Meet the Candidates: Jon E. Cawthorne

Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2015 ALA/ ACRL election, we’re profiling the 2015 ACRL Board of Directors candidates. We’ll feature one candidate in slate order each weekday from March 13 — 20. Complete details on candidates for ACRL offices are available on the election website. Make sure to vote for the candidates of your choice starting March 24.

Jon CawthorneJon E. Cawthorne is the Dean of Libraries at the West Virginia University Libraries in Morgantown, West Virginia, and a 2015 candidate for the ACRL Board of Directors as Director-at-Large.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Learner, Positive, Communicator.

2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? How Universities Work by John V. Lombardi; Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier; The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure and the Search for Mastery by Sarah Lewis; and the On Being podcast, interviews by Krista Tippett.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collaboration, Networking, Future.

4. Why do you value about ACRL? I value ACRL for the energy, network, and ability to think broadly with colleagues about positioning academic libraries toward the future. I appreciate ACRL’s committees, programs, and publications that focus on leadership development. The association is the right place for all of us to explore the exciting opportunities that build an inspiring, strong, and sustainable future within higher education.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I am privileged every day to work as Dean of Libraries at West Virginia University. I believe my encouragement, communication, and positive outlook with staff at all levels creates a learning environment. I am especially excited about the opportunities to support our University Press. Externally, I work with every dean to position the library and the press to support the work of this land-grant institution that has become more important than ever to the state of West Virginia.

6. In your own words: I love my job, the WVU Libraries, and the state of West Virginia. I have equal passion for diversifying the academic library profession and creating pathways to leadership. Although I’ve learned from many library environments (academic, public and special), my career began by asking, how does one get to be a Dean of Libraries? Imagine how grateful I am not only to serve in the position, but to work with talented people to build on the incredible opportunities at West Virginia University Libraries and Press.