Member of the Week: Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter

Wade Kotter is Social Sciences and Music Librarian at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. Wade has been an ACRL member since 1994 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 11, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, detail-oriented, and questioning.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? My reading is currently focused on biographies of various American religious figures of the early 19th century, most recently Barton W. Stone, one of the founders of the Stone-Campbell movement. I will, however, be reading the latest Stephen King novel, Finders Keepers, when it’s released in June. As far as music goes, I listen to recordings of Sacred Harp singing at every opportunity. Sacred Harp singing is a community-based, participatory, a cappella singing tradition that dates back to the early 19th century. Honestly, I simply can’t get enough of it.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Networking, collegiality, and service.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL are the opportunities it provides for networking and service. I would not have retained my membership for all these years were in not for these opportunities. I also value the role ACRL plays in promoting the value of academic libraries and the importance of information literacy.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As Social Sciences and Music Librarian, my primary role is to ensure that faculty, staff, and students have efficient and effective access to the information they need for both instruction and research in my subject areas. Helping them to learn how to use these resources efficiently and effectively is also very important. In addition, Weber State understands the importance of information literacy for our students and I contribute to our information literacy program by teaching a for-credit course and providing several course-integrated instruction sessions each semester. As a faculty member, I contribute by serving on faculty senate committees and also tenure/promotion committees in the library, in several colleges, and at the university level.

6. In your own words: To me, life as an academic librarian can be exciting, challenging, stressful, rewarding, and enjoyable all at the same time. It’s exciting to me because of all the changes and improvements in information resources that keep coming our way. These changes, of course, are part of what makes librarianship a challenge as well, along with the fact that we’re always trying to do more at the same time our financial resources are dwindling. These challenges can also make it stressful at times, not knowing what new challenges we’ll face when we arrive at work each morning. In the end, however, all of these and more combine to make academic librarianship a most challenging, intellectually rewarding, and thoroughly enjoyable profession. I’m very happy with the choice I made to become an academic librarian even though it was not my first choice as a profession.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at for more information.

2015 ACRL Election Results

Irene HeroldIrene M. H. Herold, university librarian at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, has been elected ACRL vice-president/president-elect. She will become president-elect following the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, and assume the presidency in July 2016 for a one-year term.

Beth McNeil, associate dean of the Purdue University Libraries, and Lori J. Ostapowicz-Critz, head of faculty engagement department at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have been elected to the ACRL Board of Directors as director-at-large.

Full 2015 election results will be available Monday, May 11, on the ACRL website.

Congratulations to those elected and many thanks to the dedicated members willing to stand for office.

May 8 Update: Division election results (PDF) are now available on the ALA website.

ALA Virtual Membership Meeting

ALA members can make their voices heard regarding the organization’s strategic direction and budget priorities by sharing their ideas and experiences and offering their suggestions during the annual Virtual Membership Meeting (VMM). This interactive online forum provides real-time access to ALA leaders and opportunities to connect with colleagues about critical areas of ALA’s policy and advocacy work. During registration, participants identify and rank topics of interest that are discussed during an open forum. Members also discuss and vote on resolutions they have proposed.

VMM15 will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, June 4. Live captioning will be provided so all registrants can participate. Resolutions must be submitted by 1:30 p.m. (CDT) on May 28.

“We want to hear what our members have to say,” said ALA President Courtney Young. “VMM15 is a terrific opportunity for members to share their vision and to affect ALA’s future. We want to know the issues about which they care and their professional goals—and how ALA can be of service.”

See the ALA VMM15 webpage or the ALA Connect Member Group for information about the upcoming VMM15 and to exchange perspectives, ideas, and opinions with colleagues in advance. Register for VMM15 now.

The Bandwidth Battle

ACRL President Karen A. Williams and ALA President Courtney Young comment on net neutrality and why it matters for higher education in a column for CURRENTS, a publication of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

The loss of net neutrality would most threaten the high bandwidth applications and services that enable real-time collaboration, content creation, sharing, and learning by education and other community institutions, including libraries.

The column is freely available on the CASE website.

Take Action on Virtual Library Legislative Day

The timing for this week’s National Library Legislative Day is suddenly very relevant for academic librarians. The USA Freedom Act, that aims to put some much needed limits on the PATRIOT Act, is working its way through the House and has a better than even chance of making it through the Senate, but only if we librarians give it a push and provide some much needed backbone to House members and Senators sitting on the fence.

At the same time, the deep, inside game on Net Neutrality is happening on the Hill. Lobbyists for the big cable companies hope to develop enough congressional opposition to the FCC’s rule making in favor of an open Internet to adjust those rules and achieve their long term goal of permanently creating an Internet fast lane (and not coincidentally an extra revenue stream for them.) Again, Congress needs to hear from academic librarians about the negative impact of this on our students and faculty.

And in March, FASTR was reintroduced in both the House and Senate, which would provide greater public access to taxpayer-funded research. We must continue asking our Members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass this legislation so that research results are shared widely across institutions and disciplines as well as outside the halls of higher ed.

Virtual Library Legislative Day comes at just the right time for you to make the difference. Contact your legislators electronically and by phone all week long. Here is how:

Your personal, real world library experience is the key to helping legislators understand how the policies and legislation they are working on can impact library users. Please lend your voices!

– Jonathan Miller, Chair, ACRL Government Relations Committee

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