Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Hadeer Elsbai

Editor’s Note: For the month of January, we’re profiling student members of ACRL. For a limited time, ACRL membership dues for students are just $5.

Hadeer ElsbaiHadeer Elsbai is a reference associate at New York University in New York, NY. Hadeer first joined ACRL in 2017 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 16, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Persistent, curious, writer.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? My daily commute totals three hours, which gives me plenty of time to read! I usually like to read three books of varying genres at a time. Right now I’m nearly done with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, I just started N.K. Jemisin’s The Stone Sky, and I’m working through Kathleen Fraser’s Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760-1890.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Engaged, community, outreach.

4. What prompted you as a student to join ACRL? ACRL is so much more focused in relation to my career goals than ALA, which is much broader in scope. I hope to learn from ACRL’s publications, resources, and networking opportunities.

5. What are your career goals? How might ACRL help you achieve those goals? I’d like to continue in academic librarianship, with the hope of eventually becoming a subject specialist. I think having the opportunity to interact with other academic librarians and learn from their experiences is one of the things I most look forward to.

6. In your own words: As someone who briefly considered a doctoral degree, I find academic librarianship to be a happy compromise of my eclectic interests. It allows me to be immersed in academia while having the freedom to explore a broader range of possibilities than a doctoral degree path would grant. I’m pleased to have found myself in a field that is not only collaborative and knowledge-seeking, but is also striving to diversify.


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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Member of the Week: Savannah L. Sessions

Editor’s Note: For the month of January, we’re profiling student members of ACRL. For a limited time, ACRL membership dues for students are just $5.

Savannah L. SessionsSavannah L. Sessions is an MLIS student at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Savannah first joined ACRL in 2017 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 9, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Traveller, idealist, curious.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m about 5 pages into American Street by Ibi Zoboi, I recently devoured Ozge Samanci’s Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey in an afternoon, and, of course, all of my assigned MLIS coursework readings!

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Helpful, forward-thinking, resource.

4. What prompted you as a student to join ACRL? I took a course on academic librarianship in my first term at UW with the fabulous Helene Williams. I’m now a pretty big fangirl of academic library folks like Chris Bourg and Amy Kautzman. Hoping to someday realize the dream of listening to one of them speak in person (or work with someone like them), but until then, being professionally associated with people who are thinking about and doing critical work for this profession is a great place to start.

5. What are your career goals? How might ACRL help you achieve those goals? My career goals are mostly to stretch myself, never stop learning or caring about this profession (and how I can make it better), and at the same time to always be a do-er. You know what they say about goals without action. I will look to ACRL to help me network with folks who are also working hard for this profession and for justice and equity in the world. Aside from networking, I am excited about all of the professional development opportunities ACRL offers. Obviously conferences are key, but I live in a rural place, so being able to access all of the webinars, recordings, publications, etc. online is important to me too.

6. In your own words: As an academic library hopeful, I know my curiosity and optimism will be crucial to my success. I am an extrovert for sure, so being able to get to know students and faculty in an academic setting gets me charged up. I am grateful that I have had the chance to work in a library for the past three years, decide that this really was the vocation for me, and then start my MLIS program last year. Everything I’ve done so far feels like the right trajectory, so I trust that wherever I land will also be the right place.


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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Member of the Week: Billy S. Augustine

Editor’s Note: For the month of January, we’re profiling student members of ACRL. For a limited time, ACRL membership dues for students are just $5.

Billy S. AugustineBilly S. Augustine is an MLIS student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Billy first joined ACRL in 2017 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 3, 2017.

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

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading the Book of Nehemiah/Hebrews from the Bible and listening to K-Love radio station on the mobile.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Academic, research, community.

4. What prompted you as a student to join ACRL? I have been an academician for more than two decades in the field of engineering. As I was transitioning to the field of library and information science, I thought it was only logical that I become a part of the ACRL, which has been actively involved in academic libraries and their concerns as a key division of the ALA.

5. What are your career goals? How might ACRL help you achieve those goals? I would love to have a career that keeps me motivated through active service to the local community and academia at large. ACRL no doubt keeps me updated on the key issues in reference and research in the field of LIS and hence is valuable to me in achieving my goals.

6. In your own words: As I have come to know, the concept of academic librarianship has changed a lot over the years, in terms of what essentially is expected by students/researchers from their associated academic libraries. So in the present context, the academic librarian is required to keep up with the times and be flexible enough to take on new roles as necessitated by the ever-changing field of information sciences.


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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Member of the Week: Sarah C. Clayton

Sarah C. ClaytonSarah C. Clayton is a digital scholarship specialist at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Sarah first joined ACRL in 2017 and is your ACRL member of the week for December 18, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative problem solver.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading Learner-Centered Design of Computer Education by Mark Guzdial. I just downloaded Made with Creative Commons by Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson so that is up next.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Energizing, collaborative, encouraging.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has been an extremely welcoming professional community. It has been a fantastic avenue for me to connect with and be inspired by other academic librarians.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? In my role as a digital scholarship specialist, I connect faculty, students, and other librarians with technology that can meaningfully impact their research or teaching. I think one of the most significant ways, I, along with the other librarians who work in our Digital Scholarship Lab, contribute to the campus community is that we give our users the skills to evaluate tools and learn technology on their own. We also serve as a bridge for faculty and students from different departments enabling multidisciplinary collaborations.

6. In your own words: I find life as an academic librarian to be very rewarding. We are some of the most adaptive members of our academic community. In my position, I love that I get to continue learning whether it the subject matter of faculty member with whom I’m collaborating or a tool that might benefit our faculty and students. I also get to teach others and give them the skills to do research more effectively or incorporate new techniques in their teaching. One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing what people produce do after I meet with them and watching them develop more confidence in their research techniques and use of technology. In addition to the continual learning opportunities and rewarding nature of instruction, I love the collaborative spirit of academic librarianship. We serve the whole university community and as such are able to connect faculty and students in different departments with each other and with other services in the library and across campus.


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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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.

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