Member of the Week: Megan Sapp Nelson

Megan Sapp Nelson

Megan Sapp NelsonMegan Sapp Nelson is Associate Professor of Library Science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Megan first joined ACRL in 2014 and is your ACRL member of the week for August 22, 2016.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Seeking better solutions.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I am currently in the midst of Justin Cronin’s Passage Trilogy. I am obsessed with podcasts. My favorite right now is Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. If you haven’t heard the episode “The Lady Vanishes,” drop everything and go listen.  It completely changed how I have viewed the last eight years in the US and this political season.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Professional development, infrastructure.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL invests in the skills development of its members in a variety of ways. I attended Immersion Teaching Track in 2012 and it gave me the opportunity to transform a class as well as to change my teaching habits. I’ve internalized backward design of instruction at this point and that training started with Immersion. It’s made me a more efficient and more effective teacher.

On the other side of the professional development coin, I’ve had the opportunity to be a curriculum developer for the Building Your Research Data Management Tool Kit Road Show and it has been one of the most challenging and interesting professional endeavors I’ve undertaken. I look forward to providing skills development for other ACRL members in the coming months.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? I serve as a liaison to six departments in the colleges of Engineering and Science and Purdue Polytechnic. Additionally, I have a functional role to provide support for researchers dealing with data management in the STEM fields at Purdue. My contributions to my campus are generally in one of two areas, curriculum integration of IL/ data information literacy skills or research support.

6. In your own words: Academic libraries have always been at the heart of campus, but with our involvement moving to the beginning of the scholarly communication life cycle, facilitating the creation and long-term management of data as well as all of the scholarly by-products that result from research, our work is now at the core of the research mission of the institution. Our own research now has the potential to impact the practices of our disciplinary faculty in ways that we couldn’t conceive when I began my career in libraries in 2003. It’s a fascinating and exhilarating time to be an academic librarian.

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.