Member of the Week: John Sandstrom

John SandstromJohn Sandstrom is Acquisitions Librarian at the New Mexico State University Library in Las Cruces, New Mexico. John has been an ACRL member since 2008 and is your ACRL member of the week for November 23, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Dedicated, over-booked, curious.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? As a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration, my current reading list is skewed from normal. Right now I’m reading Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement, edited by Crenshaw,; Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought by Sandy Grande; Social Justice in Education by Barry L. Bull; and Theory of Justice by John Rawls.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Open, informative, transformative.

4. What do you value about ACRL? What I value most about ACRL are the networking opportunities. Being able to join with others in our profession with the same, or at least related, concerns, values, and experiences is a great way to stay up-to-date and grow as an academic librarian.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As the Acquisitions Librarian for a Tier 1 institution, I know that I contribute to all the research done on my campus by being the gateway between our researchers and the growing universe of information available through online tools and resources.

6. In your own words: As an academic librarian who has experience as both a public librarian and a vendor, I am familiar with the wide variety of experiences available in the field of librarianship. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. Libraries of all types are finding themselves under attach. Out budgets are being reduced, our usefulness is being questioned, and our place is being questioned, not only in the academy but in society in general. Libraries have a critical role to play in society and academia but to make sure people remember that role; we need to be flexible in how we present ourselves and our services. Developing the skills to achieve this flexibility requires all librarians to move outside our comfort zones and to reach out to our constituents and meet them on their own ground intellectually, theoretically, and practically.

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.