Category Archives: Member of the Week

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.

Member of the Week: Yolanda Bergstrom-Lynch

Yolanda Bergstrom-LynchYolanda Bergstrom-Lynch is an MLIS candidate at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. Yolanda has been an ACRL member since 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 8, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Meticulous, persistent, hardworking.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Wool by Hugh Howey and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I am currently reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Cronin’s book is the second book in The Passage trilogy. Next on my list is Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I clearly have an affinity for dystopian future novels, and Octavia Butler is one of my absolute favorite writers.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Bridge, support, advocate.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the opportunities that ACRL provides to academic librarians and future academic librarians. I am currently pursuing my MLIS at Valdosta State University and I am working toward a future career as an academic librarian. I was selected to be a 2016-2017 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and I was given the special honor of being sponsored by ACRL. The Spectrum Scholarship Program aims to increase diversity in the LIS profession by providing scholarships to students of color based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, ability and achievements, and leadership potential. The Spectrum Scholarship has allowed me to continue my studies and work toward my ultimate goal of becoming an academic librarian. ACRL’s support clearly demonstrates its commitment to LIS students and to achieving diversity in the profession.

5. What do you contribute to your campus? I have spent the past fifteen years teaching sociology to college students. My teaching philosophy is built around the proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” I have learned over the years that students learn best when they are active participants in their own learning process. Ultimately, my goal as an educator is to foster critical thinking skills to promote lifelong learning. I see obvious connections between college teaching and academic librarianship. The parts of academia that I enjoy the most – teaching to promote lifelong learning, working with people, connecting people to information, conducting research, fostering diversity and inclusion, and promoting intellectual freedom and democracy – are the ones that are at the core of librarianship. As a future academic librarian, my goal is to contribute to campus life by continuing to follow these same principles.

6. In your own words: My love of library science began in the stacks of my undergraduate institution, Mercy College, where I worked as a reference assistant and an information literacy peer tutor. That experience gave me a chance to see what academic librarians do up close, and I knew then that I was hooked. I went on to teach college level sociology courses at Manchester Community College after earning my MA in Sociology from the University of Michigan, but I knew that librarianship was always my calling. What I enjoy most about librarianship is that it is one of those rare fields that allows you to marry all of your different interests, passions, talents, and skills into one career. I recently had an opportunity to intern in an academic library and while interning I instantly recognized the feeling of home. It is where I belong and I am excited to soon transition to a career as a reference and instruction librarian in an academic library.


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: Matthew P. Ciszek

Matthew P. CiszekMatthew P. Ciszek is head librarian at Penn State Shenango in Sharon, PA. Matthew has been an ACRL member since 2003 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 1, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate about libraries.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Currently poring over “The Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2016,” an article from the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies; “On ‘Diversity’ as Anti-Racism in Library and Information Studies: A Critique” by David James Hudson; and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. As soon as the spring semester is finished, and life settles down a bit, I have a nightstand piled high with books (both fiction and non-fiction) waiting for me.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Essential, engaged, effective.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The connections I have made with other academic librarians through ACRL and the high-quality publications geared toward college and research libraries that ACRL publishes.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? A faculty colleague once quipped, “Librarians get along with everybody.” I see my contribution as building bridges between students and faculty, faculty and administration, and the library and the campus at large. I’m a true believer that the library is the heart of any college or university and touches the lives of all students, faculty, and staff in many ways.

6. In your own words: Librarianship is a vocation, and academic librarians are called to serve in the “in-between places” where coursework, research, scholarship, and education intersect. Academic librarians are well-versed at connecting not only people with information and research, but also connecting people with each other and with the wider institution. If the academic library is the heart of the institution, then academic librarians are its heartbeat.


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: Sara Kuhn

Sara KuhnSara Kuhn is the senior manager for research and learning at Monash University Malaysia in Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia. Sara has been an ACRL member since 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for April 24, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated. Smart. Funny.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently reading Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice by Maryellen Weimer. It is recommended reading in the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) program I am currently engaged in at Monash University Malaysia. I love it because it discourses on pedagogy in easy-to-digest chunks while using simple, but effective language. On my iPad I am regularly engaged in Lynda.com video certification courses. This year I have completed Risk-Taking for Leaders, Blended Learning Fundamentals, Teaching Fundamentals: Project-Based Learning, and Flipping the Classroom. For fun? I watch movies on my iPad… 2 nights past…The Sleeping Dictionary as it is set here in Malaysia; in Sarawak in 1936. I plan to compare Hollywood’s depiction with that of the local heritage scholars.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Exciting. Extensive. Expanding.

4. What do you value about ACRL? Engaging and useful conversations enhanced by valuable, career-expanding connections with colleagues and mentors. I admit I am a new member. This is my first academic librarian position in a university setting. Prior to that, my 10-year career was largely centered in public libraries in the US and Canada. ACRL is integral to helping me to navigate my new landscape and role as an academic librarian, specifically in my recently-held role as liaison librarian and current role as senior manager, research and learning, managing the Department of Liaisons Librarians, Learning Skills Advisers, Postgraduate Programs Coordinator, and Web Librarian.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I feel that my team and I contribute significantly to enhancing scholarly study and research and learning on campus and provide our staff and students with the tools they need to not only succeed academically, but to be competitive in a global workplace and marketplace. I am currently leading the campus-wide implementation of the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework, developed by John Willison at the University of Adelaide, which is based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, ACRL info lit standards, and the ANZIIL standards.

6. In your own words: 

Busy. Rewarding. Whole-hearted.

I thoroughly enjoy working with the students and academic staff on my campus. I feel extremely lucky to have such a rewarding career. I know that I help students and staff to more efficiently navigate the wealth of e-resources we have at our fingertips at Monash; and assist them in gaining knowledge around information literacy, scholarly communication, and research impact—subjects which by their nature tend to be elusive for both the student and the researcher.


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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