Member of the Week: Qiana M. Johnson

Qiana M. Johnson

Qiana M. JohnsonQiana M. Johnson is a collection and organizational data analysis librarian at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Qiana first joined ACRL in 2003 and is your ACRL member of the week for February 6, 2018.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Unconventional, persistent, kind.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? Ben Aaronovitch’s Whispers Under Ground. This book is part of a series about a London police constable who, after learning he has an aptitude for magic, is assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department in charge of investigating magical crimes. A very important lesson from the series is cell phones and magic do not mix.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Reflective, responsive, informed.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I’ve always appreciated the ways in which ACRL engages with and helps librarians stay abreast of issues within higher education. I regularly read the Keeping up With… series and benefit from learning about topics that are immediately beneficial to my position as well as topics that are just new to me. I recently read “Keeping Up With Systematic Literature Reviews” to help with a reference question that came to me. ACRL has also provided formal and informal learning opportunities through listservs, conference programming, and preconferences. Early in my career, following the discussion on IL-L helped me reflect on how and what I wanted to teach.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I contribute to my campus by helping to evaluate the resources we purchase and subscribe to as well as gauging how well we are using our budget to support our different constituencies. My work helps us to spot trends in changing patron demographics and changing patron needs. I’m also the subject specialist for global health and public policy and that allows me to work with students and faculty members on their research in these areas. My work with patrons allows me to see how they use and access information which can sometimes answer questions about why a particular resource is not getting the type of use we expected and why another resource seems to get more use than we expect. My contribution to campus involves a lot of spreadsheets and statistics, but I think I’m able to help transform those numbers into better patron experiences.

6. In your own words: I had a hard time deciding on an undergraduate major because I had so many and such disparate academic interests and being an academic librarian has let me play to that strength. My work first as a reference librarian let me foster my varied interests—in the course of a few days I could answer questions about global health, public policy, and literature. Now in my collections work, having a broader focus gives me the opportunity and the responsibility to advocate for users across a number of disciplines. Academic librarianship has given me the opportunity to be an important part of the teaching and research life on campus.

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.