ACRL Member of the Week: Jessica Thorlakson

Jessica Thorlakson

Jessica ThorlaksonJessica Thorlakson is ALES Librarian /Personal Librarian at the University of Alberta Cameron Science and Technology Library in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Jessica first joined ACRL in 2016 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 21, 2018.

Describe yourself in three words: Intuitive, Advocate, Hogwarts.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I have a couple on the go, including Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, and Deborah HarknessThe Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy)– it’s really not very good (embarrassingly so), but I am determined to finish it for some odd reason.  I get motion sickness on my daily commute, so I like to listen to podcasts. I love My Favorite Murder and The Guilty Feminist.

Describe ACRL in three words: Open, Vibrant, Leader.

What do you value about ACRL? ACRL provides a plethora of opportunities for their community, whether it is through funding (I was lucky enough to receive an Early Career Librarian Scholarship), conferences, or tools and resources, they bring a great deal of support. This allows us to do better work as library and information professionals, and makes an impact on those we serve.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I try to make the lives of our users a little easier. Whether it’s through resources and research support, or just being there as an empathic, human person. While there’s a lot of privilege on campus, life there isn’t easy, so I try to be mindful and do what I can to help and support our students, faculty, and staff.

In your own words: We are privileged to be both surrounded by and tied to research and knowledge creation, and in doing so have the opportunity to impact our communities by ensuring more diverse voices are heard, present, and represented. I am looking forward to a more intersectional, more aware, future, advocating for and with marginalized and underrepresented populations.

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.