2018 ULS Candidate for Member-at-Large: Lis Pankl
Tell us more about yourself and how you became an academic librarian.
I have always been interested in librarianship as a vocation. However, it wasn’t until I was into my first career of teaching English that I finally decided to give library school a shot. After getting my MSLS in May of 2005, I soon started my first professional position at Louisiana State University Libraries as an Instruction Librarian. Since leaving LSU in 2007, I’ve worked at three additional institutions.
How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?
Although I’m relatively new to ULS (2016), I have been involved in ARCL on and off since 2005. I wanted to join ULS because I felt it was the best fit for my new position as Head of Graduate and Undergraduate Services at Marriott Library at the University of Utah.
In your opinion, what are some of the most interesting topics or trends we’re seeing in university libraries?
I’m excited by the renewed focus on user experience in academic libraries—including elements such as Makerspaces with 3D printers and VR technology as well as the ways in which physical spaces are being remade to respond to student needs and habits. Also, I see much more campus-wide collaboration happening between librarians, faculty, and staff. These collaborations are essential to the success of the campus library. Finally, the field of scholarly communication within academic libraries is perhaps changing the most rapidly. This is an exciting time where librarians can act as leaders in the higher education environment.
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?
I would like to see ULS serve as a moderator for discussions about the rapidly changing nature of higher education and the academic library’s role as a leader in the evolving landscape. In addition to offering opportunities for skill and knowledge acquisition, committees and members within ULS can work to talk across institutions. A good forum for this sort of discussion might be social media.
Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?
ULS needs to be proactive in addressing the ways in which jobs are changing within academic libraries and to provide mentorship for how to adapt to evolving expectations of library and university administration.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that not very many people know.
I have lived all over the U.S.