Member of the Week: Jessica L. Colbert

Jessica L. Colbert

Jessica L. ColbertJessica L. Colbert is a resident librarian at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jessica first joined ACRL in 2017 and is your ACRL member of the week for March 19, 2018.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, ambitious, cinephile.

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’ve been working my way through this wonderful book about the history and making of the film Casablanca, titled We’ll Always Have Casablanca by Noah Isenberg. It’s one of my favorite movies, and I won the book in a classic film blog contest. When I’m not reading that, I’m either listening to one of the various McElroy Brothers podcasts or listening to George Michael’s Freedom! ’90 on repeat.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Professional, welcoming, comprehensive.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I enjoy that there’s a section for every type of academic librarian. I think people hear “academic librarian” and they automatically assume you’re a reference and instruction person, but that’s not always the case! I’m a cataloging and metadata nerd! I also value ACRL’s recognition of the work we do, including our research and creative activity.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I was a first-generation student who went to a public Ivy League for undergrad. I had professors and other people in power assume that I knew how academia and research worked, even though I had no clue. I love connecting with my students who are expected by their professors to “already know things” and reassuring them other people have been in the same boat. I think it’s a unique and rare perspective to inhabit within academia.

6. In your own words: I’ve only been a professional academic librarian since July, but I already cannot fathom the amount of opportunities it has brought me. I feel so blessed to have a career full of compassion; literally everything I do, I do it with the intention that it will help others. Of course, every type of librarianship shares this, but with academic librarianship, I am supported in doing research that can shed light on areas where we could improve in the hopes that we will only become more helpful and efficient.

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.