2018 ULS Candidate for Member-at-Large: Rachel Mulvihill
Tell us more about yourself and how you became an academic librarian.
I tell people I’m a librarian in my blood. I’ve always enjoyed library research and finding the answers. In college I majored in Anthropology after struggling to narrow my focus. I wanted to study everything! I entered library school immediately after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. I was drawn by the opportunity to continue to study everything. Academic librarianship and reference in particular were attractive to a generalist like me. In my career, I’ve focused on distance and online students, and instruction/information literacy and outreach, but I continue to enjoy the variety in my work and in the academic environment.
How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?
I have been a member of ULS for many, many years. I joined ALA and ACRL while in library school 20 years ago and have been active throughout my career, when budget and family commitments allow. I have been lucky enough to travel to many ALA conferences and have enjoyed the ULS programming and social opportunities over the years.
In your opinion, what are some of the most interesting topics or trends we’re seeing in university libraries?
My professional duties lie in the arena of instruction and outreach, so the implementation of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is of interest. I also appreciate the broader fields of user experience and emerging technologies, and I think it is the responsibility of all academic librarians to demonstrate the value of libraries at their institutions.
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 think ULS should be reflective of the diverse nature of academic librarianship, and mirror the interests of its members. My goals would be to represent the section and its constituents, to listen to the needs of my fellow librarians and to amplify their voices so they are heard at the national level.
Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?
Programs, discussion groups, and training should follow the interests of members. I would like to see ULS grow in membership numbers, but particularly active and engaged members. I would like to see more opportunities for engagement, and more meaningful committees that produce products of use to the broader membership. I would like for ULS members to feel they are gaining something valuable with their dues paying membership, be that experience, education, training, or leadership opportunities.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that not very many people know.
I had to ask my husband for help on this one… he says I have a freakish ability to remember song lyrics. Old songs, news songs, I can sing them all.