Annah Hackett is a campus engagement and instruction librarian at the Grand View University Library in Des Moines, Iowa. Annah has been a member of ACRL for three years and is your ACRL member of the week for July 16, 2018.
What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? I am readying two things! Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday and Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights by Catherine Ross
Describe ACRL in three words: Community, opportunity, education.
What do you value about ACRL? I really appreciate all the chances to learn more about the field of librarianship. I was worried that after library school I would find it difficult to continue learning about what is going on in the world of information; with the ACRL webinars and other opportunities to connect with other librarians I am able to continue learning and growing as a new professional. Also I like that when I go Midwinter or Annual, I know to focus on ACRL events and talks, especially in the ULS section. This makes me feel like I’m not so lost in the crowd of thousands of people.
What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? As a relatively young librarian (I’m 28), I use my remembered experience of being an undergraduate to connect with our students and demonstrate how our library is not just for professors and graduate students– it is for them, too. A lot of students don’t realize that they become part of the academic atmosphere when they come to college. Their questions and comments help professors think through their chosen field, and their papers/projects are contributions to academia. I think that librarians are uniquely qualified to spread that awareness to students. Furthermore, when I co-teach an honors seminar on digital privacy this fall, I will contribute a greater awareness of pressing issues in the world of information to our campus.
In your own words: As academic librarians, I believe we act as liaisons to the information realm. Our universities are full of bright researchers and students, but many of them are not aware of how information is structured. We play an important role in helping them negotiate the vast amount of information available to them. As more and more of our resources move online, our role as information managers only becomes more important. Our names are not listed in the contributors section of most papers/projects, but we nevertheless play an important role in helping our students and researchers get their ideas out there. Whether we are helping a freshman find a book in the stacks, assisting a tenured professor navigate a database of chemistry materials, or promoting newly published books from our university faculty, we are key figures on our 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.