ACRL Member of the Week: Twanna Hodge

Twanna Hodge

Twanna Hodge is a reference and liaison services librarian at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Twanna has been a member of ACRL for five years and is your ACRL member of the week for July 9, 2018.

Twanna HodgeDescribe yourself in three words: Passionate, kind, and dedicated.

What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I am currently reading When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele, Handbook of Black Librarianship by E.J. Josey and Marva L. DeLoach, and Manga Classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, adaption by Crystal S. Chan with art by Juman Chan.

Describe ACRL in three words: Massive, supportive, and engaging.

What do you value about ACRL? The many opportunities to explore what it means to be an academic/research librarian within different areas and specializations along with help in shifting organizational and institutional cultures around libraries and becoming forward thinking. Despite its size there many niches for one to find a place where they belong.

What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? It has been only three months since I have been in my current position. I am the liaison for the College of Graduate Studies which means supporting students, faculty and staff in the biomedical sciences field. I have created relevant content and displays that are in sync with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion programs, will be participating in Free Comic Book Day as stress reduction activity, and am currently assisting in the creation of a Diversity Fellowship position, working with a group to revamp HSL social media -which included creating a policy, staff guidelines and getting approval from General Counsel. I am a bridge. I educate and connect students, faculty, staff and other community members to information that they need. I work for the betterment of people who come behind me. Equity, diversity inclusion are embedded in my work. I support difference and meeting people where they are. I and my colleagues fiercely conduct outreach and collaborate with entities to ensure that your patrons are information literate. This is work that I do not do alone. It is with the help, support and collaboration of many that I can do what I do.

In your own words: Exciting. There is so much to learn and keep abreast of in order to continue to be able to help patrons to the best of our abilities. There are many ways that academic librarians changes the lives of people who they interact with. Life for me means never-ending to-do lists, completing impromptu or last minute requests, finding time to read about library services to graduate students, meeting with colleagues and my liaison areas, replying to countless emails, but at the heart of it is helping patrons get to that aha moment, lessening patrons library anxiety, increasing people’s awareness and knowledge of just not about the resource or information they need but advocating relevant ones, and being an ever-present resource. It is not easy or simple work. Our work deserves respect and equal pay. The few things that have been a part of my all of my jobs are outreach, engagement, marketing, advocacy, information literacy, collection development, project management, and being resilient and adaptable regarding the work that library workers do. Its constant growth and learning. It is always being on the cusp of the newest technologies, practices, ideas, concepts and more. Working with colleagues, students, faculty, staff, boards, community orgs, corporations, alumni and more. It’s a world that’s moving faster than we can help others to understand it. Academia is not perfect nor are we but we must strive for social justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, to become embedded and intertwined forever in everything we do.


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 mpetrowski@ala.org for more information.