2017 ULS Candidate for Member-at-Large: Ryan Litsey
Ryan Litsey is one of three candidates this year for ULS Member-at-Large. He is an Associate Librarian at Texas Tech University Libraries. Read this interview to learn more about Ryan and what his goals would be if elected as Member-at-Large.
Tell us more about yourself and how you became an academic librarian.
I was a doctoral student for a time when I got my first job in an academic library. While I was unsuccessful in doctoral school, I did realize while working the potential for helping students of all varieties achieve their academic mission through the library. The desire to help is what lead me to Library school and eventually to my current position as a member of the Texas Tech University Libraries
How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?
I am a relative new comer to ULS. What attracted me to the ULS section is the ability to connect with other academic librarians who have similar goals and ambitions for helping students. As a current student of Student Development theory I am also interested in learning more from my colleagues about college student development and the role the academic library plays. Even though I am a newcomer to ULS, I am not without experience in ALA committees. I am a very active participant in RUSA/STARS given my role as the head of Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan.
In your opinion, what are some of the most interesting topics or trends we are seeing in university libraries?
I think the current climate of multivariate methods of assessment are very interesting to me. I am also very intrigued about new technologies that can help student access the library as well as gain access to materials and resources previously unavailable, like 3D objects, and makerspaces
What goals for the section would you have if elected to this position? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?
My goals are two fold
First, I think there should be a continued examination of methodologies of assessment. Assessment is a best way to understand our users and their expectations. I think that all of the sections can contribute meaningfully to ideas and methods assessment. Given the variety of methods of assessment and student expectations I think now is a very interesting time when we consider how we understand what our students want and expect from the library
Second, libraries should invest more in library-developed technologies. In times of shrinking budgets and increasingly mainstreamed and often expensive services, it would behoove libraries to examine ways they can develop technologies that meet their unique needs in house.
Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?
The future for ULS for me is also two-fold.
First, access to new resources. The expectations student bring to the contemporary academic library have been informed by the technology they have access to and often use personally. These technologies have changed what students view as resources that can be supplied by the library. A library at is core is a place where students and faculty can gain access to items they cannot access on their own. To that end, the academic library needs to take on the challenge of developing and providing new types of resources. We have already seen this happened, with smart boards, augmented reality, 3D printing, virtual reality, etc. Each of these technologies helps transform the learning experience.
Second, using cutting edge technological advances libraries can deploy the copious amounts of information they collect on a daily basis to transform the ways in which the library can help students. Using technologies like, predictive analytics, machine learning and anticipatory commerce, libraries can fundamentally alter and improve the interaction between the library and the library patron.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that not very many people know.
In my free time I use my librarian skills to collect, restore and play vintage videogames from the original 1984 NES era. I have over 1500 videogames in a room in my house.
Read our interviews with the other candidates for ULS Member-at-Large, Nancy Garmer: http://www.acrl.ala.org/ULS/2017-uls-candidate-for-member-at-large-nancy-garmer/ and Bruce Henson: http://www.acrl.ala.org/ULS/2017-uls-candidate-for-member-at-large-bruce-henson/