2023 ULS Candidate for Secretary: Mary D. Galvin
Tell us more about yourself and how you became an academic librarian.
Like many of us, my first library job was as a university student. Providing circulation services both at the circulation desk and behind the scenes, I had the opportunity to meet folks from all areas of the university. Then before being hired as a systems librarian, I also worked as a staff member at an academic library, supporting technology. With my varied roles, I’ve learned so much from so many people about the important work that goes into supporting our academic library communities.
How long have you been involved in ULS and what attracted you to the section?
I’ve been involved with ULS since 2016 when I served on and then co-chaired the Membership Committee. I also got the opportunity to work on the ULS Libguides Task Force and Nominating Committee. What drew me to ULS and what has kept me involved is the camaraderie and service we provide to our members.
In your opinion, what are some of the most interesting topics or trends we’re seeing in university libraries?
While some of our institutions are under more political scrutiny for supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion activities, the strides that we are making in reparative archiving are very exciting. University of Maryland in College Park, is just one university involved with Universities Studying Slavery through the 1856 Project. At a recent symposium, I learned more about how Libraries and Archives are leading in areas of historical research and community reparations.
Open scholarship is another area where libraries have been providing leadership because of our unique position supporting all students and faculty. Librarians have been championing open access to research and data for a long time and I am very interested to see how the Nelson Memo can help us further advance these initiatives.
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’d love to see how we can help our members be more involved with the larger university community. One of the refrains of librarianship is that we need to stress our value and relevance to our universities. One way we can show our value is to be more involved in university governance and student life.
I know there are many great projects out there right now and it would be useful to shine a brighter light on them. While each of the sections has its own concerns and specialization, wouldn’t it be fun to have one goal or project shared by all sections?
Where do you see ULS going in the future? How does it need to change and evolve to stay relevant to academic librarians?
Staying relevant is all about listening to our peers, finding out what they need and being willing to put that into action. We do need to provide time and space to hear what librarians and library workers have to say about their career needs and desires.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that not very many people know.
I got married at ALA Midwinter!
In 2013, Midwinter was held in Seattle. My spouse and I decided that would be the perfect opportunity to get legally married. At the time, Michigan did not support marriage equality but Washington State did. We worked with a judge in Seattle to complete all our paperwork and on January 25, 2013, we left the conference center and walked over to the King County Courthouse for our wedding!