2018 ULS Candidate for Member-at-Large: Nancy Gibson
Tell us more about yourself and how you became an academic librarian.
I’ve been a librarian for over 13 years, all at a regional master’s university, and am looking forward to what the future brings! While I didn’t start out thinking I would be a librarian, much less an academic librarian, librarianship has become my home as it combines several of my interests, including technology and training. But it’s also much more and I really began to see that while working in library school doing different jobs in instruction, reference, and library technology. Before becoming a librarian, I worked for a high school international exchange program as an administrative assistant and did temp work for local companies.
How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?
I have been involved with ULS for about three years, starting out as a member of the Procedures committee to get familiar with the section. While I had been involved with the Instruction section, I began looking at something that addressed academic librarianship in all its aspects. I had been active in our state’s academic section over the years as a member and chair, so making the connection to ULS seemed like a good next step.
In your opinion, what are some of the most interesting topics or trends we’re seeing in university libraries?
I am excited about Evidence-Based Librarianship. This is something that is new to me and after working with some colleagues on teaching Evidence-Based Nursing research instruction, I see how this could be applied in our instruction undertakings in other disciplines. I’m also interested to see how this can be applied to online instruction and library services.
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 overarching goal is to make the section a valuable resource for its busy members. Often our attention to, and involvement in section, ACRL, and ALA activities is driven by career and professional development needs, whether we’re just starting out or a veteran with years of experience. ALA, the various divisions and sections, and roundtables, are working to make the association both more responsive and less mysterious to us, its members. I’d like to see ULS continue the work that’s already begun and build on it, making the section, ACRL and ALA more transparent to all members, and providing a compelling reason to invest in section and organization at large.
Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?
I think working with CLS, academic chapters, and ACRL at large, to break down silos and build a network of resources and advocacy would benefit everyone. It may be that this work has already begun, and we just don’t know it, one of the challenges of working in a largely volunteer driven organization. Nevertheless, there is a recognition by ALA President Neal that we need to be better and adapt to the changing times to be a 21st century organization.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that not very many people know.
One of the more interesting Girl Scout badges, I earned was for rowing, an Olympic sport. Like any sport, I learned a lot from rowing competitively as a team, from steering the boat and projecting my voice as a coxswain to the flipside of getting the large wooden boats to the water and rowing with teammates to race to the finish. Rowing was a neat adventure that reminded me to be flexible and roll with the action to accomplish common goals.