1. Describe yourself in three words: Meticulous, persistent, hardworking.
2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I just finished Wool by Hugh Howey and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I am currently reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell and The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Cronin’s book is the second book in The Passage trilogy. Next on my list is Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I clearly have an affinity for dystopian future novels, and Octavia Butler is one of my absolute favorite writers.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Bridge, support, advocate.
4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the opportunities that ACRL provides to academic librarians and future academic librarians. I am currently pursuing my MLIS at Valdosta State University and I am working toward a future career as an academic librarian. I was selected to be a 2016-2017 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and I was given the special honor of being sponsored by ACRL. The Spectrum Scholarship Program aims to increase diversity in the LIS profession by providing scholarships to students of color based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, ability and achievements, and leadership potential. The Spectrum Scholarship has allowed me to continue my studies and work toward my ultimate goal of becoming an academic librarian. ACRL’s support clearly demonstrates its commitment to LIS students and to achieving diversity in the profession.
5. What do you contribute to your campus? I have spent the past fifteen years teaching sociology to college students. My teaching philosophy is built around the proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” I have learned over the years that students learn best when they are active participants in their own learning process. Ultimately, my goal as an educator is to foster critical thinking skills to promote lifelong learning. I see obvious connections between college teaching and academic librarianship. The parts of academia that I enjoy the most – teaching to promote lifelong learning, working with people, connecting people to information, conducting research, fostering diversity and inclusion, and promoting intellectual freedom and democracy – are the ones that are at the core of librarianship. As a future academic librarian, my goal is to contribute to campus life by continuing to follow these same principles.
6. In your own words: My love of library science began in the stacks of my undergraduate institution, Mercy College, where I worked as a reference assistant and an information literacy peer tutor. That experience gave me a chance to see what academic librarians do up close, and I knew then that I was hooked. I went on to teach college level sociology courses at Manchester Community College after earning my MA in Sociology from the University of Michigan, but I knew that librarianship was always my calling. What I enjoy most about librarianship is that it is one of those rare fields that allows you to marry all of your different interests, passions, talents, and skills into one career. I recently had an opportunity to intern in an academic library and while interning I instantly recognized the feeling of home. It is where I belong and I am excited to soon transition to a career as a reference and instruction librarian in an academic library.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.