Member of the Week: James K. Teliha

James K. Teliha

James K. TelihaJames K. Teliha is the director of the library and learning commons at Utica College in Utica, NY. James has been a member of ACRL since 1997 and is your ACRL member of the week for July 17, 2017.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Here – As Woody Allen said, showing up is 80% of life.

Optimist – I honestly believe that things are getting better (and hope I’m contributing toward that goal).

Traveler – Seven continents, 49 countries (50 this fall), and counting.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Philip Kerr’s Prussian Blue (the latest Bernie Gunther novel) and Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes’ Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Collegial, expertise, service.

4. What do you value about ACRL? My colleagues’ expertise—academic librarianship should never be lonely—on our professional standards and their uncanny ability to know what the next big things are (and how to deal with them), and most importantly, the ability to serve and participate in ACRL and give back to the profession.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I am the fixer at my college—I help students (both online and ground) complete their assignments and pass their classes, I help the faculty with their research and teaching, and I help build the timeless collection that is my college’s library—the intellectual heart of any college.

6. In your own words: I completely love what I do and can’t imagine not being in a library every day. For me, librarianship is a calling not just a job or career choice. I’ve worked in all kinds of libraries (public, special, and academic) and have felt most useful in academic libraries. I never know where the day will take me, but I do know it will take all my skill and experience as a librarian to help as many people as I can and do my job. And I never stop learning new things.

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.