Member of the Week: Carolyn Schubert

Carolyn SchubertCarolyn Schubert is Health Sciences and Nursing Librarian at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Carolyn been an ACRL member since 2009 and is your ACRL member of the week for September 8, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Curious, creative, and collaborative.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? As part of my participation in the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, I have some homework reading Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative ApproachesFor fun, I’m starting to explore the work of Terry Pratchett with A Blink of the Screen (Pratchett’s shorter fiction).  Since there is simply never enough time to read everything I want, I am listening to the audiobook of The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of JournalismOne of these days I’ll get to my father-in-law’s book, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Stimulating, engaging, and fun.

4. What do you value about ACRL? The professional development opportunities from ACRL keep me on top of changes occurring in the field.  The listservs and publications are constantly addressing new and interesting ways to approach my work as an embedded librarian. I also attended ACRL for the first time this year which connected me with other undergraduate health sciences librarians and introduced me to other diverse positions in academic libraries.  I was even thrilled to start conversations with truly talented people around my poster, Developing a health sciences information literacy assessment for undergraduates. Beyond the work-related networking and learning, reconnecting with library school friends and old supervisors helped continue my important social connections within the library profession.  I owe a special thanks to donations from people like David Oberhelman and Nancy O’Brien who helped fund my scholarship to attend the conference and for investing in the future of the profession.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As an embedded liaison librarian in Health Sciences and Nursing, I’m always looking to connect people to ideas, information, or other experts.  I do traditional library things like develop an active collection, provide instruction on evidence-based practice, and support research alongside my Libraries & Educational Technologies colleagues.

I also like to embed into the overall community; I’ve worked on a campus-wide listening tour about scholarly communications, been a Librarian-in-Residence at our University Writing Center, and helped develop a series of Finals Week wellness activities.  These experiences provide me with a holistic perspective of our users and their needs beyond the classroom; I also couldn’t have done any of them without the support of my colleagues.

At the university level, I serve on our campus’ Institutional Review Board to help assure human research subjects are protected when participating in research studies.  The professional discussions in librarianship around data management inform the discussions I have with the other IRB board members and researchers about data security.  In short, the super-collaborative environment at JMU creates a dynamic work environment between me, my colleagues, and campus collaborators.

6. In your own words: Being a librarian puts you in touch with so many great people, ranging from mentors to colleagues to friends, as well as faculty, staff, and students. My departments continue to deepen my knowledge in areas like research design, evidence-based practice, and multimodal instruction, but they like to throw me some diverse curveballs, like digital humanities related projects. While I can’t know or do it all, I enjoy these different opportunities to create new relationships and continue to grow in this profession. I’m definitely in the right job.

Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at for more information.