Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Donald Beagle

Donald BeagleDonald Beagle is Director of Library Services at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. Donald has been an ACRL member since 2000 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 23, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Learning Commons innovator.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am reading the article “Information Spaces, Digital Culture, and Utopia” by Pramod K. Nayar, published in the Journal of Contemporary Thought (Summer 2010), by way of a discussion with Dr. Ed Tiryakian, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Duke University. Ed has donated much of his private research collection to my library, including his own work on utopian literature, and noted that Nayar referenced my own 2006 book, The Information Commons Handbook, in this article. In the 21st century, I think it is important for LIS literature to reach an academic audience across disciplines, and I am delighted that my books and articles have been cited over a thousand times, including references in research articles by cognitive psychologists, anthropologists, historians, and contemporary philosophers, such as Pramod K. Nayar.

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

4. What do you value about ACRL? The expertise of colleagues through personal contacts, professional conferences, and the research literature.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I’ve most recently spearheaded a just-completed $1.5 million renovation of our Library, envisioned and planned a proposed $8 million expansion of our Learning Commons, and serve on the Gaston Gigabit Initiative that has just received funding for our gigabit linkup to the Google Fiber network being installed across the adjacent metropolitan area of Charlotte, NC.

6. In your own words: From 1995, when I received an Apple Library of Tomorrow Grant, I have tried to explore and articulate the organizational and technological challenges we face in bridging (and helping our students and faculty bridge) the border between the Age of Print and the Digital Age.


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: Maryam Fakouri

Maryam FakouriMaryam Fakouri is Intellectual Property Librarian at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, IL. Maryam has been an ACRL member since 2003 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 16, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative, thoughtful, environmentalist.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I regularly read the New York Times, the Atlantic, and recipes. I also just bought the exhibit catalog Kerry James Marshall: Mastry.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Plenty of opportunities.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the strengths of ACRL’s members.  Librarians in ACRL care about the entire flow of information, from international law to helping beginning college students understand citations.  When I’m at an ACRL event, I know I’m among people who think about what I think about—and more.  My ACRL colleagues help me stay aware of what’s happening.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I’m probably most visible on campus as a resource about intellectual property matters.  I teach and consult about copyright, the Creative Commons, and related issues.  Like anywhere else, our students and faculty are both creators and users of intellectual property.  Because I’m at an arts and media college, their questions extend beyond teaching and scholarship.  They ask about using brand names and music in films, and creating choreography, fan art, and parodies.  I explain rights, options, and best practices.  I also provide reference service, teach information literacy classes, and serve as a liaison to a few departments.

6. In your own words: Academic librarianship has many avenues.  I have friends in cataloging, acquisitions, reference, and scholarly communications.  Of course, these often merge.  Good reference service requires quality cataloging.  Developments in scholarly communication affect acquisitions.  And so on.

Information science and information policy form a big pool, and that pool is growing.  We have new sources of information and new tools to share information.  These have new policy implications, such as privacy, access, and preservation.   As information insiders, librarians think about these things.  It’s important that we clearly communicate to non-librarians why these developments matter.


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: David W. Lewis

David W. LewisDavid W. Lewis is Dean of IUPUI University Library at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana. David has been an ACRL member since 1986 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 10, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Forward looking leader.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Margaret Heffernan’s short TED book Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes. A great quick read on how to improve organizational culture. Her TED talk, “Why It’s Time to Forget the Pecking Order at Work” is the 20 minute introduction.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Connections that matter.

4. What do you value about ACRL? At different points in my career ACRL has been important for different reasons. When I was younger I valued the networking and the conferences. I did a lot of committee work and met a lot of people. I was at the first ACRL conference in Boston, though all I remember about it now is that Kurt Vonnegut spoke and there was a great party at Boston Public. Now I find C&RL an important way to keep up on research in the field. I appreciate the changes that have been made to it in the past several years. It is good for ACRL to set an example for how a professional organization can embrace open access.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I view my job as getting the campus to understand what digital technologies are doing to scholarship and how the library and the campus can position themselves to use these changes to their advantage. This includes encouraging and supporting open access, creating digital collections, and making sure our students understand information and how to use it effectively. It also means creating a library organization that allows and encourages people to do good work.

6. In your own words: I have been at this academic library thing for a very long time. I have seen huge changes in how libraries do things and increasingly what they do. Along the way, I have been fortunate to be able to have many exceptional colleagues and to make some small contributions. It has been fun on most days. Looking back, I am most proud of my contributions to the literature. I like to think I have been challenging and thought provoking. C&RL has been a big part of that.


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: Nataly Blas

Nataly BlasNataly Blas is Business Librarian at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. Nataly has been an ACRL member since 2012 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 2, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Motivated, collaborative, thoughtful.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently reading Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. So far it is a great novel that touches upon family life, death, and diversity. The novel is set in the 1970s but many of themes, especially diversity, are still very relevant today.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative, supportive, engaging.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL’s commitment and engagement with its members and the library profession as a whole. As an early career librarian, I was confused (and a bit scared!) about the inner workings of such a large professional organization as ALA. Yet, my involvement with ACRL has eased the transition from graduate student to information professional. Through ACRL, I found a great mentor, I have participated in meaningful and knowledgeable discussions, and I feel that I am part of an innovating organization.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As the Business Librarian in a medium-sized institution, I truly have the ability to connect more intimately with the students and faculty. I am very committed to their academic success and promote information literacy skills that will be relevant in their future careers. Since my position tends to be very narrowly focused, I make a great effort to be involved in the larger library environment and ensure that I am engaging with my fellow colleagues. Overall, I try to maintain a positive and collaborative attitude in everything I do.

6. In your own words: Recently, a student worker casually asked, “So, what do the librarians do when they are not on the desk?” I could not help but smile at this question. There are so many answers to the student’s question, but in short, life as an academic librarian is dynamic and rewarding. Librarians are always learning, teaching, solving, and connecting with others.


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: Jennifer Knievel

Jennifer Knievel BlogJennifer Knievel is Associate Professor and Director of Arts & Humanities at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries in Boulder, Colorado. Jennifer has been an ACRL member since 1999 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 25, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, ethical, pragmatic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently re-reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I know some people don’t love his writing, but this book changed the course of my life; it inspired me to become a librarian. The story reminds us of the importance of protecting intellectual discourse, of questioning the world and society around us, and most of all, of encouraging others to do the same.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Community, learning, growing.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL is where I find my people. It’s where I can build relationships that remind me why I love being a librarian and inspire me to focus on students, center my work on learning, and strive to improve myself as a professional.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? Librarians are situated to work with students in a safe, non-evaluative relationship in ways that their regular course faculty can’t do. Research shows increasingly that students who leave college do so because they don’t feel like anyone at the university cares about them. Librarians have an opportunity to stand in that role as the person who cares, who inspires a student to stay. As an academic librarian, I am part of an organization that exists to enable the students to succeed.

6. In your own words: Not everyone’s career is world-changing in an obvious way, the way that perhaps an emergency doctor, social worker, or firefighter’s might be. However, all of our careers have the potential to improve the piece of the world we do touch. So I consider it my role, my calling, to do everything I can think of to make the library and the university a better place to live, work, and learn. Perhaps that improvement is something major, like championing the implementation of a new mentoring program for library faculty or participating in drafting a new strategic plan, or maybe it’s something minor, like guiding a student at the reference desk to articles about the depiction of the Indian caste system in Bollywood films. But every day, I have a chance to make life a little better for others.


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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