Category Archives: Member of the Week

Member of the Week: Catherine Soehner

Catherine SoehnerCatherine Soehner is Associate Dean of Research and User Services at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT. Catherine has been an ACRL member since 1995 and is your ACRL member of the week for February 1, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Collaborative, energetic, compassionate.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? For pleasure, I’m reading Yes, Please by Amy Poehler, a book I was given as a Christmas present from my step-daughter. As for professional reading, I have the book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When it is Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and, Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood) by Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen. I just need to find time to read it.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Useful, informative, opportunity.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I especially value the networking aspect of ACRL. The connections I’ve made through ACRL have lasted throughout my career. I also value the programing provided by ACRL both at the ALA conferences and the ACRL conferences held every other year. The focus on academic libraries is particularly useful to me.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? Building relationships at the University of Utah beyond the library is essential to getting anything done. These relationships lead to natural collaborations between University units and the library and they keep the library in the forefront of the minds of faculty, students, and staff.

6. In your own words: I feel very fortunate to have stumbled into this career. Over the past 27 years I’ve had the chance to teach hundreds of students and faculty about information literacy, develop programs and events that enrich their lives, and collaborate with fantastic colleagues across several campuses. I’ve watched technology change from 300 baud modems to the ubiquitous wireless. Change brings opportunities to address new challenges and reinvent library services.


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: Colleen S. Mullally

Colleen S. MullallyColleen S. Mullally is Assessment Librarian at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Colleen has been an ACRL member since 2013 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 25, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Inquisitive and fully engaged.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Recently finished Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions and am about to start in on A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Amazing professional resource.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has so much as an organization that has helped me develop myself as a librarian. From local and national conferences to online materials to College & Research Libraries News, ACRL has empowered me with relevant information that has shaped my thinking and encouraged me to think differently.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As assessment librarian, I manage projects and collaborate with groups within and outside of the library to improve the quality of our libraries and promote our value. This academic calendar year, I’ll be applying everything I’ve learned during the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) to carry out a proposal that I’ve developed. My research partner and I will be studying the short and long term effects of embedded librarianship on incoming student athletes’ GPA, information literacy skills, and perceptions of research.

6. In your own words: Being an assessment librarian is a wonderful job for someone who is incurably curious!


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: Paul Mascareñas

Paul MascarenasPaul Mascareñas is Reference Librarian at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Paul has been an ACRL member since 2011 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 18, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, unflappable, and empathetic.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Reading: Charles Bukowski’s On Writing and short story anthologies/travel writing. Listening: Sufjan Stevens, Ryan Adams Pandora Station, Bohren & Der Club of Gore Pandora Station, and Kamasi Washington.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Supportive, empowering, and inspiring.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I appreciate the educational opportunities and support at ACRL Conferences and throughout the year.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? Continually promote library resources and instruction to faculty. Help students with research assignments at the Research Help desk and embedded in the online classroom as well as face-to-face. Being involved in my Colorado Chapter Association as the current president, I hope we can bring educational opportunities for academic librarians across the state in order to take back to their institutions.

6. In your own words: The opportunity to learn something new every day while sharing with our community of users the benefits of exploring these new ideas and resources motivates and inspires me.


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: Laksamee Putnam

Laksamee PutnamLaksamee Putnam is Science Librarian at Towson University’s Albert S. Cook Library in Towson, Maryland. Laksamee has been an ACRL member since 2010 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 11, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, Balanced, Dreamer.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Reading: Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. Listening to: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Dedicated, Forward Thinking, Academic.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the structure and the opportunity that ACRL provide. By structure I mean, the umbrella of services and guidance ACRL provides both broadly for academic libraries (such as the recent conversations stimulated by the creation of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education) and for various specialties (such as the Science and Technology Section relevant to my science librarianship). By opportunity I mean the ease with which those interested can find leadership roles within committees and of course the amazing networking that occurs during any ACRL conference.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? One significant role of an academic librarian is to act as a bridge, helping bring students to broader perspectives, collaborating with faculty to improve their research and overall creating a rich information network for campus. Most of my time has been spent contributing to the impressive foundation laid down by librarians before me, strengthening those bridges. My passion however has always been the instruction aspect of academic librarianship.

I truly enjoy working with students and strive to constantly improve my pedagogy. I am lucky to work with a research and instruction department that shares this passion and gives voice to the importance embedded librarianship has at our campus. We never know when students will have that “aha” moment about this weird “thing” we call the research process but as ephemeral as it may sound, I think what I contribute as a librarian is making that moment of information discovery as significant as possible.

6. In your own words: Librarian is a job title that I am sure we are all familiar explaining. I plan to keep explaining it. But nothing beats those moments when you unexpectedly run into another librarian, and you both get way too excited, and without explanation can agree, “Isn’t it the greatest!”


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: Jeremy Darrington

Jeremy DarringtonJeremy Darrington is Politics Librarian at the Princeton University Library in Princeton, New Jersey. Jeremy has been an ACRL member since 2010 and is your ACRL member of the week for January 4, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Analytical. Disciplined. Articulate.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Reading: A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology From Slipping Beyond Our Control by Wendell Wallach; It’s Not About the Broccoli: Three Habits to Teach Your Kids for a Lifetime of Healthy Eating by Dina Rose; and Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America by Stefanie Syman.

Listening: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and Middlemarch by George Eliot.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collegial. Engaged. Connecting.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I most value about ACRL is how it has connected me to smart, talented, and dedicated librarians, especially through the Law and Political Science Section (LPSS). These colleagues inspire me and enrich my work with their professionalism and the generous sharing of their expertise.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? One of my contributions is the ability to translate between specialized domains in order to help meet the needs of students, faculty, and colleagues, whether that’s discussing with a senior the broader context of his thesis within political science, pointing a grad student to a specialized dataset, connecting a faculty member with a new technology or service, or explaining to a colleague how to fix her spreadsheet with a thousand URLs that no longer resolve properly.

6. In your own words: Being a political scientist and an academic librarian is a great career combination. Both careers involve studying and trying to solve complex questions of momentous, even global, significance that are both contentious and contested—tackling corruption, transforming student learning, alleviating poverty, advancing innovative scholarship—and both draw smart, passionate people who care about making a difference in their communities and societies. Not coincidentally, both careers also are often split between idealists and pragmatists, who rarely see eye to eye but who are generally united in critiquing the status quo. Sadly, both librarians and political scientists are also used to being the targets of short-sighted and politically-motivated funding cuts. But that doesn’t make the work we do any less important, nor does it reduce our commitment to doing it.


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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