Member of the Week: Howard C. Marks

Howard C. Marks

Howard C. MarksHoward C. Marks is the director of library services at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas. Howard has been an ACRL member since 2015 and is your ACRL member of the week for March 27, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Creative problem solver.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, And Why People Follow by Tom Rath, The 360 Degree Leader by John C. Maxwell, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen and The Complete Pink Floyd: The Ultimate Reference by Glenn Povey.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Innovative professional connector.

4. What do you value about ACRL? ACRL has been the natural bridge for learning, from reading the College and Research Libraries monthly publications to attending my first upcoming conference in Baltimore. It is the top caliber professional association of its size and scope in academic librarianship, period.

5. What do you, as an academic librarian, contribute to your campus? As a manager and administrator and wearer of many hats, I always look to bring out the best in my people and myself. It’s all about recognizing strengths and weaknesses. I try to come up with new ideas and new plans for the library while maintaining the beautiful 66,000 square foot space we occupy. I work with the faculty, deans, and provost to bring new, informative programming to the smallest campus in the University of Texas system. This last month, along with Midland College, we offered a free f2f copyright workshop with an Austin, Texas attorney/librarian expert Gretchen McCord, targeted at faculty. We are currently working to develop an OER initiative with our own distance learning department, REACH, and partner with Odessa College. Collaboration is truly the key to success.

6. In your own words: Serving your constituents the best possible way you can is what makes every day of your career rewarding and worth calling yourself a librarian. How do you do that? You have team meetings, you make decisions, you implement new policies, you advocate. You try and you may fail, but you always succeed in the end. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a simple 1-2-3. There is a lot of trial and error. You have to collect as much knowledge as you can. So soak it up. Study up on your audience and get the facts. You’ll get there sooner than later. One of my paramount goals for 2018 is to do a strategic plan for our library. We already have a mission, vision and goals in place. Librarianship and information science are growing so rapidly these days and there is an infinite amount to keep up with to stay ahead of the curve, but you can get there.

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.