information literacy. I’ve always enjoyed being a student, and now as an academic librarian I get to study information, engaging with some of the most vexing and pressing questions of this “Information Age”: How can we provide more people with more access to information, while also making it easier to find any particular piece of information, when information is proliferating exponentially? How can we deploy information to correct systematic inequality and injustice when information is so often generated, disseminated, and legitimized by systems rife with inequality and injustice? How can we use information to think critically and at the same time think critically about the information we use? Framing and addressing these kinds of questions is what makes academic librarianship so compelling today.


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: Elisandro Cabada

Elisandro CabadaElisandro Cabada is an engineering and innovation librarian at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. Elisandro first joined ACRL in 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 27, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Driven, introspective, resilient.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I recently finished Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and am currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. My favorite reading materials at the moment are graphic novels and comic books because of the versatility of that medium. They use text and art in non-linear ways to tell powerful stories. As a cancer survivor, my favorite graphic novel at the moment is Stitches: A Memoir.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Service, opportunity, leadership.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value about ACRL is that it provides me with an opportunity for service. I want to contribute to our field and be meaningfully impactful. ACRL provides me with a network of communities that can empower me to be a better librarian at my institution and as a member of ALA in general.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I am a liaison to our computer science and electrical and computer engineering departments and to our Technological Leadership Institute, working with faculty and students to meet their research needs with instruction and consultations. Technology and how we use it in our user spaces is also a large part of my role at my institution’s libraries. We are currently working to build a community of expertise around emerging technologies and their intersections with library and academic spaces in general. I am also helping lead the development of our libraries maker/innovation spaces.

6. In your own words: I have been working in academic research libraries for the past 17 years. From student worker to library support staff, and in my current role as an engineering librarian my understanding of the “library” has evolved overtime. Understanding what services libraries provide is important but what has been more eye opening to me is developing an understanding of the role of libraries and librarians within our academic institutions and in our communities at large. This has empowered me with set of beliefs. As a previous ALA Spectrum Scholar and ARL Diversity Scholar, I am part of an amazing community of colleagues from all types of libraries and archives and life experiences. I hope to leverage that community and the expertise and cultural competencies within to better serve my own faculty and students and to reach underrepresented and underserved populations at my institution.


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: Anna Sandelli

Anna SandelliAnna Sandelli is the student success librarian for user experience and instructional assessment at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Knoxville, TN. Anna first joined ACRL in 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 21, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive, enthusiastic, empathetic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories of Facing the Unknown, a collection adapted from The Moth podcast that made me laugh, cry, and think. I’m winding my way through Madeline L’Engle’s “Time” quintet and currently reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet. I’m also reading Peter Filene’s The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors and enjoying recommendations from friends and colleagues to add to my ever-growing list!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Connector, conversation-starter, champion.

4. What do you value about ACRL? To me, ACRL is an invaluable source of both information and inspiration. Several months after starting my first professional librarian position, I had the opportunity to attend ACRL 2015, and I came away energized by the conversations and community I found there, as well as colleagues’ excitement about continuing these conversations long after the conference. Since then, my involvement in ACRL has continually reminded me that I’m part of a profession of dedicated and thoughtful individuals who are eager to collaborate, learn, and grow together.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a student success librarian, I feel fortunate to work with students in a variety of capacities related to learning, research, and engagement and to assessing our work in these areas. At the same time, my role enables me to work closely both with colleagues across our libraries and throughout campus. I seek to bring a student-centered perspective to these conversations and to draw upon my experiences of seeing the diversity of students’ experiences to be an advocate for incorporating a range of student voices and needs into planning and programming. I also aim to share the UT Libraries’ story, so that campus partners who are not as familiar with it can hopefully better understand how our mission and vision connects to—and can help shape—the campus’ story.

6. In your own words: As an undergraduate student, I was drawn to journalism because I was intrigued by the idea of seeking out stories. As a librarian, I feel like I’ve gotten to take this interest one step further by working with students as they write their own. I love seeing students grow in confidence and find their niche, as they navigate both scholarship and our campus community. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is having students I’ve taught or worked with in past semesters stop me in the library, on campus, or even on the street, to share how they’re doing and where they’re going next. Their enthusiasm as they explore and identify ways to contribute to the world around them fuels my passion for my work—and my appreciation for being part of a profession that values and advances this work.


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: Haipeng Li

Haipeng LiHaipeng Li is the university librarian at the University of California, Merced in Merced, CA. Haipeng first joined ACRL in 1993 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 13, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, respectful and forward-thinking.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? As a library administrator, I am always interested in issues in the area of organizational leadership. I have been reading books on leadership, particularly appreciative leadership. I have already finished the book Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization by Diana Whitney, et al. (2010). I very much like the positive approach this book discusses in dealing with leadership and organizational change. This approach also resonates with the force that drives organizational change by deploying positive energy in the Chinese culture. Currently I am reading Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World by Christine L. Borgman as an assignment for a discussion forum among our staff, which should be fascinating.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Opportunity, networking, leadership.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is recognized as a well-developed professional organization. Not only members can gain experience in organizational involvement and governance, but also be benefited by the many professionally created resources—guidelines and standards that are widely used in the profession all over the world. ACRL also provides many opportunities for its member growth such as mentoring. I served on the ACRL E. J. Josey Mentorship Committee from 2007-2009 as a mentor and very much enjoyed my interactions with the mentee.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus?  The University of California, Merced was established in 2005 so it is a new campus—known as the first American research university in the 21st century. As the newest campus in the University of California system, UC Merced faces many challenges—budget, space, workforce, etc., but the university also presents many opportunities for creativity and innovation. As the university librarian, I have responsibilities for developing and overseeing the broad directions for the university library. I see my contribution as critical to our campus growth as well as the growth for our library. I play the role as someone who encourages and supports our librarians and staff for new and innovative ideas. We currently have several fascinating digital projects going on—the Yosemite Archives Project, the UC Cooperative Extension Project and the AIDS Epidemic Project in collaboration with UC San Francisco and the San Francisco Public Library.

6. In your own words: We are at a time facing many challenges, not just in our profession but also in societies at large—fake news, big data, open access, high cost for research materials, and many others. This is the time for stronger leadership! This is particularly true with these challenges ahead of us. I always believe in opportunities—opportunities for ourselves and for others, and opportunities for partnership and collaboration. Our libraries will need to reposition themselves for new ideas, new partnerships, and new allies regionally, nationally and globally.


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.

1 2 3 94